Best Slugs for Deer Hunting

For many, a shotgun was the weapon we used for our first big-game hunting experience. However, hunter’s today have everything from A to Z to choose from for hunting. Whether it is pump, semiauto or even bolt-action shotgun chambered with slugs for deer hunting, the shotgun is still an extremely popular choice for many of today’s hunters. Perhaps it is because you can purchase a good quality slug-barreled shotgun without breaking the bank. And, despite a few cosmetic issues it may have, your great grandpa’s slug shotgun still is just as reliable today as it was 50 years ago. Finding the right slug ammo for deer hunting is not overly difficult compared with some other ammo issues we see today.

Recoil Reducing Federal Premium Vital-Shok

If you feel like you stepped into the ring and went toe-to-toe with Mike Tyson after shooting a box of slugs, I have some good news for you. There are ammo manufacturers that have done their best to remove some of the “slug” out of their slugs. If you are interested in reducing recoil—and who among us is not?—Federal Ammunition has a great option with its Vital-Shok line. When looking for a reliable, consistent and robust slug to take down game, yet you still need to reduce recoil, the Vital-Shok 2-3/4” TruBall 1-ounce rifled slug, which fires as 1,300 fps, is an excellent choice for a variety of applications. From home defense to deer hunting, the Vital-Shok is a good choice. It is also a great ammo option for smaller framed or young hunters.

Hard-Hitting Lightfield Commander

If you are seeking a sabot round which offers stability and controlled expansion—as well as hard-hitting, knock’em-dead penetration—the Lightfield Commander Impact Discarding PLUS  3-1/2” 12-gauge Sabot round is an excellent choice. Say that fast three times! Because of its post and pressure wad design, which helps stabilize and eliminate tumble during flight, it is often more accurate at greater distances. Although designed for game larger than the average whitetail, the 1-3/8” ounce will nonetheless do the job and then some when it comes to hunting deer.

Reliably Accurate Winchester Supreme Elite

Deer hunting has enough challenges for the hunter to overcome. You certainly do not need to doubt your weapon’s ability nor whether you have chosen the right ammo. When you need a 3-inch steel sabot slug with a velocity and knock-down power of 1,850 fps offering reliable accuracy—and is tough enough to take down large game from deer to North America’s largest carnivore the brown bear—Winchester Supreme Elite 3-inch Dual Bond Sabot Slug comes to mind. Moreover, with the name Winchester behind it, you can rest assured it is a slug you can trust when it’s time to pull the trigger.

Regardless of the slug ammo you choose, chances are you will want to experiment with a few different brands to find the perfect “sweet-shooting slug” for your shotgun. The moral of the story is to be persistent, and try a few different brands to determine what brand you like best for your particular deer shotgun.

What is your best deer hunting slug? Tell us in the comment section?

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (9)

  1. I have a Remington 11-87 20 ga. Cant. Scope w/ Nikon Slughunter 3x9x40 that puts three 2.75 Rem. Buckhammer slugs into a 1.5 in. group @ 75 yds., glad I stocked up on slugs because Rem. quit making these. If anyone out there has found a suitable replacement for Buckhammers, I would like to hear about them!

  2. It seems like a lot of us have tried different ammo to run through our slug guns. I have a little more of a technical spin on it. Different barrels have different diameters and some are rifled and some are not. Each weapon has its own personality and to find the right combination you have to get lucky or test several and be a competent shooter. I have a H&R fully rifled that only shoots the Rem due to the larger diameter. I have a 20 ga for my son that loves Win Supreme and another that likes Hornady. Test em. It’s good for practice anyway.

  3. I started hunting deer when I was 14 that seems like only yesterday, but in reality that was 45 years ago. my hunting party now consists of, my self,my brother, our friends, our kids, grand kids, and,-in laws, most of us use the Remington 1100 or 1187 but we decided years ago that it would be a good idea if we all shot the same ammo, in case you needed to borrow a box. After doing some testing and cost comparing the Remington 1 once 2 3/4 slugger won out. Our test showed most slugs would shoot a group of their own, but you can not mix and let the shooter be the judge. if you feel better spending 10 dollars a box for slugs or you think you need a 3 inch magnum shell, so be it, as long as you pick one,practice with it, and stay with it.don’t go out on opening day with a pocket full of mixed shells hope this has been some help to at least 1 person if not many. by the way, through the years our group has taken over 400 bucks yes I said bucks we don’t kill does that is the baby making machine. Buck luck to every one and lets be safe out there.

  4. Know lots of guys in the Grand Rapids, MI. area (myself included) that swear by Hornady SST ammo combined with an H&R ultra slug. Comfortable shooting out to 200 yards with these things – they are tack drivers.

  5. Remington Premier Copper Solid Sabot Slugs in 12 gauge.

    After extensive experimentation, I’ve found they shoot the best out of my rifled barrel Rossi single-shot slug gun.

    They are absolutely devastating to deer.

  6. I would also suggest that anyone who interested and is looking for something with a good BC, great accucery, and excellent use across a broad spectrum of possible targets and would like to be “Geen” on top of it, should take a look at and consider the following:

    “DDuplek” manufactures of superb ahotgun munitions for just about any senereio. Give them a Google.

  7. Okay- I looked it up. A 1 oz slug is the equivalent of a 437.5 grain bullet. Now somebody figure out the muzzle energy at 1300 fps? I got an old spinster aunt up here living on that great Au Sable river in northern lower peninsula of Michigan that gets her deer every year with an ancient single shot 12 gauge and a punkin’ ball.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

Discover more from The Shooter's Log

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading