10 Quality Slug Guns Under $500

10 Quality Slug Guns Under $500

With state game agencies continuing to limit a whitetail hunter's lethality both in the countryside and in more urban settings where homes and key deer habitat lie right next to each other, a growing number of hunters are limited to a shotgun (or muzzleloader) during their general firearms seasons. Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, parts of Virginia and other areas all restrict their gun hunters to these perceived shorter-range firearms, and while muzzleloaders can offer more reach, they limit hunters to a single shot and sometimes deliver that moment's hesitation, snap-cap detonation. Meanwhile, with improvements in both slug barrels and load technology, shotgunners are no longer restricted to the imprecise 75-yard flight of a round punkin' ball, and with today's sabots and rifled barrels you can launch a shot with deadly accuracy to an easy 150 yards.

While a lot of today's shotguns now exceed the cost of a quality rifle/scope combo, the modern deer hunter doesn't need to borrow against the equity of his home to find a suitable smashmouth delivery system for that next monster buck. Here are 10 options that can all be had for less than $500.

Harrington & Richardson Tracker II Slug Gun

The H&R Tracker II is a slightly slimmed down version of H&R'™s Ultra Slug Gun is a lightweight (a feathery 5 ¼ pounds) with a 24-inch fully rifled Ultragon barrel, walnut-finished hardwood stock, sling swivel studs and a much appreciated recoil pad. It'™s available in both 12 and 20 gauge models and is one of the most affordable slug guns in its class.

Price: $256

Harrington & Richardson Ultra Slug Hunter

H&R 1871 is known for their single-shot smashmouth accuracy, and the Ultra Slug Hunter sits at the pinnacle of the performance and value they can deliver in a single firearm. The 24-inch fully rifled Ultragon barrel is crafted of heavy steel and delivers some awesome long-range performance for the hunter confident in his one-shot abilities. The walnut-stained American hardwood stock has a Monte Carlo comb that allows better cheek weld and eye alignment with optics attached to the included scope mounts. Available in 12-gauge and 20-gauge (22-inch barrel) models.

Price: $290

Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic Deer

The Model 870 is the best selling pump gun, if not shotgun period, in history. So naturally, the company would offer several variations in a slug gun configuration. The 870 Express Synthetic Deer is a stripped of everything but raw Remington performance to skate in under the $500 mark. The shotgun comes in a matte black finish on all exposed metal as well as on the synthetic Monte Carlo combed stock and fore-end. A generous recoil pad helps tame the 12 gauge'™s bite, and the fully rifled 20-inch barrel makes this a compact package that tips the scales right at 7 pounds.

Price: $457

Rossi USA Rilfed Barrel Slug Gun

Rossi USA also cranks out some quality single-shot, tight-locking break-action slug guns, as is evident when one inspects their Rifled Barrel Slug Gun. The gun comes in 20-gauge, which is all a hunter needs thanks to the technological advances in modern ammunition manufacturing. The forend and stock are available in black synthetic or stained hardwood, the latter matching beautifully with the matte blue steel finish. The firearm is topped with adjustable rifled sights.

Price: $319

Weatherby PA-08 Slug Gun Combo

One of the most venerable names in big game hunting rifles is making a name for itself in shotgunning circles and amazingly, offers sportsmen a two-guns-in-one option with their PA-08 Slug Gun Combo. A sleekly styled pump-action with matte black furniture and metal surfaces, the combo comes with both a 28-inch ventilated top rib barrel with brass bead front sight and screw-in choke tubes for bird or buckshot, along with a 24-inch cantilever fully-rifled barrel for ready optics mounting and tack-driving down-range accuracy. All for under $500.

Price: $499

Winchester Super X Pump Defender

Sharing the umbrella of U.S. Repeating Arms ownership with Browning, as well as some of the technology, Winchesters have become pricey guns, though they do still make some relatively affordable and great performing pump guns. For the hunter who haunts terrain that is thick and offers only close shots and who is content to shoot Foster-type slugs through a non-constricted slug gun, Winchesters Super X Pump Defender, designed as a home defense shotgun, can pull double duty in the woods. Non-glare metal surfaces and the matte composite stock and forearm serve the hunter well, while a deep-grooved forend aids grip during the recoil of 12-gauge loads pumped through the gun. The Defender tips the scales at just over six pounds and can be had for a song.

Price: $400

Mossberg 535 Slugster

Mossberg, in my mind, leads the pack in bargain-priced slug guns that deliver solid performance, and while many deer guys would love to shoot a gentle action semi-auto, finding one for new below the $500 mark is virtually impossible, though Mossberg does come close. To keep it below our price bar, Mossberg offers up their Model 500 Slugster, which is available in both 12 and 20 gauge (opt for the 20 gauge whenever you can!) The chamber accommodates three-inch shells, holds six rounds when calculating both the magazine and the chamber, boasts a fully rifled 24-inch barrel and comes blued or camo dipped, while the stock is available in wood or a matte or camo synthetic as well. Hunters also have the option of getting the 500 with an integral scope-base cantilever or rifled sights. The 500 comes with multiple cheek pieces depending on scope or sight setups.

Price: $425

Maverick 88 Slug

The Maverick 88 Slug, under the Mossberg umbrella, delivers even more bargain basement pricing with solid pump-action performance. Available in 12 and 20 gauge and all with 24-inch barrels, the matte finished gun boasts a grooved fore-end, synthetic stock and comes with adjustable rifle sights. Barrels can be had fully rifled or smoothbore, though most sluggers will be primarily interested in the rifled version for peak range and accuracy. The gun weighs 7 pounds, has a 14 ½-inch length of pull and an overall length of 43 ½ inches.

Price: $299

Mossberg 500 Slugster

Mossberg, in my mind, leads the pack in bargain-priced slug guns that deliver solid performance, and while many deer guys would love to shoot a gentle action semi-auto, finding one for new below the $500 mark is virtually impossible, though Mossberg does come close. To keep it below our price bar, Mossberg offers up their Model 500 Slugster, which is available in both 12 and 20 gauge (opt for the 20 gauge whenever you can!) The chamber accommodates three-inch shells, holds six rounds when calculating both the magazine and the chamber, boasts a fully rifled 24-inch barrel and comes blued or camo dipped, while the stock is available in wood or a matte or camo synthetic as well. Hunters also have the option of getting the 500 with an integral scope-base cantilever or rifled sights. The 500 comes with multiple cheek pieces depending on scope or sight setups.

Price: $425

Stevens 320 Pump

If cutting cost is your goal and finding a shotgun that can serve you as well over a food plot as it will persuading intruders it is time to go, the Stevens 320 Pump Security model with rifled sights can still claim deer out to 90 to 100 yards using quality Foster-type slugs through its cylinder bore carbon steel barrel. The 12-gauge is all matte, holds a total of five rounds, weighs in at just under 7 pounds and is super affordable and fun to shoot.

Price: $260



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