Making an H&R 20 ga accurate with slugs

There is something special about a “first” gun. I will admit that I have considered selling it but couldn’t bring myself to do it. The subject gun in this case is an H&R (Harrington & Richardson) single shot 20 gauge shotgun. It is certainly nothing special when compared to the other offerings available today. BUT….. Over the years, many people I have met have about the same gun. Most commonly I will see them chambered in 12 gauge. What ever Gauge they are chambered in, they have some similar characteristics. It is a “budget” gun: light weight, single shot, break action, the hammer is the safety, and are priced to sell to the masses.

The common complaint of this gun is that it tends to shoot low. This is due to the 20 gauge chamber being considerably larger in diameter than the barrel. My buddy has the same gun chambered in 20 ga. except his gun has a groove on the chamber to “supposedly” sight for a slug or buckshot. The last time I played with the idea of shooting slugs was with his gun. Even with the crude groove sight it shot low. That was a few years ago. With gaining a renewed interest in that old 20 ga. I picked up a fiber optic sight made by Truglo. In the video I say its Hiviz, both make a similar sight. It has been a while since I bought it. OOPS!!!!

My intent in buying the new sight was to make it more friendly for small game. The sight does bring the bead up to about twice the height of the original brass bead. I have found that it does make it more accurate with bird shot for small game. For slugs and buckshot, it still hits to low for an ethical shot. I have an affinity for this gun. I want to make it work. I have sacrificed the comfort of my shoulder for this test. Anyone with experience with this gun knows that it will leave a bruise. Probably the biggest complaint of this gun, IT KICKS LIKE A MULE!!!! We would grouse hunt with these things. After the hunt we would shoot clays with the leftovers. After going thru a box, dad would have an extra box in which he would ask if we want to shoot some more. I struggle to remember anyone saying yes.

So for the brass tacks of the experiment, how to make it accurate. The after market sight needs to be mounted up against the stock. Not at the end of the barrel. You need to be sure to line up the front bead to the brass factory bead. This should be done after each shot. When sighting, place the brass bead over the fiber optic bead mounted farther back to form a figure 8. Bead over bead. This test was done at about 25 yards. As a word of caution, it is always recommended to make sure that you never shoot a slug in any gun with a choke less than modified. Full chock is a definite don’t do. Be sure to check your gun and educate yourself on shooting slugs through your gun. Your safety is your responsibility.

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