Originally Posted by ineverFTF
It depends a lot on gauge, caliber, location, conditions.
I personally prefer rifles, but in a sub 100 yard thick brush environment a 12ga slug might be your best bet.
I have to agree. I allowed really thick brush on where I hunt, the kind where you sometimes have to get on your hands and knees to get through it. Deer love it. I have tried them all. Usually the shots are well under 50 yards. I am disappointed at the strange lack of knockdown from a .50 black powder. They look surprised then they run 100 yards. Unacceptable. I get similar performance from the .308. Only difference is now the hole is on both sides. Equally unacceptable. A brain shot from a 1911 or a 1917 .45 drops them right there. Occasionally I get such performance on a torso shot with a 12 gauge slug. Brennekes which throw parts in different directions inside the animal perform better than the common american hollow slug. The hourglass shaped slugs also sometimes become two projectiles inside the animal and give good knockdown, but the path of the fragmenting projectiles is less predictable and sometimes the fragment goes into the abdominal cavity.
For myself thus far I have been getting 100% instant knockdown with a hand loaded (hot, read Elmer Keith then go up just a little, scary loads) .45 Colt from a modified Winchester 94AE Trapper and 30 yard shots. I drive the Hornady 250 gr. XTP at a much higher velocity than the Hornady recommends. Although I have yet to have the bullet exit from the animal, I also have yet to find/recover a bullet. Everything inside the animal's chest is all goo that can just be poured out but the diaphragm is usually intact. On more than one occasion they just topple over sideways or back flip and plop.