In the past 20 years or so, the advances in slug technology--in concert with dedicated slug guns--has been little short of amazing. Yet many guys, like myself, who grew up in "rifle states," may have been oblivious to it. I've used sabot slug loads and scoped shotguns just enough to appreciate the fact at real-world deer yardage, you're not giving up all that much.
Take a serious, rifled-barrel bolt-action item like a Browning A-Bolt or Savage 220 12-gauge, however, and when it comes to zeroing at the bench, you could well be wishing yourself back in a rifle state with a nice, gentle .243. And you may be asking yourself: "Do I really need to be pushing a 375-grain sabot slug at 1,900 fps to kill a whitetail at 75 yards?"
One way to avoid the inevitable beating is to switch to a 20-gauge. But what if you don't really want to get another dedicated slug gun? Here's another option: Hornady's Custom Lite 12-gauge slug load, featuring an aerodynamically superior 300-grain FTX at a bit over 1,500 fps.
I recently shot some out of a Browning A-Bolt topped with a 2-7X Burris Droptine Slug Gun variable after several 5-packs of "high-test" stuff from various manufacturers. It was like getting a massage by comparison...