I think this guy (Wade Rush) has some borderline dangerous reloading practices, and very much a trial and error method, so I feel like I should say that up front. I like trial, but the price for ERROR, is too high for me with reloading. You're an adult and can take your own risks, but I do want to be careful not to endorse dangerous information and trip up someone who is learning.
That aside, he's helpful and puts a lot of his unscientific testing out there. It gives you a feel for what works and what doesn't but not so much that you could count on repeatable results. He does show as much footage of the actual hunting (small southeastern deer). That gives a good idea of what a real load will actually do in practice. He hunts a lot and uses a variety of ammo, including homemade slugs and buckshot.
There are a few things he has done which I think are worth a copy. He'll also promptly reply, and wants to help.
Anyway, here is an example of what a lyman 525 can do from an 870 with sights and a rifled choke tube.
I was given a few of these slugs and am trying to decide which recipe to start with for testing. I have a rifled choke, and a handfull of powders. I don't have a roll crimper, and frankly would prefer to keep things simple and stick with fold crimping. I am good at dialing in a machine to give very consistent fold crimps.
Thoughts on the load? Better results from something you've tried?