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Ace

Turkey Gun?

11 posts in this topic

Hey Everybody!! New to the post, also new to the sport. I'm proud to report that I got my first gobbler this spring, and I'm hooked!! I went out with the future father-in-law and used all his stuff. Now, for Fall and next season I'm thinking a guy should have his own gun. Any favorites or recommendations for a newbie??

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Welcome tot he site and sport! laugh.gif

It doesn't take long to get hooked.

Everyone will have their favorites. Some like pumps, some like autos and a few like doubles.

Try a bunch of guns out for fit and go from there. I've shot turkeys with several different guns over the years. Most guys shoot guns that'll handle 3" loads. Although more and more are liking the 3 1/2" guns these days. If you're a bit recoil shy you can even use a 20 gauge and with a little work you won't feel undergunned at all. There's lots of 40+ yard 20 gauge guns out there. My daughter has one that'll easily do 45 yards with plenty of hits to get the job done.

Good Luck!

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I use a Browning 10ga, ONLY when I'm not walking far, if it's a hike to my spot then the 3.5 Benelli SBE2

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Just about any gun with a removeable choke will work because of all the differnt turkey chokes on the market and as borsh mentioned fit test and check out as many as possible.

My choice for a turkey gun was easy I won it at a drawing and I love it. Its a Mossberg 835 ulti mag turkey gun.It is 3.5 inch but I shoot mostly 3 inch loads out of itand its fully camoed and fiber optic rifle style sights on it. It was the best 5.00 dollars I ever spent.

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If they still make them the Rem 870 'half camo' 12 ga is sweet. The stock and forend are camo and she comes with a nice short 21" barrel. 3" no 5's git er done with that girl. Turkeys and pump guns are American dude cool.gif

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If you can get them boogers close enough any gun will work -my bowhunting buddies get them into under 15 yards. grin.gif I bought my wife a camo youth model Mossberg 20 guage last fall and she had no problem on a big ol Tom this spring. Shoot whatever is comfortable but by no means think you have to have the biggest and best gun out there...they will all work if you do your job calling them in. grin.gif Although sometimes you might just want to buy a 10 guage and never worry about the distance that ol boy is strutting at! grin.gifgrin.gif

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So much depends on your own style/personality when it comes to guns; and especially, the way you like to turkey hunt and where you hunt.

If sitting in a blind on the back 40 is bliss for you, and most hunting you do is a short walk from the truck, a double-barrel 10 or other heavy gun wouldn't be out of the question. Whereas if you like to run 'n gun, or hunt other states and big tracts, a lighter firearm might be a good option.

Autoloader, pump, single-shot?

Autoloaders will give you quick followup shots (you shouldn't need them), but another key with the gas-guns is their reduction in felt-recoil. Recoil can be brutal with pumps and break-actions, though you probably won't feel it in the field. Still, develop poor habits at the target range and you're sure to carry them into the turkey woods.

Pumps offer quick-enough follow-ups, and are typically lighter (double-ouch), which can be nice for trekking long distances. There are some great pumps out there that flat out, pattern well with turkey loads (Mossberg Ultimags, Winchester 1300 Tky).

A break action or single-shot might be a gun you take out there for nostalgic purposes, or just because you like the feel.

10, 12, 20 gauge? They all get the job done when parterned with the correct load and choke combination. Of the three the lighter 12 gauge 3.5"'s kick harder than the 10's I think.

Barrel length? A shorter barrel can be a very nice feature when sneaking through woods and moving slowly to position for shots. I like the manueverability on my 24" barrel.

In the end, I'm in agreeance that we'd all like to kill our birds at 25 yards, but opportunities don't always present themselves as such. Furthermore, we don't hunt on a football field, and errors in judging distance are quite common, esp. with elevation differences, cover, and/or strutting birds. For that reason, I've always been a fan of putting out the heaviest payload of the hardest hitting ammo in the best pattern that you can muster for your given gun.

It's incredibly important still to know your max. range, and in no way am I promoting long-shots. And it's been said that dead is dead. I get it. My question is that if available and of reasonable/comparable price, why wouldn't you?

Above said, with today's aftermarket choke tubes and hevi-style loads and advanced shotshells, you can now make about any plain-jane workhorse model shotgun into a lean, mean, turkey killin' machine!

Joel

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Ooops, almost forgot.....a key part of your decision should be whether or not to purchase a new gun in the first place....which goes hand-in-hand with, "Do I need a dedicated turkey-only gun." I think that answer depends heavily on the sighting system and barrel choice. Red-(Contact Us Please) with 21' smoothbore barrel won't be used for much-else.

If you hunt away from home, a back-up gun is a good idea IMO.

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A 21' smoothbore barrel....I think they are using those for anti-aircraft guns tongue.gif

I agre with what Joel said about carry as much gun as you can handle, but also consider what you want to handle. Most of my turkey spots have been long walks and nothing has made me more happy than carrying my 20gauge shotgun out there. I still made a 30yd shot and was good to 40. I didn't pattern further cause I just won't shoot that far.

Get the best you can but don't bring more than you need. My 20 gauge is also my pheasant and grouse gun. Also this year while turkey hunting late season I walked into a brrod of woodcock. That was pretty neat. My 20 is almost too much for those.

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Mossberg 835 Ultra Mag 24in. barrel and it has to be full camo. Holds 3.5in. shells. The camo gun is nice because it doesn't draw attention to your face.

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Right now I shoot a Browning Gold Hunter 3.5" camo model. The back-bored action and Browning X-full ported choke throws a nasty pattern of Winchester X-tended 3.5" #6's to 50 yds. My backup guns are a Stoeger M-2000, Winchester 1300, and Remington 870.

My next turkey gun will be a break action 10 gauge. I've seen an old turkey hunter around here pull both triggers, and it's amazing. Both the bruise, and the results! smile.gif

Joel

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Ace,

I'm pretty happy with my Mossberg 535, 20" barrel, fiber optic sites, and through the stock thumbhole grip. It throws a good pattern at 40 yards with 3.5" Winchester lead running through the factory choke. It could probably be improved with some choke changes. However, if you buy this gun, you have a gun that is for turkey hunting only.

Joel, a double barrel 10 gauge! If you get that, you should let Deitz take the first shot with it. grin.gif

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