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  1. Default Dedicated Turkey shotgun

    I want to get a shotgun just to use for turkeys nothing else. Has to be drilled and tapped for optics, 3" chamber or 31/2" and a short barrel. What works and what didn't?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Bitterroot Valley, MT
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    I have a Remington 1187 Supermag. It has a thumbhole stock, threaded for chokes, and is tapped for a scope. I have a reddot on it. It is a killing machine. I would feel confident killing a bird at 50 yards with it. Hard to find now, but is everything you want in a dedicated turkey gun.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Clark County WI
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    I have a Remington 835 super mag with a red dot scope. With 3 1/2 inch shells I've killed turkeys out to 65 yards.

  4. #4

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    I had two Remington Versa Max shotguns. One set up for turkeys with a Red Dot type scope, sling, turkey choke, etc. The other was my waterfowl gun. The guns come tapped for mounts. I sold one of them and used the money to buy a rather pricy Trijicon scope for a rifle. It only takes a few minutes to mount the scope and swap out chokes in the spring to make my waterfowl gun a turkey gun. A few rounds to zero the scope, and I'm in business. After turkey season I simply reverse the procedure. One gun for all seasons.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Northern Illinois
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    Quote Originally Posted by gussyfarm View Post
    I have a Remington 835 super mag with a red dot scope. With 3 1/2 inch shells I've killed turkeys out to 65 yards.
    Remington 835?
    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

    -Theodore Roosevelt

  6. #6

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    Lots of dedicated turkey hunters on another site are going to youth models in 20ga, with the 870 being very popular. Mounting optics, mostly red dots, and shooting heavier than lead shot like Federal's Heavyweight or TSS, or handloading their own with tungsten shot. Some of the patterns they get and shot distances they are harvesting birds are pretty crazy. The like the shotgun because it's very short and very light. FWIW...

  7. #7

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    I use to use my 12ga 3.5" 870 with a 26" barrel that I bought for duck hunting. I love that gun. However, I always wanted a dedicated turkey gun. For this, I bought a 20ga 3" 870 with a 21" barrel. I'm feeding it 1 5/8oz of #9 TSS. I'm getting roughly 300 pellets in a 10" circle at 40 yards.

    Getting about 340 pellets in my 12ga 3.5" 2.5oz load of #7.5 size shot.
    Last edited by N2TRKYS; 03-07-2018 at 06:41 AM.
    83% of all statistics are made up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In the Sagebrush (Dillon, MT)
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    2,585

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    Quote Originally Posted by gussyfarm View Post
    I have a Remington 835 super mag with a red dot scope. With 3 1/2 inch shells I've killed turkeys out to 65 yards.
    You mean Mossberg 835 or Rem 870?

    For a dedicated turkey gun short is where it's at...I have a Mossberg 835 with a 24" barrel but before that I shot a Winchester 1300 20gauge. I have since switched to my Stoeger 3500 shooting the last of my Remington Duplex ammo...when that's done with I'll be switching to handloads of some sort.

    Contrary to nearly every gun magazine, your dedicated gun does not have to shoot 3.5" shells.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Clark County WI
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    [QUOTE=Mthuntr;2694595]You mean Mossberg 835 or Rem 870?
    My apologies, I meant rem 870. Thanks for catching my typo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Muley Junction, Arizona
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    60

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    Mossberg used to make a couple tacti-cool models for turkey and coyote hunting that had adjustable AR style stocks and short barrels (18" I think), pretty sure they were all drilled/tapped for scopes. If it were me I'd look for one of those, either that or make my own out of a used M500 or 835. Those AR stocks make things nice when that tom comes in from the offside and you gotta shoot wronghanded
    A hunt based only on the trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be. -Fred Bear

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2TRKYS View Post
    I use to use my 12ga 3.5" 870 with a 26" barrel that I bought for duck hunting. I love that gun. However, I always wanted a dedicated turkey gun. For this, I bought a 20ga 3" 870 with a 21" barrel. I'm feeding it 1 5/8oz of #9 TSS. I'm getting roughly 300 pellets in a 10" circle at 40 yards.

    Getting about 340 pellets in my 12ga 3.5" 2.5oz load of #7.5 size shot.
    I'm doing same thing....but I put a kicklite collapsible stock and vortex venom on mine....weighs 5.8lbs and collapses down to 39". With the advances in todays turkey loads...no need for a 12ga in a dedicated turkey gun nowadays

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by phutch30 View Post
    I'm doing same thing....but I put a kicklite collapsible stock and vortex venom on mine....weighs 5.8lbs and collapses down to 39". With the advances in todays turkey loads...no need for a 12ga in a dedicated turkey gun nowadays
    Don't get me wrong, I still prefer my 3.5" 12ga. There's no comparison to the way it crushes turkeys compared to the 20ga.
    83% of all statistics are made up.

  13. #13

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    Benelli 20ga M2 with a Indian Creek choke, combined with the Federal Premium heavyweight shells that have the 5,6 and 7 shot mixture is by far the deadliest turkey setup I have came across. 60 yard shots all day long and its right around 5.5lbs.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2TRKYS View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I still prefer my 3.5" 12ga. There's no comparison to the way it crushes turkeys compared to the 20ga.
    Boy I don't know... last yr, I either shot or saw shot, 9 birds using my 20ga and fed heavy weight 7s. Most didn't even flop. My experience with the new improved 20 loads is they are every bit as good as a 12 without the weight/recoil. LOL I cant wait to use the new hand load TSS #9s this yr.

  15. #15

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    I think I would get a shotgun with a thumb hole grip if I was getting a shotgun just for turkeys.
    To what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Three Forks, Mt
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    If you call in a turkey close a .410 works too.
    Been there, done that.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hem View Post
    If you call in a turkey close a .410 works too.
    Been there, done that.
    Did you hit them over the head with it, as you better have him in dang close and be right on the button to either cut his head off or miss him with that pipsqueak of a gun! I have a Model 1200 Winchester that I bought in 1967 with a smooth slug barrel that is real short and a 28" barrel that has a modified choke. When I really got into turkey hunting back in the 90s and wasn't using the gun for deer hunting any longer I had the slug barrel threaded and bought a Carlson turkey choke for it. Along with that I had the regular rear sight taken off and replaced with a bigger one with orange for better vision. It's just a 2 3/4" chamber, but with the Winchester turkey loads in #5 or #6 shot it will easily kill a bird at 40-45 yards every time.
    Last edited by Topgun 30-06; 03-07-2018 at 08:17 PM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topgun 30-06 View Post
    Did you hit them over the head with it, as you better have him in dang close and be right on the button to either cut his head off or miss him with that pipsqueak of a gun! I have a Model 1200 Winchester that I bought in 1967 with a smooth slug barrel that is real short and a 28" barrel that has a modified choke. When I really got into turkey hunting back in the 90s and wasn't using the gun for deer hunting any longer I had the slug barrel threaded and bought a Carlson turkey choke for it. Along with that I had the regular rear sight taken off and replaced with a bigger one with orange for better vision. It's just a 2 3/4" chamber, but with the Winchester turkey loads in #5 or #6 shot it will easily kill a bird at 40-45 yards every time.
    With the new TSS shot 410 shooters are getting 40 yd patterns that are better than many 12ga's .... 160-180+ hits in the 10". Tungsten has brought turkey hunting legitimacy to the .410

  19. #19
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    May 2009
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    Three Forks, Mt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topgun 30-06 View Post
    Did you hit them over the head with it, as you better have him in dang close and be right on the button to either cut his head off or miss him with that pipsqueak of a gun! I have a Model 1200 Winchester that I bought in 1967 with a smooth slug barrel that is real short and a 28" barrel that has a modified choke. When I really got into turkey hunting back in the 90s and wasn't using the gun for deer hunting any longer I had the slug barrel threaded and bought a Carlson turkey choke for it. Along with that I had the regular rear sight taken off and replaced with a bigger one with orange for better vision. It's just a 2 3/4" chamber, but with the Winchester turkey loads in #5 or #6 shot it will easily kill a bird at 40-45 yards every time.
    Yep ...3 yard shot. Only did it cuz some knucklehead was bragging about how far he could shoot turkeys, which doesn't impress me, and also railed away about how a turkey cant be killed with a .410.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by phutch30 View Post
    With the new TSS shot 410 shooters are getting 40 yd patterns that are better than many 12ga's .... 160-180+ hits in the 10". Tungsten has brought turkey hunting legitimacy to the .410
    Learned something today---thanks, as that's amazing! I'm with Hem on bringing them in close though and then there is no guessing that he's going down for the count.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Boise,Idaho
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    1,166

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    My dedicated smokepole is a Mossberg 835 ultimag, ported, back bored, tapped, Kicks .675 ported choke. Shoots like a house a fire with Winchester Long beard XR 1.75 oz #6's.

  22. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Topgun 30-06 View Post
    Learned something today---thanks, as that's amazing! I'm with Hem on bringing them in close though and then there is no guessing that he's going down for the count.
    Buddy of mines wife shot a near record book Bird (her first) with a .410 last year. When he told me I didn't believe him either.

  23. Default

    You can use most anything you like. It's more about matching the choke and load to the particular gun you like. If you're going to use standard lead shells, Mossberg rules the roost for patterns out of a 12 gauge. You got the 835 and 935 for the big barrel known for throwing great patterns. Mossberg also sells probably the lightest 12 gauge pump, the 535. The 535 does not have the big barrel, but you can still do well with it. A 535 with Truglo Strut Stopper Xtreme choke will do with any good lead shell. These are not high quality guns, but they'll last for years and years of turkey hunting. The Mossbergs are drilled and tapped for optics.

    Me, I wouldn't tote anything bigger than a 20 gauge anymore. I tested a handload of #9 tungsten the other day that will do anything a 3 1/2" 12ga lead shell does. My .410 throws a better pattern of #9.5 tungsten than my old 3" 12ga did 20 years ago.

    While the tungsten shells are great, the downside currently is getting your hands on the stuff. Federal makes the shells. They apparently are not making them fast enough. Another downside is if a pellet gets loose from the wad it will score your choke and barrel. I wouldn't get a high quality gun due to the pain of seeing the damage.

    A sub 6# Mossberg pump with a micro red dot on top is about right. Get your choke from somewhere like Trulock who will swap them out if one doesn't work out for you. Really, though, a heavier load of #9 TSS is plenty good with the standard full choke.

    As for optics, Leupold DeltaPoint Pro is best for most people. The triangle reticle is less likely to starburst like most red dots.

  24. Default

    I did a bunch of reading and listening. I went with a Mossberg Grand Slam in 20 gauge and am using the Federal TSS heavy weights along with 3rd Degrees by Federal. Thanks for all your help and advice. Have good luck in the turkey woods this year.

  25. Default

    "Pipsqueak" .410 birds...and there is a lot more were that came from lol

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