GUN ADVICE - new to turkey hungting

Guns, ammo, and more! What do you shoot, and why?
Franco
 
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GUN ADVICE - new to turkey hungting

Postby Franco » January 29th, 2011, 3:10 am

Background - grew up shooting a lot. Hunted whitetail deer, coon, squirrel. Grew up in country with guns in every corner of the house (no such thing as a safe). Guns were tools to us and a source of entertainment. Shot 100 of thousands, pop cans, clays, milk jugs, steel tagets, fruit, pie plates, etc. I thougt I would always be that way.... I am now 48, haven't hunted anything in over 19 years and have only shot a gun maybe 3 times in that span (.22, M16). Really don't miss any of the hunting, except for squirrel, was always my favorite, not much for bragging, but the most fun. Now I have this desire for turkey hunting and I work with several that do. I know nothing about it.
 
I want to start with turkey gun choices. I have 3, 12 guage shotguns, Browning A5, Beretta Silver Lark, Remington 1100, which I inherited ---all with modified choke barrels [:(]
 
What gun do you suggest and here are some choices I thought of ( I want to stay under 500 dollars and the less the better) - Only consider 12 guage and only want to keep ammo that all my 12s can shoot, so no 3 inch mags (unless you give good reasons thats a big mistake).
 
1. A full choke barrel for Rem 1100-new
2. Benelli Nova - don't know price ( I really like the looks) -used or new
3. Rem 870-used or new
4. Mossberg 500-used or new
5. Mossberg 835-used or new
6. H&R Pardner single shot Turkey Gun (camo)-used or new
7. Some old used full choke single barrel gun in shop, worn look
8. OPEN for you ideas
 
I feel like I am starting totally green about guns, and I know I am green on turkey hunting

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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: GUN ADVICE - new to turkey hungting

Postby allaboutshooting » January 29th, 2011, 4:37 am

First of all, welcome to the T&TH forum. We're glad you're here and look forward to hearing more from you. This is a good place with helpful folks. Everyone has "favorites" or something that has worked for them, so you should get lots of good information. The good news is that there are many excellent choices.

Turkey hunting need not be a complicated sport. The main thing is to go out and enjoy your experience in the woods. Like any other sport, it's one that's learned over time spent in the woods and to some extent at the range, learning about your equipment and how it works for you.

Guns and turkey chokes are a couple of the favorite subjects here, closely followed by what shells go in those guns and through those turkey chokes.

It's hard to beat either a Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500 shotgun. Both are well made guns, have many options available for them and are very reasonably priced. The Benelli Nova and the Mossberg 835 are also excellent guns and if you found one that had a better price than the 870 or 500, it would be a good choice.

While there are those who really like single shot, single barreled guns, as I do, they would not be my first choice for a turkey gun. A second shot is sometimes necessary and it's good to have that option.

I'd try to shoulder as many of those guns as possible and see how they feel to you. The choice of a gun is a pretty personal thing and sometimes one of those guns will just feel better to you than another one.

I would suggest that you choose a gun with a 26" or longer barrel. It's just easier to get a gun with a barrel at least that long to get good patterns. That's not to say that a shorter barreled gun won't get good patterns or kill a turkey, it's just more of a challenge.

Some basics, after you've found your gun are a good "deep cleaning" of the barrel http://www.allaboutshooting.com "Cleaning a Shotgun Barrel" and then clean the fire control unit (trigger group) since we're shooting a shotgun more like a rifle, you need a clean, crisp trigger pull.

A good after market turkey choke will help more than can be imagined, if you've not shot one. There are several good brands and a wide choice of exit diameters with those chokes. Exit diameter is really of less importance, in my experience, than the internal geometry of the choke.

I try to shoot them all and have found that it's largely a matter of how much you want to spend. I have excellent results with and often recommend the SSX line of chokes. They are truly a premium quality choke with a very moderate price tag.

Shotshells vary widely in price and most turkey loads are either lead alloy or tungsten-based shot, like Hevi-Shot. My top choice in lead is the 3" Winchester High Velocity (HV) shell with 1.75 oz. of #6 shot. It's reasonably priced and has probably accounted for more dead turkeys than any other shell. My top choice in tungsten-based shot is the 3" Hevi-13 "Bronze" shell with 2 oz. of #6 shot. Either will kill turkeys when we do our part.

Lastly, range time is just very important with your turkey gun. Since we shoot that shotgun like a rifle, you need to see if you gun has the same Point of Aim (POA) and Point of Impact (POI) at ranges from 20 to 40 yards generally. If not, you may need to add some sights. Open sights like those made by Truglo or Williams work well and can get you on target.

Shooting at some "big paper" at least 3' x 3' will tell the tale on POA/POI issues. Shooting from a rest and then shooting from a turkey hunting seated position are best in my experience.

Please come back and I know everyone here will be of help to you.

Thanks,
Clark
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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grizzly
 
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RE: GUN ADVICE - new to turkey hungting

Postby grizzly » January 29th, 2011, 12:55 pm

first welcome to the forum franco . every thing that clark has posted is sound advice . gun choice is really up to the what the shooter feels is good for him but being you ask i can recommend highly the mossberg 500 as a great turkey gun i have been using one in one guage or another for 34 years i still have my first one that i got when i started hunting in 1976 and it still shoots great[:)] wayne

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RE: GUN ADVICE - new to turkey hungting

Postby ghamlin10 » February 3rd, 2011, 10:27 pm

remington 870 express, bought mine last year and love it, cost me about $290.00, then upon checkout found that there was a $60.00 rebate. This gun has not let me down yet. Of course im all about saving money, so this was the practical choice.

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shaman
 
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RE: GUN ADVICE - new to turkey hungting

Postby shaman » February 4th, 2011, 12:31 am

I'm of the belief that turkey hunting lends itself well to cheap shotguns.  You really don't need anything fancy.

Take a used pump shotgun-- a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500  or Win 1200 will do nicely.  It can have really dinged up wood, so long as it shoots straight. You'll want barrel that will take 3" shells and screw in choke tubes.  Put some spray paint on it, and you've got a fine turkey gun.

The reason I say turkey lends itself to  cheap shotguns is you do not have to worry about fit.  You don't have to worry about mounting or swinging the thing.  You normally have to bring it up and get it settled into your shoulder before you touch it off.  All you need is one that will throw shot in a tight pattern and that is more a function of choke than anything else.
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Treerooster
 
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RE: GUN ADVICE - new to turkey hungting

Postby Treerooster » February 4th, 2011, 3:44 am

ORIGINAL: allaboutshooting

Lastly, range time is just very important with your turkey gun. Since we shoot that shotgun like a rifle, you need to see if your gun has the same Point of Aim (POA) and Point of Impact (POI) at ranges from 20 to 40 yards generally. If not, you may need to add some sights. Open sights like those made by Truglo or Williams work well and can get you on target.

Shooting at some "big paper" at least 3' x 3' will tell the tale on POA/POI issues. Shooting from a rest and then shooting from a turkey hunting seated position are best in my experience.


Thanks,
Clark


That is whats most imortant in a turkey gun IMO.

Also below is what you need to hit on a turkey. Not his head & neck...its the brain & spine. When your pattern only puts 1 or 2 pellts in that Brain & spine you have reached beyond your shotguns effective range. Back that range up 5 yards and don't shoot beyond it. Make sure you can judge range fairly accurately too...and from a sittting down position.


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