What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Guns, ammo, and more! What do you shoot, and why?
Franco
 
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What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby Franco » January 30th, 2011, 7:23 am

What are critical commons points of a turkey gun in the 12 guage? -OR- at least explain what is your preferences or showstoppers for you forking out hundreds of dollars for a turkey gun?
 
SITES-
 
BARREL LENGTH-
 
ACTION (single, double, pump, auto)-
 
CAPACITY-
 
CHAMBER (2 3/4,3, 3 1/2)-
 
WEIGHT-
 
MANUVERABILITY-
 
RELIABILITY-
 
CAMO-  
 
I know little.
To me, some of th turkey guns look to long and I would prefer a shorter, easier to maneuver. I even wander are there any good turkey guns with some of the traits of tactical guns, lighweight, shorter lengths, adjustable stocks. Shorter barrels is a trade off for accuracy and other things, but are there good short guns?

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allaboutshooting
 
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RE: What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby allaboutshooting » January 30th, 2011, 10:48 am

ORIGINAL: Franco
[color="#ff0000"]All are just my preferences and what works for me. Others will have had different experiences and different preferences. It really comes down to what feels best and works best for an individual. That having been said, here you go:

[/color]What are critical commons points of a turkey gun in the 12 guage? -OR- at least explain what is your preferences or showstoppers for you forking out hundreds of dollars for a turkey gun?

SITES-
[color="#ff0000"]I prefer to use factory beads. I don't have to worry about anything getting knocked out of alignment that way.[/color]


BARREL LENGTH-
[color="#ff0000"]26" or longer. I have no problem with shooting a 28" in the turkey woods.[/color]

ACTION (single, double, pump, auto)-
[color="#ff0000"]I really have no preference and shoot all of them at one time or another. A single shot may cause you to take more time, aim more carefully, etc. but in the event that you need a quick second shot, it's pretty difficult.[/color]

CAPACITY-
[color="#ff0000"]As above, it's good to have a second shot available.[/color]

CHAMBER (2 3/4,3, 3 1/2)-
[color="#ff0000"]A 3" chamber works well for me and even when I have 3.5" chambered guns, I shoot 3" shells normally.[/color]

WEIGHT-
[color="#ff0000"]Since we're usually taking one shot, a light weight gun is pretty handy.[/color]

MANUVERABILITY-
[color="#ff0000"]For me this is largely a matter of becoming accustomed to whatever gun I'm using. When I sit, I make sure I have enough room to move the barrel in an arc without hitting something.[/color]

RELIABILITY-
[color="#ff0000"]It must be reliable and I must have confidence it, gained from range time.[/color]

CAMO- 
[color="#ff0000"]I own a few camo guns but as long as the gun is not terribly shiny, I don't feel the need for camo. Staying in the shade and limiting movement, seem to work for me.[/color]

I know little.
To me, some of th turkey guns look to long and I would prefer a shorter, easier to maneuver. I even wander are there any good turkey guns with some of the traits of tactical guns, lighweight, shorter lengths, adjustable stocks. Shorter barrels is a trade off for accuracy and other things, but are there good short guns?

[color="#ff0000"]I have some short barreled guns that pattern well as do others. It may take more work to get one exactly the way you want it and some short guns just don't want to cooperate it seems.

In my experience, it's really all about matching your gun, choke and shotshell with your hunting style and ability. If for example you can accurately judge 30 yards and never take a shot beyond that range, you may need only a 30 yard gun.

I try never to take a shot over 40 yards and have spent a lot of time working on judging distance. I'd like to be able to cleanly kill a turkey at that distance, so I look for patterns that will allow that to happen, if necessary. I also prefer to shoot them at 25 to 30 yards.

I hope you find this of some help. I'm sure others will have equally good or better recommendations and reasons for them.

Thanks,
Clark
[/color]
"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: What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby grizzly » January 30th, 2011, 12:41 pm

i can't add anything to what clark already said other for turkey hunting add ons ( chokes and the like) and the different shells you can buy the 12 guage is the best turkey gun hands down[:)] wayne

chrisun
 
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RE: What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby chrisun » January 31st, 2011, 7:07 am

I can add one thing. Dead Turkeys make a great gun. :)

TeocTom
 
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RE: What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby TeocTom » January 31st, 2011, 7:40 am

Hey Franco,
Listen to Clark, he is the man when it comes to guns!
I have learned a lot reading his posts.
Eric
Team 4
Turkeys on a Plane

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hawglips
 
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RE: What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby hawglips » February 2nd, 2011, 7:46 am

To turn a gun into a good turkey gun, the biggest bang for you buck -- is high quality ammo.

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WyoHunter
 
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RE: What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby WyoHunter » February 4th, 2011, 10:49 am

ORIGINAL: hawglips

To turn a gun into a good turkey gun, the biggest bang for you buck -- is high quality ammo.

Combined with a good choke tube.
Gobble, Gobble, Gobble! Springtime serenade for us Turkey Hunters!

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Longbeards
 
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RE: What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby Longbeards » February 22nd, 2011, 12:56 am

I would have to agree with each of you. I will add that, whether you hunt with a 12ga or 20ga, you will need to shoot it to know what it will do. I, at one time, would never have walked into the woods and attempted to take a paintbrush without out my trusty 12ga but, my 10yr old has since changed my mind. He and I have put in a good deal of time shooting his 20ga. To help him understand distance and position we put coke cans on the end of bamboo sticks and stick them in the ground at head level at distances from 15 yards all the way out to 40 yards. I have him sit with his back to a tree and he shoots each distance.

We have done this with turkey head targets also. I have done this in an open field but, prefer to do this in the woodline so he understands how he may have to wait to get that perfect shot. The cans on bamboo sticks really work great. So now, when our magical season comes in, I consider the area I will be in and I have a choice of either my 835 (code name "Terminator"), my 870 (code name "Devastator") or the 20ga (code name "Turkey Killer"). Thanks.

870aficianado
 
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RE: What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby 870aficianado » March 10th, 2011, 8:19 am

I agree with almost everything stated with a few minor exceptions.

Gun weight- if you are shooting a pump, I think heavy is actually better. Lighter recoil since there is more mass to move backward. If I was shooting an auto I'd probably opt for something as light as I could find since they kick less.

Shells- at least 3 inch if you are buying a new gun, but if you have access to a 2 3/4 it will work fine and I have taken more than a dozen birds with 2 3/4 shells. The pattern matters a whole lot more than the shell size. A 2 3/4 gun that shoots a dense pattern to 40 yards is better than a 3 1/2 inch gun with a screwy pattern.

Gun camo- I think it does help to have a camo gun. You dont need to spend the extra $$ though for the factory paint job. You can camo a turkey gun cheaply and effectively yourself. A basic green/brown/tan pattern works just as well.

Barrel length- I shoot a 28 inch which patterns great. Toting the longer barrel through the woods doesnt bother me. I patterned my 3 870 barrels with the load I want to shoot and it happened that the longer one worked best. I know some guys with short barrels on new turkey guns that pattern great too. Whatever puts a pattern out there that is dense.

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shaman
 
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RE: What makes a 12 Gauges a GOOD TURKEY GUN

Postby shaman » March 11th, 2011, 2:53 am

A lot of good things have been said so far, but let me make some observations.

First off, turkey hunting is by its nature not all that demanding on guns.  This is not wingshooting.  This is not duck hunting.  You make a shot, fill a tag, and that's it.  A cheap gun will do as well as the most expensive. 

Of all the systems I've tried, the pump is probably the best in my mind for weight, ease of operation and overall usability.  I hunted with a semi for years. I've hunted with a bunch of others.  Pumps have their problems, but they seem like the best for the job.

Barrel Length is a matter of debate.  I'm used to 28" barrels.  They are not a real hindrance, but a short barrel and a good choke will do as good a job.  It used to be, you got a super-long barrel to increase velocity and keep a tight pattern ( look at a Marlin Goose Gun).   However, newer powders and better choking systems have allowed us to go to shorter barrels.

Sights?  I use a scope, but my eyes are about as bad as it gets.    I just can't see the pin and the turkey at the same time anymore.  A 1.5 -4.5 scope set to about 2.5 power is perfect for me.  The important thing without a scope is making sure you have a good sight picture down the barrel.  Turkey hunting without a scope demands good consistent cheek placement. You can do that with a vent rib and some of those cheap glue-on sights.  Just remember, you'll be shooting in less-than-ideal situations and the chance for shooting over or under the target is there. Scopes remove a lot of that problem, but you pay for it .  Scopes make it harder to acquire your target and reduce overall situational awareness.  My advice is to only use scopes when you need them.  I just happen to need them.

Camo?  Get three cans of spray paint, different colors and have at it.  This is why I tout cheap guns.  $8 bucks worth of spray paint on a beater $150 pump will get you a turkey-proof camo job and it will be the worst thing that ever happens to the finish of your gun for the rest of its life. Any scratches can be fixed up with more spray paint.  No rust. No muss, no fuss.

One of my mantras this Spring has been kind of doing the reverse of what folks normally do at the patterning board.  Rather than seeing how far and how tight you can make a shotgun go, I think it is a better path to find a gun that suits your hunting style and work within its limitations.  I don't mean we should all step in the time machine and go back 50 years in technology.  However, if you normally hunt in dense spring foilage and normally don't see a turkey unless he's within 15-20 yards, then a shotgun that shoots well out to 30 yards is probably all you need.  It will be not only a good turkey gun, but a GREAT turkey gun.  Conversely, a turkey gun that shoots bullet-type patterns at 15 yards is probably too tight for your normal needs. 

Lastly, the loads.  Look, if you regularly take turkeys at 40+ yards in open conditions, a 3.5 " hevi-shot load may be just what you need.  However, all but a a few of my turkeys in 30 years of hunting have been taken under conditions that would have required anything more than a 2 3/4" high-brass pheasant load. 80% of my kills have been inside 17 yards.  I shoot a 3"  #4 lead turkey load and have never seen it under perform inside 40 yards, however, I would be the first to admit it is overkill.  I once took a shot at gob from the prone position and I was feeling it in my shoulder clear to Labor Day.

 
. . . and one more thing.  I do not think it's really a turkey gun unless it has a sling on it.  A good sling is great for keeping both hands free as you're on the move.  I know there are those who feel the opposite, but that's just me.
 
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