20 gauge Turkey load


January 24, 2009, 11:16 PM
I bought a box of Remington Nitro Magnum 20g 3" #4 shot 1.25oz. Is this a decent turkey load? Should pack a punch, no? Would a full choke be satisfactory for turkey or would I want the extra tight turkey chokes?

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January 25, 2009, 02:49 AM
A tighter extra full choke or better would really help to maintain the pattern at 25 yards and beyond, especially loaded with #4's.
I've patterned the same load as yours except with #5's and a Briley extra full extended choke and it was pretty good at about 25 - 30 yards.
But it led me to think that using #6's with an extended choke might provide some extra range.
What brand of shotgun and barrel length do you have?
Mine was an 870 with a 28 inch barrel.

January 25, 2009, 11:18 AM
Only way to really know is to pattern your gun. I've found that #4s generally don't pattern well outta the extra full turkey tubes....I've always have had better luck with #5s.......and yes, your full choke would be adequate. Again, I suggest patterning you gun with what you intend to hunt with before hitting the field. Don't be afraid to to buy another box or two of different loads to see what patterns best. The small initial investment is nuttin' compared to a clean kill or a clean miss.

January 26, 2009, 12:17 AM
In my 20 gauge I like Rem Magnum Turkey Loads (3inch Mag. #6 shot) which is the old original turkey load. My gun also patterns nice with Winchester Double X Magnum 3inch #6 shot.

January 26, 2009, 09:23 AM
It's legal to use rifles here in VA. Almost makes it a fair fight, those damn turkeys are smart.

A nice .17 HMR or .22 Mag doesn't do much damage to the meat, and no worrying about new chokes.

January 26, 2009, 12:20 PM
To make an inexpensive target, trace the outline of a regular claw hammer on to a piece of paper to approximate the head and neck of a turkey and then count the number of pellets that could hit the vitals (neck bones and brain). :)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
January 26, 2009, 08:37 PM
Is this a decent turkey load? Should pack a punch, no?

Yes and yes. Extra full is better, but you have to pattern your loads - a full may be just fine. Get one of those targets at Walmart with a turkey's head and neck on it, showing the brain and spinal cord as a subset within the head & neck. Then shoot it with load of choice. You want ideally, at least 12-15 pellets actually hitting the spine or brain, and at least 8 or 10 hitting the spine. I've used 4, 5, and 6 shot - they all worked fine out to 43 yards. But with 6 shot, you'd ideally keep shots to 40 yards, and use 4s or 5s out to 50 yards.

January 27, 2009, 03:09 AM
Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow,
Speaks true.

Personally I used, or set up for others, using only 2 3/4 shells, and most often #5 hard shot.
I really like # 5 shot.

I reloaded to tweak the load to the shotgun.
Lots and lots of shotguns used Modified chokes.

It does not matter what a barrel and choked is marked, nor does it matter what a box of shells "says".
What matters is, what does a given load do out of a given barrel/choke for tasks at certain distances.

I did a LOT of loads for 28 ga as well , and lots of Turkeys have fallen to 28 ga.
Ducks too, before Migratory Regs said folks had to use that nasty old steel shot for non-tox reasons.

There are some members on this board, using single shot 20 ga, and 28 ga, shotgunhs , with fixed Mod chokes, taking game, including Turkey.

Oh, forget about "bigger is better and faster is more gooder".
To much payload, and/or too fast a payload, may very well "blow" a pattern, especially in a gun choked too tight.

A standard load for a 20 bore is 7/8 oz and 3/4 oz for a 28 ga.
Seriously, reloading a 20 ga, with 3/4 oz recipes, using hard number 5 shot, and then using a buffer be this "Grex" (Winchester's buffering media) or using grits, farina, or cream of wheat, will , if investigated and verified, toss a very good pattern.

One load I did, chrono'd only about 1150 fps, best recall.
Standard skeet loads run 1200.

It was the pattern density that felled the turkey, not longer shells, more payload or running fast.

Keep in mind, not all pellets arrive at the same time, called shot string.
This is where the 28 ga has some neat advantages, it has a short shot string, and that is why it hits harder than folks realize.

I was in essence, getting 28 ga performance ( short shot string) out of a fixed modified 20 ga barrel.

Art & Science...

Just use a hard boiled egg to check for holes in pattern, which is about the size of a turkey's head.

Less is More still applies to many things, including turkey loads.

If a load of Factory Federal # 8 20 ga skeet loads, will fell turkey...
All that gal did , was remove the fixed choked Skeet barrel, not use the IC she had, instead use the fixed Mod, which tightened up that load, and she felled turkeys.

She did not do camo, none of us were raised with camo. I do not own it, and never used it, still don't.
Just natural neutral earth tones...

Think "bowhunting" with a firearm.
Woodscraft skills...is the key.

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