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Good Turkey Shells?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by ldlfh7, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. ldlfh7

    ldlfh7 Well-Known Member

    I will be using a single shot nef 20 ga with 3" modified choke for spring turkey season this year. This gun kicks like a mule and I wanted to know the lightest load that could be used and considered humane. I have plenty of federal #6 shot hi brass which im sure could take a turkey at close range. Is this too weak? Suggestions? I am not a big turkey hunter so I am not going to go out and get a new gun for hunting.
  2. matrem

    matrem Well-Known Member

    Close range is rather broad amongst turkey hunters.
    If that 20 is patterning multiple 6s on paper in the head /neck area at your idea of close range?
    You're good.
    Those hard kicking -super costly shells just make it possible to do it from a bit farther.
  3. Mobuck

    Mobuck member

    My Son has killed several turkeys using common HV 2 3/4" one ounce of nickel plated #6 ammo. Ranges under 35 yards were total slap down.
  4. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Well-Known Member

    Put you big boy pants on and use the "Hevi" load. It`s only one shot!:)
  5. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    The best shells for turkey are the ones that pattern the best in your gun/choke combo. That is the hard truth. There is no way to know how a certain load will act in your gun without shooting it. I always shoot at least 3-4 different turkey loads in a gun to see what works the best before hunting it. I have found 3 1/2in Fiocci #5 turkey loads are the best in my wife's BPS and 3in #4 Remington turkey loads in my Winchester 1300 are the best. You would be suprised at the pettern density btween shells and chokes and guns. Take your shells and gun and pattern it from 30- 60 yds in 10yd increments and see what it does
  6. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    ^^^ this. Knowing where your gun shoots and how it patterns at different ranges is more important than the load itself. Once you know the guns capabilities, you stay within those parameters.
  7. 303tom

    303tom member

    Turkey is a tough old bird, you know here in Missouri we can`t use anything larger than #4`s, so I would suggest you use 3 in. 4`s, I do.................
  8. splattergun

    splattergun Well-Known Member

    That ^^ I really don't notice the recoil when I'm shooting at game, whether with my 12 ga on birds or my 30-06 on 4-leggers. It's more of a problem when target shooting.

    Your 2 3/4" 6 shot will kill a turkey if you do your part. I prefer 5 shot.
  9. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    I like my #4s for their bone-breaking/feather-penetrating ability. plain old 2 3/4" 3dr; 1 1/8oz (target load)reloads. They pattern well. I have taken birds out to 42yds.
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Truth be known??

    If a 12 ga 1 1/8 oz #8 trap load out of a full choke will pulverize a blue rock target at 35-40 yards?

    It will do the same thing to a Turkeys head & neck bones at the same distance.

    Methinks we have all been way over-advertised and over-sold on the guns and ammo it takes to kill a turkey!

    We killed farm raised 25+ pound turkeys on the farm for the freezer with a .410 single-shot or .22 rifle when I was a boy.

    Todays wild turkeys don't have armor plated heads & necks due to global warming!

    You shoot'm in the head / neck area with a dense patterning #8 trap load?

    They will fall over dead and flop around just like they would have if you hit them with a 3 1/2" mag "kills at one end and maims at the other", $3.00 bucks a pop Turkey load.

  11. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    Yeah, in 1610 Jamestown they didn't use 3 1/2" depleted uranium shells on turkeys.
  12. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    With all due respect.....don't use #8s on turkeys lol. They're really hard to blood-trail when they fly away.
    I don't even use #8s on late-season quail.
  13. 303tom

    303tom member

    No, they probably used buck shot...............
  14. matrem

    matrem Well-Known Member

    They didn't have a modern 20ga with modern high brass(federal I believe?) #6s.
    If they had?
    They'd have used em & been impressed .
  15. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    Turkeys are not hard to kill if you hit them in the head/neck. One BB will do the trick many times. Shoot an adult Tom in the body and odds are the turkey will fly/run away and become coyote bait. IMHO, There are three reasons folks miss or maim turkeys and the type of gun/shell they are using ain't one of them.

    1.) The hunter does not pattern his gun with the shells he is using. This means he does not only not know exactly where the gun shoots with that ammo, he also is not aware if there are holes in his pattern. Pattering a shotgun is a learning experience to those who have never done it. Patterns with different loads can be like day and night and many times do not shoot to POA. One reason why sights on turkey guns as opposed to just the bead are so popular.

    2.) Folks do not shoot at, or do not have a clear shot at the head/neck area. Shooting a turkey in the body, even at close range with birdshot is fruitless. Their wings are like body armor and many times even when mortally wounded will fly or run a good distance. Unless they go down in a green field, their natural camouflage makes them tough to find without a dog. Folks many times make the mistake of shooting right at the head which gives them a very small margin for error or a good chance the head will be in a hole in the pattern. Shooting at the neck gives more margin for error, especially if the bird is above or below you. Other mistake many make is shooting at the bird when in full strut. When in full strut and the head and neck are pulled tight against the body, the target area is not only very small, but protected by those body armor wings. Straight on is a little better, but waiting till they at least come partially outta strut and raising their head/neck is better. Waiting till they come fully outta strut and extending their head neck in search for the calling hen is preferred. A single cluck works well for this.

    3.) Misjudging distance. Watching a strutting Tom out in an open field, dancing for his hens, is an awesome sight. Calling one in and having them do this makes one's heart pound and excitement level jump. But a strutting Tom is purposely making himself look LARGER. Larger objects appear closer to us than smaller ones at the same distance. This means a strutting Tom looks closer than the hens with him and looks closer than he actually is. With a rifle on a deer, misjudging distance by 20 yards is a moot point. Misjudge a Tom by 20 yards at the outer limits of your range, means a miss or wounded bird. This is where those super duper turkey artillery shells with the death match widow maker choke tube SOMETIMES help by giving one an extra 5-10 yards of range. Using them as a crutch or an excuse to take shots at birds outta legitimate range again, means wounded birds. Scopes on turkey guns also give the impression they are closer than they are. Watching one come all the way across the field without taking you eye outta the scope means you really do not know how close he is unless you have marked the range. I've been turkey hunting for over 30 years and probably have more than twice that amount of beards in a coffee can. I still take the time on every set-up, even those that catch me off guard and I need to sit right now, to judge and make mental marks of where the bird needs to pass before I have a legitimate shot. On set-ups where I have time and set up decoys, the decoys are a good mark. Sometimes a stick stuck in the ground works. Many times it's just a mental note of a particular cornstalk of patch of dandelions, or a bush next to the lane. I know tho, before the bird comes in, what it has to go past before I take the shot. Every time. Better to let the bird walk for another day, than to wound and lose him or screw the spot up for tomorrow's hunt. Knowing the effective range of your particular gun and ammo and knowing where this is when the bird is in front of you, is paramount.
  16. turkey got almost wiped out with 2¾ paper shells.....and back in the days they didnt wear 400$ of camo either.the whole turkey thing now his blown way out of proportion. ive been using my singleshot 12ga 2¾full choke and they all flapped on the ground... no need for those nuclear shells.big news..... turkey cant read ammo boxes!!!!!!!
    i use number 5 high brass game loads
  17. they probably used blunderbuss or just baton
  18. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    Around here, most were wiped out with muzzleloading black powder guns and baited hooks long before paper hulls became common.
  19. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Well-Known Member

    I really like the Federal shells with the FliteControl wad. It makes a huge difference with patterns.

    A box of 10 Federal turkey shells usually last me about 3-4 seasons. I don't mind spending $15 for something that will last me for four seasons and will likely increase my odds of success.

    Whatever you use, pattern them in your gun. After you find your "brand" pick up a box here and there in the off season or when they are on sale.
  20. 03Shadowbob

    03Shadowbob Well-Known Member

    I agree shaggy. That load patterns the best in my 870 supermag

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