Quantcast

20 Gauge Pattern Questions

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by DanTheFarmer, Sep 3, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. DanTheFarmer

    DanTheFarmer Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Hi All,

    Just back from the range where I'm learning about my new 20 gauge Mossberg 500. This is my first shotgun. It is a lot of fun but I've got a lot to learn.

    I'm trying to prep for the fall shotgun turkey season. I've read that 100 pellets in a 10" circle is a good standard to meet. That seems overly optimistic based on my shooting today. Also I looked at the number of pellets and with #5 shot and for a 1.25 oz. load that's only 215 or so pellets. To put nearly half of them in a 10 inch circle at the proverbial 40 yards doesn't seem too realistic.

    Today I fired from 30 and 35 yards with Fed, Win, and Rem turkey loads using 4, 5, and 6 shot and a full choke (no fancy name brand turkey choke,...yet). When I came home and counted I was getting 30 - 50 in the circle. Is this o.k. or is it time to shell out bucks for the "Whizzbang 2000"?

    My patterns seemed reasonably even, with no gaping holes, and were well centered on POA. I taped turkey outline targets on top of my big blank newsprint paper target and seemed to get 5 - 15 hits from the head down to the feather line. How does this sound?

    One tip that I can pass along. I got the paper for my big targets free (that's always good!). I called the local newspaper to see if I could buy the end rolls they have left over when they change paper drums on the presses. Instead they gave me two. It's great stuff for crafts for the kids, or covering picnic tables at the fireman's BBQ, or shotgun patterning targets. Give your local paper a call. The worst they can do is say "No".

    Thanks.

    Dan
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,076
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Sounds DRT (dead right there)!
    Except he will flip - flopp around until his tiny brain realizes it.

    Killing a turkey is not rocket science.

    If you break his neck, or hit his tiny brain, he ain't going anywhere.

    IMO: More turkeys are missed or wounded by too tight a 'rifle like' pattern, firing too heavy a Magnum 12 ga load.

    And the shooter flinches just enough to miss with the center of the tiny pattern!

    You will do fine with what you got!!

    If it's too far?
    Wait till he gets closer!
    Or wait till the next one does.

    Works for me.

    rc
     
  3. tactikel

    tactikel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,262
    Location:
    Northeastern Illinois
    Congratulations on patterning your shotgun, you are smart to determine at what range you can ethically take a shot at a Turkey. While the 100 pellets in a 10" circle is often cited as desirable- it is probably overkill. Your 20ga as is, is not a 40 yard turkey gun. Easy things you can do to extend you range would be to try Hevishot, and then to try any of the dedicated turkey chokes. RC is spot on, tightening your pattern to increase your range will demand an accurate shot. That being said, many, many thousands of turkeys have fallen to 20 ga guns.
    Practice as much as you can at the range-it will pay off. ;)
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,076
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    And before that?

    Many many thousands of turkeys have fallen to cylinder-bore black powder muskets.
    And bows & arrows.
    And rocks & spears, I betcha!

    Like I said.
    It ain't rocket science.

    But maybe hunting well enough is?
    Without $3,000 worth of modern camo, ground stools with back rests, special 'turkey hunting boots, special turkey hunting vests, and 3" Magnum Turkey choke shotguns , in this years new camo pattern, with $3.50 a pop magnum turkey shells??

    It takes a lot of advanced marketing and advertising skills to sell you enough advanced 'turkey gear' to kill a turkey!!

    Not so much money & special gear to learn how to hunt them and get in range of the gun who brung ya!

    rc
     
  5. hatwerinrednek

    hatwerinrednek Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2013
    Messages:
    55
    to my exp 35 yrds was a max yardage for me and it sounds like your gun is doing pretty well. ive killed 4 or 5 turkeys with a 20 ga and have missed some that i thought their was no way i should have missed. then again i have done the same thing with a 12 ga 3 1/2 mag. you can kill as many turkeys with a 20 ga or a 410 for that matter if you know your distance and your capabilities of your gun. most of the time that i missed is because i got to excited and diddnt wait for them to get close enough or shoot through a bush.
     
  6. Bull Nutria

    Bull Nutria Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    684
    Location:
    Houma , LA
    I agree with RC on this one a super duper tight turkey choke can cause misses at close range, i go with a standard full choke tube and heavy shot #6. it with kill them DRT.

    why heavyshot? because it is more lethal than lead denser and kills better. has a little more range. one only shoots a couple of shells a year,if you are lucky at turkeys so the heavyshot expense is worth it in my opinion.

    patterning your gun before you hunt is a very key factor in bringing a fat tom for thanksgiving!!

    good luck and be very still turkeys-- have unbelievable eyesight!

    Bull
     
  7. DanTheFarmer

    DanTheFarmer Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Update: I couldn't resist the lure of a turkey choke. I got a Carlson's Extended (not the ported) tube for about $18.00.
    Tonight I went out to the "Back 4", not 40, I've only got a small place, and tested on those printed turkey head targets.
    I used the Carlson's Extended Turkey Choke, Fed Premium #5, 1 5/16 oz, Mossberg 500, 20 gauge. I also used the Mossberg full choke that came with the shotgun.

    30 yards: Turkey Choke - 17 hits in the head/neck Full Choke - 12
    40 yards: Turkey Choke - 14 hits Full Choke - 5.

    I'm happy with the results. It looks like the full choke would have been o.k. but the turkey choke is a bit better and certainly didn't break the bank. I'm especially pleased that the count didn't fall off too fast from 30 to 40 yards. In the heat of the moment if I underestimate the distance I'll be happier with 10 - 15 in the important areas vs. 5 plus or minus a couple.

    I'll try to get to the range and use the pattering boards and big paper for more complete information but based on this evening's trials I'll be comfortable with the choke/ammo combination for Fed Premium #5 and the turkey choke at 30 yards.

    I also discovered 40 yards is a long way away given the area I'll be hunting. I'm guessing my shots (if, let's make that when, I get one) will be more like 20 - 30 yards.

    Thanks for all input given so far and thanks in advance for any more you care to give.

    Dan
     
  8. azyogi

    azyogi Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Arizona
    For patterning paper I use Christmas wrapping paper, bought just after the new year. I put it on a 1" pvc pipe frame. 4 tee fittings, 2 90° elbows, and four end caps plus about 22' of schedule 40. The paper is on 30" wide rolls so the upright is 31½". For a larger target area I use two rolls on a 61½" upright the cross piece is the leftover from a 10' pipe. 58½" for the larger target use the uprights (31½") from the small configuration for the legs.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice