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3-1/2" in heavy grass/brush

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by southernjeep80, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. southernjeep80

    southernjeep80 Member

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    got a quick question i have a really really old remington 870 (2 3/4) works nice but i haven't turkey hunted with it yet.

    i know where a few turkeys hang out but its around a lot of tall thick grass and a few good sized palmetto bushes.

    would upgrading to a 3-1/2in 870 help with this?? my thinking is that more shot would make a longer in length stream and was thinking that the first half would take the grass and frawns out of the way the the 2nd half take out the turkey.

    what do you think or should i change locations to find different birds or will the upgrade help.

    fyi: most of my other hunting is with good 2 3/4in loads and for hogs i use 3in (friends gun)
     
  2. Ghost503rd

    Ghost503rd Member

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    Honestly I'd look for where the birds most frequent in the grass then cut them some trails(shooting lanes) a few weeks before you go. More pellets can help but I'd put my money on a clear shot first in any case. Also are you sure you can't put 3 inch shells through your 870? Most standard models accept both 2 3/4in and 3in shells. Also you're going to want a turkey choke, good luck turkeys are one of my favorite.
     
  3. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    If the receiver is stamped magnum, and the barrel says 2 3/4 or 3" then a 3" magnum will work. If either of these designations are missing, stick with the 2 3/4" shells.
     
  4. FLNT4EVR

    FLNT4EVR Member

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    Stay with the 2 3/4 shells. They were killing turkeys for many many years before the monsterthunderboomers ever hit the market place.Your sholder and your hearing will thank you for it.
     
  5. Blue Line

    Blue Line Member

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    lots of Turkeys been kilt wit 2 3/4 shells, wait for a clearer shot.
     
  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The only place the 3.5 " shells offer any advantages is when goose hunting with heavy loads of steel shot. Even then the advantage is a small one.

    2.75" of 3" shells are plenty for turkey. The 3.5" steel shot loads recoil is stout but manageable. I've fired a few of the 3.5" turkey loads and I don't want a turkey bad enough to deal with that kind of recoil.
     
  7. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    If you like your shoulder you won't shoot a 3.5" Turkey load through a pump. Go ahead and try it, but I'll bet you a paycheck you only do it once by choice.....
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    3 1/2" mags are way Over-kill.
    Truth be known an 1 1/8 oz trap load will kill any turkey that ever walked.

    What you need to do is change your hunting stratigy.

    In the spring the toms will be strutting and carrying on every moring after they fly down out of the roost trees. The strutting grounds will be in clearings not far from the roost, and that is where the toms will end up sooner or later every morning.

    Find those locations, and set up out of sight within shooting range and they will come to you.

    rc
     
  9. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    TurkeyHunt2006withJason008.jpg
    Maybe some of you should take up knitting instead of hunting. All the guys I hunt turkeys with use either 3" or 3 1/2" 12's. Isn't fun, but it works. This is the first of 3 birds I got with the 12 gauge 3" Hevi-Shot.

    Now I use a 10 gauge with Hevi-Shot. If you don't think it offers an advantage over 2 3/4" rounds, you've never used it.

    Now, can you saw down brush?? Most likely not. Is there a higher probability of killing a bird with a higher number of shot filling the pattern?? Definitely.

    The other thing about Hevi-Shot is that you can step down at least one size and still have the equivalent terminal effect. I've killed four birds at 45+ yards with 5's and 6's.

    That said, you MUST pattern your gun with the load you're using. I have a custom choke from a specialty maker that cost $80. At 40 yards you really can't count the pellets from a hit because it pretty much blows the center out of the patterning target.

    And, you owe me a paycheck...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  10. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    Well Redneck, I guess we're not all as tough as you. The bet wasn't for you, it was for the OP, as a consolation prize I'll nominate you "Hoosier tough guy of 2011".:) Probably well deserved as I don't see a shotgun in that picture. My guess is you wrassled that one into submission, or snuck up on him and put him down with your Bowie knife!

    I use 3.5" Turkey loads too....I wouldn't use them if my only option was to crap them out of a pump.

    But then I am blessed with a better gun. Nice beard on that Tom BTW.....

    p1066294556-4.jpg
     
  11. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Yeah, well I cheat. My 10 gauge is an SP-10 auto. Thing weighs a friggin' ton, so it's a bear to carry, but the recoil is actually very tolerable. My 3" 870 (one I used in to get the bird in the picture) has considerably more recoil. Shot that bird at 12 yards (from the brush row in the picture) so most anything would have worked. Problem is, you can't pick your shots. You get what you get.

    I have good friend that uses Winchester 3 1/2's in his synthetic 870. That thing kills on both ends but he gotten a bird every year for the last 14 years. His one this year bottomed the scales at the check station, so they're not sure how much it weighed. Had 1 1/8" spurs.

    Big toms have this real interesting habit of holding just outside shotgun range. That's the reason he switched to the 3 1/2"
     
  12. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    Boy if that isn't the truth!!
     
  13. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    That's the reason I got the 10 gauge. First two years I hunted was on public land. Bastages would hold up at maybe 50 yards +/-.

    First year after I got the 10, I had a NICE tom come in to maybe 30 yards. I pulled up and he spooked. Whacked him at 52 yards.

    Second year I was hunting with the guy in the above post that got the 30+ pound bird. The tom was quartering across a plowed field. He was as close as he was going to get, then angling off. I whispered "I can get him".

    He says "You sure?...."

    Whacked him at a lasered 62 yards. Actually flipped the bird. DRT.

    Next year we hunted together again. Bird comes in to about 55 yards and hangs up. Jamie says "you can kill 'em with that thing". DRT.

    Now again, I've got a very expensive custom choke that holds super tight patterns, and I've patterned the gun with the loads I'm using. Six years, six shots, six birds.
     
  14. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    I use a 3.5" Moss 835 for turkey. A session at the patterning range will leave me with a bruised shoulder, but to be honest I dont feel recoil at all when hunting. I can shoot any load, so the gun is versatile.
    More shot will not saw off brush, but you can use a coarser shot which may penetrate grass/leaves better and still have the same number of pellets per shot.
    IMHO pick your shots carefully, and use Hevi-shot, it has more energy per pellet of equal size, no matter what charge you use, and tends to pattern really well. Whatever you choose, pattern your gun extensively with several different types of shells-so you can make an ethical shot when the time comes.
     
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