Which turkey gun?

Would not be surprised if combined the Remington 870 variants and the Mossberg 835 Ulti Mag have accounted for more turkeys than everything else combined.
If you like to call them in, you don't need a 3 1/2 inch gun. I like the older stuff and how well they work if you can get them to come to a call.

George Daw 12 gauge made in 1866 and a Burgess 12 gauge wrist slide action with 2 inch shells…



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" If you like to call them in...." ? Is there any other way? If I can`t get him inside of 40 yards, he`ll sleep with his hens that night. Just me, but I don`t understand these 60-70 yard sniping shots at a turkey. Yeah, I know, TSS and all, but to me it misses the essence of turkey hunting and is just meat shooting. Plus, while you don`t hear anything about them, you`ll never get me to believe that there aren`t more cripples at those ranges, I don`t care what load is in your shotgun.
 
Just my 2c worth.
I have 36 turkey seasons and over 80 turkey under my belt. I hunt in IL and IN this year. Combined in both states I covered more than 110 miles on foot. My 12ga 24" 870 Express Supermag will put 422 #8.5TSS in a 10" circle at 40 yards.
BUT **** thing weighs 9.12oz and by day 5 of hunting in IN felt like I was lugging around a scoped telephone pole.
After MUCH research decided to go 20ga and TSS.
a 3" 1-5/8oz 20ga if pattering well with #8.5TSS has the same killing potential at 50 yards and under as a 12ga 3.5" load of #5 shot and my new 20ga is over 2lbs lighter than my 12ga, almost 3lbs if I put a red dot on it not a scope.

I suggest you consider a nice 20ga pump used with #8, #8.5TSS specifically configured for turkey hunting would be a VERY affordable and VERY effective very lightweight turkey hunting setup.
 
Between my two teenage boys and I we've only needed one follow shot for about our last 8-10 toms. And it was me...I don't know if I missed or what, but I was glad I had the second quick shot of a semi.

Also the semi-auto gas guns help soak up a bit of recoil of turkey loads.

Mine is a Mossberg 935 and it's been good, but their customer service is horrible. Had to send it back and was a major hassle getting it back.

So I'd buy a different brand personally.

I'd probably look a Winchester SX4 if they make a turkey-oriented version. I have two we use for waterfowl and they've been solid.
 
The way I see it pulling the trigger on old long beard is the easiest part of the whole hunt, doesn’t really matter what gun you’re toting around. Know where they’re roosted & setup accordingly, no need for expensive shells loaded with exotic materials that can kill at 60 yards IMO.
 
The way I see it pulling the trigger on old long beard is the easiest part of the whole hunt, doesn't really matter what gun you're toting around. Know where they're roosted & setup accordingly, no need for expensive shells loaded with exotic materials that can kill at 60 yards IMO.
I envy your access to such high quality turkey land. I hunt some of if not the best lottery draw limited access public land turkey lands in the states I hunt, AND still after 30 years make it a point to get drawn and hunt 1st season if at all humanly possible. Despite doing exactly as you describe far more often than not 70% at least of my Toms I killed after 9am runNgun spot and ambush. And this is coming from a Turkey hunter with over 30 seasons, last 15 also hunting in two other states besides my home state and a success rate of over 80%

Where I hunt RARE is the Tom or Toms roosted without hens. For me or one of my hunting buds to roost one or more Toms without hens is a occasion of GREAT rejoicing, And we have mastered the fine art of getting within 70 yards or less of a Tom we roosted night before.
Don't get me wrong we would MUCH rather have high populations of Toms and hens like we do and how large numbers of hens make turkey hunting more difficult than (been there lived that) the alternative of low turkey populations.
Save for youth season with my sons that get first crack at the Toms especially first time anyone has hunted the two year old Toms, for the last at least 10 or 12 turkey seasons RARE has been the lone Tom or two I called in off the roost to his demise.
 
I envy your access to such high quality turkey land. I hunt some of if not the best lottery draw limited access public land turkey lands in the states I hunt, AND still after 30 years make it a point to get drawn and hunt 1st season if at all humanly possible. Despite doing exactly as you describe far more often than not 70% at least of my Toms I killed after 9am runNgun spot and ambush. And this is coming from a Turkey hunter with over 30 seasons, last 15 also hunting in two other states besides my home state and a success rate of over 80%

Where I hunt RARE is the Tom or Toms roosted without hens. For me or one of my hunting buds to roost one or more Toms without hens is a occasion of GREAT rejoicing, And we have mastered the fine art of getting within 70 yards or less of a Tom we roosted night before.
Don't get me wrong we would MUCH rather have high populations of Toms and hens like we do and how large numbers of hens make turkey hunting more difficult than (been there lived that) the alternative of low turkey populations.
Save for youth season with my sons that get first crack at the Toms especially first time anyone has hunted the two year old Toms, for the last at least 10 or 12 turkey seasons RARE has been the lone Tom or two I called in off the roost to his demise.
I’ve been extremely blessed to hunt 4,000 acres of private land for 45 years, so naturally I know where the birds tend to hang out. My hats off to guys having successful hunts on public land with the amount of pressure & calling those birds hear! A lot of our public land around here is accessible by river or road(obviously), so when we do the occasional public hunt we’ve learned to come in by boat since most folks won’t venture to far from they’re truck. 99% of the time we have the river bottoms all to ourselves.
 
I don't shoot autos any for turkeys unless the occasional 1187, but if i were to spend the money on an auto today. I would bite the bullet and buy a benelli. The only reason is that we have tested alot of shotguns, and the benelli's always seem to pattern awesome, where the retay and some others are mediocre. Not all just some of the other popular brands. Benelli's seem straight and shoot a myriad of chokes. Just an observation.
 
I shoot a Browning Maxus 12 gauge for turkeys with regular old 3” Walmart shells whatever is on sale at the time. Use the same shotgun for dove & ducks too, it just points well for me & I prefer gas operated after shoulder surgery.
 
I would agree with gas being much better on your shoulder. I am having trouble with mine now.
 
After shoulder surgery, most likely caused by years of shooting hard recoiling rifles and shotguns semi autos, both gas and inertia operated are much easier on the body than single shot, doubles bolts and pump actions that many seem to prefer. For those of you who think that it's cool to shoot heavy recoiling firearms will eventually be talking to an orthopedic surgeon about your shoulders. They make recoil pads and muzzle brakes for a reason. I shoot 6.8 Western, 300 WM and 338 WM, all fitted with good recoil pads and muzzle brakes. The heavies have a milder recoil than my out of the box 270's and 30-06. Learn from the misfortunes of others. Respect recoil. The shoulder you save may be your own. 😵‍💫
 
I have two of the Thompson Center Encore with turkey chokes, one with the open fiber optic sight and one with a scope. Light weight pattern well with #5 heavy shot.
 
I have two of the Thompson Center Encore with turkey chokes, one with the open fiber optic sight and one with a scope. Light weight pattern well with #5 heavy shot.
Over the years I have owned many shotguns. Iver Johnson, Ithaca, Browning, Remington, Winchester as well as a few other oddballs. They all served a purpose at the time but over the years I have whittled down the shotguns in my gun vault down to 2. A 20 ga Remington 1100, 2 3/4" Skeet gun and Remington 11-87 3" Mag. The 20 ga 1100 is obviously for shooting skeet, The 12 ga 11-87 is used for bunnies, pheasant, ducks, geese and of course Turkeys and some times Trap. With the exception of Trap the go to shell for all of my hunting is Federal Black Cloud 3 in Mag #4 shot. It's steel so can be used anywhere. With the pellets leaving the barrel at 1450 fps and with the Flightstopper pellets are deadly. The only thing I change depending on what I am hunting (or for trap) is the choke. Modified for bunnies and pheasant, Xtra Full for everything else including trap. It makes gun selection simple. If I'm going hunting or shooting trap, it's the 11-87 with either Federal Black Cloud, or if shooting trap Winchester AA #7 1/2. No fuss, simply grab the shotgun, shells and head out to the field for fun and exercise, and maybe dinner.
 
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