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NELS-BELLS

20 gauge ammo question for Turkeys

16 posts in this topic

My 10 year old (80 lbs) son was drawn for the first time this year. I had him shoot my 12 gauge with a Turkey choke and magnum 2 3/4 turkey loads with 5 shot to get sighted in. The gun literally knocked him off the stool and I have a sims recoil pad on it. He shot the gun twice and hit the target perfectly both times but he said that he would rather not shoot the 12 guage again. I told him that it should only take one shot.

I have access to my Dads 20 gauge auto but it only has a full choke and it doesn't have a recoil pad.

If we use the 20 guage, what load would you recomend? Would Premium Copper plated 5 shot pheasant loads work to say 25 yards or should I get some magnum turkey loads?

Or should he just stick with the 12 gauge?

Nels

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Nels,

I watched another gobbler perish Saturday morning to a load of 3" 20 ga #6 Hevi-Shot.

35 yds or closer in a bird is dead meat (as long as the nut behind the stock does his part)!!

WD

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The 20 gage can be a very lethal turkey gun. Like WD stated the hevishot might be good in that fullchoke. Also the federal FC loads often shoot well in full choked guns. As far as the pheasant load goes you won't know until you try it for sure. With that full choke I'd be surprised if you can get a killing pattern out to 30+ yards once you find the right ammo.

Good Luck!

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My father just took two turkeys this last weekeend in Neb with a 20ga. youth model. Its in the family for years, my brother shot his first tureky with it until he grew out if it. 3" #5 hevi shot did the ticket. With a super full choke. That is the way to go. My brother even took his first turkey with the 20ga. at 59 yrds. It was one of those I told him get ready and in the excitement he thought i told to shoot. Two bb's the the for head later and that was it for that turkey. It was the most amazing thing i've seen. (not recommending that distance for any gun) But the 20 is a great gauge for all hunting.

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Tell him you got some "special shells that dont kick as bad"

Besides the falling over part, have you ever felt recoil when shooting at a bird?

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He'll want the 12 again if he nails one! A tree or your support in a blind will more than likely be the case anyway.

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for the most part its mind over matter. once he shoots the bird it doesnt matter. but serouisly the 20 ga will put down a turkey just fine my son shoot a few geese this past season with a 20 ga at the 20-30 yrd range granted it was with bigger shot that are use for turkey but if the shot placement is correct and the distance resonable it can be done.

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Tell him you got some "special shells that dont kick as bad"

Besides the falling over part, have you ever felt recoil when shooting at a bird?

gringringrin

I like that idea!!! By the time he figures it out, the turkey will hopefully be flopping in front of us. My 12 gauge is already set up for Turkey hunting and I know his aim is good with it.

Our season starts on Thursday so I was wondering when we would have time to sight in and pattern the 20 gauge. I think I will bring the 20 along just in case but I'll hide it under some stuff so he doesn't know that I have it. Hopefully next time he will have his own gun and he is only going to keep growing.

Thanks to everyone that responded.

Nels

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I just posted a picture of my daughters first turkey that she took with a 20 gauge and 3" heavy turkey loads.

She duck hunts with 3" #2's as well. She's 11 and weighs just under 80 pounds I think.

The secret is to let them practice or trap shoot with nothing but gameloads. I didn't even tell my kids that there was a difference in the kick from shell to shell and being girls, their friends never tell them any different. Once they are shooting at birds, they've never complained or even noticed.

I even asked my daughter this weekend if she felt the kick and she had to think about it for a second and said she didn't notice anything about it but I know it slammed her pretty hard.

They do shoot a pump though. If I had a youngster shooting a semi auto, I would have them practice with the heavy loads to prevent a second accidental shot going off from the surprise of the shot.

ccarlson

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Whatever you choose- bring some stuff to keep him from getting antsy. The patience you've gained as a hunter is nothing to take for granted! GL -JD

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Last night I told him about the "special shells". wink I laid it on thick. He has shot my 12 with a standard pheasant load in and it didn't bother him. I told him that these "special shells" are very similar. He seemed OK with it.

I'm not sure the 20 is a 3" for one thing and I also don't like the idea of kids using autos. I will only load one shell if he does use that gun. I will be handling the gun until we are set up and he is ready to shoot.

He likes to read books and he has a Ninetendo DS, so we'll bring both. I also have a blind so that should help.

Thanks for the tips.

Nels

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Bring some Turkey and Turkey Hunting Mags for him. He'll be able to relate to his readings in the field.

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Bring some Turkey and Turkey Hunting Mags for him. He'll be able to relate to his readings in the field.

Good idea! Plus I'll have something to read then.

Last night we were out target shooting with his BB gun, for practice. He should be fired up for the hunt now...I know that I am.

Nels

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