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Borch

Patterning Info, Results and Questions.

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Patterning my 870

Please note that hese results are not completely reliable, but I am a noob turkey hunter, going out for my 2nd season ever and hoping to bag my first turkey ever. I am heading out on Friday to hopefully fill my 2 tags over the course of 3 days, and wanted to pattern my gun as I was curious to see the results.

To get by I am shooting my trusty 870. I know there are alot of other new guys to turkey hunting in my same situation shooting the same gun. Last night I went out and shot at 30yrds and 50yrds using the target provided in the patterning thread. I took pics of the targets after each shot, and used a range finder so I was pretty sure on distance etc.

Gun: 12 Gauge 870

Choke: Extra full turkey choke by Undertaker

My first shell choice was the following:

IMAG0168.jpg

I used a range finder to set my target out at 30yrds and fired away. Here is the results.

IMAG0165.jpg

I was pretty happy with the results? It looks like I was a little high and to the left but would have probably killed the bird. Also keep in mind that the bigger hole in the head was more from me pulling the tape off than a bunch of bb's.

Here is my results with the same shell at 50yrds, again using a range finder to determine distance.

IMAG0167.jpg

This one I definately was a little high on the shot, not sure what to make of the pattern?

I then decided to try another shell but use the same choke and shot the following:

IMAG0169.jpg

As you can see its a little lower fps, but 2oz instead of 1 7/8oz.

This was the pattern that I got at 30yrds

IMAG0166.jpg

I am pretty happy with the pattern but looks like I was a little high again but this time to the right but would have resulted in a dead bird.

Unfortanetly I didnt get a pic of this shell at 50yrds but it was very similar to the first.

My overall conclusion from this small experiement is to maybe work on aim smile All kidding aside, I was just about to go out and hunt for 3 days, and had no idea of what my gun was doing.

I strongly suggest getting out and patterning your gun. With a little bit of effort, and a few wasted shells you will know exactly how your gun is shooting and also gain confidence in preperation for your hunt. The patterning can be a frustrating, painful and expensive endeavor but the better off you will be in the end.

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The federal 6's with flight control work really well out of my SX2,with the full choke it should get you to 35 yards maybe good at 40. I would recommend a extra full turkey choke to extend the range a bit farther.

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I highly reccommend giving the federals with the flite control wad a try. I used 3" 5 shot with my 870 and took a jake at 40 yards with a H.S. Undertaker choke tube and last year took a tom with same set up at 12 yards, only I used a Tru-glo turkey choke since I lost my H.S. I had good patterns with both chokes/federal combo but the undertaker gave me a really good pattern compared to the tru-glo.

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+1 on Federal 3". I shoot it out of my Mossberg 535 with a stock full choke and have had excellent results.

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A TIP: Try aiming at the neck area instead of at the head that should take care of the high shots. Worked for me. grin

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Plus 1 on the neck shot looks like your tryin for the head.PS I shoot a 20ga Bennelli with The Undertaker and Federal Premium Turkey loads 3in. I have no problem with the patterns @ 35 yrds

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When shooting my 870 and sighting down the rib I consistantly hit high. Now I aim for the top of the beard instead of the waddles. My first turkey I got with one piece of shot to the brain- I did not keep my head down. For that reason a red dot or a set of sights that you can adjust would be a big bonus.

Good Luck

Steve

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I'm taking my dad out turkey hunting this spring for the first time - which means I'll be giving him my 12 gauge and scope

I'll now be hunting with my 20 gauge Benelli Montefeltro previously only used for upland. It has a mid-rib bead so I think I should be ok without buying a scope or fiber-optic sights

I got a Cabelas choke with a .575 diameter, rated for lead, hevi shot, and copperplated loads. Any recommendations on shell selection for those that have used 20 ga for turkeys?

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Thats the same gun I use, after buying and trying many different loads the Federal 3" Turkey load #5 with the flite control wad is my choice.Hope this helps.

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great, thanks! I will have to give that a go.

I may have gone just a bit off the deep end and ordered a Double Bull blind, so I suppose I can use my bow hunting out of that smile

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In my daughter's 870 20 gauge Prinos Tightwad with hevishot # 6 or #7 shot has been devastating on turgets to 40 plus yards. Runs a little tighter that your cabelas choke(.570).

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I've also had great luck with the 20ga heavishot. Its expensive at first, but once you know it patterns you only need one shell. They hit hard and fly well from a 20ga.

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Dumb ? I know but why is there a 4 shot or smaller rule on turkeys ? The only thought I have is the shell companies want us buying this turkey load rather than use what many of us already have in goose or duck loads ? Just curious, have never heard why that is.

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Dumb ? I know but why is there a 4 shot or smaller rule on turkeys ? The only thought I have is the shell companies want us buying this turkey load rather than use what many of us already have in goose or duck loads ? Just curious, have never heard why that is.

Small vital area on a turkey - head and neck only. Shoot your gun at a patterning board and see for yourself. Huge holes in the pattern at 30+ yards, holes that a small turkey head will fit inside of. Smaller shot fills those holes.

The larger shot used on waterfowl is for penetrating deep into meat and breaking bones of flying birds to bring them down. That same shot on a folded up wing of a turkey will likely only cripple.

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Right on thanks Donbo, I'd question penetration by waterfowl loads though, those steel pellets penetrate very poorly, they bounce off geese like crazy, if you don't bust the wing or clip the coconut you get the drift, back in the lead days with a full choke, 30" barrel and the best goose load ever made # 4 buckshot, good night Irene. Now most are upping to a 3.5" 12 or 10 gauge even, those guns were way unneccesary in the lead days. But, I get the turkey thing, you blast like a T shot at a 30 yard target and there could be a hole big enough to fit the turkeys head/neck in when you have those extra pellets in like a number 5 those are on the head of the target because there's more of them, thanks Don for clarifying that. And PS. the Toms were gobbling like mad last night before dark when the sun was just perfect on the woodlines.

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There is also a safety factor as turkey hunters use decoys and do their best to sound like a turkey. One of the reasons that stalking turkeys is often frown upon. Smaller shot results in less retained penetration at longer distances.

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There is also a safety factor as turkey hunters use decoys and do their best to sound like a turkey. One of the reasons that stalking turkeys is often frown upon. Smaller shot results in less retained penetration at longer distances.

+1 you hit the nail on the head. #4 shot and smaller will equal less fatalities for accidental shootings

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After getting a last minute invite for the weekend I grabbed my coyote shot gun and some shells to pattern test it with something other than dead coyote T shot or 3" #4 copper buck.

First let me say you hard core turkey guys are nuts! That had to be the most painfull shooting I have ever done, I'm still sore.

So. Mossberg 535 pump 12ga. Carlsons extended range dead coyote choke. Winchester Super X (or something like that) from wanderer's personal stash, federal copper coated #6 +#5 with flight control, and federal buffered lead turkey loads in #4 +#5. 3.5" shells for all parties. 2shots each at 20 and 40yds.

Ended up picking the regular (cheaper) 4shot hardened buffered lead from federal. It was hands down better than the rest at 40yds.

And unless I decide to put a red dot on this gun I am very happy that I don't need to do this again. Made me wish I could've found something for the 20ga instead.

Here's to hoping for first timers luck.

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Nobody believes me when i say that will be the most recoil you have ever felt. You could have used mine 3-1/2" 2-1/4oz of 5's she's a real gem to shoot

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Well after last season I sold the sledge hammer and swore off 12ga "forever"... Then after seeing just how hard a duck season can be on an expensive upland gun I grabbed a cheap used 12ga that can only shoot 3" shells. No more temptation on the 3.5" "Zombie Killers" the industry tells us to shoot at these birds.

I still haven't given up on the 20ga for turkeys and did find a suitable load that will get me out to 35+ yards Carlson turkey choke .585

Federal Hvy turkey 6 shot @25yds

A8AAD60C-C05A-44A4-B83B-E1A1638F3412.jpg

and 40yds

C4368BCF-58D0-4B07-B13F-3F0E33B2F8FD.jpg

A little open at 40, but inside 35 and its game over. the 7shot did even better, but I cant seem to find the target or another box of shells to verify my results.

I also tried the "duck gun" also fitted with a Carlson turkey choke at .660

I spent more money on shells for the pattern board than I did for the gun. All the name brand turkey loads and several different expensive top shelf pheasant loads. All in 3" and I still was having flash backs and issues with the recoil.

Here is what I settled on. Winchester extended range pheasant 1 1/2oz of buffered copper coated 6shot at 1300fps

25yds

DC3A2896-935D-49FC-B879-28F419CDDD58.jpg

40yds

C4335E53-FD48-41CB-A06D-572CF2B9CEDA.jpg

the 25yd target was the last shot of the day and I pulled it to the right, but you get the picture.

This was the first I have shot this shotgun and it took a little effort to figure out the p.o.i vs p.o.a on this gun. My 20ga puts 80% of the shot above the bead, so I "aim" for the bottom of the target to put the pattern in the center. The 12ga puts the pattern smack where the bead is, so I had to learn to cover the center for best results. Still made for a long time at the board and a sore shoulder. And that was with a 3" semi auto. I am so glad I ditched the 3.5" pump!!!

If I get the last minute turkey camp invite this year I will be prepared anyways.

good luck everyone.

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Good info NG. I was standing in Fleet the other day looking at some Pheasant and Duck loads with a little more fps thinking huum? I have a 3 and 3.5 870. I have been using the 3.5 for Turkeys because I want to get as much lead in the air that I can and may only take one shot anyway. I will say that I hate the thing for Goose hunting because I come back with a badly brushed middle finger from the trigger guard slamming it every shot! frown

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NG,

We have 3 20 gauge turkey guns in our group set up with the Primos Tight Wad choke and either FederalHW turkey 7 shot or Hevishot #6, #7 or Blended shot. All are 40+ yard guns. When my dad shot his at 22 yards last spring I saw a red cloud beyond the turkey.

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Did some research and just picked up a turkey choke today for my 12 ga.

Gun: Beretta A390 Silver Mallard

Choke: Carlson's Extended Turkey Choke (non-ported) .665

Ammo: Winchester LongBeards in #5

Gonna go out and try to figure out my pattern using this setup on the weekend at the range. Never patterned it ever, but many a ducks and geese have fallen with steelshot over decoys and some pass shots on small ducks at further distances.

Only thing I won't be getting this season is a scope or red dot sight. I am using just a single bead sight. I've taken doves off of dead cottonwoods using plain ol' #6 lead shot at 30+ yds before so I am confident I can pull it off under 40. Just gotta be disciplined... Regardless of how good or horrible I do, I would hope to keep it between 20 and 35 yds should a gobbler give me an opportunity this yr.

Anyone else goin old school with a bead sight?

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