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minky

20 Gauge For Turkey

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 I purchased a 20 gauge o/u last year and have been thinking about using it for turkey. The gun fits me well, is light and handy. One barrel has a improved cylinder choke and other modified choke. The gun is compatible with Winchester chokes. I can replace one or both of the chokes with turkey chokes. I will pattern the gun with turkey loads and limit myself to shots around 35 yards. Any advice or tips? Am I missing anything?

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Defintely screw in a tight pattern turkey choke in whatever barrels you are putting a shell in.

 

I would think about a mid bead if it doesn't have one at the minimum to aim the thing.  I put a $40 set of rifle sights on the my vent rib on my pump.  

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Minky,

 

I had to ask a friend that shoots a 20 for turks.

 

He’s shooting a Browning semi auto and found Heavi Shot Triple Beard to work extremely well with the Heavi Shot 831 choke.  I’m pretty sure I remembered the 831 right.  With Federal loads he’s had good luck with a Carlson choke.

 

Although he also prefers shorter range shots, he’s harvested birds at 40 yards just fine with the Heavi Shot.

 

Hope that helps a little.

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I shoot Heavy-Shot Magnum Blend through a Heavy-Shot Choke tube with awesome results in my 20.  No need to limit your shots to 35 yds, I'm not afraid to shoot out to 45 yds.  I'm carrying this gun instead of my 12 more and more.

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It seems the technology put into loads and chokes these days have 20’s performing as well as the 12’s have from years gone by.  I’ve witnessed some remarkable shooting by 20 gauge users the past few years, that’s for sure.

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With my setup on my 20 guage 45 would be tough but could be done I think. For sure 40 yds but man it's a killer. The last 5 or 6 birds with the 20 have not even flopped.

 

Still like having the big cannon here and there but like Don said above, i'm carrying my 20guage on more hunts.

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19 hours ago, Hoyt4 said:

, i'm carrying my 20guage on more hunts.

 

And it's so much lighter, makes it easier to carry on those long hikes.  As an added bonus, the recoil is much less with the 20.

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i think you're on the right track, minky

i like the idea of manufacturers matching their chokes and shells. of course its about making money but they also have done a lot of the patterning for you

i am nearing a milestone with my ol mossberg 12 gauge that gets heavier every year and am planning on retiring it for a 20 gauge. not sure what gun i will get, but i've always shot winchester turkey loads and think i will go with the longbeard choke and shells

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40 minutes ago, DonBo said:

 

As an added bonus, the recoil is much less with the 20.

 

I pretty much destroyed my shoulder patterning and sighting in my 12.  Fortunately, it's been one shot per year since then 😃

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I switched to 20ga a few years back that I set up as a dedicated turkey hunting gun.  Rem 870 youth with the Carlson 575 choke, Truglo Pro-Series Magnum Gobble-Dot sight and Shurshot stock kit.  

 

You'll want to do some pattern testing to ensure you are shooting good shells for the choke you are going with.  I recall DonBo prefers the heavy blend shells with three different shot sizes.  I found in my gun that I don't see an improvement with number of BBs in a 10" circle, so I shoot Hevi-Shot #7 shells.  Up until recently the go-to over the counter shell was the Federal HeavyWeight #7, but they stopped making them last year.   Now there are some pure Tungsten or TSS shells available and with that you can shoot #9 shot for a super dense long range pattern with the right choke. 

 

All of these heavy metal shells are expensive, and hard to find.  You'll have to plan ahead and most likely mail order them in the early spring for the upcoming turkey season and before they sell out...  I almost never see them for sale locally.   

 

You can of course get by on cheap shells whatever is available locally.  I can shoot the Nitro #5 3" load out of my gun with very good patterns out to 35yd, but beyond that the pattern is too open.   Same situation with some of the other blended loads like I mentioned previously.

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On 2/6/2019 at 9:54 AM, bobbymalone said:

 

I pretty much destroyed my shoulder patterning and sighting in my 12. 

 

Here's a trick for everyone experiencing this problem.  Get your sighting down with target loads first, then you'll probably only need to shoot one or two turkey loads to see how they pattern.

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1 hour ago, DonBo said:

 

Here's a trick for everyone experiencing this problem.  Get your sighting down with target loads first, then you'll probably only need to shoot one or two turkey loads to see how they pattern.

 

At the time I thought I should try to match the ballistics but in retrospect it doesn't matter at turkey ranges with a scatter gun.

 

Definitely could have saved big $$$$ using target loads.  I am also a fan of the hevi shot blend at $4 a pop.  

 

Thanks for the tip.  I'm switching to my 870 this year so I gotta do it all over again.

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I have a Mack’s Prairie Wing catalog at home that I swear had listed 20 Gauge Heavi Shot Triple Beard @ $16 / box.

 

Might wanna check them out.

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I'm sure that's for five shells.  Still not a bad deal.

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