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Gun Question...2 Cents Worth?


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Hi All!

I'm in the market for a new gun, never had a turkey gun, but I've been doing a little research. I'm looking at some of Remington's 870's and had a couple questions...

1. What are the opinions on shell size for turkey hunting, 3" mags, 3 1/2", 3 1/2 mags??

2. Any advantage to a thumbhole stock other than personal preference?

3. Lastly, any opinions, good or bad, on the 870's or I am also looking at the SPS shurshot?

Thanks all!!

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This is personal opinion only!

1. 3.5" gives you more payload, which is something I personally prefer. Downsides with lead include flattening on some of the pellets towards the rear portion of the shot string, producting the "frisbee" effect downrange. It's all in the patterning however, I have one gun in particular that prefers 3" offerings all else being equal compared to the 3.5". That said, almost all of my guns pattern marginally to exceptionally better with the 3.5". It's all in the gun/load/choke combination

2. The thumbhole does prove a more relaxing grip when holding steady for long periods of time, which can be very common with hung-up or slow coming toms. It also puts your hand/arm/wrist in a better postion to help diminish some of the felt-recoil. Much of it is personal preference however. Some folks swear they can manuever the thumbhole stock variety much better.

3. Few guns have killed more turkeys. They're dependable, have many choke combinations and options, and will shoot most varieties of shells quite well. The lighter varieties in a 3.5" offering will also kick like a mule.


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The 870 is a great gun. The Wingmaster is a much better gun than the Express, also much more money. Worth it in my opinion.

Also IMO the 3 1/2" is just wasted pellets. The weight of the extra pellets is not made up for with enough extra powder to make it worthwile. 3" is more than plenty.

As for shells, it depends on what your gun shoots best. The new heavy weight shells are awesome loads, and way more money than lead. You can get by with smaller pellets (more per shell) than

lead because they hit harder farther downrange. For lead, I would stick with #4 or #5. With heavyweights, #5 or #6. If going with any lead shell, just make sure it is a magnum turkey load. Most are copper plated, buffered loads.

Enjoy shopping for a new gun, just doen't get sucked into any gimmicks that you don't need.

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The 870's are fine guns. The 3 1/2" guns can have a significantly better pattern over the 3" gun with the right combo of gun, shell and choke. I've seen some unreal patterns from 3 1/2 guns in the past two years.

But given the ranges I shoot the 3" guns are more than adequate. Plus those 3 1/2 Super Mag 870 really pound you at the patterning board! crazy.gif

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I love Benelli's, personally. Have a Remington 870, its ok. Pretty standard, it'll do most anything for you. I'm a firm believer that 3 1/2 is just wasted lead, more kick, etc. 3" will put anything on the ground for ya if you pattern your gun, know how to pick your shot, and aim straight \:\)

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