Checking your turkey gun zero

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by Tom Threetoes, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. Tom Threetoes

    Tom Threetoes 10 pointer

    Oct 4, 2002
    southern Indiana.
    A guy on another forum I frequent says he checks the zero on his shotgun before every season. I used to do that for years but haven't for the last few years, because it never has changed. At $5 or $6 bucks a shot I quit, just curious do you all check yours?

    JR PORTER 8 pointer

    May 1, 2014
    I don't, never seen the need to as long as I use the same kind of shells.
  3. KYH5N1

    KYH5N1 10 pointer

    I do. Nothing complicated, just a couple down the pipe at 40yds just to check. Kinda like checking the zero on my deer rifle before season. Usually don't change a thing but it's nice to know it's shooting where I aim it.
  4. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

    Feb 20, 2011
    the swamps of western KY
    If you just want to check your zero use a 2 3/4” field load with the same size shot that you use for turkeys. That’s how I check mine and it works.
    JR PORTER and Dark Cloud like this.
  5. mudhole crossing

    mudhole crossing 12 pointer

    Aug 20, 2007
    East ky
    I use to have a scope on mine. Used it for years. I would check it before each season to make sure it was on. But seemed to just added weight. Been using just a fiber optic front sight for the last 8 years.
  6. Outdoorsman12

    Outdoorsman12 6 pointer

    Mar 24, 2018
    Southwest virginia
    I tried a Leopold turkey scope on my Mossberg ultimag about 5 years ago, I hated it, thought a scope was better than the mid and front beads. Boy was I wrong!
    Missed the first bird I shot at with that scope.
    Took the scope off that night, went back to the beads, and smoked one the next afternoon at 37 yards.
    Not fond of a scope on a turkey gun at all.
  7. JGD

    JGD Spike

    Feb 3, 2008
    Nelson County
    I think it's a wise idea to check if you have any kind of site on the gun. After about 20 years my rear tru-glo loosened up last year. Don't ask me how I found this out. It was held on with double sided tape and it was little loose and lifted up. All is good now tho I will check again this coming weekend.

    Good luck all, John.
  8. Outdoorsman12

    Outdoorsman12 6 pointer

    Mar 24, 2018
    Southwest virginia
    Guys let's all be safe out there this spring, always know your target and what lies beyond it.
    And for land sakes everyone please pack a hunter orange vest and hat. Those two items may just save your life! Already have my orange hat and vest in my turkey pack
  9. wv67

    wv67 10 pointer

    Dec 19, 2017
    Southern wva
    I was shot when I was 17 turkey hunting , always cautious , and it’s one of the main reasons I don’t hunt public land much , but to the question I check mine even though I’ve used the same ammo and choke for ever I still check it because it’s a reason to go shoot LOL But I don’t see a need too it’s always good , and I don’t use a scope just fiber optic sights front and rear
  10. Outdoorsman12

    Outdoorsman12 6 pointer

    Mar 24, 2018
    Southwest virginia
    Same here, fiber optic front and rear
  11. Drahts

    Drahts 10 pointer

    Apr 7, 2015
    I think once you have patterned your gun and found a good choke/load combo you should be good. Now if your go
    changing to special loads and such you need to verify cause everything has equal and opposite reactions. My 870 has a Hastings Extra full in it that I paid 19.95 for and it shoots lights out great with any 3" #5 load. Not sure why but it is a real consistent shooter no matter the shell. I tried #6's and 4's and they patterned good but not as good as the 5's. My beretta shot the 5's a foot low and 6" left. That's why ya gotta pattern em.
  12. Outdoorsman12

    Outdoorsman12 6 pointer

    Mar 24, 2018
    Southwest virginia
    As soon as my new 500 arrives you can be sure I'm going to pattern..I have long beard XR #5 3 inch 12 gauge. but I'm not dumb enough to bet the farm on one particular brand of ammo. It has a xx full the way does the xx stand for extra extra full? If it does it might be too a tight a choke..and I might need to downgrade. Thoughts anyone? I know there are guys here who probably know chokes and Mossberg's like they know their own home.. I don't care if a man's critical with me, I just want answers if possible. I never used one of those special tight chokes until now so I'm not sure what to expect pattern wise, but I have gotten good at pacing off yardage and getting very very close to being quite accurate so I don't see the need for a rangefinder.
  13. shaman

    shaman 8 pointer

    Jul 20, 2004
    Neave, KY, USA.
    It used to be you bought a box of 25 for $8 and if you bought 2 boxes of the same lot, you were good for 50 rounds. It was still a good idea to run one or two through before season to check function. However, there was always enough variation lot-to-lot and year-to-year, that sighting in was a good idea whenever you bought a new box.

    Now there's only 10 to a box, and the rounds cost 10 times what they did.

    1) I keep to the old-school loads. I shoot Federal #4 3in lead 12 GA. It has killed out to 80 yards (by accident), and most of my shots are inside 20 yards, so all this talk about $8/round stuff is kind of overkill for me.
    2) I stopped thoroughly patterning a long time ago, but I still check for function before season- 1 or 2 rounds. The lot-to-lot variations went down tremendously when Federal changed to the Flite-Control wads.
    3) If I were to change loads, I'd pattern the first few years and then settle back down to the 1-2 round function checks.

    I HAVE run into problems with function checks. My Mossy 500 has been flawless for 20 years, but we had an 870 TB in the family that stopped feeding the second round properly. It took 4 visits to gunsmiths over 2 years to get it working, and my son finally got a new 870 Express and retired the 870 TB.

    I have also seen the rings on an 1100 go bad after a year in the closet.

    While my Mossberg 500 has been fine, it's scope wandered a bit from year to year. It always needed a tweek of the adjustments before season. When I swapped out the Bushnell Banner scope for a BSA, the problem went away. The Banner was one of the old ones. The newer ones are much, much better.
  14. Outdoorsman12

    Outdoorsman12 6 pointer

    Mar 24, 2018
    Southwest virginia
    I don't see the need for a scope on a turkey gun..but to each their own
  15. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

    Feb 20, 2011
    the swamps of western KY
    A scope comes in handy when a bird comes in in a field full of tall yellow tops or a briar thicket that you thought he surely wouldn’t come through.

    Likewise, it makes it easier to dial in the most dense part of your pattern on the vitals. Many have range determining reticles built in, too. I like my Nikon scope.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018

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