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Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by Jay Blankenship, Feb 15, 2021.
Fiocchi golden pheasant 2 3/4” still made in 1 3/8 & 1 3/4. Nickel plated lead
2 3/4 12 and 16 ga shot size 4 for 16ga 5s for 12ga
I have killed 2 with my Beretta 686 ul with the spreader tube. One with 8’s grouse hunting & one with low brass 9’s quail hunting. My normal turkey gun is a benelli m1 20” carlson extended tube extra full. Still shooting the few np Actives I have left. 3” sixes
I've killed them with 3" 20ga lead 5's, nitro 7's, nitro 4-5-7's, mag blend 4-5-7's, hevi 13 7's and 3" inch 12ga lead 4, 5, and 6's but my normal load is a 3 1/2" 12 gauge 4, 5, or 6 lead. My favorites are the winchester super X 3 1/2" 2oz high velocity 5 and 6's and win super x magnum 3 1/2" 2 1/4oz 6's. My 835 and kicks .670 choke throws excellent patterns with the old winchester loads. Best pattern with them so far is with the win super x magnum 3 1/2" 2 1/4oz 6's. 167 in 10in @ 40 yards.
Actives where wicked on turkeys
Yes, & they still are! I still have over a case of 20g 3” deuces. Murder on wild pheasants!
I'd love to have about 100 of the old 3" hulls for reloading. Shame of it is, I bet between me and my dad, we have that many scattered across Ft. Knox from turkey hunting back in the good ol days.
Actives not bad.....
I know I've story before, but it bears repeating.
Back when I started turkey hunting-- we're talking Regan's first term-- A good turkey gun was any gun that could put 2 pellets through a Dixie cup at 40 yards. You put a Dixie cup on a stake and backed up a given yardage and shot. 2 or more holes through the cup meant you were good to go. Someone had figured out that was enough to kill a turkey. It had probably been a measure for pheasant or geese and they just adapted it. I went the extra mile and put up newspaper behind the Dixie cup to check my overall pattern.
It didn't matter the gauge 12, 16, or 20 was fine. 10 GA existed, but nobody had one. The shot size decision went something like this: the longer the shot, the bigger the shot had to be. You shot what patterned best, but you were mindful that as you went up in shot size, the usable distance decreased. I can't tell you why I picked #4 except that probably 3 guys: two buddies and the store manager said to try them first.
There was not much written about turkeys in the rags. I did have my trusty 1942 Outdoor Life 'Cyclopedia as a guide. Just about everything I learned from it was complete bunk. I've posted this here before; it just gives you a flavor for how bad the overall advice was:
Turkey Hunting Circa 1942
As a result, you tended to lean on your buddies and store managers for advice. If you could find someone who knew what they were talking about, you did everything you could to suck them dry. Luckily, one of my best friends was the shotgun editor for Gun Dog Magazine. He and I went on my first turkey hunt together. Bob picked an Ithaca 37 12 GA for the trip, but could only find the deer barrel for it. At the last minute, he called up a friend and borrowed a Charles Day O/U in 12 choked Ful/Full.
Notice that the article says only 12 GA / full choke. I suspect that this was because the state of the art in shell manufacture was still fairly primitive. I started 40 years on from this. Things had progressed to copper-plated shot, in plastic buffers and plastic wads. The overshot card was gone. My loads were star crimped. The card used to disrupt the center of the pattern and cause it to be doughnut-shaped.
With a shortage of ammo this year I think I am going to experiment a bit. I'm a little too tight to spend 7-8 dollars a shot so I'm gonna experiment with the 7-15 dollar boxes ammo out there. Gonna shoot some 2 3/4 and 3 inch stuff that's available. Might try some different shot sizes, likely 5's and 6's to see what shoots best out of my gun. My eyes are too bad to shoot out past 40 yards anyway so i set that as my limit. If one comes to 50 and goes off, he lives another day. Put a scope on my old gun this year because last year I had trouble focusing in on the sights/gobbler at 40 yards. So time will tell but I'm gonna see if I can't find something to be happy with inside 40 yards that is on the cheaper side of things. I have been shooting Longbeard XR's 3 inch #6's the past few years and love them out at 30-40 yards but inside 20 they have caused me some issues. Follow up second shots at a further distance have thus far solved those issues thankfully but trying something different seems like fun, especially with the new scope.
That's what I shoot 1400 ranger 2¾ 4s love the old gun I've twisted around and shot it off the bicep of my arm before,. Got a cheap $19.99 choke tube from Walmart it's a killing machine
I’ve been turkey hunting for almost 20 years now- which I find extremely hard to believe. That said, I’ve used it all. There is a plethora of options and I can’t say any are right or wrong, but I definitely do have my preferences.
A Remington 870 or 1100, in 20 gauge with 2 3/4 have plenty of knock down power to kill a bird and I think are ideal for youth hunters or elderly.
A Mossburg 535 with 3.5 will leave you wondering who got the worst end of the deal, you or the turkey. I about just left one in the woods one time after it cracked my jaw.
Today, my set up is a Browning Maxus, 26’ barrel, and I shoot 3 inch #5-but I’m not opposed to 2 3/4. For me, #5 is the crucial part- plenty of pellets to hit something and enough weight to knock it down. I like the 26 barrel because it seems a little lighter & gives me a little easier ability to maneuver once I’m on the ground but I do think it takes away a few yards. The Maxus was a serious investment for me to use for years and years to come; I’ve been pleased but I can’t say as it does the job any better than my old 1100 that I still pull out on those rainy mornings. Almost as important as which gun I choose for that morning, is a good sling that allows me to walk comfortably.
I recommend a sling and #5s over anything else when it comes to your gun. Shot brands and lengths should be whatever shoots best for your gun so that you can be confident when that big stutter comes in drummin.
Again I’m putting my cheaponess on for discussion. I said in another post I recently purchase a box of Winchester xx 3” 6s 12 gauge shells for $15. ive got these 3 shells left before I break open the new box. Here’s my sequence of 3 shells I have left I’ll be carrying in the gun first day of season. 1-XX 3” #5, 2-3”super x #6, 3- 3” nitro #5. Yes, I’m very conservative with ammo.
Don,t know why you bought the new box. LOL
Lol u never know. Not only am I cheapo I learned sequence from a cousin of mineeho was a big grouse hunter. When I was young I hunted alit with him. He had llewelkin setters. Back in the day and was def an experience. His first shell was an 8 shot low brass Remington, last two shells were high grass 6s. He lives in London now. Not much grouse anywhere now.