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Old April 4, 2013, 07:33 PM   #1
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,468
Odd turkey load, but it worked fine

About 10 years back, I bought a box of Federal 12ga, 3 in, 2 oz, #7-1/2 shot, plated lead. These loads likely dated back to the introduction of the 2 oz Heavyweight era. I don't think that the #7-1/2 load lasted long and this shop was closing them out. A pattern test from my trusty 870 with a 20" slug tube and a superfull Rem tube yielded an absolute cloud of shot. Yikes.

I knew #7-1/2 lead was tiny and would not have much reach, but it seemed a decent close range load and the price was right. I began keeping one in my vest for decoy set ups and some ambush hunts. Thing is, I didn't do it all the time, and ended up ususally just chambering my standard #5 shot load.

But I had one in the gun last evening on a decoy set near home, and shot my first bird of the season (a jake, yeah, I know) and he was absolutely peppered. I mean, sieved. Open field, no brush to strip pellets out of the pattern. Range was a longish 39 paces, bird seemed decoy shy, but there was no doubt about the result.

Made me think of old Walt, a elderly gent from my youth, who inspired me to be a turkey hunter. This was long before 3 inch mags, 2-3/4 baby mags or special turkey loads . chokes and guns. Walt shot turkeys with a full choke pump (probably a Model 12) and 1-1/4 oz of #7-1/2 lead. Killed a bunch of birds too, but could be selective, cause this was long before the turkey mania hit the nation.

I moved away from small shot about 10 years ago to #5, after reading a bit on penetration and range, and have had good results. I cannot recommend #7-1/2 lead in good fatih, but....in the right circumstances, a gobbler better watch out!!!
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