The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 31, 2014, 11:45 AM   #1
Sea Buck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Location: Maine
Posts: 228
20 Ga. for turkeys?

I gave up using my 12 ga. magnum last year after duck hunting and getting head aches after a day of banging away. I have been using the same gun for turkey,but do not need the wiplash. At 70 years old I think my system has had enough and will try my 20 ga. from now on. A few of my buddies are calling me wimpy for going to my bird gun!! Any comments would be appreciated.
Sea Buck is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 12:35 PM   #2
Ruger480
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2013
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 514
Do it. Especially if you can shoot 3 inch shells. Thanks to high end shotgun loads these days, I would say that the 20 gauge today is as efficient a killer as yesterdays 12s.

You can read an article about the 20 gauge shot shells here.

Last edited by Ruger480; March 31, 2014 at 12:49 PM.
Ruger480 is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 12:41 PM   #3
Panfisher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 572
Call em in close and shoot them in the face and you will have no problems.
Panfisher is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 12:52 PM   #4
green_MTman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 27, 2014
Location: southeastern Vermont,USA
Posts: 234
there getting harder to find,you may have to order the ammo online but i have a 16ga and i love it

ducks,turkey,pheasant,quail,grouse even deer
recoil is mild
green_MTman is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 05:03 PM   #5
Mike38
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 1,160
If you are good enough to call in a Tom to with in 20 yards, I'd think a 20 gauge would work just fine.
Mike38 is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 05:12 PM   #6
jimbob86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 6,764
20 guage, #6 pheasant loads and a full choke worked just fine for my daughter when she was 12. Should be just as deadly for you.

Quote:
Call em in close and shoot them in the face and you will have no problems.
This.
__________________
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."

http://nefirearm.com/
jimbob86 is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 06:18 PM   #7
mwal
Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2009
Posts: 71
Remember in shotguns it does not matter if it is a 10Ga or a .410 a #6 pellet at 1250 fps has the same energy no matter what launched it. The difference is how many pellets you are launching. I have switched to the 20ga myself as my Benelli patterns #6 lead or #6 hevi shot well enough at 30 yards to ensure a lethal pattern on the turkey patterning board. The gun is lighter for me to carry and I do not use 3 inch magnums. Your buddies have fallen prey to the false assumption that a 3 inch 12 ga is more powerful than a 20 ga. If your 20 ga shell launches the pellet at 1400 fps and their 3 inch howitzer at 1250 fps guess who has the more powerful load? If your 20ga is more comfortable to shoot and patterns at the range you expect to shoot a turkey at, do not hesitate to use it. It won't be any deader with a bigger shotgun and your shoulder may thank you.

Mwal
mwal is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 07:55 PM   #8
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,908
A 12 puts a lot more pellets in the air. There is no way around the fact that more pellets = denser patterns and improved probability of hits. Especially as range increases and shot sizes get larger. You will be working with a handicap with the 20, but as long as you know what it is capable of at various ranges and limit your shots to those ranges it will work. Where I might use 4's or 5's in a 12 I wouldn't use anything larger than 6's in a 20 to help get a few more pellets in the pattern.

Quote:
The gun is lighter for me to carry
This is the only justifiable reason to choose a 20 over a 12. Reduced recoil is not. The great thing about 12 ga shotguns is the wide range of shells available. If a shooter chooses his ammo carefully you can duplicate 20 ga recoil from a 12 while still getting slightly better performance.

If comparing 2 similar shotguns in 12 and 20 ga. the 12 is typically about 1 lb heavier. A 12 shooting 1 1/8 oz loads will actually recoil less than a 20 shooting 7/8 oz loads because of the weight difference. And still put up more pellets in a better pattern. For some reason folks buy 12's and think they have to shoot the biggest baddest ammo they can find.

I started my kids on 12's with the stock cut shorter and light loads at 10 years old. Recoil was lighter than the flyweight 20's sold as youth guns and they gained a lot of confidence early with open chokes, wide patterns and enough pellets to hit stuff.
jmr40 is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 08:05 PM   #9
green_MTman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 27, 2014
Location: southeastern Vermont,USA
Posts: 234
i still think go 16 and split the difference.i thought 16's were stupid untill i got one.love it now
green_MTman is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 09:24 PM   #10
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 2,239
The 20 is definitely not 12. You will be shooting a lot less shots at turkey than you will be doing other type hunting. If you have the barrel ported and get a good extended choke that also has a muzzle brake integrated, the 12 wont kick bad at all. If it does, put a mercury recoil reducer in it and it will be tame as a new born puppy.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old March 31, 2014, 09:40 PM   #11
Ruger480
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2013
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 514
I still maintain that the 20 ga is a credible turkey weapon out to 40 yards with the proper shell/choke tube combo. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking about trading my Mossberg 12 (with slug barrel) for a 20 just because of what the 20 gauge is capable of nowadays.
Ruger480 is offline  
Old April 1, 2014, 12:36 AM   #12
Brotherbadger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2010
Posts: 584
Tons of toms have been taken with a 20 ga. Just make sure to learn your effective range and you will be fine.
__________________
Once Fired Brass, Top quality, Fast shipping, Best prices.

http://300AacBrass.com/ -10% Coupon use code " badger "
Brotherbadger is offline  
Old April 1, 2014, 08:38 AM   #13
Mobuck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 2,191
My kids started turkey hunting with 20 gauge 1 ounce loads. It worked then and will work now BUT requires patience, good calling, and cooperative birds. I would use a 20 if physical/health issues demanded it but otherwise, I'll stick to using the 12. Keep in mind, you're not skyblasting a box of shells-just that one(maybe 2).
Mobuck is offline  
Old April 1, 2014, 01:33 PM   #14
Panfisher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 572
One caveat I will say, sometimes moving down to a lighter 20 ga and then loading it with a heavy turkey load it may well kick as much or even more depending on the gun/load combo.
Panfisher is offline  
Old April 2, 2014, 09:37 PM   #15
NCummins
Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2014
Posts: 92
It's all about the pattern man. 20 no 6 pellets in the head/neck of a turkey is the same regardless of the bore of the gun.
I've got a friend that shoots a limit of gobblers every year with a .410, all the way out to 50 yards too. Of course it is a custom made barrel that patterns extremely well.
I never feel the recoil when I pull the trigger on an animal. Also its not like you will be shooting 30 shells in a day. Maybe 10 to pattern the gun/choke which can be done with a lead sled or similar and one when you shoot the bird.
I would absolutely carry a 20 in the the woods for turkey, but many birds have fallen to lighter loaded 2 3/4" 12 gauges as well.

Last edited by NCummins; April 2, 2014 at 09:43 PM.
NCummins is offline  
Old April 3, 2014, 05:07 AM   #16
eastbank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2008
Location: pa.
Posts: 1,044
its a rare 20ga that will put 20 pellets into a turkeys head and neck at 40 yds. i,m not saying there are not 20ga,s that will, but not many. if i used a 20ga i would limit my self to 30yds. for me its all about pattern density at the distance i,m shooting. and #6 shot will not carry the energy that #4 or #5 shot will at 40yds.if you can call them in close just about any shotgun will do. eastbank.
eastbank is offline  
Old April 3, 2014, 08:33 AM   #17
NCummins
Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2014
Posts: 92
Maybe not with grandpas old full choke and lead shot. Turkey chokes and shot have made leaps and bounds in the last few years.
NCummins is offline  
Old April 3, 2014, 11:17 AM   #18
eastbank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2008
Location: pa.
Posts: 1,044
i shoot and pattern alot of different shotguns and ga,s,and its a damn good 20ga that will put 20 pellets in a turkey,s kill zone at 40 yds regulary. even with 1-5/16 oz in a 3" shell. 30 yrds or closer is a better range to kill turkeys with a 20. eastbank.
eastbank is offline  
Old April 3, 2014, 03:01 PM   #19
jimbob86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 6,764
Quote:
its a rare 20ga that will put 20 pellets into a turkeys head and neck at 40 yds.
It doesn't take 20.

1 in the spine or skull is all it takes. If a gun and load can do that consistantly, then it works. To be sure, it's nice to have 2 or 3, but a single #6 pellet started @1300 f/sec will kill a turkey if it hits the skull or spine, out to 40 yards.....

Pattern your gun and load. At the range that they will pattern densely enough to consistantly (as in every time, 10 times out of 10) 2-3 pellets on a turkey's skull or cervical spine, then it works to that range. There are dozens of turkey patterning targets out there with the spinr drawn in .... many for free download.

I've never had a turkey get away when I ambushed them with a shot to the head/neck. When I was younger and did not know any better, I rolled several over with shots to the body that got away ......
__________________
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."

http://nefirearm.com/

Last edited by jimbob86; April 4, 2014 at 01:32 PM.
jimbob86 is offline  
Old April 3, 2014, 03:42 PM   #20
SPEMack618
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2010
Location: Central Georgia
Posts: 1,399
My little sister hunts turkey with a 20 ga Remington 1100.

Remington makes a pretty good 20 ga turkey load, in both No. 4 and No. 5 and she's never had any problem with it, granting only fired at one tom, but he went down deader than a sack of hammers.
__________________
NRA Life Member
"Had King Kong showed up in Texas, Frank Hamer would have taken him down with his Model 8 in .35 Remington...well, he was kind of big, so maybe his BAR"
SPEMack618 is offline  
Old April 3, 2014, 07:35 PM   #21
eastbank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2008
Location: pa.
Posts: 1,044
he may have died of a heart attack,just kidding. eastbank.
eastbank is offline  
Old April 4, 2014, 09:06 PM   #22
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 2,239
Choke is not really the important factor in grouping. Back bore and forcing cone are the real factors that effect group. I have a barrel for "turkey shoots" that will shoot basically the same group with a skeet choke or a block choke.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old April 5, 2014, 03:19 PM   #23
Sea Buck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Location: Maine
Posts: 228
I put the vernier on my 20ga. Rem Choke full and it comes in at .580". I looked up Rem Chokes on the Remington web site and they list a Super Turkey 20 ga. full choke at .572" .Based on that I'll save myself $30 and go with my full choke and some practice. It will be interesting to see what kind of a pattern I'll get out to 40 yds.
Sea Buck is offline  
Old April 5, 2014, 03:41 PM   #24
Ruger480
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2013
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 514
Keep us posted!
Ruger480 is offline  
Old April 7, 2014, 01:55 AM   #25
Todd1700
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 5, 2008
Posts: 187
A lot of people have good luck with the Federal Heavyweight shells in their 20 gauges. In fact a lot of people claim the 20 gauge version is better than the 12gauge in that particular shell.

And the guys who hand load TSS shot would laugh at the notion that a 20 gauge can't be a 40 yard gun. Those guys are getting 40 yard patterns that are amazing.
Todd1700 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12773 seconds with 9 queries