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Old September 21, 2011, 09:58 PM   #1
Antique Shooter
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Bullets for Turkeys

Here in PA, it is allowed to hunt turkeys with a rifle in the fall. I would like to know what type of bullet would be best suited for turkeys out of a 22-250 and .223. Right now I shoot Hornady Superformance Varmint out of both, because I mainly hunt groundhogs, and want the devistation provided with the v-max. However, I would like for there to be some edible meat left on the turkey. I didn't know if a hollow point, or a soft point(like Remington Core-Lokt) would be better.

Thanks for the help,

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Old September 21, 2011, 11:06 PM   #2
Outlaw81
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Use the smallest hollowpoint u can. It doesn't take much to kill turkeys. Try to shoot at the base of the neck if u can. A match bullet at modest speed should just zip in and out with minimal damage.
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Old September 21, 2011, 11:33 PM   #3
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I know of a few guys that use a 22 Hornet and FMJ bullets and shoot them in the head or neck.
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Old September 22, 2011, 04:15 AM   #4
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would probably use a core lokt or a fmj if its legal to use, the bullet wont really have much chance to expand in its quick pass through so it shouldnt cause much damage if you miss the neck area.
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Old September 22, 2011, 06:44 AM   #5
skydiver3346
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Turkey bullet?

The .22 Hornet is very hard to beat for taking turkeys (with a rifle bullet).
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Old September 22, 2011, 08:01 AM   #6
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With turkeys and bullets, think just the opposite of all logic you would use with other game. You need to slow that bullet way down and use one that doesn't expand. Failure to do so will result in a shot that instantly turns the meat into bloody turkey-burger. My turkey bullet is a .22 Hornet with a soft-point.
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Old September 22, 2011, 08:43 AM   #7
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I started my grandkids turkey hunting with a 223 rifle. We used 55 grn FMJ bullets, they don't tear up a lot of meat yet kill quite well.

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Old September 22, 2011, 08:53 AM   #8
SDShooter79
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Same here in SD, I chase them around the prairie with a little 223 with 55gr softpoints. Like mentioned earlier, aim for the base of the neck. Witnessed a guy shoot one with a 30-06 square in the breast. I thought it would destroy the bird, but it made a small entry wound and a huge exit wound to which most of the turkeys insides were expelled through.
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Old September 22, 2011, 05:35 PM   #9
Antique Shooter
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Thanks for the info guys. FMJ are not legal here in PA. I think I will go with the 55 grain soft points.

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Old September 22, 2011, 08:35 PM   #10
langenc
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Once I shot a spruce hen with the 30-06-180 gr Silvertip.

All we found was one wing and a patch of skin w/ feathers, about 5 sq inches.

I aimed right for where the neck attached to the breast. At 15 yds the bullet hits right where it is aimed. I thought Id take the head off. I did but way more, also.
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Old September 22, 2011, 09:14 PM   #11
cont520
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22 magnum shootem in there poop shoot or there head they wont go far
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Old September 22, 2011, 11:28 PM   #12
bamaranger
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too much rifle

The 22-250 at factory velocities w/ any bullet is to much gun for turkey.


the .223 w/ the slowest slug possible (heavy if your not a loader) is getting closer. but in std twist rates the heavy slugs will be unstable and likely still be pretty destructive.

The old Hornet and Bee were about ideal turkey rifles, as was the 25-20.
The .22 mag seemed a tad light, but was common.


To bad fmj not legal.
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Old September 23, 2011, 07:26 AM   #13
Doyle
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Another excellent rifle caliber for turkeys is the .357. Shoot solid bullets.
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Old September 23, 2011, 12:10 PM   #14
Antique Shooter
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I would take my 32-20, but I like the range of the 22-250 and .223.

If I hit them in the base of the neck, I don't think I would be losing much meat.

Thanks for the help,

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Old September 23, 2011, 12:11 PM   #15
Major Dave (retired)
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Has anybody tried .243

hand loaded with 90 grain FMJ?

Texas allows shooting Rio Grande turkeys with a rifle in the Fall, in certain listed counties.

I deer hunt in one of those counties once each fall, and bought some Sierra component bullets for the next trip. But, I haven't yet made up a load.

So I should load them down to min velocity, huh. Then I can aim to the center of the body without much damage?

FWIW, the starting loads shown in Lyman 49th Ed. is 2,900+ fps, MV. Not exactly a slow load. Can't go slower (less powder) w/o possible danger.
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Old September 23, 2011, 12:16 PM   #16
graysmoke
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I know a southern hillbilly who hunts turkey with only a .22 caliber rifle. And that fella can hit that turkey's head every time.

Awesome accuracy.
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Old October 1, 2011, 11:15 AM   #17
tahunua001
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I have never done much of an indepth comparison between 223 and 22-250 but I do know that if I were allowed to do so in my state, a 223 would be the top of my list. a 55gr soft point would be perfectly suited for turkey.
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Old October 1, 2011, 03:38 PM   #18
Daryl
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Quote:
FWIW, the starting loads shown in Lyman 49th Ed. is 2,900+ fps, MV. Not exactly a slow load. Can't go slower (less powder) w/o possible danger.
Go to the Hodgdon website, and try looking up a load using Trail Boss powder. It's a bulky pistol powder, mostly used for low velocity "game" loads by CAS shooters, but works well for very low velocity centerfire rifle cartridges sometimes.

I remember seeing some load data there for 100 grain .243 bullets pushed to some 1200-1800 fps, or thereabouts.

Should be just the ticket for shooting turkeys with a .243.

Edited to add: I just checked the sight, and the data shows loads for Trail Boss with velocities from 1045 fps to 1603 fps. Would think this data should work great for a turkey load in a .243.

Daryl

Last edited by Daryl; October 1, 2011 at 03:44 PM.
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Old October 1, 2011, 05:27 PM   #19
Colorado Redneck
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OP--Another choice for turkey out of 22-250

Barnes Banded Solid Bullets 22 Caliber (224 Diameter) 45 Grain Spitzer Boat Tail Box of 50

These would make a clean hole clear thru. If you hit the bird in the vitals, I expect it would barely damage the meat. So can you use this in PA?

I have a buddy that has hunted turkey and claims the idea of hitting a turkey at any range past 75 yards or so in the neck is a bit of a reach. He said his dad and brothers have shot them right through the breast with minimal damage with solid or fmj. bullets. Said it knocks the daylights out of the birds.
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Old October 1, 2011, 05:36 PM   #20
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I use a 357 magnum lever action shooting solid bullets.

of course the 357 magnum lever action in my answer to most things under 100-150 LBS.
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Old October 1, 2011, 07:08 PM   #21
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If the bullet hits the breast, there will be some meat loss regardless. I've seen several turkeys shot with a 30/06 using hunting SP bullets. Best shot was broadside aiming to hit above the thigh and behind the breast or the neck if you were good enough.
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Old October 8, 2011, 09:01 AM   #22
hardworker
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Honestly, if I thought I was gonna be shooting turkeys with a rifle, I'd use a 22 or 22 mag. Maybe a 22 hornet and aim for the head. Unless you plan on making 200+ yard shots, I'd use the bullet that has the least chance of ruining the meat. Turkeys aren't hard to kill if you hit them in the right spot.
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Old October 8, 2011, 02:52 PM   #23
Major Dave (retired)
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Thanks, Daryl

for the Trail Boss powder info.

That must be some kind of fluffy powder for only 15.3 grains to completely fill a .243 case!

I never heard of it, before. Next thing is can I find it at the local Gander Mountain? If not, I have to drive about 100 miles to the nearest Cabela's and Bass Pro stores.
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Old October 9, 2011, 09:23 AM   #24
Daryl
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Major Dave,

You're welcome.

You should be able to find it at Gander. I can find it here in our tiny little gun shop with it's limited supply of loading components, so I'd imagine Gander would have it.

If they don't have it for some reason, see if they can get it added to their next order for you. It's a fairly popular powder among the CAS crowd, so shouldn't be hard to find.

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Old October 11, 2011, 03:26 PM   #25
Major Dave (retired)
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Daryl

I found it in a tiny little gun shop here! What a pleasant surprise.

That is some fluffy stuff. So fluffy that a "one pound" container holds only 9 ounces! The granules are shaped like a donut.

Looking forward to working up an accurate load.

Thanks, again, Daryl.
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