View Full Version : barrel & choke for first turkey hunt

April 12, 2009, 03:39 PM
Hey yall i am planning on going out this season for turkey for the first time. Iv never gone before cuz im not a big fan of turkey meat, but my buddies have talked me into it, so......

I am going to be using a Remington express Magnum, and need advice on a good barrel and choke to put on it. Also shell advice, mainly what size shot and leangth of shell.

Advice Please!!!!!!!!! I need to make up my mind before season begins so i can get it all in time.

April 12, 2009, 05:24 PM
1. Use the shortest barrel you can get that still has choke tubes.
2. Choke needs to throw a very nice tight pattern at about 40 yards. Super full, turkey full, extra full - each different manufacturer has their own name. Serious turkey hunters will go through several before they settle on one they like.
3. 3" shell at a minimum. If you use a 3" shell, go with #6 shot. If you have a super-magnum that shoots 3 1/2" shells, go with #5 shot.

April 12, 2009, 05:38 PM
Ok good info specially since this is all greek to me. Now why pick the shortest barrel? I thought everyone liked the long ones?

April 12, 2009, 05:48 PM
Shorter barrel is handier and is less sticking out there for the turkey to see if you have to shift slightly to get a bead on him.

For barrels look into the 20" rifle sighted remchoke barrel. It will come with Improved Cylinder and Rifled choke tubes as it's a deer barrel, but it makes a darn fine turkey barrel with the right choke.

I'm a fan of the HS Strut Undertaker chokes. They ain't as expensive as a lot of others but they just WORK.

They run about 20 bucks for the choke.

You'll drop about 180-200 for the barrel unless you find one used.


Then again, if this is your first time hunting and you don't know that you're gonna do this again, buy a 20.00 turkey choke and stick with your 28" barrel and have some fun.

April 12, 2009, 05:56 PM
Well im gonna have to get a new barrel anyhow cuz the one i got on my express is an 18" barrel im gonna wanna keep dedicated to HD,
Ill need one threaded for a choke

April 12, 2009, 06:05 PM
I really believe that most people think turkeys are tougher than they are.

I like a full choke, no doubt. Shotguns kill by multiple hits, and one or two pieces of shot don't usually do too well.

But, when it comes to ammo, I've killed every wild turkey I've ever shot with the same single shot 20 gauge, using the same box of 2 3/4" #4 Federal classic magnum loads that I bought back in the early 1990's.

I still have over half a box of it, have killed several turkeys (and jackrabbits), and only one took more than one shot. I shot that one at about 70 yards, and while it was down, it looked like it might or might not get up so I shot it again. It had a broken wing, a broken leg, and a head full of shot.

Use what works, but don't feel inadequate using 2 3/4" loads.


April 12, 2009, 06:15 PM
I handload all my turkey lurkey loads. Federal GM hulls with 1 3/8 oz. of copper plated Lawrence #5s at 1340 fps. Extra full setting on the Polychoke. If I needed a 3 inch gun after 35 years of using 2 3/4 inch loads, I think I'd still shoot the shorties. I can load them a helluva lot cheaper than the $43 for 10 shells that Dick's wants for Hevi Shot shells in 3.5" length.

April 12, 2009, 06:17 PM
Whats the deal with cylinder chokes ? Cabelas has an 18" barrel in cylider choke for $119.00

April 12, 2009, 06:26 PM
^ That's what you already have if I'm reading your earlier post right.

Cylinder = Cylinder bore = no choke at all.

Since all you have is the 18" cylinder bore I'd go with the rifle sight remchoke version I mentioned earlier. Good all purpose barrel for turkeys, deer, home defense, etc.

If cash is an issue you can recoup some cost by selling your 18" barrel as the 20" will do fine for defensive duty.

April 12, 2009, 06:31 PM
Cylinder = cylinder bore = no choke at all:o. Im catching on guys

April 14, 2009, 02:48 AM
express mag in 12 ga. with either the 21" or 28" barrel, remington brand ex. full turkey choke, federal premium w/flite control wad, 3" shell,1 3/4 oz of copper plated #5 shot, at 40 yards.

April 14, 2009, 03:27 PM
would probably buy a longer 26 or 28 inch barrel with screw in chokes and keep your short one for defense you then will have an all around shotgun barrel that could be used for alot of hunting applications.
generally a full choke or extra full choke is used, you can pattern the gun with different chokes but generally most are going to be deadly out to 40 yards with a modified or smaller choke with a 3 inch shell.
check your local game laws for shot size restrictions but 4-6 is commonly used.
a 2 3/4 inch shell can do the job but if your gun can handle larger shells its to your advantage to use them, but they do cost more would probably buy 3 or 3 1/2 inch shells if your shotgun is chambered for them.