View Full Version : Anybody hunt turkey or goose with a 20 ga.?

September 4, 2009, 12:33 AM
I have a Remington 870 Express Magnum and I love it. It is my go-to gun during small game/upland bird season. It gets more action than any other in my collection. I have a Mossberg 835 that I use from time to time and for larger game such as turkey, goose and ducks.

I want to try the 20 guage for trukey or goose but I can't find anything tighter than a full choke for it. Has anybody used a 20 ga for turkey or goose? If so, what choke did you use and what type of load?

I imagine a 3" high brass 4 shot shell should work, but is there any experience out there?


September 4, 2009, 03:19 AM
I gave up goose/duck hunting a long time ago but when I did I was using 3" Federal #1 steel shot, it worked but personally I was never happy with steel shot and still have a case of it left. I used a modified choke on that as well because of the steel shot and the larger shot, it gives a tighter pattern than full would.

For turkey if I am hunting in the fall I use 1 1/8oz #5 lead in a 2 3/4" in a full choke and don't have troubles out to about 40yds give or take 5yds. In the spring I use a modified choke and 1oz of #5 or #6 in a 2 3/4 as I can call them in close and usually shoot them at 25yds.

September 4, 2009, 09:12 AM

BTW, Federal has a special load for turkey in 20 gauge. I use a Franchi 48 with baby magnum loads, #6 shot. I might try the new Federal load as soon as I can find them. I like the propoganda they are spouting forth about them.

September 4, 2009, 09:20 AM
I would... I might even try some 3 inch shells. I love the 20 gauge as much as the 12.

September 4, 2009, 02:10 PM
Yes, you can do it -- there's a limited selection of 20-ga ammo available.

Since the mandated switch to non-toxics for migratory birds, most forks are looking for greater shell capacity for goose guns, not the smaller 20-ga. It's the non-toxics that have driven the market to larger capacity guns like the super-mag 12s and new 10-ga water fowlers.

Old Grump
September 4, 2009, 02:47 PM
Scoped Mossberg with 26" barrel, IM choke and #4 shot. I set my decoys at 20-25 yards and try not to shoot anything more than 35 yards away. No problems so far and easier on old shoulder than my 12 gauges.

Never hunted waterfowl so no idea what it takes to down a goose. I just know them my Uncle used to take a lot of them with both his single shot 20 and 12 gauges back in the 40's, 50's and up till he died in the late 60's with 2 3/4" shells. Might not be a good example, he probably could have taken them with a sling shot too.

September 4, 2009, 03:46 PM
I'm not a big Turkey hunter / but the couple of times I've gone it was a 12ga......in terms of waterfowl - I like a little heavier payload than is typically available in a 20ga.

I suppose the best answer is - it depends on the approximate kill range ...but I would still go with a 12ga vs the 20ga / especially with the limited range on steel anyway.

September 4, 2009, 03:46 PM
a year ago i shot to geese on the water at about 60 yards...long sshot...I used an remingotn 1100 20 gauge. I hit both geese but one died as soon as it was hit and the other started swiming away but he didnt get to far for what came next;). I used 2 3/4 inch loads and they were 4 s but i think i would have used a little bigger but they did do the job. And with a turkey as long as u take a good head shot with some high powered turkey loads the turkey wont be going far plus you are shooting an 870 so u will have a second shot which you should not need if u are take good range and vital shots.

September 4, 2009, 05:14 PM
I have been using a Remington 870 Wingmaster 20 guage for turkeys for the last 5 years. I use a Undertaker turkey choke when hunting. 3 Inch #6 loads, copper plated. I can tell you that it is a great gun to use. Very tight pattern out to 50 yards. Each gun is different. Test your before using it on turkeys....they are tough birds.

September 4, 2009, 09:59 PM
yes i goose hunt with an 870 20g with 3inch #2's and have killed a lot of geese with that gun..... taking it for goose in the morning as a materoffact.... it WILL work

September 4, 2009, 10:37 PM
My father has never owned a 12 ga. He has hunted for 40+ years with a western field(mossberg) 20 and a Kessler bolt action 20. He has killed more deer and turkey than anybody I know. We have made some updates to slug barrels and turkey barrels but still use a 20. It is all in the choke or slug. Use the right load, shot size, sabot and choke setup and there is not much you cant do with a twenty. Pattern practice is key. Good luck

September 6, 2009, 11:11 AM
I have been using my savage 24c, and have had great luck! Its full choked, and has worked just as well as my 870 12 ga. I never made a 2nd shot on a turkey before, so I figured I might as well get the 24c some use! I have also taken several grouse. No Geese but I've never put much effort into them.

September 6, 2009, 06:40 PM
I am intending to hunt ducks with my Benelli M2 20 gauge this year.