View Full Version : Which barrel for Turkey

April 19, 2012, 09:22 AM
I recently got the Mossberg 535 combo with the 24 inch Turkey barrel and a 28 inch "waterfowl" barrel. Comes with a few different chokes.

I am shooting 3 instead of 3 1/2 magnums through the 24 with the xx turkey choke and it patterns pretty good at 30 yards. My understanding of the shorter barrel on turkey guns is that they are easier to maneuver under cover. My buddy asked me why I didn't use the longer barrel and that I could get better range and velocity especially with 3 inch shot.

I kinda like the 24 barrel in the woods. I get his point, but would like to stay with it if appropriate. I guess I could move up to 3 1/2 magnum to get increase ballistic out of the shorter barrel.

What do you guys think? Thanks.

April 19, 2012, 10:16 AM
You won't get significantly more velocity as the shotgun powders are fast burning. Greater range ? use larger shot .I don't think 3 1/2" will be needed for turkey .
In any case you must pattern the loads you want to use , that's the important thing.

Old Grump
April 19, 2012, 10:28 AM
I shoot 2 3/4" shells from a 20 gauge and they die quite nicely. The extra inches of barrel is fine for knocking down 45 yard water fowl. A big old bird on the ground at 25-35 yards only needs a couple of pellets in the head and neck so my vote is shorter and maneuverable is quicker and more likely to get a good shot off. You are good to go with what you have.

April 19, 2012, 04:27 PM
Thanks guys. That is what I was thinking.

April 19, 2012, 06:01 PM
With today's modern powders, one piece wads and chokes, barrel length is pretty insignificant when it comes to shotshell performance. Long waterfowl barrels work well for swinging past and leading birds passing at a good clip, but you don't need that for turkey.

April 20, 2012, 01:17 AM
My old Wingmaster has shrunk from its factory 30' full vent rib, to a 26" same, to a 20" deer barrel w/ rifle sights (and turkey choke) in the course of the 27 years I've had it.

Shorter is better for turkeys I do believe. Easy through the woods. Easy inside a blind (and out the window). And, now that I'm firmly over 50 they're lighter too!

April 20, 2012, 06:53 AM
pattern,pattern and pattern some more. i have three turkey shotguns,one is short barreled and two are long barreled,it took many trips to the range and alot of different turkey shells to get the patterens i wanted. i settled on the federal 3" buffeted two oz 6,s with flite controll wads, they are less than 20.00 for ten rounds(i bought them as low as 15.00 a box). i have tried just about all brands and the federal,s pattern well for me. but your shotgun may like other brands. eastbank.