View Full Version : Turkey Gun as HD Gun ? As Deer Gun?

January 9, 2001, 08:55 PM
I've been thinking about getting a shorter barrel and a Choate Mag Extension for my plain Jane 870 Express so that I'll have a good home defense gun.

However, by the time I sink another $150 bucks into this stuff, I've spent about half of what the Remington Express Turkey gun would cost me. Check it out: http://www.REmington.com/firearms/shotguns/870extrky.htm Seems to me this gun would double nicely as a home defense weapon. 21 inch barrel and a tight choke would make for a maneuverable hard hitting HD weapon.

I'd thought about getting the 20 inch IC barrel from Cabela's, but I notice on the Remington site that this barrel is described as a "fixed-choke" barrel. So, without the interchangeable choke tube, this gun wouldn't work so well as a turkey gun. However, when you go the other way around, the turkey barrel does have choke tubes, and you could put in an IC choke for deer hunting. Right???

I do plan to turkey hunt with a shotgun, and seems to me that the turkey gun offers it all. A good turkey hunting weapon, a good HD weapon, and with the right choke, a good deer shotgun. What do you all think?

January 9, 2001, 11:09 PM
Nothing wrong with the Turkey gun although I would use an IC choke for HD. For deer I might add those rifle sights that attach to a shotgun rib for better aiming of slugs or go with a saddle mount and scope.

January 9, 2001, 11:17 PM
Thanks PJR. I didn't know they made sights that attach to the vent ribs.

To be honest though, I doubt that the shotgun sees much time as a deer gun. It may be that I relegate it solely to turkey hunting and HD use. Where I live, rifles are okay for deer hunting, and that's what I've always used.

I'm going to look around at some various versions of the 870. I really think that a second gun is better than switching barrels on a single gun.

Do people have preferences as to wood vs. camo in a turkey gun? What about 3" vs. 3 1/2" ? The cheapest (and likely the version I'd go with since I'm on a budget) turkey gun is the wood stocks and 3" chamber. Is that sufficient with the right load? Or are the extras really worth the money?

Dave McC
January 10, 2001, 08:33 AM
Guyon, my anything flying 870 has a 21" tubed bbl that I originally set up as a turkey gun. But, Frankenstein sat up on the operating table, so to speak, when I realized I had one great GP shotgun with the same sight radius as a 28" bbled double, with a 7 1/4 lb weight and great handling characteristics. There's an old thread here about a "Kitchen Table 870" you may find helpful.I'll bring it up if I can...

And while my HD 870 has the mag extension, GR sights, and so on, if all I had was the GP 870, I'd still be quite well armed.Let's face it, if one needs to expend more than 3 or 4 shotgun rounds to resolve an AS scenario, he needs backup more than mag capacity.

3 1/2" shell capacity is a great thing, for shotgun makers. It enables them to sell new shotguns to folks with closets and racks full of perfctly good shotguns.As for actual use in the field,I probably took my first 40 geese with dinky little 2 3/4 loads, a few truck loads of upland game, and more than 20 deer. Right now, 3" loads here are limited to steel and turkey, and the best 3" turkey load I've patterned only beats out the best 2 3/4" load by 2-3 pellets in the head.

That Turkey Express in a 3" chamber should enable you to feed and protect you and yours for several generations. The short list of mods and addons would include...

A decent trigger, clean and no more than 4 lbs. A few 870s still come from the factory like that.

Sling swivels.

Possibly a better pad. This depends on your personal recoil tolerance and how many heavy loads you shoot, and under what circumstances. I've never felt the kick when shooting at game.

Optional, a lengthened forcing cone. This improves patterns and cuts the kick a trifle.

That's it.....


January 10, 2001, 11:20 AM
Why not?

January 12, 2001, 11:25 AM
To add, I've always thought 3" #4 turkey loads would be excellent HD rounds. A full power load with not as much worry of going through walls like 00 or 000.

Dave McC
January 12, 2001, 02:51 PM
TC, I'm sure they would,and a 2 3/4" version would be even better, faster recovery,etc.

HD ammo is used at near contact distances, with many shots hitting still in the cup. This turns your pattern into a semi solid hunka lead, about 3/4" in diameter, like a giant Glaser Safety Slug. Forensic pathologists call these wounds, "Bloody Ratholes".

Ron L
January 13, 2001, 04:57 PM
Williams Gunsights sells the sights that attach to the vent rib. Here's a link to the page: