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Old March 17, 2019, 08:31 AM   #1
tpcollins
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How much drop for 20ga turkey loads?

I just ordered the Mossberg SA-20 semi-auto for turkey hunting plus I ordered another 20 shells of the Hevi-Shot Triple Beard 5-6-7 shot.

I’m not aware of a ballistics program for shotguns but I was wondering what yardage would be best to zero the red dot scope at, and what the drop and rise would be at different yardages?

Should I try to zero it at 30 yards and see the differences at 20 and 40, or should I zero at 40 yards and find out the rise is for 20 and 30?

Or is the differences at these yardages insignificant for 1300 fps shot? Thanks.
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Old March 17, 2019, 08:49 AM   #2
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If you are using a normal off the rack turkey choke I doubt if you will get a tight enough pattern past 30 yd to do any good. I would concentrate on 30 yd & under for the best kill shot.
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Old March 17, 2019, 09:21 AM   #3
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There’s a reason it’s hard to find ballistic programs for shotguns. The variables are too great and rounds are far from precision manufactured like a match round.
7.62 is right, focus on shorter range.
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Old March 17, 2019, 09:24 AM   #4
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Zero it for 20 or 30 yards and test it out to as far as you intend to shoot. Shotguns are more about spread than drop.
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Old March 17, 2019, 09:29 AM   #5
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Don't read drop into the equation for shotgun hunting. If you have a red dot on the gun, sight the center of the pattern in at thirty yards and leave it. Shot drops off so fast past that, that it's really of no consequence. Shot pattern density is far more important. Find a load with the densest pattern you can get with the tightest choke you have. I've shot quite a few turkeys with a 20 gauge, and a lot more of them with a 12 gauge. Putting pellets in the head and neck are what you should be trying to do. Since a 20 gauge simply has less pellets, you need to shoot at a range that will put enough on target to kill a turkey. It's not going to be at 40 yards or further other than just dumb luck. A 12 gauge sometimes fails at that distance even after spending a lot of time at the patterning board and choosing the best load possible. There's going to be holes in your pattern big enough to miss a turkey's head, and the holes only get bigger the further away the target is. That's just simple physics. Work on getting concealed and calling the bird in as close as possible. Get them in close enough and a .410 gauge will kill them. Good luck.
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Old March 17, 2019, 09:30 AM   #6
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Zero it for 20 or 30 yards and test it out to as far as you intend to shoot. Shotguns are more about spread than drop.
+1

You will run out of pattern density and/or pellet energy before drop becomes an issue.
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Old March 17, 2019, 12:05 PM   #7
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what the drop and rise would be at different yardages?

Really? The pattern spread will account for whatever "drop or rise" there might be within the effective range.
Now, if you try to "zero" the dot on the pattern center @ 20 yards or so, you will find the center of the pattern is above the POA @ 35-40 yards. Most likely this variance won't place POI outside the core of the pattern.
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Old March 17, 2019, 02:13 PM   #8
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The variables are too great for any ballistics program to be reliably accurate.
"...Should I try to zero it at 30 yards..." Like NoSecondBest says, shotguns are patterned with whatever ammo and choke(extra full/turkey choke) you're using. Then you can sight the dot in based on the centre of the pattern.
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Old March 17, 2019, 03:38 PM   #9
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with the new TSS shot shells coming on line its a whole new ball game. google it up.
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Old March 17, 2019, 04:26 PM   #10
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Just so you know: shotgun manufacturers generally manufacture their barrels so that the center of the pattern is six inches high at 30 yards. If you put a straight edge on top of a shotgun barrel that doesn't have a rib on it, you'll see that the barrel isn't straight. That's to bring the center up as I described.
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Old March 18, 2019, 09:07 AM   #11
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with the new TSS shot shells coming on line its a whole new ball game. google it up.
Perhaps, but since the OP specifically stated he's using something else, it seems like a moot point.
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Old March 18, 2019, 10:48 AM   #12
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I just received an order of two 5 round boxes of 12 gauge 3" magnum, tungsten #8 shot TSS APEX Fiocchi = $10 a round --- As for what I heard...it should be worth it.

I would sight-in first at 10 yards...so as to make sure you're sighted-in for a head shot at that distance --- Then go on out to 40 yards.
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Old March 18, 2019, 12:10 PM   #13
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Rodgers has federal tss 12 ga 3" mag with 1-3/4 oz #7-#9 five round boxes at 33-34 dollars with free shipping over 100.00 .
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Old March 25, 2019, 07:23 AM   #14
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Shotgun barrels are thicker at the breech because of higher pressures at the breech. Also the chamber is at the breech, which is larger than the bore, so everything considered, the breech will naturally have a larger outside diameter than the muzzle. Then manufactures tapper the barrel thickness to the muzzle to save weight. All a straight edge on the top of the barrel is going to show is how much the barrel tappers, nothing else. Trap guns are usually made to shoot 70/30, 80/20, or 100% high. How ? The vent rib is higher at the breech end and closer to the bore at the muzzle. This is the same as raising the rear sight. This means your eye has to be higher, so a stock with higher dimensions is used. Trap guns are sometimes made with adjustable ribs and/or combs. Skeet, SCs, and field guns are made to shoot 50/50, or flat. Out at 40yds the pattern is more of a problem than drop. Even if there was 6, 8, or 10" of drop [ which there isn't ] with a 30" pattern the head of a turkey would still be in the pattern. Worry about the pattern first. You're shooting a shotgun, not a rifle. I'd throw the RD away. Good luck - Paul

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Old March 25, 2019, 07:53 AM   #15
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^^^ +1
trying to apply rifle concerns to shotguns is wasting your time.
Go pattern your gun at whatever distance you envision using the gun. A 20 will do as well as a 12, albeit with just a little less shot.
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Old March 25, 2019, 08:20 AM   #16
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the 20 ga realy shines with 1-1/2 oz tss #7or# 9.
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Old March 26, 2019, 08:04 PM   #17
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I shot my 1st turkey with a Savage 24 OU 20g-3"/22. 3" #5s at about 30yds. Rolled it and
knocked feathers out. Bird ran down over the hill and another Hunter shot it. Public area in
WVA eastern mountains. Never used 20g again. If you do keep it under 30yds. Shot many with 2 3/4" 12mag loads of #5s with no problem but still short of 40yds.
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Old March 27, 2019, 10:27 AM   #18
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i hunted turkeys for well over 50 years. Quit hunting turkeys because we no longer eat them and no one wants an undressed turkey.

Most of my turkey hunting was with a 12 gauge using 2 3/4" and 3" magnum loads of number 6 shot. Routinely killed turkeys at 40 yards. In latter years i sometimes used 3" 20 gauge #7 1/2 loads on turkeys.

The best turkey hunter i ever knew used #7 chilled shot because: "One shot in a turkeys head beats five in the body."
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Old March 31, 2019, 05:47 AM   #19
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I was able to find a shotgun drop simulator so now I’ll have an idea on what to expect and hopefully be able verify at 20, 30, and 40 yards. I’m good.
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Old June 30, 2019, 12:46 AM   #20
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Shotgun Ballistic Calculator

Lead, Steel, Hevi-Shot and more:

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_...otgunning.html
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Old June 30, 2019, 03:51 AM   #21
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my 12 ga turkey shotgun puts 120+ # 9 tss ( 1-3/4 oz # 9,s) in a five inch center circle on a 8.5x11" turkey target with 28 in the neck-head at a honest 40 yards. tc encore turkey barrel with a .640 choke and 2.5x leupold scope.

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Old June 30, 2019, 08:44 PM   #22
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Sounds like a nice lil set up Eastbank.
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Old June 30, 2019, 09:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
I shot my 1st turkey with a Savage 24 OU 20g-3"/22. 3" #5s at about 30yds. Rolled it and
knocked feathers out. Bird ran down over the hill and another Hunter shot it. Public area in
WVA eastern mountains. Never used 20g again. If you do keep it under 30yds. Shot many with 2 3/4" 12mag loads of #5s with no problem but still short of 40yds.
I had the same gun and it comes with a Cylinder bore - good to 20 yards
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Old July 2, 2019, 12:35 AM   #24
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turkey zero

A shotgun pattern is such a fickle thing that worrying about "drop" is pointless.
Your working with a cloud of shot varying in size (expanding) depending on distance from target to muzzle. Drop at small pellet range for gobblers is nothing to worry about.

My drill for zeroing a gobbler gun is to shoot at 20 yds from a solid bench, much as one would zero a rifle. Use standard field or game loads and shoot at a high visiblity aiming point (2"?) on a 24" or so clean backer. At that distance, the shot cloud will yield a pattern maybe volleyball size, 9-12". Adjust sights/sight system to land this small pattern as best centered as possible around the aiming point. A good combo may well obliterate the center.

I then back off to 30yds, and shoot a benched turkey load to see if all is well, and adjust as necessary, but often is not. At 30 yds my guns and loads will shoot basketball sized patterns. I will occassionally shoot to 40 yds, but by then beach ball sized patterns make interpretation a bit of guess work.
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Old July 2, 2019, 09:57 AM   #25
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I had the same gun and it comes with a Cylinder bore - good to 20 yards
Maybe. The Savage 24 Camper came with a 20" cylinder barrel. Most other models were choked.
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