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Old October 5, 2002, 02:46 AM   #1
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Join Date: September 4, 2002
Location: Northern Virginia
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Ok, I want a shotgun for potentially two purposes. 1. Home defense and 2. Shooting turkeys.

I recently saw an 870 (surprise!) with synthetic pistol grip and an 18" barrel. I was told it had no choke. So, there's the first question: what's a choke do and what do I want?

Figuring the 18" barrel would be good for home defense, I figure its probably not ideal for turkeys. Could I get a different barrel, and potentially a choke, or would I be better off in that situation with two different shotguns?

Would pistol grip be good for hunting, or would standard stock be more suited to the task?

Basically, what I'm thinking is that any turkey gun will do just fine at home but not every home gun will do well against those vicious turkeys. Is this correct?
Whar's me Ruger?
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Old October 5, 2002, 05:38 AM   #2
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Join Date: March 26, 2001
Posts: 819
The gun is the right size for both tasks----the problem is the choke.

You'll need an open CYL choke for HD purposes and a tight extra FULL choke for turkeys------this can be solved by buying a gun where the barrel will accept choke tubes.

IIRC---the Remington web site has a pretty good explanation of chokes and shotshells.

I have a full camo Benelli Nova with 24in barrel(yes-it has choke tubes) for turkeys---then added a camo magazine extention---which should work well for HD situations------the gun is slightly longer than most people would use---but will still work well for both purposes. The gun also has a 3 1/2 chamber---which makes it a powerfull---versitile weapon.
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Old October 5, 2002, 05:52 AM   #3
Al Thompson
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Join Date: May 2, 1999
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,611
The choke on a shotgun is the degree of restriction on the muzzle of the SG. Like a water hose, this is done to decrease the size of the shot pattern. The range is from cylinder (no constriction), improved cylinder, modified and full (maximum constriction). There are various variations on these increments, extra full is a fairly common one (very tight) and skeet (falls between Imp cyl and modified IIRC). The search function in the upper right hnd corner of your screen can provide hours of reading pleasure.

For home defense, unless you have a really huge house, any choke will do. Most of us use shotguns with short barrels for the handling. Choke is pretty much a non-issue with the exception that a full or tighter choke decreases the range with buckshot larger than #1 as the tight choke over compresses the pellets and deforms them. This causes flyers much past ten yards with the distorted pellet(s).

IMHO, for your purposes, get a turkey gun (usually a 22 or 24 inch barrel with full or tighter choke) and a spare choke tube in modified or improved cylinder. When patterning or hunting with your turkey gun, use the full or extra full, when you get home, switch the chokes.

There is a plethora of information on various shot sizes for home defense in the archives. Once again, a bit of time using the search function will reveal that we have kicked that topic around more than once or two thousand times...

True pistol grips are one of those things that most of us have tried once or twice and found that the concept looks good, works poorly. A full stock with a pistol grip is a matter of taste - some like them. some don't. Pistol grip only is a solution in search of a question.

IMHO, a turkey gun is 95% of a very effective home defense shotgun. The only thing you need is a less restrictive choke tube and a couple of cases of ammo. Ala Dave McC, use up the ammo, repeat.
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