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Recommended Choke & Shot for Turkey

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  • Recommended Choke & Shot for Turkey

    I will be using my 12 ga Remington 870 express for turkey season this spring. What do you guys recommend for choke and shot? Weight? Steel or lead?

  • #2
    You don't need anything special for a choke, modified is more than adequate, full if you want a little more reach.

    Any shot size 6-8 LEAD will kill turkeys just as dead just as quick as whatever super duper turkey smasher load is on the market while being a whole lot easier on your wallet and shoulder.
    Last edited by Red Angus; 01-20-2020, 10:10 PM.

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    • #3
      3 inch nitro turkey #6 Shot 12 gauge through undertaker extra full extended choke . Took several ny birds with that combo

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      • #4
        I shoot a Rem 870 Express w/ aftermarket "X-tra FULL" and Win 2.75" ammo. 1 1/8 ounce of #8's at 1250fps. I've taken quite a few birds with it.
        See your other threads in "Bird Hunting" section.

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        • #5
          Turkeys don't wear Kevlar... you really don't need any special choke or magic load to succeed. Just don't shoot at their breast for a kill shot because they have too much meat and too tough a bone structure to get shot to their vitals with that approach. Their feathers are also real tough so getting any shot through to vital organs is tough.

          The best approach is therefore to aim for their head. Since that is small and fairly easy to penetrate (like a quail of that size), you need to use small shot with a dense pattern at the range you intend to shoot. I use #6 lead shot with a full choke but wouldn't hesitate to use a modified choke if that is what I had. The important part of turnkey hunting is to get within range and don't depend on your choke to shoot a turkey that is out of range.

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          • #6
            Thanks a bunch for the quick responses, guys. I have several after market chokes that I have used for other scenarios so my plan is to go to the range and try them all out with the current #6 & #8 steel shot that I currently have. You guys saved me some time and money for sure!

            Check out this choke package that I found on the Remington website
            today. I am thinking about buying this.

            https://www.remington.com/shop/Rem%E...r-Lead/p/19149

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Big5ully9 View Post
              Thanks a bunch for the quick responses, guys. I have several after market chokes that I have used for other scenarios so my plan is to go to the range and try them all out with the current #6 & #8 steel shot that I currently have. You guys saved me some time and money for sure!

              Check out this choke package that I found on the Remington website
              today. I am thinking about buying this.

              https://www.remington.com/shop/Rem%E...r-Lead/p/19149
              If you prefer non-toxic (steel) shot, that's fine.
              Just be aware that turkeys don't require non-toxic, you can buy regular lead shot ... and would probably be better off. I don't think the off #8's in non-toxic.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post

                If you prefer non-toxic (steel) shot, that's fine.
                Just be aware that turkeys don't require non-toxic, you can buy regular lead shot ... and would probably be better off. I don't think the off #8's in non-toxic.
                The TSS loads that a couple of manufactures have now is non toxic and comes in #9's and #10's. It is supposed to be good but I am not going to pay almost $40 for 5 shells. They say the TSS 9's and 10,s carried up farther than #4's or #5's.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sarge01 View Post

                  The TSS loads that a couple of manufactures have now is non toxic and comes in #9's and #10's. It is supposed to be good but I am not going to pay almost $40 for 5 shells. They say the TSS 9's and 10,s carried up farther than #4's or #5's.
                  sarge01, late 60's, early 70's, I used to absolutely slaughter ducks with Rem Hi-Brass #9's. That was before the lead ban.
                  I was outshooting guys shooting Rem "Nitro-Mag" #4's.
                  I told them to try the 9's, but they just kept grumbling and shooting #4's.

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                  • #10
                    I have added ( well they are on order) a set of hi-vis sights for on y 870. They go right on over the rib. One of my friends has them and they are great. They set pretty low on the rib rather than stick up high like some I have seen. My eyes with my trifocals aren't what they used to be to see that little bead on the front of the rib.

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                    • #11
                      Right now sarge01, I'm able to see the rib, bead and target without glasses.
                      I can tell it won't be long before specs will be necessary.
                      Seventy years of good vision. Guess it was bound to happen.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                        Right now sarge01, I'm able to see the rib, bead and target without glasses.
                        I can tell it won't be long before specs will be necessary.
                        Seventy years of good vision. Guess it was bound to happen.
                        I have been in trifocals for 33 years. I had perfect eyesight till I was 40 and then it went down hill fast.

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                        • #13
                          If one has the ability to change choke tubes.
                          Use it.

                          When I started turkey hunting I had a fixed choke (Full). And to fill the huge pattern I went with #5 instead of #4 shot. IMHO that was a 35 yard rig. And yeah, I let a monster tom walk because he was past that.

                          I moved to a Remchoke gun later and tested a variety of chokes and shells.
                          Some of them $$$.
                          Ended up w a Remington Super Full tube and WW HV#4 in 3".
                          Farthest tom has been 42 yards. No pellets in the meat either.
                          Shot one at just under 30. Crushed his skull. Carried him out and my pants soaked...............never knew a turkey held that much blood LOL

                          Superfull was a little better than Extra full in testing.

                          Have gone to Magnum Blend heavy shot and think pattern is good enough to reach 50 easily.

                          Note: My choke tube bbl was machined well, so with bead sights it lines up. When you go to a tighter choke you might end up with patterns off a bit. Why some folks go with an optic, to adjust for it.

                          #6 lead shot?

                          No friggin way.

                          Coworker was of the "more shot is better" and was running heavy loads of #6 in a 3.5".
                          So they were moving slow (compared to others). He cold cocked a couple of birds that got up and ran away. Back then American Rifleman did an article about how speed kills (1999/2000)
                          You want pellet energy. So lesser charges of shot move faster...........and with chokes tubes offering tighter patterns, you don't need a lot of shot.

                          So................zippy #4's for the win.

                          Some folks like the smaller shot on public land, so when people blast each other there's a better chance of survival. Assuming lead shot of course.

                          Steel? No freakin' way.
                          Lead or heavier than lead.


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                          • #14
                            What is "in range" ?
                            Shot losses energy fast.

                            I let proly a 27# tom walk, due to knowing my choke/ammo limit had me at a hard 35 yards.
                            And he was past that.

                            Still haunts me. Biggest one I've ever seen.

                            So I made the switch to tighter pattern and bigger shot, that moves faster.
                            Farthest has been 42 yards and it folded the 24# tom. Did not tear him up either.
                            Read: worked fine but was NOT overkill.

                            Maybe #6s work great under 30 yards. Good if they do. Doesn't mean #4's are gonna suck at that distance.

                            And the 4's will work better farther out

                            As for cost, yup............the Magnum Blend crap I got is about $7 a shell (last I purchased anyway). 3 hr drive one way, hotel..............ticks............it's a tough hunt we do (why we do it).
                            5 guys, 5 yrs, 2 birds killed. Ammo cost doesn't mean diddly.

                            Haven't gone last couple of yrs due to torn foot tendon, but think this yr I will
                            Bet your arse a 45 yard tom shows up and I'll crush him.

                            Aint playing around.

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                            • #15
                              Had a bird hunting buddy, quail/pheasant and waterfowl.........tell me 7.5's were all that were needed for rabbit.

                              Then he went rabbit hunting with me.
                              He switched to #6.

                              I don't think my critters were harder to kill, just different terrain/shots. Whatever it was, he really did shake his head and say "damn, they are tougher to kill over here".

                              Too funny.

                              BTW, no promo load junk either. Winchester Expert field loads, when they used to be a premium shell (low brass, but heavy charge of hard lead, good wad and hull).

                              I still look for old boxes of Expert at gunshows, think the new ones suck.
                              7.5's I buy, but for private land dove. Got them on sale when new, around '90.........think $7 a box. What I paid at last gunshow find too (about 2 yrs ago).
                              Last edited by CD2; 01-24-2020, 01:24 PM.

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