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What is the best shot size for turkeys? Is a 3" or 31/2" inch shell needed or will a 23/4" inch shell work?

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  • What is the best shot size for turkeys? Is a 3" or 31/2" inch shell needed or will a 23/4" inch shell work?

    What is the best shot size for turkeys? Is a 3" or 31/2" inch shell needed or will a 23/4" inch shell work?

  • #2
    The 2~3/4"#4/or/#4x6 Shot Has Dispatch Turkeys for 60+/ Yr,In 12Ga,16Ga,20Ga with a Full Choke, If your Shotgun has a 3"or 3~1/2" Chamber, I would use a Light #4/Shot load and a Full choke, No reason to get beat-up by recoil. Perfect your Calling to bring then in!

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    • #3
      If your gun will shoot 3 or 3 1/2 loads, you can try them but 2 3/4 game loads work fine too. Personally, I'm not sure the extra power and shot in a 3 1/2 shells is worth the recoil and the hit to your wallet. I shoot 3 inch #4 shot but a lot of people shoot 5's and 6's. Whatever you try, pattern it a the range. That's important. You may find some loads don't shoot well in your gun. The key to turkey hunting isn't being able to take 50 yard shots...I don't shoot more than 30 yards, ever. It's too easy to cripple a bird beyond that. It's about good calling and good shooting not a shotgun that shoots cannon sized loads.

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      • #4
        I used 3 inch #6 shot, copper plated buffered magnums. it was 1 and 1 1/4 ounce of shot. very loud and very hard kicking. killed the bird though! to sum it up, you dont need a magnum load. a friend of mine killed a jake with #7 1/2 shot out of his 12 gauge, and last year I shot a jake with 2 3/4 inch #6, and these were just plain old bird shot, nothing special.

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        • #5
          2 3/4" shells will work. allegnmtn hit it on the head, pattern what ever load you decide on before hand, and you will be fine

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          • #6
            Personally? The 3" and 3 1/2" ammo is way over rated.
            I shoot 2 3/4" Winchester, hi-brass or hi-velocity #7 1/2 shot for turkey. I've never lost a shotgunned bird nor had to shoot one twice. One round does the trick.
            In my opinion, those "magnum" rounds make people take unnecessary chances. I've taken several birds with #4 shot imbedded in them.
            Get a bird within 35 yards, shoot a tight choke, aim for that spot on the neck where the feathers stop with a dense pattern. Just one pellet in the spine and the bird is yours.

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            • #7
              Check out Phill's premier "Gunfight Friday" two weeks ago in the Gun Nuts blog. Both turkey guns showcased were 20 gauge.

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              • #8
                If you have the time and a little bit of money, the best thing to do is try a variety of rounds at the range to see which one will pattern the best out of your gun. Different guns and chokes will all handle loads differently to a certain degree. Though I myself use 3 ½’s, you probably want to avoid using that stuff unless your gun won’t take any other loads well. You will get some more effective range out of it, but you pay a steep price in money and pain for it. Personally I would start out 3 in. No 6. It’s a good medium between the light stuff and the cannons. No. 5 shot is also potent turkey medicine. I’ve never been a huge fan of No. 4 shot. The bigger pellets may give you more penetration, but with turkeys penetration is not as critical as getting a good pattern. Put a couple of pellets in the bird’s spine and trust me, he’s not going anywhere. 2 ¾ will do the job just fine within 35 yards, as will 20 gauge for that matter. But if you have the 12, you might as well get that little extra bit, unless of course it’s too much recoil. The last thing you want is to become recoil shy from a Turkey gun. At the end of the day, the most important factor is whatever you feel comfortable with. Comfort means confidence, and that’s 90% of the game. One more thing, be sure to check your local laws on allowable shot sizes. I see many here recommending No. 7, which is nice load, but unfortunately illegal in some areas.

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                • #9
                  I use the 2 3/4" Remington Duplex 4's and 6's and they work fine for me.

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                  • #10
                    Recoil ism't a problem it has much more to do with the fact that my gun is chambered for 23/4" shells not 3" or 31/2"

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                    • #11
                      I was just wondering because I knew there was a big hype about 31/2" and 10 gauge for turkey so I just wanted to make sure I could take one down with what I had.

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                      • #12
                        @Knife Freak, you should NOT have a Problem with you shotgun with MOD or Full Choke just patten some loads at 40Yd on 24"x36" Paper,with a 12" circle in the center and a Shoot & See Turkey Head target, then count all the shot in the Kill Zone.

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                        • #13
                          There is absolutely (in my book anyway!) NO reason to shoot a 10 gauge unless you're just a pain freak!

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                          • #14
                            Not taking thing one away from our colleagues here, but why don't you ask your shotgun? We can tell you what we prefer or suggest, but until you pattern different shot sizes and try different shell sizes you won't know for certain. Try shot sizes 4,5, and 6 in whatever different shell lengths your gun accepts at ranges out to 40 or maybe 45 yards and see what patterns the best. Picking shotgun ammo for you would be like picking a lady for you, chancy at best.

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                            • #15
                              I'm sure that 2.75" would work just fine, but if your gun will shoot a 3" try that! I personally don't wanna shoot a 3.5" because of the cost. I would suggest though that you take your gun out, shoot a turkey target at 40 yards with different shells, and count the pellets in the kill zone (different targets each time) and use the shell with the best pattern. Good luck!

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