The Ultimate Guide to Turkey Hunting: Choosing the Best Shotgun for Your Needs

Dedicated turkey shotguns did not become popular until the early 2000s. At the time, turkey populations were booming—there were an estimated 7 million birds inhabiting the U. S. and Canada—which ushered in a new era of optics-ready, short-barreled shotguns that catered to turkey hunters.

Truthfully, any shotgun can kill a longbeard. Browning Auto-5s and Winchester Model 12s were used to punch plenty of turkey tags. But to take down a gobbler, you have to aim a shotgun, not pull the trigger like you would a flushing rooster or cupped mallard. Specialized turkey guns improve accuracy because they are designed to shoot more like rifles.

They frequently resemble rifles in that they have a short barrel and are either drilled and tapped or already have a Picatinny rail attached to the receiver. When paired with the proper shotshell, this extends a shotgun’s range and allows for the precise delivery of a payload through the mounting of scopes and reflex optics.

Turkey hunting is a thrilling and challenging pursuit that requires specialized equipment, including the right shotgun. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just starting out, selecting the best turkey gun can make all the difference in your success This comprehensive guide will delve into the world of turkey shotguns, analyzing the top contenders and providing insights to help you choose the perfect firearm for your individual needs

What Makes a Great Turkey Gun?

Before diving into specific models let’s first understand the key characteristics of a top-notch turkey gun:

Accuracy is crucial because hunting turkey frequently requires making accurate long-distance shots. Seek for shotguns with features such as optic mounting capability, adjustable sights, and rifled barrels.

Dependability: You need a shotgun that you can count on when you’re out in the field. Choose a reliable gun with a proven track record and minimal maintenance requirements.

Maneuverability: Turkey hunting often involves maneuvering through dense brush and tight spaces, Opt for a lightweight and compact shotgun that allows for quick and easy handling,

Pattern Performance: The ability to deliver a dense and consistent shot pattern is crucial for taking down turkeys. Look for shotguns with specialized turkey chokes and barrels designed for optimal pattern performance.

Comfort: You’ll be spending hours in the field, so choose a shotgun that feels comfortable to hold and shoot. Consider the ergonomics, weight distribution, and recoil management features.

Top Turkey Shotguns for Every Hunter:

Let’s now examine some of the top turkey shotguns available, arranged according to their special advantages and characteristics:

Best Pump-Action:

  • Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag Turkey, Optics Ready: This classic pump-action shotgun boasts a long history of reliability and affordability. It features a receiver cut for red dot sights and a proven track record of delivering consistent patterns.

Best Pistol Grip Pump:

  • Winchester SXP Long Beard: This affordable pump-action shotgun offers a pistol grip for enhanced control and maneuverability. It comes with adjustable stock options and is drilled and tapped for optics.

Best Classic Turkey Hunting Gun:

  • Ithaca Model 37 Turkey Slayer: This time-tested pump-action shotgun features a bottom eject design and a reliable action. Its raised rifle sights and synthetic finish make it ideal for traditional turkey hunting.

Best Semi-Auto:

  • Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 Turkey Performance Shop: This high-performance semi-automatic shotgun delivers exceptional accuracy and reliability. It comes with a Burris red-dot sight and a custom choke for superior pattern performance.

Best Affordable Semi-Auto:

  • Winchester SX4 NWTF Cantilever Turkey: This affordable semi-automatic shotgun offers excellent value for money. It features a cantilever scope mount and a proven track record of performance.

Best Sub-Gauges:

  • Best 20 Gauge: Benelli M2 Performance Shop
  • Best Value 20 Gauge: Rem Arms Fieldmaster
  • Best 28-Gauge Turkey Gun: Mossberg SA-28 Tactical Turkey
  • Best 3-inch 28 Gauge: Benelli SBE 3
  • Best .410 Turkey Gun: Mossberg 500 Turkey .410, Optics Ready
  • Best Value .410: Stevens 301 Turkey Obsession

Choosing the Right Turkey Gun for You:

With a plethora of options available, selecting the best turkey gun can be overwhelming. Consider these factors to make an informed decision:

Experience Level: Beginners might benefit from a more affordable and user-friendly option like the Winchester SXP Long Beard. Experienced hunters might prefer a high-performance gun like the Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 Turkey Performance Shop.

Hunting Style: If you’re a mobile hunter who covers a lot of ground, a lightweight and maneuverable shotgun like the Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag Turkey, Optics Ready might be ideal. For hunters who prefer to sit in blinds, a heavier and more accurate shotgun like the Benelli SBE 3 might be a better choice.

Budget: Turkey shotguns range in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. Determine your budget and choose a shotgun that offers the best value for your money.

Personal Preference: Ultimately, the best turkey gun is the one that feels comfortable and performs well for you. Visit a local gun shop and try out different models to find the perfect fit.

Choosing the right turkey gun is an essential step towards success in the field. By considering your individual needs and preferences, you can select a shotgun that will enhance your hunting experience and help you bring home those delicious birds. Remember, the best turkey gun is the one that puts you in the best position to make an ethical and successful shot. So, do your research, choose wisely, and get ready for an unforgettable turkey hunting adventure!

Remington 870 SPS Super Magnum Price: $630 “The 870 is one of those guns everyone tends to shoot well.”

The 870 is one of those guns everyone tends to shoot well. Its Express, Wingmaster, and Fieldmaster variants are some of the best-patterning pump shotguns of all-time. I think the SPS Super Magnum is marginally better than the Mossberg 500, another beautifully made turkey slayer, because it has a thumbhole stock. The thumbhole on the SPS gives you an extra level of comfort when compared to a straight or even pistol grip stock. A 20-inch barrel and 13½-inch length of pull make the gun more maneuverable.

Moreover, the extended choke tube for turkeys and predators that comes with it will shoot pellet dense patterns with loads of lead and tungsten super shot (TSS) out to 40 yards. You can also add an optic to the top rail for improved accuracy. Two action bars that are nearly hard to bend or break run the bolt as you slide the fore-end back and forth. I have put my 870s through a lot of torture over the years, even throwing a fresh Fieldmaster into our family fishing pond after tossing a dirt clod into it to see if it would fire. It ran right through three shells before jamming. Once the 870 was disassembled and cleaned, all I had to do was squeeze the trigger once more, and it fired right away.

  • Platform: Pump-Action
  • Gauge: 12
  • Chamber: 3½”
  • Weight: 7.1 lbs
  • Price: $630

Benelli M2 Field Price: $1,499 “Benelli redesigned the M2 this year for a better grip with updated controls.”

Benelli modified the M2’s foreend to increase grip this year and updated the controls to resemble those of the Super Black Eagle 3. The Italian manufacturer also added a 24-inch barrel option, which was previously only available at the M2 Performance Shop and costs twice as much as the Field. The M2 can be upgraded with a red-dot reflex sight by taking out the stock using a socket wrench. If you don’t feel comfortable mounting the optic on your own, a gunsmith can do it for you.

Better cylinder, modified, and full chokes come standard on this gun, so you’ll likely need to buy an aftermarket turkey choke to get the most out of your pattern. Benelli’s are inertia driven, so the recoil is more stout than if you were shooting a gas gun. The Comfortech recoil system, which included interlocking chevrons in the stock that flexed when the gun was fired, was also eliminated from the original model. However, a recoil pad is still attached to the buttstock. And for turkeys you only need to shoot once, so recoil is less of a factor.

  • Platform: Semi-Auto
  • Gauge: 20
  • Chamber: 3″
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs
  • Price: $1,499

Best Turkey Shotguns : The Best Options Reviewed | Gunmann

What is the best shotgun for Turkey?

Don’t worry, today we have some suggestions on the best shotgun choices for turkey in a variety of gauges and action styles that are sure to put that gobbler in your freezer this spring. This pump-action shotgun is a solid choice for newer turkey hunters. It’s one of the most versatile shotguns on the market right now, and has been for decades.

What are the best Turkey guns on the market this spring?

Here are the best turkey guns on the market for this spring. This new M2 is going to quickly be giving the SBE3 a run for its money when it comes to performance in the turkey woods. This shotgun comes from the Benelli Performance Shop with enhancements by the famed Rob Roberts, renowned for his development of shot patterns.

What is a Turkey shotgun?

One of the hottest trends in the shotgun market is the “turkey gun.” Today, the best turkey shotguns are typically variants of a shotgun that was designed for waterfowl or small game hunters with stocks and barrels that are shortened to make the guns easier to carry and more maneuverable in tight cover.

Are Turkey guns good?

What’s nice about turkey guns, though, is you can mount an optic to most of them, which allows you to fine-tune how the gun shoots. The shotshells’ pattern won’t change dramatically, but the point of impact will with proper sighting in the scope or red dot.

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