20 gauge for turkey hunting

Discussion of the Remington 870 for hunting.
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eric
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20 gauge for turkey hunting

Post by eric » Mon May 01, 2017 3:22 pm

May 1st is my favorite time of year, opening day of turkey hunting in NY! This year is a big bummer though I'm recovering from lung surgery and won't get to go into the woods for at least a week, probably more like two. My doctor, a hunter himself, said I should try a 20 gauge. Anybody out there shoot turkeys with a 20? I asked my cousin if I can borrow hers, it belonged to our grandpa and is at least 40 years old. If the gun was bought in the 60's or 70's there's no way it's a 3 inch chamber right?. I don't know for sure, and won't be able to get the gun for a few days, but I figure its probably a 2 3/4 inch chamber and full choke. Am I just dreaming or can I make it happen with that setup?

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Synchronizor
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Re: 20 gauge for turkey hunting

Post by Synchronizor » Mon May 01, 2017 8:31 pm

You can absolutely hunt turkeys with a 20ga, so long as you know what pattern your gun & ammo are throwing, and don't try to reach outside their capabilities.

However, why the push for a 20ga? If you just want something that's more gentle to shoot, you might as well use your existing 12ga, and simply load it with lighter shells. Typical heavy 3" 20ga shells have 1 1/4 ounces of shot, and that's also a very common 12ga 2 3/4" field load, so you'll have plenty of options for quality hunting shells.

Recoil has nothing to do with bore diameter, it's all about the momentum of what leaves the barrel, and the mass of the gun itself. The same mass of shot at the same velocity will have the same momentum whether it comes out of a 12ga or 20ga bore, and for the same ejecta momentum, a heavier 12ga gun will have less recoil energy than a lighter 20.

eric
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Re: 20 gauge for turkey hunting

Post by eric » Wed May 03, 2017 12:45 pm

Thanks for the advice. The thing is I've gotten comfortable taking 50 yard shots with my 12 in the last few years. The area I hunt is a brushy, hilly wood lot, with my 12 gauge setup I know if I can see a turkey I can pretty much hit him. I've never hunted with a 20, I know that with all the fancy expensive new turkey loads 20s can shoot hard. I'm looking for less recoil as a matter of comfort, I've got several knife wounds from the surgeons in my side. I'm going to pattern some 20 gauge loads and some light 12 gauge loads and plan on getting close, it's going to be fun.

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