A Hunter’s Guide to the 6 Best Turkey Shotguns
Derrek Sigler 04.18.16
They say spring time turns a man’s fancies to thoughts of love. That’s kind of true, for those of us that love to hunt turkeys, spring time is the right time to find a nice big tom turkey looking for love—and make some dinner out of him. To do that, you need a shotgun. Luckily there’s some really great shotguns designed to do precisely that.
There aren’t many brands anywhere that are more iconic than Remington Firearms, and not many shotguns more recognized than the Remington 870 pump. They have made well over 10 million of them and a lot of specialized models. The 12-gauge 870 SPS Super Mag Turkey edition is a longbeard slayer. Set up with the ShurShot stock and a 20-inch barrel, the SPS holds well against your shoulder and is rock-steady in your hands. The barrel length makes it highly maneuverable, for those times when you have to run and gun those toms. It’ll chamber 2-3/4, 3 and 3-1/2 inch shells for a wide range of ammo choices. It comes set up with a Wingmaster HD turkey choke for optimal patterning. The guns are decked out in Mossy Oak Obsession camo that helps keep you hidden from those sharp-eyed hens and jakes. Remington teamed the SPS with a TRUGLO red/green dot scope, making this a perfect package for chasing birds. It works really well as a predator shotgun too, as if you needed another reason to want to buy one.
Winchester SXP Turkey Hunter Pump-Action Shotguns $449.99-469.99
If there’s any brand that can challenge for the iconic title, it would be Winchester. While known for their rifles, Winchester’s shotguns are just as legendary and among turkey hunters, the new SXP Turkey Hunter is bound the join the ranks. For starters, Winchester uses back boring technology that has one purpose – consistent shot patterns. Combine that with an Invector-Plus extra full turkey choke, and you can expect the SXP to smack that bird when the moment comes. Non-slip sections in the grips helps you have a rock-solid shot. Winchester added TRUGLO sights to the rib, so you can get on target, even in lower-light conditions. Cleaning the SXP is a snap, thanks to the drop out trigger assembly, and chrome plating in the chamber and bore helps fight corrosion. The shotguns are available in 12 and 20 gauge and they come in Mossy Oak’s Break Up Country camo finish, making this a great option for a “his and her’s” purchase – or maybe a his and his…
Mossberg Model 500 Turkey Thug Pump-Action Shotguns $499.99 – 579.99
No discussion of shotguns would be complete without bringing up Mossberg. If there was any shotgun that could challenge the 870 in popularity, it’s the venerable Mossberg 500 pump. The New Haven, Conn. company has taken the 500 and designed it into a purpose-built turkey-hunting machine. Starting with a 6-way adjustable stock and pistol grip that lets you set the shotgun up for whatever position you’re in while chasing the birds. A loop on the foregrip keeps it steady, and the 20-inch barrel makes it easy to maneuver. Fiber-optic rifle-style sights get you on target and an extra full turkey choke keep the patterns tight. The Thug comes in either 12 or 20 gauge and is decked out in Mossy Oak Obsession camo. This is one time being a thug is a good thing. The birds won’t know what hit ‘em.
Never let it be said that quality and legendary reliability have to be expensive. Remington offers up several versions of their 20-gauge 870 Express to fit hunters of every size. You get all the features that have made the 870 what it is. These include twin-action bars for smooth, reliable cycling of shells, and a milled receiver. These Express Compact models come with a 13-inch length of pull, or a Compact Express Jr. model with a 12-inch length for even smaller shooters. The Express Compact and Compact Jr. models come with a black synthetic stock, or you can get a hardwood laminate stock in the Compact Express. A vent rib with a single bead sight and a Super Cell recoil pad round out a great package to get anyone out there chasing turkeys. The great thing is, these shotguns accept all Remington replacement stocks and barrels, letting the gun grow with the shooter. Time to get the kids out hunting!
Mossberg knows that getting kids hooked on hunting takes patience and the right shotgun that fits the hunter. That’s the reason there are several options for youth turkey hunters with the Mossberg 500 Bantam, Super Bantam and Model 505 Youth shotguns. The Model 500 Super Bantam Field/Deer Combo comes in 20-gauge and has two barrels; a 22-inch vent rib with an Accu-Choke tubes (improved cylinder, modified and full) and 24-inch, fully rifled slug barrel with adjustable sights. A set of stock spacers let you adjust the length of pull from 12 to 13 inches. It comes in Mossy Oak Break Up Country camo. The Model 500 Super Bantam All Purpose is also in 20-gauge. It has a matte-black synthetic stock and a 22-inch vent-rib barrel with dual bead sights. It also has the adjustable stock spacers and the Accu Choke set. The Model 500 Bantam is a 20-gauge with a wood stock and the 22-inch vent-rib barrel with dual bead sights and Accu-Set choke tubes. It is set with a 13-inch length of pull. The Model 505 Youth is a .410 bore shotgun with a wood stock and a 20-inch vent-rib barrel that has a fixed modified choke. Its length of pull is set at 12 inches. You’re sure to find the perfect fitting shotgun from Mossberg for your young turkey hunting buddy.
This article was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s.