I need a turkey gun


Well-known member
Sep 4, 2011
Well since drawing big game tags is getting harder and harder to draw and my son is almost out the door headed to the military I have decided to jump back into turkey hunting with him. I called in and he harvested his first tom last spring and is hooked. I honestly could care less if I shoot a bird but he wants to do some out of state hunts and wants me to bring a shotgun and try and harvest a bird along with him. So what is the new hotness in turkey guns? My son is shooting a 20ga but I am open to anything. The .410 with TSS is interesting just because I want something light weight. I am getting old and dont want to carry a heavy gun. We are also looking to plan some fall out of state hunts for a rio or merriam. I would kind of like to help him get his grand slam before he leaves
A lot of things will work. If you go with a 12 gauge, which makes a great turkey gun, I wouldn’t recommend a pump action. Shooting turkey loads from a lightweight pump action 12 gauge kinda sucks.
So many options . . . The new hotness in turkey guns is TSS.

How much of a concern is cost/budget?

If KILLING turkeys were the most important part of the hunt for me, I’d go with something bigger than a 20 gauge, probably in a semi auto or maybe an O/U, find a good choke/TSS combo, and probably throw a red dot on it.

If weight is THE primary concern, I’d look at a single shot .410 with TSS. Up front cost is relatively inexpensive too. Maybe an O/U if cost is less of a concern. If cost over time is a concern, get a 12 gauge single shot and stuff it with lead. Good luck!
New hotness in turkey guns?

I'd be looking for a lightweight 3" 12ga or 20ga, pistol grip, short barrel, semi-auto, with a red dot sight. Could go as cheap as something like a TriStar Viper G2 for $500 or as expensive as a performance shop Benelli SBE 3 for $2000+
To echo @jt13, I’d go something in 20 gauge and either d&ted or with a readily-available saddle mount in order to accommodate a red dot. I wouldn’t rule out pumps either. Most people prefer full camo on turkey shotguns but I don’t think it is mandatory— just stay away from high gloss wood and mirror-bright bluing.

I’m currently shooting an SBE3 in 20 and it’s fine, but if I had it to do over again I’d have held out for one of the Benelli Custom Shop M2 Turkeys in 20 with a 22-inch barrel.
Weight isn’t the main factor it’s just I will be concentrating on getting my son on a bird and will be second shooter so something I can sling over my back easily would be nice. And I’m not ruling out a red dot at all. I looked at a mossberg 500 pump 410 and kind of liked it. Budget $1k or less.
Hard to give specific recommendations with such broad specs. To start, I'd try to sort out a gauge and if you want singleshot, over under, pump, or semi-auto.

Theres many, many ways to shoot turkeys in the face. Most things will work, some better than others, but it all comes down to personal preference
Semi auto for me for various reasons. I haven’t gotten on the tss train, doubt it kills them any deader than the long beard xr’s I’ve been shooting for years. I do like a more compact 22 inch gun for turkey hunting. Always have shot a 12 gauge because I haven’t found a reason to switch.
I was thinking about this today. Use to be big gun was the weapon of choice 10 ga. or 3.5" 12 when they first came out. Now it's small bore and tss. I've got two 10 gauges so hear me out....10 ga. with TSS Shazam!
I was thinking about this today. Use to be big gun was the weapon of choice 10 ga. or 3.5" 12 when they first came out. Now it's small bore and tss. I've got two 10 gauges so hear me out....10 ga. with TSS Shazam!
Yeah, then they couldn't make a turkey gun without the " mentally challenged" pistol grip post.
I was just gonna use some of the ol 3.5” dead coyote and that choke for that it’s pretty brutal
That shit is awesome. Idk how bad it would be on turkeys but it sure kill coyotes.
So it should work? lol I only ever shot 2 dogs with it one folded on caught some to the face and was never saw afain
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