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Building a turkey gun. #6877697
05/20/20 01:38 PM
05/20/20 01:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 22,569
Central, SD
Law Dog Offline OP
trapper
Law Dog  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 22,569
Central, SD
Have tried a lot of different types of guns, optics, barrels and chokes over the years but now I plan to build what I want just to see where it goes. I have a Remington Versa Max now that I really like but the trigger pull is that of a cheap derringer at 7-8 pounds. I added a Carlson turkey tube to the VM that throws a very tight pattern but free hand itís tough to keep on target now with the heavy amount of trigger pull.

Just sent the trigger group to CO to get worked it sounds like they can take out the creep and cut the pounds of pull by 40-50% for $60. Briley makes a upgrade that could reduce it even more but itís a target upgrade not sure it can take the pounding of a 3.5 turkey load over time the cost is $275.00 but they use my trigger group to do it, not wild about that. Might look into a 2nd trigger group.

Now that it shoots like a rifle almost I need better sights for it I added a Tru-Glo rear site that works well but they could be bumped when moving from set up to set up. Thinking about having a gunsmith add a screw or two to fix that issue for peace of mind.

Eyeballed a turkey barrel 22 inch to replace my 28 inch I have now but thatís $450 alone and needs to be camo dipped to match the rest of the gun so that is a $500-$600 barrel upgrade Iím to cheap for that. I cannot cut down my 28 inch barrel Iíd lose the pro bore benefits of it then.

What have you guys done to your guns to make the turkey killers?


Was born in a Big City Will die in the Country OK with that!

Jerry Herbst
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877698
05/20/20 01:41 PM
05/20/20 01:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 261
Western pa
F
frank1969 Offline
trapper
frank1969  Offline
trapper
F

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 261
Western pa
Sounds good u will build more after u get that. One done

Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877702
05/20/20 01:44 PM
05/20/20 01:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 5,806
Ky
J
jbyrd63 Offline
trapper
jbyrd63  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 5,806
Ky
LOL Lot of money to kill a turkey!!!! Got an old single barrel H&R that was painted at the factory old military camo. $89 buck NIB killed bunch of birds. Almost bet it will shoot with that there pile of benjamins if not out shoot it.....

As for the add ons not holding up to the recoil , dang how many times you shoot in a year ? But I stopped using 31/2 inch they kill on both ends...................

Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877710
05/20/20 01:51 PM
05/20/20 01:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,319
MN, Land of 10,000 Lakes
T
Trapper7 Offline
trapper
Trapper7  Offline
trapper
T

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,319
MN, Land of 10,000 Lakes
I have a Browning A5. I reloaded my shells with #4 shot 1 1/2oz magnum load. I've shot only 4 turkeys. But, that's the only ones I've ever shot at. The farthest was 32 yards. The closest was 23 yards. All died in their tracks.

My experience is that you don't need some of these heavy duty turkey guns they keep marketing.


BREAKING NEWS! The people who said Trump would destroy America are destroying America.
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877711
05/20/20 01:56 PM
05/20/20 01:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,054
pa
H
hippie Offline
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Posts: 11,054
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Bought a ten gauge.

I know, twelves will shoot as hard, but after buying a ten, my range increased 20yds I

(This was Fox hunting, but same principle)

Last edited by hippie; 05/20/20 01:58 PM.
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: jbyrd63] #6877715
05/20/20 02:08 PM
05/20/20 02:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 22,569
Central, SD
Law Dog Offline OP
trapper
Law Dog  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 22,569
Central, SD
Originally Posted by jbyrd63
LOL Lot of money to kill a turkey!!!! Got an old single barrel H&R that was painted at the factory old military camo. $89 buck NIB killed bunch of birds. Almost bet it will shoot with that there pile of benjamins if not out shoot it.....

As for the add ons not holding up to the recoil , dang how many times you shoot in a year ? But I stopped using 31/2 inch they kill on both ends...................



Pretty sure them old single shots are the original definition of ďkilling on both endsĒ. LOL I donít drink, smoke or chase the ladies so I need a few bad habits. Building things to fit my needs and wants is just what I do, like said down the road Iíll do all over again most likely.


Was born in a Big City Will die in the Country OK with that!

Jerry Herbst
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: jbyrd63] #6877720
05/20/20 02:10 PM
05/20/20 02:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,131
east central WI
K
k snow Offline
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k snow  Offline
trapper
K

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,131
east central WI
Originally Posted by jbyrd63
LOL Lot of money to kill a turkey!!!! Got an old single barrel H&R that was painted at the factory old military camo. $89 buck NIB killed bunch of birds. Almost bet it will shoot with that there pile of benjamins if not out shoot it.....

As for the add ons not holding up to the recoil , dang how many times you shoot in a year ? But I stopped using 31/2 inch they kill on both ends...................


Recoil is real. My dad ruined a red dot scope on his 3" 870. It was a cheaper scope, but after 10 years (maybe 3 shots a year), it would no longer hold zero.

I turned my 870 into a killing machine by making sure I put my hind end where the birds are.

Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877721
05/20/20 02:10 PM
05/20/20 02:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 113
West Virginia
W
WV Danimal Offline
trapper
WV Danimal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 113
West Virginia
You should see my old Winchester Ranger that I bought used over 30 years ago! It does have screw in chokes so I added an Indian Creek choke and fiber optic sights to the rib. It's long, heavy and ugly with my custom spray camo but it's one heck of a shooter! I killed my first bird with it 32 years ago and have taken several slams with it since. My last Meriam in the Black Hills with it was in 6" snow at 52 yards. Some years ago I bought a new Winchester 1300 in realtree camo but it wouldn't pattern even close to this gun. A friend bought a "latest greatest" turkey gun a couple years ago and with his IC choke and same ammo, couldn't match my pattern out of the old club.

That being said, if you're as wrapped up in the chase as I am, it never hurts to keep looking ahead. Honestly, if I were to consider something new/modern, I would go for a semi auto w/pistol grip and fiber optics. Just better be ready to break out the wallet.


Trash your goals and plans for life. Just wing it and you'll never be let down!
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877722
05/20/20 02:13 PM
05/20/20 02:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 181
tn
L
lestan101 Offline
trapper
lestan101  Offline
trapper
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 181
tn
Law Dog, Curtis Wilbanks aka gun doc does custom turkey barrels for a fair price. You can type in his name and find his site. I'm thinking about getting a new turkey gun built for next year.

Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: jbyrd63] #6877724
05/20/20 02:13 PM
05/20/20 02:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,054
pa
H
hippie Offline
trapper
hippie  Offline
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H

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,054
pa
Originally Posted by jbyrd63
LOL Lot of money to kill a turkey!!!! Got an old single barrel H&R that was painted at the factory old military camo. $89 buck NIB killed bunch of birds. Almost bet it will shoot with that there pile of benjamins if not out shoot it.....

As for the add ons not holding up to the recoil , dang how many times you shoot in a year ? But I stopped using 31/2 inch they kill on both ends...................


Some people lease ground to hunt, money down the drain. At least the guy building a gun has something in the end.

Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: hippie] #6877725
05/20/20 02:14 PM
05/20/20 02:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 22,569
Central, SD
Law Dog Offline OP
trapper
Law Dog  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 22,569
Central, SD
Originally Posted by hippie
Bought a ten gauge.

I know, twelves will shoot as hard, but after buying a ten, my range increased 20yds I

(This was Fox hunting, but same principle)


Had a SP10 noticed the guys in the goose pit dropped just as many birds as I did, it seemed like the 10 threw more weight but it did so slower then a 12 did. Heck if you look at most turkey loads the 3 and 3.5 throw shot at around 1200 FPS More shot is often slower less shot faster in many cases.


Was born in a Big City Will die in the Country OK with that!

Jerry Herbst
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: lestan101] #6877727
05/20/20 02:17 PM
05/20/20 02:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 22,569
Central, SD
Law Dog Offline OP
trapper
Law Dog  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 22,569
Central, SD
Originally Posted by lestan101
Law Dog, Curtis Wilbanks aka gun doc does custom turkey barrels for a fair price. You can type in his name and find his site. I'm thinking about getting a new turkey gun built for next year.



Thanks

Looked him up looks like I might get it ported to boot and the back sight done right with him.

Last edited by Law Dog; 05/20/20 02:32 PM.

Was born in a Big City Will die in the Country OK with that!

Jerry Herbst
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877729
05/20/20 02:17 PM
05/20/20 02:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,054
pa
H
hippie Offline
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hippie  Offline
trapper
H

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,054
pa
Originally Posted by Law Dog
Originally Posted by hippie
Bought a ten gauge.

I know, twelves will shoot as hard, but after buying a ten, my range increased 20yds I

(This was Fox hunting, but same principle)


Had a SP10 noticed the guys in the goose pit dropped just as many birds as I did, it seemed like the 10 threw more weight but it did so slower then a 12 did. Heck if you look at most turkey loads the 3 and 3.5 throw shot at around 1200 FPS More shot is often slower less shot faster in many cases.


Yep, slower to recycle no doubt.

A ten is very close the same amount bigger than a 16 is smaller.


I hunted with an older fella way back that used a 20 and 7 1/2 shot. He killed his Turkey every year and probably killed more than any member of camp. Great turkey hunter.

Last edited by hippie; 05/20/20 02:28 PM.
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877739
05/20/20 02:35 PM
05/20/20 02:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 333
South Dakota
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Prn Offline
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Prn  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 333
South Dakota
Get that trigger tuned up and then play with ammo. I shoot 2 3/4" #5. Patterns great and doesn't beat me up. I shot my bird at 38 yards this year and dropped like a sack of potatoes. I always figured if I cant get em within 40 yards they won that day lol. My daughter is more comfortable shooting a scope, so I mounted an old 3x9 on her 20ga. Worked great, but a 2 to 7 or 1 to 4 power would be ideal. If you like the gun get it the way you want it and enjoy!

Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877743
05/20/20 02:44 PM
05/20/20 02:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,231
NC, Orange Co.
QuietButDeadly Offline
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QuietButDeadly  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,231
NC, Orange Co.
I have gone from a 12 gage 11-87 semi to a pump 12 gage 870. Killed a pile of turkeys with both shooting 3 1/2" Mag Blend Hevi Shot. Had bolt on fiber optic sights on both. The POI with factory sights were way off on the 11-87. The 870 was much lighter to lug around all day for sure. I then switched to a handload 3" TSS shot in the 870 but I did not stop tinkering there.

My go to turkey gun now is a Winchester 20 gage pump with bolt on fiber optic sight shooting hand load 3" TSS. This set up is even lighter than than the 12 gage pump and does not lose any killing range. Both of my sons have switched to 20 gage semis with the red dot sight system. We all shoot the same TSS handloads but different chokes. My gun has a great pattern with a factory Extra Full choke that came with the gun. The boys have aftermarket chokes in their guns.

My youngest son actually hunted some this year with my old single barrel Stevens .410 with handload TSS and killed one with that.

There are lots of turkey loads and choke combinations out there that will get the job done in the big bores but TSS shot is a real game changer for the smaller bore guns. It is not cheap but it patterns well and has far superior downrange penetration compared to lead or Hevi Shot.


Life Member: NCTA, VTA, NTA, TTFHA
Member: UTK GTA FTA SA NRA NWTF WFSC
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877760
05/20/20 03:03 PM
05/20/20 03:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 87
West Virginia
C
Choo Offline
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Choo  Offline
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C

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 87
West Virginia
I bought a franchi Affinity in mossy oak bottom ground this spring 26 inch barrel. It's light, Makes carrying it up and down our mountains a breeze. Put an Indian Creek choke on it, got a pretty decent pattern but want to experiment a little more with different loads. So far I've been impressed with it but I need to upgrade the sights on it

Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877761
05/20/20 03:05 PM
05/20/20 03:05 PM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 836
Ne pa
J
Jerry Jr. Offline
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Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 836
Ne pa
Originally Posted by Law Dog

Had a SP10 noticed the guys in the goose pit dropped just as many birds as I did, it seemed like the 10 threw more weight but it did so slower then a 12 did. Heck if you look at most turkey loads the 3 and 3.5 throw shot at around 1200 FPS More shot is often slower less shot faster in many cases.


The 10ga will throw the same weight of shot as the 12 ga at the same speed, but, it will do so at lower pressure. Couple that with the fact that most 10 ga guns weigh more than a 12ga it will give you less recoil.

My brother got me a stevens 301T in 410. Shooting #9.5 tss it patterns to kill past 40 yards. My 870 410 will do the same with #9 tss and they both weigh a good bit less than my 835. My 500 20ga with an indian creek choke puts a very tight patterns at 40 yards with #9tss but weighs almost as much at my 835. I load my own shells but that doesn't make it much cheaper.


You can't buy experience, but you'll pay for it.
.... but what do I know, I'm just a dumb farmer. ~ My Dad.
NRA LIFE MEMBER, Endowment Member 5-23-14
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877763
05/20/20 03:13 PM
05/20/20 03:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 362
Pennsylvania
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Claypool313 Offline
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Claypool313  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 362
Pennsylvania
Good luck to you. Do what makes you happy. I must just like punishment. Good ol mossberg 835 ultimag for me. Let's you know you're alive. I tell you what. If you've ever shot 3.5" Triple Beard 2.25 oz at 1300 advertised velocity you know what I'm talking about.

Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: hippie] #6877783
05/20/20 03:35 PM
05/20/20 03:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,470
ohio
S
skippyturtle Offline
trapper
skippyturtle  Offline
trapper
S

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,470
ohio
savage stevens 555 28 gauge ef on top f on bottom burris ff3 shooting 1-5/16 oz tss 9s. good light weight gun with decent trigger and multipke shots that does not threaten to detach your retnas when fired.


NTA
OSTA
Re: Building a turkey gun. [Re: Law Dog] #6877798
05/20/20 03:51 PM
05/20/20 03:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 742
Henry Co, IL
3
3togo Offline
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3togo  Offline
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3

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 742
Henry Co, IL
LawDog,

Way back when I was at Remington we had a lot of dedicated turkey hunters. The guy that I knew had the best patterning gun used a M/1100, I believe Carlton choke tube, 21" turkey barrel, and 1-5/8oz of #4's.
Took him quite a while testing loads for patterns, but his combination gave him consistent 40+ hits in a turkey head target at 40 yds.

It ain't always about bigger is better. I like my shoulder.

10 ga guns are great for coyotes with the right load and choke.

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