Ammo/choke question

Rick

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As I posted earlier, my son gets to hunt Tejon Ranch on a youth hunt. We have a Carlson Turkey choke tube for his 870 20 ga that is for use with Bismuth, Tungston, etc. Will the turkey choke be okay - I have read (I think) somewhere that some of the non-lead shot works better with less constriction? I don't think I have a regular full choke - just imp cylinder and modified. The non-lead shot I have for him is all #4 shot. Should I try to find some smaller #5 or #6 shot? ANyopner know who might have some in the southern/western part of LA County or the northern end of Orange County?
 

dogboy925

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Best thing that you can do is to pattern your gun with the different loads and shot. Find what yardage and shot/load combination works for your gun with that choke. You then know what yardage is best for you to have the most optimal kill. Set your decoys up accordingly and insure your setup is correct when you setup and then you have the best chances of a clean kill. Not doing this you leave yourself open to some serious novice mistakes and a wounded/missed bird.

For my Mossberg Camo 710 I use a full choke ported that I shoot with Tungsten Heavy Shot #4 with 3" loads. I have patterned my shot gun and know I have a good/excellent kill zone from about 10 yards out to 35/40. Out past that it is marginal at best. Due to this I always plan my setup accordingly (know how many paces between my setup and shooting spot so that I am within that shooting range. Usually try for a 20 yard setup in the middle of that range. I refuse to take a shot out past 40 yards as there are to few pellets connsistantly hitting the kill zone nor will I take one in any closer than 10 yards as the pattern is to tight and prone to a potential miss and messes up the bird to much.
 

Rick

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Thanks - I realize that we need to pattern the gun and loads. The hunt is next Monday and Tuesday, so I don't have too much time - that is why I asked about using a turkey choke with steel, tungsten or bismuth shot. I have "heard" that turkey chokes can be too tight with some of the non-lead shot and that a mod or regular full choke may be better. Some general guidance on non-lead loads with various choke options is appreciated.

I am going to try the loads I have that I mentioned above - I also plan to buy whatever 20 ga loads I can find in the next few days...hopefully, some with #5 or #6 shot. Tejon does require non=lead shot, so that is a given. We only found out last Wed that he was drawn for the hunt and being novices, had no other option or plan. The gun is what he has, and the chokes are what he has available. I am trying to obtain some good general guidance regarding loads - similar to a first-time elk hunter asking what rounds are the minimum, etc. Patterning the gun is like sighting in a rifle.....
 

Rick

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I tried a few loads today - Hevi-Shot 2 3/4-inch #5 shot seemed to group as well as any and better than most. The Hevi-Shot 3-inch #6 was perhaps a little better, but I am not sure how he will handle it as it was a lot more recoil. He is only 11 and about 75-80 pounds. Our 40 yard station was broken, so I tried patterns on turkey targets at 25 and 50 yards. At 50 yards, there were about 8 - 10 pellets that hit the head or spine on the target. Bis-Maxx 2 3/4-inch #4 grouped well at 25 yards but was too thin at 50. Rem HD 3-inch #4 was disappointing at 50 yards (hit very low), but okay at 25 yards. As I mentioned, Hevi-Shot seems to pattern the best from his gun.

From what I have heard, the guides at Tejon are very good at getting the turkeys in fairly close, and will have the kids pattern their loads and guns the day before they hunt anyway.
 


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