8 Great Turkey Hunting Shotguns
There was once a time when turkey hunters used standard hunting shotguns to drop their toms. If a shotgun can down a duck or a dove, it can down a turkey, after all. However, as gun manufacturers are learning more and more about the specific needs of turkey hunters, turkey-specific guns are hitting the market. These purpose-built guns boast robust features like shortened barrels, specialized chokes, upgraded sights, and camo dips. So, if you’re looking for a shotgun that is sure to enrich your turkey-hunting experience, here are a few great options.
Remington 870 Express Super Magnum Turkey / Waterfowl Camo Pump Shotgun
If you’re looking for an affordable, classic turkey gun that guarantees high performance in the field, the Remington 870 Express Super Magnum is the gun for you. The camo finish guarantees effective stealth during your hunts. This 870 model also has a 23-inch vent-rib barrel that provides fast-pointing and precision sighting, making it an agile weapon for hunting toms. With a heavy load capacity, the 870 Super Magnum is an effective weapon that can down turkeys with a single shot.
Winchester SXP Turkey Hunter Shotgun
An attractively priced turkey gun, the Winchester SXP offers the reliability and quality of a revered firearms maker at a very reasonable price point. It’s a basic gun, but don’t let that fool you: Winchester has boiled down a turkey gun to its essentials with the SXP. Despite being a straightforward weapon, the SXP is an effective and high-quality gun that excels in the field. Its 24-inch barrel means that you can expect to shoot well in tight spots, without compromising accuracy on your hunts. If that’s not enough, American Hunter even awarded the SXP Turkey Hunter as its best turkey gun of the year.
Mossberg 500 Turkey
It’s tough to make a list of shotguns for any purpose without including the legendary Mossberg 500. This .410 turkey gun would make a great addition to any arsenal. It was designed with longer-range tungsten-based loads in mind, and its relatively light weight makes the 500 an ideal carry in the field. The 500’s 26-inch barrel delivers very tight shot patterns, allowing the user to hit their target from over 40 yards. Whether you’re a beginner or expert turkey hunter, the Mossberg 500 is a great turkey rifle to keep on hand.
Ithaca Model 37
Ithaca pulled a slick move with the Model 37. For 20 years, they waited for the patents on the Model 17 to expire. Once those patents expired, Ithaca all-but-knocked off the design for their Model 37. Although this firearm was introduced decades ago, the Model 37 is still in production today and is a favorite for turkey hunters across the nation. The Model 37 features a 3-inch chamber, iron sights, and a fixed barrel to increase rigidity.
The Browning A5 is undoubtedly a legendary firearm in the annals of turkey hunting history. Surprisingly, it wasn’t designed with turkey hunting in mind (like many turkey guns), but it has been adopted as an ultra-effective turkey gun.
The A5 autoloader was reintroduced to the market in 2012, and has risen in popularity ever since, despite its $1,400 price tag. This gun is available to accommodate both 3-inch and 3.5-inch shells. The A5 is a long term investment, too, given its supposed 100,000-round lifecycle. Given how long you’ll use the gun, the price tag is pretty well-justified.
Savage 212 Turkey
The Savage 212 is a popular turkey gun that offers hunters a robust 12-gauge shotgun, purpose-built for turkey hunting. It features a Savage-style drilled and tapped receiver that accepts improved optics. The 212 also boasts the company’s famed AccuTrigger. Combined with a detachable box magazine and a camouflage pattern, this gun is an ideal solution for turkey hunters. It’s invisible to birds, easy and fast to reload, and customizable to suit your own needs.
The Stevens 301 is a great (if not unsuspecting) option for turkey hunters. It features a 26-inch barrel, a full extended screw-in choke, a removable rail, and a MossyOak camouflage finish. The 301 is a smooth-operating gun that creates a simple and straightforward firing experience for the user. For younger hunters, this gun may be particularly attractive, as it features a pushbutton release for the forearm and safety. The 301 provides excellent accuracy, even at distances as long as 40 yards. A relatively light kickback also ensures a great overall shooting experience in the field or on the range.
Browning Gold Light 10-Gauge
For a 10-gauge shotgun, the Gold Light is modestly weighted, coming in at just around 9.25 pounds. Its 24-inch barrel also means it's a compact gun. If a 10-gauge is your weapon of choice for shooting turkeys, the Browning Gold Light is the gun to use. This firearm will have a bit of a patterning edge over 12-gauge models in the field, but it will really shine in felt recoil. The extra weight of the 10 will soak up a fair bit of the gun’s kick.
This gun was once available in 12 and 20-gauge models, but the Gold Light is the only one of the three that remains in production. Although its following might not be as wide as some other guns on this list, the Gold Light 10 certainly has a faithful group of devotees.