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Opinions on gun size!!!!!

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Opinions on gun size!!!!!

Old 04-16-2016, 08:47 PM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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I have always wondered if a .410 was good for turkey hunting. I am sure it can kill one but I do wonder a few things. I took my grandson out today for youth season and I called in 2 big gobblers. The first one he shot at was at 23 yards away. It appeared to be a clean miss. The second one I called in I told him to wait until he's practically on top of the decoys. The decoys were between 18 and 20 yards away. He shot at the second one and it appeared to be a clean miss again. We have practiced at these distances many times and he always puts the bulk of the pellets from the shell into an 8" paper plate. Even his first shot ever with a shotgun was a good one. This is his 3rd year of turkey hunting but it was his first opportunity at a live turkey. He is 9 years old and he used 4 shot as his shell. He remained very calm and patient and waited until I told him to shoot and everything. You couldn't have asked for a much better chance. I don't know if he had turkey fever or if it's the gun just isn't strong enough or what. Comments would be appreciated please.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:06 PM
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sounds like he was looking over the top of his gun? tell him to follow thru on his shot and not try to look after the shot ! glad to hear you guy's were out hunting together !!

Last edited by muzzlestuffer; 04-16-2016 at 09:06 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ManofTheFall View Post
..... He shot at the second one and it appeared to be a clean miss again. We have practiced at these distances many times and he always puts the bulk of the pellets from the shell into an 8" paper plate. ..... Comments would be appreciated please.

Due to the tight choke patterns used to hit a turkey's head/neck vital area, he will need to learn to "aim" his shots. 1st a turkey gun needs to be sighted-in from the bench like you would do a rifle. A vented rib with 2 posts sights is minimum, better is the iron rifle sights leaf sights used by deer hunters shooting slugs, best is a the special scope for turkey shotguns.

My guess is he's not lined up right on the target. What sights are on his shotgun?
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:00 PM
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I also have some pics of good turkey targets, but my photo website is down for weekend.

Maybe back on-line this pm.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:05 PM
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A .410 is not a good gun for a novice, the small sparse shot string is unforgiving. Get the boy a 20 gauge and he can use it forever.
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:01 PM
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I agree with OT. My first gun was a blond Stevens 410 bolt action with a tube magazine feed and I learned to shoot grouse, squirrel and rabbit with that little gun. A turkey is a pretty tough bird and a nice well fitted 20 gauge would be something he could use all his life for a variety of small game. That being said a 20 yd shot with even a 410 should have put that gobbler down. I suspect he didn't get down low enough on the barrel.

Last edited by Champlain Islander; 04-17-2016 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
A .410 is not a good gun for a novice, the small sparse shot string is unforgiving. Get the boy a 20 gauge and he can use it forever.
+1

................on both comments !!
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:46 PM
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I like using a bow than handguns. Turkey hunting is easy
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:41 PM
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Yeah, I already told him I'm trading it in on a 20 gauge. I just knew at 7, when I bought the gun that was about all he could handle. Now that he's 9 and grown quite a bit I think a nice 20 gauge will suit him just fine and like you said he really won't need to get anything else unless he wants to.
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Old 04-18-2016, 05:50 AM
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A .410 is like a 28 gauge - great for experienced hunters, not so much for young kids. I think a teenager could have fun with it, as they're a little larger and typically able to judge distance much better.

If you can afford it, I would recommend a 20 gauge semi-auto; last year I bought my son a Weatherby SA-O8 compact 20ga. After much research I chose the Weatherby, which can be upgraded with an adult-sized stock for ~$60. He used it last season with a fiber optic front bead. I just had it drilled & tapped and mounted a Bushnell Trophy red dot on it for this year. Mossberg sells a model similar to the Weatherby (also manufactured in Turkey) that comes drilled and tapped, and there are multiple other makers now making youth-sized 20ga semis...

Many people will buy a 20ga pump. However, most don't consider or know that the recoil from a turkey load and/or a slug from a 20ga pump is comparable (only a few foot/lbs less) with a 12ga pump. People will argue that kids won't feel the kick for those 1-2 shots; but the gun needs to be sighted in, and I think we all want our kids to shoot more, not less. Get them a gun that fits for length, won't damage their shoulder, and won't cause them flinching and/or jerking the trigger.

Before buying the Weatherby, my son shot my Winchester 20ga pump, and opted to use my Ithaca 12ga pump as he said the pattern was better and the kick was about the same. As a physiologist, after looking at the foot/lbs or recoil from a 12 and 20ga shotgun, to me there was no question about whether to get a pump or semi-auto. Further, when he gets older he can always use the semi-auto on the trap/skeet range for hours without getting tired (or his Dad will steal it ).

S&R
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