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 Moving to 20 Gauge 
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Boss Gobbler

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 10:59 pm
Posts: 2819
Location: Roanoke
Post Moving to 20 Gauge
I’ve been shooting a Thompson Center Encore, 12 gauge for a good many years. With the Hevi-Shot Magnum Blend, 3”, 2 ounce load it’s laid down a lot of gobblers. Due to neck issues though I’ve had to move to the good old 20 gauge. Picked up a Encore Pro-Hunter 20 gauge a couple of weeks ago. I have a custom choke in route and have some Magnum-Blend and Hevi-13 #7 on hand for patterning.

I patterned her last week at 30 yards with the Magnum-Blend and took her on a fall hunt. No birds but I enjoyed carrying her. Will update once I begin patterning.


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"What gets us jangly is the suddenness of everything. We hunt turkeys because we want to hear them gobble, watch them strut and all that, and we hunt them with shotguns because we want to be close to them when those things occur." - Jim Spencer
Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:27 pm
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Poult

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:08 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Climax
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
Welcome to the 20 gauge ranks . Believe me you will never look back. I always keep an on eye here , but you may want to check Old Gobbler ( sorry Freddy) and look at their 20 gauge patterning pages . There is a wealth of info on there that may help you save some time and money ; ie chokes and shells that will work for your gun (Hint: Federal HW7 , find them now) . Anyway good look and enjoy the journey.


Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:35 am
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Longbeard
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:04 am
Posts: 173
Location: Stafford, Va
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
I also started carrying a 20 guage more and am shooting the 3” Federal Heavyweight #7’s. Amazing patterns and the knockdown power of the Heavyweights. Plus carrying the lightweight 20 up and down the ridges are a plus!!


Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:09 pm
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King of Spring

Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:27 am
Posts: 369
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
Get some TSS 9's for your 20 Ga & it will out perform any 12 Ga factory loads made !! :smt023


Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:48 pm
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King of Spring
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:12 am
Posts: 2043
Location: Midland, VA
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
Great looking set up. Sorry to hear about your neck issue, hope all works out.


:cry: Even a couple of my old side by side 12 and 20 gauge buddies have switch to the 870 20 gauge and HW #7's.


Earl

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God, Family, Country, Corps and then the Wild Turkey.


Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:40 am
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Longbeard

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:13 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Powhatan, VA
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
I second the switch to TSS suggestion. There will be several public manufactures this year so you don't have to load them yourself (Federal, APEX, and one more I believe.) I personally hand load our shells TSS and it makes taking a turkey or deer even better. TSS is simply amazing when it comes to turkey hunting. We just started hand loading TSS for deer but with the results we have seen so far its just as devastating in that realm as well.


Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:25 am
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King of Spring
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:12 am
Posts: 2043
Location: Midland, VA
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
What will the price be per shell? I have heard $7-$12.

TSS is a very hard shot and carry's down range energy and penetration but at what expense. I have seen great improvements over the years with better wads, loads, chokes, guns etc. for turkey. But every improvement and marketing tactic to sell is the extra range all this new improved development has created. Don't take this wrong I am not a na sayer but just concerned that what I have seen of folks taking those longer shots that non recovery of the game is increasing. Most folks say they missed but for the most part some shot hit the bird only to get infected and die later from infection, predator.
I agree with the improvements as long as they are used in an effective and safe matter.. I say use it as long as it improves ones confidence but please not to increase distance.
I know over the years and especially the early years I have gone from 30 yards max shooting at turkeys and now 30 yards is my max due to the improvements mentioned above. Yes it is the same. Although I know I have 40- 50 yard guns I still limit to 30 using them with a built in fudge factor of 5 yards for poor judgement. The improvements have helped me with confidence, better patterns and killing power.
So most of the turkey hunters today grew up with 40 yard guns along with improvements but the marketing and yes some shows have that now the shells, shot, guns and chokes are 50-75 yard guns.
Yes I still (miss) not recover the bird due to whatever, but my non recovery has gotten better over the years due in part to the improvements. I still shot the lead shot, the Winchester LB ammo in my modern side by side's is unbelievable.

Please don't take this as an old person still living in the past but just ones opinion. Just use what is good for you and the game we hunt.


Earl

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God, Family, Country, Corps and then the Wild Turkey.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:43 pm
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Longbeard

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:13 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Powhatan, VA
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
Greyghost I agree with you 100% on the distance issues. The improvement of most loads does increase the distance such as the longbeard loads but not much else. With TSS not only does it give you a crutch if you miscalculate the distance by a yard or two but it also gives you a ton more pellets. This allows a 20 gauge to be just as effective if not more effective than a 12 gauge(shooting lead loads) due to the density of TSS(18g/cc compared to lead at 11g/cc) and pellet count increase with tss loads. I started loading TSS loads for fun and also to give myself the best guarantee that when I hit the turkey it would be over quickly(no neck stepping for me.) This is the same reason I have recently switched from regular lead buck shot to TSS buckshot loads. I shot a doe a couple years back at close distance with buckshot and good placement but was not able to recover her after two days of searching. After this I didn't use buckshot for deer until getting the new tss buckshot loads.


Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:40 pm
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King of Spring

Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:13 pm
Posts: 380
Location: Garner, NC
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
hookinembig wrote:
I second the switch to TSS suggestion.


You get the best of all worlds with it. Less gun, more lethality, fewer cripples.


Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:31 pm
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Poult

Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 2:54 pm
Posts: 7
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
I have been shooting a 20 for 61 years. Never hunted with a 12. I have dibbled with the .410 this year.
The gun folks are always looking to empty your wallet.

I looked at the APEX and did buy some .410's.

Comes down to this --- a turkey is the same bird it was 50 years ago. High brass 7 1/2's killed them then and will now. 50 cents a shot versus $5.00 a shot --- I'll stick with my old stuff.


Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:23 am
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Co-Owner/Dog Feeder

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 10:20 am
Posts: 3325
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
[quote="Irishwhiskey"]I have been shooting a 20 for 61 years. Never hunted with a 12. I have dibbled with the .410 this year.
The gun folks are always looking to empty your wallet......Comes down to this --- a turkey is the same bird it was 50 years ago. High brass 7 1/2's killed them then and will now. 50 cents a shot versus $5.00 a shot --- I'll stick with my old stuff.[/quote]

Please dont introduce logic in to this discussion. :lol:
Some prior comments in this discussion remind me a lot of an Awway or Mary Kay or Shaklee vitamin recruiting memo from fifty years ago.

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"even after almost a half-century of hunting of the noblest game bird I am going to confess that I am still in the kindergarten; and I doubt if any human being ever acquires a complete education in this high art."
- Archibald Rutledge


Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:54 am
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King of Spring

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:40 am
Posts: 2219
Location: Baltimore, MD
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
I too plan to keep using lead. I bit into a piece of heavy shot and ended up needing a root canal. I don't think lead would of cause my tooth to crack the way tungsten did. So when you are saying $5 a shot, don't forget dental work. My $1500 tooth would agree.
Vic

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Vic

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!
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Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:47 am
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Longbeard

Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:29 pm
Posts: 190
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
Scott,

You won't be disappointed with the switch to a 20. I made that switch at the beginning of 2017 season and may never pick up a 12 for turkeys ever again. Did it mostly to cut the weight I was hauling around. The Fed Heavyweight #7s patterned great at 40 yds before I got a Sumtoy choke, which I haven't had the chance to pattern. I was very impressed with it's performance on birds in '17.

I like the idea of using TSS loads, but I don't feel a need for them yet. Give me a single shot .410 or 28 guage with TSS #9s, though, and you've got my interest...

Best,

Royce

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Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:26 pm
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King of Spring
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:01 am
Posts: 358
Location: Reston, VA / Bluemont, VA
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
I too have been looking at coming over to the 20-side. I have a Beretta 686 O/U in 20. Shot low brass 71/2s for dove. Last year I got some Turkey chokes for it, put a Truglo sight on the rib and picked up a box of 3” Federal HW 7s.
I’m used to shooting a 12 ga Remington 11/87 throwing 3” #6 Winchester LB XR and that little 20 kicked the crap outta me!
What kinda thump are you getting out of your 20s?

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"If turkeys could smell, you'd never kill one" - Bud Trenis my turkey hunting mentor & dear friend


Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:55 pm
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King of Spring
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 2734
Location: Powhatan, VA
Post Re: Moving to 20 Gauge
My boys youth 20 doesn't kick much at all .. Mossberg.. but my Charles daly kicks a bit.. still not as much as a 3.5 inch 11-87 though..

I have been using a 20 ga mostly since 2012 .. only missed one bird with it .. and that is because I shot at it running and too far.. none have been missed with the boys youth mossberg since I put a red dot on it..

I shoot nitro heavy shot in the Charles daly and the Federal Heavy shot in the boys gun.. both are deadly to 40 yds.. the furthest I have killed one was 43 yds with the mossberg.. most shots are less than 20 yds..

I guess I will have to switch to the Fedreal TSS once I am out of the Federal Heavy shot for the mossberg.. as I have heard that Federal will only make the TSS going forward. Will probably switch to it for the Charles Daly as well, but I have like 20 nitro shells so it may be a few years..

I did order some 3 inch federal tss for my 11-87 just to see what it will do and because I am down to 2 Nitro 3.5 inch shells.. but again I rarely take it anymore .. the 20 is just too easy to carry..

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Take me Home Country Roads.


Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:12 am
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