Different types of hunting call for varying styles of shotguns, and as turkey hunting dominates the American birding market, so do specialty firearms. While a turkey-specific shotgun is not needed to bag a dandy Tom, any of these standby favorites are guaranteed to make that next gobbler hunt a success.
Mossberg 500 (Featured Image)
The Mossberg Model 500 is reliable as it is prevalent on the turkey fields. While the Remington 870 could pretty much be interchanged with the Model 500 here, we appreciate what Mossberg is doing with quality and options in the newer models.
The Mossberg 500 offers options from the 12-gauge on down to the baby .410 bore. Interchangeable chokes are standard on newer models, meaning they will work well for a variety of different game at varying ranges. Mossberg now offers 500 Turkey models with full or extra full chokes and appropriate camo patterns as well. Because the shotgun is so widely used, you’re sure to find many models at bargain prices.
Winchester’s SX family of semi-autos have long proven to be durable in the field and not break the bank. No need to adjust the gas system if you want to shoot lighter or heavier loads. For instance, the 12-gauge shoots lighter 2-3/4-inch shells, 3-inch, and even the heaviest 3.5-inch hunting loads with no adjustment. Further, the gun eats up much of the recoil from heavy hunting loads, making it a pleasure to fire.
The new SX4 NWTF Cantilever Turkey model comes with a Tru-Glo sight, an optics mount, Mossy Oak Obsession camo, and a 24-inch barrel ideal for maneuvering on gobblers. Though this turkey-specific model is perfect for bagging big toms, any of the SX models will get the job done with reliability and style.
Stevens 301 Turkey
Few guns have turned the turkey hunting world upside down like the Stevens 301. This single-shot .410 is small, inexpensive, and unassuming, yet what should be strikes against it are exactly what makes it a great option for turkey hunting. The 26-inch carbon steel barrel is topped with an extended extra-full choke–optimized for using Federal Premium TSS tungsten turkey loads. This combination puts out an incredibly devastating pattern that’s sure to drop the hardiest of toms.
An optics rail comes standard, and camo coverage in Mossy Oak Bottomland or Obsession is ideal for the turkey woods. For those who just can’t get on board with the baby bore, Stevens also offers the platform in 12 and 20-gauge at an incredibly appealing price point.
Pump shotguns are too often written off when it comes to modern turkey hunting, but in actuality, they are one of the most reliable and cost-effective options. Few pumps are as easily recognizable as the Remington 870. They’re simple, durable, and available in myriad configurations from 12-gauge on down to .410 bore. If you want to beef it up, even more, there are Super Mag options in 12-gauge set to accept the heaviest 3.5-inch shells.
While even an old 870 Wingmaster will do just fine with its fixed full choke, Remington offers several shorter-barreled, Special Purpose 870 Turkey models. They wear camo for the hunt as well as an optics-ready top rail and extra-full interchangeable chokes for knocking down trophy toms.