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An Old Guns First Bird.

Jackalope

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#1
Some of you may remember last Christmas my father passed down a shotgun to the next neneration that belong to my great-grandfather. A Belgian made Browning A5 light 20ga.
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I have decided that this year I'm going to try to shoot a turkey with it. Most of you know that when it comes to turkeys I am a huge fan of a 28-inch barrel 12 gauge 3.5 inch anti aircraft gun shooting a $5 shell; so it almost goes without saying that this will take some adjustment.

The major limiting factors besides being a 20 gauge is it has a fixed modified choke and is chambered for 2 3/4 shells. I had originally intended to keep it all old school and shoot just a standard High brass number 5 that would have been commonly available when the gun was manufactured. After watching some YouTube videos today of patterns I'm thinking that might not be a good idea. While I enjoy the nostalgic idea of shooting a turkey with great grandfather's gun; I feel that I'll need to load it with a modern shell to overcome the lack of 3in shells or a full choke.

As as you probably guessed there's not a lot of 20 gauge 2 3/4 turkey loads out there. As a matter of fact I can't find a single one. Federal made one last year but it is been discontinued. It was one of their top of the line heavy shot loads. Which is largely been placed by the new TSS shot which unfortunately only comes in 3 inch 20 gauge loads.

I have an email out to Federal to see if they can steer me in the right direction, or perhaps if they have a few boxes still laying around.

Other than that I think it's time to grab some various boxes of shells and start shooting some paper to see where I stand.
 

bowhunter1023

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#3
Good luck Joe. It would be a very cool accomplishment to pull this off. I have little doubt you can get a turkey in front of you, but hitting it on the other hand....... :ROFLMAO:
 

Jackalope

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#8
Here is the shell they discontinued. Found one place online that had them for $22 and $9 shipping. Hard to stomach but i guess that's no worse than the Hevi magnum blend for my 12ga that's $34 for five.
 

Fletch

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#10
Good luck with it.. I have the same gun in 12 gauge and it's killed several birds... Should be no problem with the 20 gauge... All the fun in spring gobbler hunting is in getting the bird in your lap... I'd have no doubt in using a 410 if I had one..
 
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Dannmann801

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#14
Joe, I'll bet you know someone who has a reloader for shotgun shells - could you work up your own turkey load?
I've not reloaded shotgun shells, only pistol and rifle, so I don't know the answer, but my guess is probably?

I'd be interested to hear folks weigh in on this -
 

jagermeister

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#15
Very cool idea Joe. Hopefully you get a crack at one.

But I think you're overthinking this whole ammo dilemma. Just get a turkey close and it won't matter what you shoot it with. Get some 2 3/4" copper plated 4's and call it good. Pretty easy to find since they're standard pheasant loads.


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Jackalope

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#16
Very cool idea Joe. Hopefully you get a crack at one.

But I think you're overthinking this whole ammo dilemma. Just get a turkey close and it won't matter what you shoot it with. Get some 2 3/4" copper plated 4's and call it good. Pretty easy to find since they're standard pheasant loads.


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You're probably right. My thought process was theres about 135 pellets in a 1oz #4 load of copper plated lead shot. With heavi shot #7.5 there's roughly 340 pellets in a 1oz load. The hevi 7.5s have the same energy per pellet as #5s. That equates to more than double the shot in the air with the same energy, and out of a mod choke they may be needed and wouldn't hurt.
 
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jagermeister

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#17
Very cool idea Joe. Hopefully you get a crack at one.

But I think you're overthinking this whole ammo dilemma. Just get a turkey close and it won't matter what you shoot it with. Get some 2 3/4" copper plated 4's and call it good. Pretty easy to find since they're standard pheasant loads.


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You're probably right. My thought process was theres about 135 pellets in a 1oz #4 load of copper plated lead shot. With heavi shot #7.5 there's roughly 340 pellets in a 1oz load. The hevi 7.5s have the same energy per pellet as #5s. That equates to more than double the shot in the air with the same energy, and out of a mod choke they may be needed and wouldn't hurt.
Yea I mean if you're gonna spend a little extra coin you certainly can't go wrong with hevi shot. I guess what I was trying to say is I don't think the 2 3/4" chamber is going to hurt you all that much. There are plenty of options out there. You know that A5 will be a set dove gun in September too if you get the recoil dialed in.


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#18
From my experience using the little guns, both the .410 and 20 gauge for turkey I'll say this. I'd not use anything other than 7 1/2 shot. Just not enough pellets when using #4 or #5 shot. Number 6 shot would be my second choice, but 7 1/2s have served me very well. I'd recommend head shots at under 25 for the 20, and head shots at 20 or less for the .410. I honestly don't think Hevi-Shot or other type super shells are needed.
 
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Jackalope

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#19
Fired the gun today at some paper using some Remington Express "Extra Long Range"
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20 yard target looks good with plenty of pellets in vital spots

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The 30 yard went to shit. I fired two at this target. Thinking i may be high i fired at a big piece if cardboard and found the pattern to be pretty uniform.

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Looks like with this load its a 20 yard killer but i wouldn't push it past that. I'll find another load to try here shortly.
 
#20
Taking old family guns into the field really adds to the memory of the hunt. I promise if you swat a jake at 20 yards you will be just a fulfilled as if you bagged a nice tom. If you used a caliper on the muzzle you would probably find that the barrel constriction is really around a modified full. Unless great grandpa shot deer slugs through it. The FNH made auto 5's are almost always over choked. If it was a 12 ga i would happily loan you my full choke barrel. Good luck joe