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After a few years of re arranging my shoulder, I came to a few conclusions....
1. I bought a Caldwell's lead sled for sighting in.
2. I shoot 2 3/4 shells to sight in and only use one or two 3 1/2's to confirm the pattern.
3. I love the pattern and punch the 3 1/2 has on turkeys.
4. I've never felt the least bit of recoil when I'm shooting at a turkey!
5. I don't take long shots, but I still want as many pellets in the head and neck as possible.
6. I use the HTL shells, either Hevi Shot Mag Blends or Federal Heavyweights.
 

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I must be getting soft....my turkey gun beat me up pretty bad this past weekend and I was only shooting 3". Seemed worse than slugs.
 

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Yea, those 3 1/2's will knock the fillings out of your teeth. I shoot a 2 3/4 mag with no regrets. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Patterned today. Mossberg 500 3'' #5's at 50yds I had 51 pellets in a 10'' ring, 26 of which were in a 5'' ring. I need to do my homework to find out the velocity at 50 yds but I imagine its more than enough to put a bird down. I've never shot one farther than 25 yds though.

This new gun is gonna be like shooting them in the face with a 300 mph fastball at 25 yds!
 

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Please!!!!! Forget about the 50 yard shots! First of all, The standard is a minimum of 100 pellets in a 10 inch circle at any range. Once you reach 40 yards the energy level drops off so much that killing a bird is really an iffy proposition. If your using heavy than lead loads you have a little more wiggle room. With lead loads your #6 loses energy way too fast to be extending beyond 40 yards, if you drop to #4 you won't have enough pellets left to give you a good pattern. I used to receive the gobbling survey from West Va, they always had a lot of good survey questions and one I remember was at what range did you kill your bird, and if you didn't recover a bird, what range was that?
Avg kill-26 yds
Avg wounding-38 yds
What we are talking about is not unlike bowhunting, with all the advancements there are a lot of deer shot beyond 30 yards.....but there are a lot wounded also.
 

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50yrds is a poke LOL. I have killed dozens of turkeys with Ol reliable 2 3/4 federals. 3.5 makes the gun weigh 5lbs more fully loaded.LOL
 

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Please!!!!! Forget about the 50 yard shots! First of all, The standard is a minimum of 100 pellets in a 10 inch circle at any range. Once you reach 40 yards the energy level drops off so much that killing a bird is really an iffy proposition. If your using heavy than lead loads you have a little more wiggle room. With lead loads your #6 loses energy way too fast to be extending beyond 40 yards, if you drop to #4 you won't have enough pellets left to give you a good pattern. I used to receive the gobbling survey from West Va, they always had a lot of good survey questions and one I remember was at what range did you kill your bird, and if you didn't recover a bird, what range was that?
Avg kill-26 yds
Avg wounding-38 yds
What we are talking about is not unlike bowhunting, with all the advancements there are a lot of deer shot beyond 30 yards.....but there are a lot wounded also.
you start to loose knock down power with in a foot of your gun ..now a days with the turkey loads they make ..will put down a bird at 60 to 70 yards easy ..dead coyote 3.5 will kill a coyote at 80 yards.. so why would it not kill a turkey at 80 yards ??? and the 40 yard deal was made up way back when the turkey loads may of killed a bird from that far ..and yes everyone likes to get the toms close to them but in reailty it does not always happen like we like it to ..and any turkey hunter knows that ..i have shoot turkeys at 65 yards with no criples. heres one that i shot at 65 yards ..


look at his head thats with 3.5 in 5s 65 yards so yes it can be done ..but everyones is different ..oh and by the way i worked on this bird for 2 weeks before i took a long shot..
 

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I think someone needs a range finder.LOL 50yrds is a poke man. I'll have to pull out the magnum and test this for myself.
 

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you start to loose knock down power with in a foot of your gun ..now a days with the turkey loads they make ..will put down a bird at 60 to 70 yards easy ..dead coyote 3.5 will kill a coyote at 80 yards.. so why would it not kill a turkey at 80 yards ??? and the 40 yard deal was made up way back when the turkey loads may of killed a bird from that far ..and yes everyone likes to get the toms close to them but in reailty it does not always happen like we like it to ..and any turkey hunter knows that ..i have shoot turkeys at 65 yards with no criples. heres one that i shot at 65 yards ..


look at his head thats with 3.5 in 5s 65 yards so yes it can be done ..but everyones is different ..oh and by the way i worked on this bird for 2 weeks before i took a long shot..
You will cripple far more than you kill shooting at 60+ yards with lead. It's tough keeping your pattern together for that long. Sure you can body slam them at 60 yards with hevi shot coyote, but IMO that defeats the entire purpose.

I'm not starving to where I have to take unethical (yes I said it, if you are shooting at birds consistently at 60+ yards I think you are unethical) shots. If I can't get the bird inside 45 yards I will hunt him another day or go to Kroger and buy a turkey if I want to eat one that bad.

On a side note I'm not buying the pic above was at 65 yards. Possibly 40 or 45. At 65 yards not too many chokes will keep the pattern together enough to have that many hits to the head to cause that much blood. I think you are stretching your range personally.
 

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I agree i have about 1000 dollars in my turkey gun it has a $150 choke and its never with even hand loads shot a pattern at 60-80yrds. 45 ya maybe take the shot but heck I ain't killed a turkey with a gun in 10 years strickly bow even then a 50yrd shot with it maybe. I like them close enough I see the pupils.
 

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I kill all my turks beyond 150 yrds with an bazzoka or under 2 paces with a pea shooter. Also, I must be standing on my head with my hands tied behind my back while whistling the intro to MASH. If it don't fall into these categories, I let it walk. :D

But seriously, last year I was visiting family and hunting birds in FL, and I had a most unpleasent experience with a long shot enthusiest. We were set up in the bald open in a clump of palmetto bushes at a popular crossing spot along a fence line. We were on private land but did not have exclusive access. We sat all morning and enjoyed right up until 11 a beautiful and warm day in the turkey woods. A group of 4-5 hens and 2 long beards materialized from across the way and slipped under the fence at 70 yards. They struted and fed in the field infront of us for about and hour, ignoring our calls and dekes, and generally made miserable. What made it worse was the new guy that snuck from behind us in an open field using a slight hill between him and the birds. The problem was he was less than 40 yrds from us and closer to 80 to the birds. We watched as he on multiple occassions glanced right at us, and waved at him frantically, trying to get the fella to back off. He later claimed he didn't see us, as our all natural blind was "too good". evetually in his frustration he lined up a shot at on of the long beards and let fly. Of course, birds flew every where, and I threw lead at a passing wing shot more in furstration than anything. The other fella was very much sheepish when he realized what had happened and was fast and furiosu with the excuses. When we asked him why he choose to such a long shot, he arrogantly pointed out that his gun could take birds out to 70 yards and he had done it several times. You can guess how we recieved such a response.

The point is, know your limitations. I'm certain there are guns and loads and chokes that in the right combination will create a pattern that has a better than 50/50 chance of killing birds at 70 + yrds. I am also certain that the majority of us here on the forum don't own them. I have no qualms using my gun out to 50 yards, but I worry about it much beyond that. I do prefer a closer shot, but sometimes that not an option. If a bird is 60 yards away, I'll hunt him another day. Each person and each setup is unique, learn your gun and yourself and stick with what your comfortable with.
 

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Yea, those 3 1/2's will knock the fillings out of your teeth. I shoot a 2 3/4 mag with no regrets. ;)
Ha its funny u said this just the other day was shootin my gun with some 3-1/2 and the next day part of my tooth that i had root canaled last year fell out!!! I'm sticking with 3 inch

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