Without a doubt the most effective firearm for turkey hunting is the 12-gauge shotgun. Any shotgun will work, but the 3- 3 1/2-inch shotgun is the perfect choice.
Choosing an Action
Single-shot: Single-shot shotguns are relatively inexpensive and allow the hunter to purchase a dedicated turkey gun for relatively little money. They are reliable, offered in a wide range of options and camo patterns. They tend to be light and many hunters often complain that the recoil can be a bit on the punishing side, especially when shooting 3 1/2 inch magnum loads.
Pump action shotguns are readily available and offer the hunter the ability for a fast follow up shot when necessary. When choosing a pump action, try to pick one that will minimize noise when the slide is hit or moved.
Autoloading shotguns are expensive, yet they do a great job at taming the recoil of stiff turkey loads. Look for an autoloader that allows the use of a wide assortment of shells, from practice loads to the heavy duck and turkey fodder.
Turkey hunting firearms must be at the minimum a flat non-reflecting black, full camouflage is even better. Turkey have excellent eye site and the reflection of the sun off a gun barrel will certainly keep them out of range. The actual type of camo on the firearm is secondary to the fact that it breaks-up the outline of the firearm and minimizes reflection.
While 12 gauges are the guns of choice for turkey hunting, don't overlook the 10 or 20 gauge shotguns, accurate single shot pistols and small caliber rifles. The later allows the hunter to extend his/her range.
Whatever you choose to hunt with make sure you know where the firearm is hitting, pattern your firearm and shoot it extensively from hunting positions.
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