I'm getting ready for the upcoming spring turkey season. This year I won't be doing the shooting as I'll be accompanying my girlfriend on her hunt this April. She'll be using my Baikal MP153 which I myself have never used for turkey (just bought it a little over two months ago). I was interested in finding a 3" turkey load for her to use. I want a 3" because of increased reliability (should she be in an awkward position or not have the gun held tight enough), less recoil, as well as not having to adjust the gas system (wasting turkey loads to ensure reliability can get expensive).
Being that my shotgun prior to my Baikal was 2 3/4" only, I think 3" should be enough to do the job. I've read up on a few different loads, but it seems like the only things I've heard 100% positive reviews on, tend to withdraw $3-$4 out of my wallet per trigger pull. I'd prefer nothing that costs more than $2.50 per shot.
Also, I was curious what kind of shot sizes people are into these days. I read a recent article in Fur, Fish, and Game referring to the smaller sizes (#7) being superior in number of pellets on target and overall kill effectiveness, especially when using some kind of shot that's heavier than lead. For that matter will my lead turkey choke be okay for a turkey load that's technically not lead?
It seems there's plenty of waterfowlers on this forum, but I haven't seen to much advise for turkeys so I'd appreciate any input.
In Summary I'm looking for a 3" load, preferably one that's not so expensive it has to be sold in 5 round boxes:
What brands do you use?
What shot size?
Opinions on lead/other material shot?