A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?
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Author:  UnderBeforeOver12 [ Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:35 pm ]
Post subject:  A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

I've never hunted, I probably won't hunt for another year, I just like to "try" to plan out things for the future...which hasn't been working out that well. I've tried to read many posts and it comes across as a jumbled mess since I lack experience.

I do realize the specific 20ga used is important, so if you can recommend what you use in the 40yd range, that would be great. Maybe that range is to far for a newbie?

So I noticed for Turkey guns they have a 20-24" barrels, but my A400 has a 28" barrel, BUT the stock is cut very short to a 12" LOP for my wife, so the overall length is 46". I figure we could share this shotgun since I'm not swinging it, so LOP shouldn't matter.

I figure it's a couple inches large for a turkey gun, but it should still work well. There is a rail I can easily mount to put a red dot or scope on it.

Then I guess wrap it in camo?

What do you think, could this work out well?

Author:  lossking [ Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

Your A400 Xplor would make a fine turkey gun, especially with some TSS or other tungsten based shotshells and a camo wrap. The 28" barrel is no problem whatsoever and many, many turkeys have been killed with them. I've taken gobblers with 26", 28" and 30" and never felt a need for anything shorter.

Author:  Perdiz [ Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

It will work great with just plain old lead shells much less TSS, Hevishot, etc.. Put in a tight choke, pattern a couple of different shells to see what works, and go into the woods. No need for a camo wrap either, the majority of all turkeys have been killed with a plain old wood stock and blued barrel. Get a slip-on recoil pad to add to the length of pull to make it a more comfortable fit for you. Limbsaver is good, you can even make a thick foam insert to put underneath it and you will be even more in business.

Author:  UnderBeforeOver12 [ Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

Good to know. Hunting is so complicated and it's driving me nuts...I guess the best thing to do is use what you have and then adjust.

When we do hunt I plan on doing a guided tour and I just want everything to be 100% correct since it costs so damn much and I want to be prepared. I over think a lot and being cooped up isn't helping...

Author:  noweil [ Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

I personally prefer a 26" or 28" barrel on a turkey gun anymore. I used a 20" barrel for years but since going back to a longer barrel I like it.

Author:  Joe Hunter [ Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

UnderBeforeOver12 -- Your gun will work just fine for both of you and forget the red dot scope, you just don't need it!

I'm glad you’re excited and wanting to learn all you can before the hunt, just don’t get so carried away that you think you have to have all the latest better-than-ever top-end gear, gun, ammo, and choke to kill a turkey!

There’s no substitute for experience, but here are a few tips for the beginning turkey hunter that may be helpful. I’ve been after them since 1985 and have made most of the mistakes you can make by now, but probably not. Anyway, here are some of my turkey hunting tips, you are free to decide what they are worth!

Camo – While not necessary, I and most turkey hunters wear it, so go to one of the big box stores and get a camo shirt and pants (the pattern doesn’t really matter) in either synthetic or cotton. A face mask is important for this close-range affair, so get one you like. Camo gloves aren’t that important and cheap brown jerseys gloves work just fine!

Gun – A 20 gauge (particularly a 3-inch) will work just fine. I’ve shot them with a .410, 20-, 16-, 12- and 10-gauge shotguns. It’s all a matter of distance to the bird, but it’s always best to get a bird inside of 40 yards and inside of 30 yards is even better!

Gun barrel length – Shotgun barrels shorter than 26-inches are popular among turkey hunters since they are generally handier when moving through thick brush. It has nothing to do with need, ammo performance, or killing power! I will continue to shoot birds with 26- and 28-inch barreled guns!

Gun camo – Absolutely not necessary, but camo if you like. I’ve killed more with blued-steel and walnut than I have with camo guns!

Ammo – A 20-gauge 3-inch #6 buffered lead load through a full or extra-full turkey choke will easily take care of turkeys out to 30 yards and maybe 40 yards with the right load and choke. The Winchester Long Beard load is probably the best lead load on the market, and not too expensive. Some of the tungsten-based 12g/cc loads are very good too, and I’ve shot a few turkeys with them, but I’d still try and get your birds inside of 40 yards. In a 20-gauge, I’d be using #6 pellets in either lead or 12g/cc loads to up the pattern count over larger pellets. There are also some specialized high-dollar turkey loads containing 15g/cc or 18g/cc pellets on the market that are apparently very deadly at longer ranges, but I don’t have any experience with them and I just haven’t felt the need to use them for my turkey hunting.

Choke – Put in your factory full choke or get an extended turkey extra-full if you like, but if your guide is worth his/her beans they should be able to get you a reasonably close shot. With a good lead turkey load containing #6 pellets, out to 30 yards it will make little if any difference to the turkey!

POI vs POA – It is important for you to take your gun and shoot a few patterns from the sitting position with your tightest choke to make sure your Point-of-Aim (POA) and Point-of-Impact (POI) are centered on the mid-neck area. Get some 20-gauge 2 ¾-inch target loads (to reduce recoil and flinching), screw in your tightest choke, and go shoot some paper turkey head and neck targets at close range (20-25 yards) to confirm your gun’s POI and your sight picture. Remember, you’ll want that pattern centered on the mid-neck area, so aim at the wattles, not the head!

Patterning – Once you have figure out your sight picture to place the pattern on the mid-neck area, shoot a couple patterns with your chosen turkey load to make sure it is putting multiple pellets in the skull and/or cervical vertebra. Try a couple at 30 yards to make sure the load/choke comb is good and then try a couple at 40 yards to see how they do. Chances are, you’ll see a difference and it should give you a good idea of the maximum shooting distance for your combo!

Range estimation – I’m hoping that your guide will provide good range estimation, so you’ll have one less thing to think about when the time comes. But it doesn’t hurt for you to practice it and see how the turkey target looks in relation to your barrel bead at your indicated load/choke maximum shooting distance.

Important turkey shooting tip – I also want to include one additional tip here before I end this discussion. Turkey hunters often fall into the bad habit of lifting their head off their gun’s stock a little to see that big gobbler, and thus, shoot or miss high. Don’t forget, when that gobbler is starting to get in range, check your sight picture and remind yourself to get your head down on that stock before you pull the trigger!

Hopefully, I’ve provided you some usable information. Responsible hunters realize their equipment has limitations, so they pattern test their preferred load and choke combinations, they restrict their shots to the selected load and choke combo’s proven maximum effective range, and they exercise good shot selection and placement to reduce or eliminate crippling.

Good luck!

Author:  UnderBeforeOver12 [ Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

Joe Hunter - Thanks for all the info!!! We are aiming to hunt one before the end of this year, plenty of time!

Author:  MTmag [ Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

Joe Hunter.
Great information as always!
I’m saving your post for every time someone asks about turkey hunting.

The only thing I can add is to go have fun and be prepared to get addicted.

Author:  Tidefanatic [ Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

Great advice, Joe! Just a point to add. For anyone, do not get involved with turkey hunting unless you want/need another addiction in your life!! Also, plenty of opportunities to lighten your wallet too!

Author:  Joe Hunter [ Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

Thanks to all for the kind words, glad the tips were helpful. Yes, go do your best and enjoy the hunt, sometimes it workouts out and sometimes it doesn't!

Author:  Turkinator [ Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

I’m sitting in one of my Alabama turkey spots as I type this. I’m in my 5th year with a 20ga as my designated turkey gun. I shoot a Benelli M2 and handloaded TSS. My gun has a 24” barrel and I have a Burris FF3 mounted on it, your Beretta should make a fine turkey gun. However remember, the “gun” is the least part of the turkey hunting equation. Woodsmanship, calling abilities I.e. knowing basic turkey sounds and knowing when to call and not call, mean far more than the shotgun you’re carrying. Turkey hunting will hopefully involve shooting a stationary target at reasonable ranges. The 2 I’ve taken in Alabama this week makes 37 gobblers since I went to the 20ga. Good luck. And as it was stated, this IS an addiction!!!

Author:  Turkinator [ Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A400 Xplor 20ga for turkey?

Took Alabama #3 about a half hour after posting this! 8)

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