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I recently found an old 12 gauge Mossberg 500 in a back closet and have some 3 inch mag shok turkey loads from federal premium. What kind of patterning can I expect? Are there any other turkey loads you may prefer for gobblers?

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  • I recently found an old 12 gauge Mossberg 500 in a back closet and have some 3 inch mag shok turkey loads from federal premium. What kind of patterning can I expect? Are there any other turkey loads you may prefer for gobblers?

    I recently found an old 12 gauge Mossberg 500 in a back closet and have some 3 inch mag shok turkey loads from federal premium. What kind of patterning can I expect? Are there any other turkey loads you may prefer for gobblers?

  • #2
    It depends on what choke the gun has. If it is full choke, you should be good to go for turkey.

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    • #3
      The choke for the barrel is stamped into the barrel itself. You can get some large pieces of cardboard or buy some patterning targets to see how well the shotgun does. This will also tell you how well your pattern is centered. Those loads you have should be fine. I always use 3 inch magnum #4 for turkey and they always did the job.

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      • #4
        Since you said it is an "old" Mossberg 500 first make sure that it can even handle a 3" magnum load. As others already asked, what is the choke on the barrel? In reality those older 500's probably shoot better than the new ones!

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        • #5
          It depends on what choke the gun has, and what # shot is in the shells. If the gun has a full choke, and the shells are #4s, you should be in good shape out to 40 yards. If the shells contain 5s or 6s, you might be good out to 45, maybe even 50. I wouldn't shoot at a live bird beyond 40 without actually patterning the gun though, just to be sure what your maximum range is.
          I personally use 3.5" #5 Winchester Supreme turkey loads in my 870, combined with a Remington Super-Full choke. I can get consistent turkey-killing patterns out to 55 yards with that combo, and it has never let me down.

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          • #6
            As others have said, your pattern will depend on the choke size. You just need to get out and shoot it to see how it performs. You may want to try some different brands and loads of shells too. My favorite turkey gun is a BPS 10 gauge with a Browning XX full choke. It patterns best with Winchester Supreme 3.5 inch #5 shot. You don't really need that much gun, but I like the how it performs so I use it. I have killed turkeys with a 20 gauge 870 with 2 3/4 inch #6's. Main thing is, you have to know the limits of your setup and don't push beyond that.

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            • #7
              It has one of those adjustable chokes on the muzzle, and can only be full, modified, or improved. Not sure how that affects my patterning or not..?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FlyBum101 View Post
                It has one of those adjustable chokes on the muzzle, and can only be full, modified, or improved. Not sure how that affects my patterning or not..?
                Sounds like a Poly-Choke, or something similar. The Full setting on that might not be as tight as a standard Full choke, but you still should be in good shape out to about 40 yards. If possible I would pattern it on a sheet of newspaper or something like that before hunting with it though, just to be on the safe side.

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                • #9
                  Choke threads on Mossbergs are uniform, you can go pattern each one to your heart's content or go buy new ones.

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