Yes, my brothers and sisters in camo, I know we’re not going into spring gobbler season, but we’re looking down on something called fall turkey season. Hopefully some of you will be participating in this ancient traditional season (a hunting tradition much older than the spring season, I must tell you).
So, since we’re going to be in turkey season soon, I thought we could talk about some turkey shotguns and the phenomenon of using .410 caliber (not a caliber, remember) for America’s largest game bird, the wild turkey Not long ago, the .410 was perhaps thought of as a young hunter’s shotgun for small game at close range, the squirrel hunter’s first shotgun. Times are changing, and now the .410 is being used by turkey hunters big and small, thanks to a little thing called TSS, or Tungsten Super Shot.
The trend for smaller or smaller caliber shotguns for turkeys has become, as they say, a “thing”.
All of this happened very quickly. A few years ago, turkey shotgun fans were more likely to discuss the merits of 3 1/2-inch versus 3-inch Magnums rather than which is the best load for a delicate .410. This transformation was basically caused by one thing: the mysterious metal called tungsten or tungsten.
A secret, almost cult-like group of turkey killers hand-loaded tungsten bullets for years and reported unbelievable and often unbelievable results. Someone in this movement coined TSS for super tungsten shot, and the rest is history.
Apex, Browning, Hevi Shot, Federal, Fiocchi, and Kent Cartridge offer TSS shotgun loads commercially. Because it is so much heavier and harder, tungsten has performance capabilities far superior to lead. This allows for the loading of much smaller shot, and TSS fans will tell you that a No. 9 tungsten shot has the same performance as a No. 5 lead shot. 9 instead of n. 5 means about twice as many bullets can be loaded into the shell, so sub-calibers, primarily the .410, are now in demand by turkey hunters.
Here are some to consider.
Rossi Tuffy Turkey .410
Rossi is expanding its line of single shot action shotguns with the introduction of the new Tuffy Turkey .410. At 26 inches, it is the longest barrel among Tuffy .410 shotguns. This 3-inch barrel-bore chambered shotgun includes an “extra full” choke tube installed in the barrel to provide a higher density of shot in this .410 platform. This combination can be combined with .410 turkey-specific loads such as Fiocchi or Federal TSS, giving you a ready-to-go turkey hunting platform. The gun also comes with a modified choke in the box, allowing this gun to be used for other duties and not just during turkey season.
The unique buttstock includes a thumbhole-style pistol grip and a buttstock well that contains an integrated 2-by-5 cartridge holder for quick reloading. A thick rubber butt pad helps reduce recoil, and the new Tuffy stock comes with a removable extended piece, allowing it to be used by an adult or junior shooter. Up front, the forefoot is contoured and textured, and includes recessed finger grooves for optimal grip even when wearing gloves. Although the Tuffy Turkey comes with a front sight, an aluminum Picatinny rail mounts to the receiver to accept a red dot optic.
Additional features include a thumb break action, hammer with spurs, and a cross-bolt safety system. The polymer cabinet is olive green with a matte black body and sink finish. Sling studs are installed at the factory. This is a great deal of single barrel shotguns for a kid’s first gun and to keep them in .410 TSS fashion for the MSRP of $243.
CZ-USA USA Drake
CZ-USA offers this small overlay trim in 12, 20 and 28 gauge as well as .410 gauge. The Turkish walnut stocks and forearms are cut with laser engraving which provides a good grip on the shotgun. The Drake has a single selective trigger (which I like) and heavy-duty extractors to pick up spent shells. The Drake has 28-inch barrels, five interchangeable chokes with 12, 20 and 28 gauges, fixed improved and modified cylinder chokes on the .410 model, and ships in a hard plastic case. This 6-pounder is also a great shotgun for an MSRP of $765.
TriStar Viper G2 .410 Camo
If you’re in the running for a .410 buckshot with all your friends and want a semi-auto, the Viper G2 might be for you. The stock and forearm are injection molded and finished with TriStar’s “soft touch” finish for a firm grip on the gun, and the camo pattern is Realtree Max-4HD. The .410 Viper G2 is chambered in 3 inches and will fire heavy waterfowl loads and light target ammunition. Three chokes are included: improved, modified and full cylinder. The choke system is Benelli/Beretta Mobil threads for those looking for an aftermarket choke. This shotgun carries a five-year mechanical warranty and an MSRP of $790.
Browning Field BPS
This weapon has been around for a while and has its own fans. The BPS Field model has a classic look with a matte blued body, ventilation ribs and a satin finished stock. Many like the BPS for its unique bottom loading and ejection port, which along with a top pin safety makes it truly ambidextrous. The BPS Field has a 28-inch barrel that is threaded for the “Invector-Plus” choke system, a chrome-plated chamber, and is available in 12-, 16-, 20-, and 28-gauge as well as .410. MSRP is $799.
Mossberg 500 Turkey .410
Answering the call for .410 turkey pistols, Mossberg has likely hit a home run with the 500 Turkey at Mossy Oak Bottomland. The action of a Mossberg 500 shotgun has stood the test of time and is as tough as a pine knot. This Model 500 Turkey features a 26-inch barrel with full fixed choke, adjustable fiber optic sight, vent rib, and convenient top pin safety. The length of pull is just under 14 inches, and the shotgun has a 5 plus 1 ammo capacity. This is the Mossberg 500 many of you started out with and grew up with, chambered in .410 and cased with maybe the coolest camo pattern ever. MSRP is $529.
“Guns & Cornbread” is written by Larry Case, who lives in Fayette County, W.Va. He can write to firstname.lastname@example.org.