What's your best turkey load?

Discussion in 'Traditional Muzzleloader Hunting' started by BillinOregon, Feb 11, 2019.

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  1. Feb 11, 2019 #1

    BillinOregon

    BillinOregon

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    Got to thinking maybe I should finally "blood" my 11-gauge Marshfield fowler, and thought I would start with a square load and go from there -- adding shot before adding more powder. My thought is that a really well-balanced load might be effective out to close to 30 yards from an unchoked smoothbore, if everything is working in full harmony. Love to hear your thoughts and experience. It will time, pretty soon!
     
  2. Feb 12, 2019 #2

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Bill,
    Is there a legal shot size or does that just depend on how big the holes you want to put in the bird?
    I suppose the question may be better asked, " Is a larger size load of shot going to have more knock down power and/carry farther?

    The Sicilian
     
  3. Feb 12, 2019 #3

    sb 54 cal.

    sb 54 cal.

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    .540 bore smooth rifle @ 25 yds. 65 gr. fffg and 75 grains 5's and 6's mixed using skychiefs load as a base fiber wad over powder and 1/2" cushion wad on top of shot all lubed with olive oil. Min. ga. for turkey in Mo. is .410 IMG00092.jpg
     
  4. Feb 12, 2019 #4

    Patocazador

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    In my 12 ga. SxS I use 1 3/8 oz. of #5 over 80 grs. of 2F. I use this with unslit plastic shotcups from Ballistic Products. These cups act as a choke to limit the spread of your shot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  5. Feb 12, 2019 #5

    Rat

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    For turk, here in Washington State, we are only allowed #4 shot. If I had the choice, I'd mix some #2 in with it, but can't. I do mix in a little bit of smaller shot, #6 and #7, but not much. I hunt turk with a Brown Bess carbine.

    Now for turkey, I like a little more punch and load 110 grains of fg, and about 1 3/4 ounces of shot, maybe close to 2 oz. I have my shot in paper cartridges, made of grocery bag paper. I don't tear it open and pour in the shot, I load the whole unit as-is. It ranges out very well, and kills turkeys very well. I use at least a couple of "wraps" of the paper.

    For grouse, while on the subject of shot loads, I go with 100 grains of fg, one ounce of mixed #6 and #7, and a single wrap of lunch bag, paper bag paper.
     
  6. Feb 12, 2019 #6

    Rat

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    Larger shot will carry further, and that is why many states limit shot size, for turkey hunting, to #4.
     
  7. Feb 12, 2019 #7

    Sicilian Hunter

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Rat,
    Do you wax or grease the shot cartridge?
    Do you patch over the powder charge first?
     
  8. Feb 12, 2019 #8

    Sicilian Hunter

    Sicilian Hunter

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    I'll have to check and see what it is here in NM for shot size limits on turkey
     
  9. Feb 12, 2019 #9

    jackley

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    I always start with a square load. In my 12 I use 85grs. 2f and a 95gr measure of shot. Try the skychief load it does seem to work. In my 16ga dbl bbl. flinter it did tighten the group.

    Jerry
     
  10. Feb 12, 2019 #10

    Nodrama43

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    this year I want to try and kill a turkey with a black powder gun as well. What caliber smoothbore would you recommend? I might just grab a barrel somewhere to stick on one of my Thompsons.
     
  11. Feb 12, 2019 #11

    jackley

    jackley

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    Just go down a few threads and see 20ga vs 10ga for turkey. It has all the info you need about ga.

    Jerry
     
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  12. Feb 12, 2019 #12

    Nodrama43

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    Got it thank you
     
  13. Feb 12, 2019 #13

    Sicilian Hunter

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Apparently, NM has no shot limitations.
    The only thing you can't use is a slug/ball and some WMAs require steel shot.
    For those NM residents that didn't already know
     
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  14. Feb 13, 2019 #14

    Brokennock

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    20 gauge smooth rifle. In order from breach to muzzle, 85 grains 3f powder, two thin "overshot" cards, lubed felt wad, small nest lubed shredded sisal rope/twine, 1 1/4 oz #5 shot wrapped in 2 layers brown paper bag paper (more on this later), topped with 2 thin "overshot" cards to hold the whole mess in. I plan to retest this load adding a saturated "cushion" wad to the top of the whole thing, ala the "SkyChief Special" and see if I can gain a little more pattern density/evenness, and maybe a few yards of range

    I've been planning for quite some time to do a picture tutorial on making my premade shot "cartridges" and now with the new ease of not needing a picture host elsewhere on the web, I will get this done tonight/tomorrow when I get out of work.
     
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  15. Feb 13, 2019 #15

    BillinOregon

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    Back in Oregon when I worked at Sportsman's post retirement, No. 5 shot was widely considered the optimum size among serious turkey hunters using modern arms. I think I will try a square load using a mix of No. 5 and No. 6, using Skychief's unusual wad column over either Swiss or Old Enynesford FFg and see where this gets me, pattern-wise. Checked my stash, and darned if I don't have the proper 11-gauge wads from Circle Fly on hand.
     
  16. Feb 13, 2019 #16

    Sparkitoff

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    I use a 19 gauge. I load 80 grains FFFg with a cushion wad, 1 1/4 oz shot and a over shot card. This produces a "modified" choke pattern and is good to 35 yards in this shotgun. The shot size that seems to work best is #6.
     
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  17. Feb 13, 2019 #17

    Rat

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    I don't wax or grease the shot cartridge, because, once I shoot at a turk, he's either dead, or they are all spooked, so I have plenty of time to wipe the barrel. In other words, don't need a fast or immediate reload, and I make the cartridges to be pretty tight fitting. I've only missed one Turk, because I got excited, was sure he was going to spook before I pulled the trigger, and I shot over him. I didn't have any cover, or very little. In my mind's eye, I could/can plainly see my front sight way too high up in the rear sight, when Old Bessie went bang. Poor Bessie, wasn't her fault.

    Oh yeah, forgot to add that I usually use two wonder wads over the powder, but just recently started using wax "biscuits" instead. I have not tried them in Bess yet or in shot loads. The "wax biscuit" is a wonder wad, or felt wad, that I drop into a small container of very hot bees wax, (no lube) fish out, place on wax paper to cool. My theory is that they won't contaminate the powder like a wonder wad will. They have worked well in my black powder revolvers so far.
     
  18. Feb 14, 2019 #18

    Brokennock

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    I finally posted the shot cup/cartridge tutorial in the smoothbore section.
     
  19. Feb 14, 2019 #19

    Robby

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    16 ga., 80 gr's FF, heavy cardboard wad, 1/8" thick cushion lubed, 1-1/2 oz. 2-4 mix shot, overshot card.
    Robby
     
  20. Feb 14, 2019 #20

    okawbow

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    #6 copper plated shot has never failed me for turkeys out to 40 yards. I shoot a 12 gauge full choke with a 90 grain measure of 1 1/2f and the same measure heaping full of shot. I use 2 -1/8ā€ thick hard card wads over the powder and 1 of the same over the shot. Iā€™ve shot many turkeys with that load, and usually the are bang flop even at the longer ranges. Have never lost one with that load.
    With an open cylinder bore, I use 7 1/2 shot to get the most shot in the air as possible. Only aim for head shots.
     

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