5 Affordable Turkey Shotguns for First-Time Hunters

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  • Dylan's avatar


  • Corey's avatar

    Mossberg 835 Ultimag

  • Dylan's avatar

    12ga or 20g? Which is better?

  • Tom's avatar

    Get a gun you can use for multiple things. Upland birds, duck, goose, whatever else comes to mind. I would suggest a 12ga. Pump actions are generally more affordable than semi autos and less to go wrong. Make sure you can switch out the chokes, you can get a turkey choke and something a bit more open for shooting clays (for practice) and something in between for duck or upland birds. A Mossburg 500 is an affordable option and I believe Bennelli Nova is around your budget most of the manufacturer’s have an affordable choice. Then there are always the used game if you have a gun shop you trust to go over anything used to make sure it is in good working order. Good luck and have fun.

  • Jeff's avatar

    I have a Mossberg 500 in 12ga and a Savage Stevens in 12ga. Both are pump, and both are absolute workhorses. They take a ton of woodland abuse, and with minimal maintenance they keep filling my tags. I use both for deer, upland bird, waterfowl, and turkey. The Mossberg I’ve had for 26 years, and have only had to replace the firing pin group so far. They’re both definitely within your budget and worth adding to your list of potential guns. Whichever gun you decide on, be sure to get smart on the magazine tube plug if you aren’t already.

  • Dylan's avatar

    Thanks for the advice! I’m very familiar with the Mossberg 500. Carried it as a breaching tool on both my deployments. It is a workhorse!! Just never thought of it as a bird gun. I assume y’all are running it with a choke and longer barrel or is it just stick?

  • Jeff's avatar

    @Dylan It will definitely breach like a beast! The 870 was great for that too. For the M500 most folks don’t use it as a bird gun because everyone likes a semi-auto or O/U. I have used multiple chokes for varying game animals but ultimately turkey is the only choke I use now. Both of my guns have a 26” barrel.

  • Chuck's avatar

    I shoot an Remington 870 youth model 20 gauge. I like a short light shotgun for turkey. The shorter length of pull fits me better when I’m sitting low against a tree.

  • Jon's avatar

    Mossbeg 500 is a great all around bird,deer and plinking gun. Mine are all in 12 ga I run 20-28” barrel lengths I use both youth and adult stocks depending on the hunt. With a good set of choke tubes, good ammo and shooting time can be very lethal at any range. The mrs. And kids Are not a fan of the 12 ga mule kick so if you plan on letting others use it might go to a 20 ga. Best of luck and hunt safe

  • Dylan's avatar

    Thanks for all the advice! I’ll look into the 500 and 870 setups to see what will work best for me. Love that I have this resource now to ask questions. I don’t know anyone that hunts and had to teach myself everything which is what I’ll be doing with the turkeys.

  • Joe's avatar

    Listen to the experience! Mossberg 500 is a great tool. I own the field and game version with the smooth bore and rifled barrel/cantilever scope mount version. I can shoot a 5” group at 200 yards the swap barrels and drop turkeys at 10 yards. The REM 870 is another tried and true, you can’t go wrong with either.

  • A's avatar

    remington 870 or mossberg 500 will do well. Do just fine. really versatile in after market products as well. I've got a primos jelly head choke on a 870 with an added double bead so I get my head down lower to line up my shot. shooting winchester longbeard ammo #5 or #6 shot

  • Josh's avatar

    Man my go to turkey guns are the Mossberg Maverick 88 in 20 and 12 gauges with the right choke and shell combo there awesome guns and very inexpensive.

  • Dylan's avatar

    Thanks for all the advice! Decided to get the Mossberg 500 Turkey Tactical! Tight shot pattern straight out the box and I love the pistol grip.

  • Loweboys's avatar

    @Dylan I did the same thing my turkey gun is a savage stevens 320 20 gauge pump. Smoked my bird this year no problem.

  • Dylan's avatar

    Nice! Haven’t got one yet but hopefully I will get lucky tomorrow morning.

  • Patrick's avatar

    My $160 Mossberg Maverick 88 kills birds every year! Can’t beat it for affordability.

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Dylan's avatar

Dylan G


Marine Corps veteran and avid bow hunter/ outdoor enthusiast. Started hunting as an adult in 2016 and it has become the thing I love most in the world aside from my family. I’m also a mental health therapist who specializes in veteran issues and I am a big advocate for getting more vets into the outdoors for the improvement of health and wellness.

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