Top 3 Shotguns for Spring Turkey Season

Although it’s only mid-February, turkey season is right around the corner and if you’re anything like me, you can’t wait! I was unable to get a single turkey in the Fall and I went out for 6 full days. I covered about 10 miles a day in the National Forest and most of it was valleys that are filled with rocks, snakes, ticks, and sharp sticks from broken branches. The point of this story of failure is that I’m due for a turkey this Spring and although I have my turkey guns ready to go but I know both new and veteran hunters will be in the market for hunting shotguns this Spring. This blog is going to give you the top turkey hunting shotguns that are currently in stock for Spring 2021. 

Autoloader or Pump-Action?

I’ve only been turkey hunting for about 4 years now and I sometimes find myself in the middle of this debate about which action in a shotgun is better. I’ve been fortunate (lucky) enough to bring down birds with all 3 actions (over/under, pump, autoloading) and I will use whatever I have at the moment in a pinch. However, most professionals with a track record way better than mine hunt with pump-action. I really can’t think of any advantage someone would have with a pump-action that they wouldn’t have with an auto-loader. I’m sure there is something a novice like me hasn’t thought of yet, but if I have a choice right now between the 2, I’m going to choose my auto-loader. 

Mossberg 500 Hunting All-Purpose

It’s always been interesting to me how Mossberg has been forgotten about when most people talk about shotguns. My first thought when someone says the word shotgun is Mossberg. I think Remington, Benelli, and Winchester make just as good or better shotguns, but Mossberg has them beat at the price point. The Mossberg 500 Hunting All-Purpose shotgun is on the shelves right now at Sportsman’s Warehouse for less than $400! I took my first turkey with my friend’s 500 Hunting shotgun and loved the feel and recoil control for a 12 gauge. 

Why I Love the Mossberg 500 Hunting

I’ve written multiple blogs on Mossberg and stand by my support for their weapons because I’ve never had issues with a Mossberg. The 500 Hunting All-Purpose is incredibly versatile with the option of changing the stock based on the game you wish to hunt. For example, this model comes in a fixed satin walnut stock, but you can change it out for a tactical or synthetic stock without a gunsmith. The twin-action bars on a Mossberg ensure that you don’t get any binding and the shell always feeds properly. It might not have all the bells and whistles, but it has everything you need to get yourself a turkey and for an incredible price. 

Specs

  • 12 Gauge
  • 5+1  Capacity
  • 28″ Barrel Length
  • 3″ Chamber
  • Pump-Action
  • Vent Rib Barrel
  • Fixed Length of Pull (LOP)
  • 13.875″ LOP
  • 7.5 lbs.
  • 47.5″ Overall Length

$359.99
at Sportsman’s Warehouse
Prices accurate at time of writing

Stoeger M3000 

How many people have heard about a Stoeger shotgun? I know it took me a few years to warm up to the idea of buying a Stoeger over a Remington or Mossberg, but I’m a believer now. The Stoeger M3000 is an auto-loader that chambers 3″ magnum shells for the versatility to hunt any bird we’re legally allowed to hunt. When someone says Inertia Driven action, I think of a Benelli. However, most other companies caught up to that technology and are able to incorporate it into their guns. The Stoeger M3000 is equipped with a ventilated stepped rib to provide a better sighting plane than barrels that don’t have a vent rib.   

Why I Love the Stoeger M3000

Anytime you can get an auto-loading shotgun for less than $500 it almost sounds too good to be true, especially with a brand you might not know as well. I can tell you with confidence that I believe in this gun and even more so in the price point. Inertia driven actions are really fun to shoot because they make a difference in control and felt-recoil. If you take anything from this synopsis, you can trust Stoeger to provide you with a great product at a much more affordable price than a Remington or Benelli. 

Specs

  • 12 Gauge
  • 4+1  Capacity
  • 28″ Barrel Length
  • 3″ Chamber
  • Vent Rib Barrel
  • Fixed Length of Pull (LOP)
  • 14.4″ LOP
  • 7.5 lbs.
  • 49.75″ Overall Length

$475.00
at Sportsman’s Guide
Prices accurate at time of writing

Winchester SX4

The Winchester (Super) SX4 is an incredible autoloader that I had the opportunity to shoot at an NRA training event near San Antonio a couple of years ago. The SX4 is built with a synthetic stock, textured grip surface, and a matte black finish. When you’re hunting turkey any kind of light or color that turkey doesn’t recognize will spook the bird and he’ll be gone faster than you can say “shit”. Having a matte black finish will significantly reduce the glare from your barrel so you won’t have to worry about missing a trophy because of glare. 

Why I Love the Winchester SX4 

The Winchester SX4 is built with the famous Invector-Plus choke tube system that has shown to provide consistently accurate patterns downrange. The TRUGLO® Long bead front fiber-optic sight is perfect for quickly acquiring your target in any environmental condition. This Winchester SX4 is on sale at Sportsman’s Warehouse for $839.99. The SX4 has 4 ports to vent gas as you fire the shotgun to allow optimal ventilation to reduce the felt recoil. The real unique feature of the SX4 is the self-adjusting active valve system. This system somehow only pushes the amount of gas each size shell needs to be effective. For example, if you’re shooting a 3.0″ magnum shell the SX4 will use more gas to shoot the round than the 2.75″ shell. This system allows you to shoot almost any size load, depending on the game you wish to hunt. 

Specs

  • 12 Gauge
  • 4+1  Capacity
  • 28″ Barrel Length
  • 3″ Chamber
  • Vent Rib Barrel
  • Auto-Loading
  • Fixed Length of Pull (LOP)
  • 14.25″ LOP
  • 7.0 lbs.
  • 49.00″ Overall Length

Winchester SX4 Waterfowl

Conclusion

Turkey hunting is a true passion of mine for more reasons than I can state in a blog. I’ve had the privilege of being around guns my entire adult life, through law enforcement and military service. Obviously, everyone is going to be different, but I can say with some authority that these 3 shotguns will give you years of service without spending thousands. Whether you go with a pump-action or autoloader, I know you’ll have a gun to be proud of and most importantly, get you some fresh turkey nuggets for the air-fryer. Good luck and happy hunting!

Table of Contents

  • Autoloader or Pump-Action?
  • Mossberg 500 Hunting All-Purpose
  • Why I Love the Mossberg 500 Hunting
  • Specs
  • Stoeger M3000 
  • Why I Love the Stoeger M3000
  • Specs
  • Winchester SX4
  • Why I Love the Winchester SX4 
  • Specs

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