One of the things on most turkey hunters’ wish list is the latest turkey loads and guns. We eagerly await the new product announcements each spring and often learn of a new or improved turkey gun or load we must have.
We received a sneak preview of what turkey hunters will see in the 2018 gun and ammo catalogs. Here are some of the new products to expect.
THE .410: A TURKEY KILLER?
Federal Premium has been busy developing several new loads for turkey hunters — Heavyweight Tungsten Super Shot, Grand Slam and 3RD Degree with Heavyweight TSS. The new Heavyweight TSS load getting most of the attention is the 3-inch, 13/16-ounce .410 shotshell load using No. 9 shot. This load exits the barrel at 1,100 fps. At this writing, to my knowledge, there is not a commercially available .410 shotgun dedicated to turkey hunting or a dedicated choke tube made in X-full turkey constriction; however, the Federal crew has already tested the new load on wild gobblers. Here is what Federal sent me, via turkey hunter and call maker Bob Fulcher.
“I was able to pick up an old H&R Topper .410 made back in the ‘60s,” Fulcher said. “It has a 28-inch barrel and a wood stock. I patterned it with one shot, and here’s the results: a true 10-inch circle with 223 pellets in it fired at 35 yards. I am going to kill my next turkey with this gun and a .410 Federal load.”
Fulcher followed through with that promise and summed up the hunt by saying, “My gobbler was 30 yards out, and it dropped like a sack of potatoes.”
This new .410 load has gotten the attention of several shotgun manufacturers and, as I write this, at least two are working on offering turkey guns, and at least one choke tube manufacturer is working on an X-full turkey choke tube for a .410-gauge shotgun.
The reason Federal is suggesting the .410 load in No. 9 shot for gobblers is due to the new Heavyweight TSS high-density shot used in this load, as well as others discussed below.
According to Federal, the payload of No. 7 or No. 9 TSS shot provides a pellet count that nearly doubles No. 5 lead of the same weight. The tungsten-alloy material’s 18 gr/cc density is 22 percent higher than standard tungsten and 56 percent more than lead. The result is getting the most energy and highest velocities at extreme range. All the new Heavyweight TSS loads feature the Flightcontrol Flex wad, except the .410.
ADDITIONAL HEAVYWEIGHT TSS LOADS
Other new Federal Premium loads featuring the Heavyweight TSS shot and Flightcontrol Flex wad are 3½-inch 12 gauge, 2¼-ounce loads in No. 7 and No. 9 shot, which has a muzzle velocity of 1,200 fps; 3-inch 12 gauge, 1¾-ounce No. 7 and No. 9 shot with a 1,200 fps muzzle velocity; 3-inch 20 gauge, 1½-ounce No. 7 shot with a 1,200 fps muzzle velocity; and a 3-inch 20 gauge, 1½-ounce No. 7 shot at 1,000 fps.
Also, Federal offers two new 12-gauge 3RD Degree loads featuring No. 7 Heavyweight TSS shot in combination with No. 5 copper-plated shot and No. 6 Flitestopper lead pellets. Both loads have a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps. One is a 3½-inch, 2-ounce load and the other in 3-inch, 1¾-ounce load.
For the 20-gauge fan, there is a 3RD Degree load featuring the same shot mix in 1 7/16-ounce load. It has a muzzle velocity of 1,100 fps.
FEDERAL’S NEW GRAND SLAM TURKEY LEAD LOADS
Federal now has a line of copper-plated lead loads with Flightcontrol Flex wads called the Grand Slam. It is available in 10-gauge 3½-inch, 2-ounce loads in No. 4 and No. 5 shot. The muzzle velocity is 1,200 fps.
In 3½-inch 12 gauge, it is available in 2-ounce loads of No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 shot with a 1,200 fps muzzle velocity. In 3-inch 12 gauge, 1¾-ounce loads, it is available in No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 shot with a 1,200 fps muzzle velocity. In addition, there is a 2¾-inch 12 gauge offering that has 1½-ounce No. 5 shot load that exits the barrel at 1,200 fps.
The 3-inch 20 gauge, 1 5/16-ounce load features No. 5 shot with a muzzle velocity of 1,185 fps.
NEW TURKEY SHOTGUNS
While there are no totally new turkey guns for 2018, there are two new versions of old favorites that have been introduced for turkey hunters.
Winchester SuperX4 NWTF Cantilever Turkey
Winchester has introduced the new model SuperX4 NWTF Cantilever Turkey. This 3½-inch chambered 12 gauge has a total camo finish in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country and comes with an Invector-Plus extra full turkey choke tube. The 24-inch autoloader features a synthetic stock with textured gripping; Back-Bored technology for consistent patterns; chrome-plated chamber and bore; Truglo fiber-optic front sight and adjustable rear sight; Weaver-style cantilever rail for easy optics mounting; drop-out trigger group for easy cleaning; ambidextrous cross bolt safety; cast/drop shims and length of pull spacers for a custom fit; and Inflex technology recoil pad.
The SuperX4 NWTF Cantilever Turkey gun weighs 7½ pounds and has an overall length of 45 inches. The MSRP is $1089.99.
Remington 870 DM Predator/Turkey/Hog
The second new version turkey gun is the Remington model 870 DM Predator/Turkey/Hog. This is the same model 870 platform we have all enjoyed for years but with a major change: The DM model is detachable-magazine fed. This 12-gauge pump action has a 3-inch chamber and 18½-inch barrel and comes with Trulock extra full turkey, predator and hog choke tubes. The stock is a Remington Sure Shot synthetic thumbhole design with Supercel recoil pad, and the forearm is a synthetic cob design. The gun is finished in the Kryptec Highlander camo pattern, comes with a rail on the receiver for easy optic mounting and has a ghost ring rear sight and fiber-optic front sight. Each gun comes with two Remington designed magazines, a three-round and six-round capacity.
The Remington model 870 DM Predator/Turkey/Hog has an overall length of 38½ inches and an MSRP of $799.
NEW TURKEY CHOKE TUBE
Mojo Fatal Shot Choke Tubes has introduced a new 12-gauge turkey tube that has a .655 constriction. Designed for use with all types of turkey guns and ammo, it is made from 17-4ph stainless steel and extends beyond the muzzle with a convenient grip for changing tubes easily. According to Mojo, the .655 turkey tube is proven to deliver denser and more uniform patterns at all shotgun ranges, plus consistent point of impact.
The Mojo Fatal Shot Turkey has an MSRP of $79.99.