The voices of diehard turkey hunters have finally been heard by shotgun manufacturers.
For the last several years we’ve watched as more and more turkey hunters headed into the spring woods toting nimble 20 gauges and TSS shells every bit as deadly as the traditional 12 gauge loads.
But there’s a problem…until recently we were seeing tons of hunters purchasing 20 gauges and having to modify them to be more suitable for turkey hunting. This meant spending time and money on aftermarket stocks and grips, hydro-dipping, turkey barrels, and modifying receivers to mount red dots.
Our prayers have been answered as practically every shotgun manufacturer now offers a 20 gauge option specifically for turkey hunting - and some of them have everything you could dream of. It’s safe to say there’s no better time than now to jump on the TSS bandwagon and give yourself a lighter shotgun with less recoil.
Regardless of which shotgun you choose, we’ve got premium TSS shells that are hand loaded with pride right here in the USA. And if you have any questions, you’ll get a quick response and first-class service so you can easily find the perfect load for your gun.
Now let’s get into the 20 gauge turkey guns you need to look at.
Benelli M2 Field ($1300-$2600)
There’s a bunch of reasons you’ll find 3-gun shooters using Benelli M2s more than any other shotgun. They’re light, reliable, versatile, and easy to work on and modify. This gun is a workhorse practically anywhere, but you’ve got something special when you bring an M2 20 gauge into the turkey woods. And you’ve got a fine gun that can be used for small game, clays, waterfowl, and more. The ComforTech system minimizes felt recoil and the inertia-driven system Benelli is known for keeps the M2 running clean and reliably for years to come.
If there’s one downside to a Benelli M2 it’s the price - your standard black field grade M2 will set you back about $1300 and the performance shop turkey edition runs about $2600. The performance shop gun is ready to go straight from the box but it comes at a steep price. Most hunters are better off with the standard M2 which functions the same and you’ll save a ton of cash - even if you add your own red dot, chokes, and get it dipped in your favorite camo pattern.
Thanks to the Benelli reputation and brand name, these shotguns hold their value well and you can expect a lifetime of service.
Franchi Affinity 3 Turkey Elite ($1150)
Franchi listened to feedback from the most serious turkey hunters and came out with a handsome 20 gauge that has everything you could dream of. You get a pistol grip for quickly getting on target, a top rail for your favorite red dot, and an oversized bolt handle for quick and easy operation. It’s an inertia-driven semi-auto with the rugged reliability Franchi is known for. If chasing spring longbeards near and far is what you live for, this could be the gun you’ve been waiting for. The Turkey Elite comes with extended Rhino choke tubes so you can throw deadly patterns downrange without having to search for aftermarket tubes.
The metal components of the gun are cerakoted for supreme durability and corrosion resistance - perfect for those humid days in the deep South or late season in the Upper Midwest and Northeast. The Affinity 3 Turkey Elite isn’t cheap - you’ll be dropping around $1150 - but it could be the last turkey gun you ever want. This gun is meant for hunters who chase birds every chance they get and want every feature available.
Retay Masai Mara ($1400)
Retay has shaken up the shotgun world in recent years and a legion of loyal fans support their claims. They leave no details overlooked with designing shotguns for next-level function, fit, and finish. You’ll find the Retay Masai Mara sitting as a top option for 20 gauge turkey guns. You get an inertia-driven system, a compact 22” barrel, fiber optic sights, an oversized bolt handle, and more.
Retay left no stone unturned with this line of shotguns…perhaps the best part about this gun is the adjustable shim system. If you’ve ever shouldered a gun that fit perfectly you know the difference this makes. The Masai Mara comes with interchangeable chokes and is available in multiple camo patterns to suit your needs.
Let’s talk more about what you get with Retay because it deserves mention - their barrels have a factory lengthened forcing cone and are deep bore drilled instead of hammer forged…this results in superior straightness. But what’s that mean for you the shooter?
Simply put, your shot pattern smoothly funnels out of the barrel, so you get amazingly consistent patterns.
And if you’ve ever forgotten to load your gun and want to avoid the loud noise of the action slamming shut, the inertia plus rotating bolt doesn’t rattle and you can close it slowly and quietly…perfect for those dead quiet mornings where sound travels a country mile.
This is a top-of-the-line gun at a fair price - around $1400. It’s got everything you’d want in a go-to turkey gun. Put your favorite red dot on top and chase everything from Osceola’s in Florida to Merriam’s in rugged Western country.
Winchester SXP Pump ($550)
This list wouldn’t be complete without a good old-fashioned pump gun and the Winchester SXP gives you the ability to put multiple shots downrange in a short amount of time. Lightweight at just a shade over 6 lbs, it’s made to be hunted hard and exudes the supreme reliability expected from pumps. You get an Invector full choke tube and adjustable fiber optic sights. And the receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts. For about $550 you’re getting a reliable gun you can hunt with for years to come.
It’s tough to justify not having one of these in the safe.
ATI Turkey Fowl
Here’s one a bit different from American Tactical and it’s an over-under designed specifically for chasing longbeards. This might be the gun for you if you want one quick follow-up shot and a one-of-a-kind turkey gun. It’s extremely compact with 22” barrels, fiber optic sights, and it’s dressed in Mossy Oak Bottomland. It’s nearly as foolproof as a single shot but with that extra barrel for when your nerves get the best of you. There’s a good chance we’ll see more of these as time goes on based on the simplicity and ability to get off two shots quickly. And who doesn’t appreciate the novelty of a break-action turkey gun?
Savage 301 Turkey XP ($270)
If simplicity is a thing of beauty, then the Savage 301 Turkey XP is a no-brainer. You can grab this gun with the included red dot for about $270. If you don’t have a backup turkey gun or you’re looking to get a new hunter in the field, this is the perfect option. The Savage 301 is especially useful for road trips where you need the insurance of a backup gun for when things go wrong. This shotgun looks great with Mossy Oak Bottomland on the stock and fore end and a traditional finish on the receiver and barrel. And it’s got a front bead sight if you prefer it over the red dot. The Savage 301 even comes bore sighted with a full choke so it’s ready for action.
Mossberg SA-20 Turkey ($670)
Mossberg has made significant strides in the push for better small-bore turkey guns and the SA-20 is no exception. Long known as budget-friendly, utilitarian guns, Mossberg’s introduction of the SA-20 provides a light 20 gauge option with the reliability of a gas-operated system.
This gun has a top rail to install a red dot or you can use the ghost ring fiber optic sights. And for you Mossy Oak fans, you can get it in Bottomland or Greenleaf camo. This gun looks fantastic and has the potential to be a favorite spring turkey gun for years to come. At around $670, this is a fantastic value for those wanting a semi-auto 20 gauge.
TriStar Viper G2 ($650)
If you want some of the higher-end features in a value-friendly package, the TriStar Viper G2 could be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s got a chrome lined barrel and receiver for maximum corrosion resistance and easy cleaning, as well as a pistol grip for a rock steady hold. The G2 uses a gas-operated system and has options for mounting a red dot or using the included fiber optic sights. The turkey-specific features on this gun are the reason you’ll find a growing number of hunters taking to the woods with the G2. And you’ll find it for less than $650 - another value-packed option for the hunter who wants it all.
Weatherby Element ($700)
When Weatherby introduced the Element turkey gun, hunters everywhere rejoiced as another iconic brand brought a 20 gauge to the market specifically for turkey hunting.
With a 22’ barrel, this gun is easy to carry through the timber and fits easily in a blind. Dressed in Mossy Oak Bottomland and backed by the Weatherby name, this gun is a bargain at around $700. It’s another inertia-driven semi-auto that runs clean and comes with drop and cast shims to get the perfect fit. The fiber optic sights are perfect if you prefer traditional sights over a red dot. And it’s ready for a sling with front and rear QD sling studs for those days when you gotta put the miles on to locate a bird.
The Gun in the Safe
Now perhaps you noticed this list is filled with feature-rich turkey guns and maybe you’re thinking - I’ve already got a couple of 20 gauges, should I really pay more money for another?
At the end of the day, all 20 gauges are essentially shooting the same load…and here lies one of the advantages of TSS - it’s more forgiving and consistent when it comes to patterning. You’re able to get fantastic patterns without as much variation as traditional lead or copper-plated loads. This means you might already own a phenomenal 20 gauge turkey gun, even if it’s not the latest and greatest…the right TSS load easily turns it into deadly medicine for spring gobblers.
The best gun for you could be the one in the safe that you’re already intimately familiar with - we’re talking about all the Remington 870s, Benelli Nova’s, Mossberg 500s…you get the picture. Many of the shotguns we grew up hunting small game with are now perfect for spring gobblers thanks to TSS shells.
If you’ve got some extra cash to burn and desperately want to try a 20 gauge for turkeys, there’s no doubt something in this list you’ll love. But if you’re looking to save a few bucks, grab your favorite 20 gauge from the safe and send some of our TSS through it - chances are you’ll find a favorite “new” turkey gun.
Trust us, you’ll be impressed at the patterns you get from our 20 gauge lineup, click the link below to get started.