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After an afternoon of blasting away at the backstop on my property, the conversation amongst us buds drifted to turkey talk. Specifically those special purpose-built shotguns on the market today. In a lull in the chatter, I cleared my throat and quietly asked why not attempt to take an Osceola with a handgun this fall? At first, the brethren sighed and huffed as though I'd suggested that the NL adopt the DH rule!

Shortly thereafter, it seems my friends decided to play and string me along.

Before long, a list of ideas sprung forth: a 6" Ruger GP100, a Glock M34/9mm, an 8 3/8" Smith M48/.22Mag and for my 2 Euros, a 6.5" Ruger Single Six Bisley .32 H&R Mag w/ handloads.

And now after our respective dinners tonight, phones have continued expanding on this topic.

What say you? (Before I get responses questioning the legalities, it is permitted here in Florida to turkey hunt on private land with a handgun.)
 

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I've shot mice, rabbits, squirrels and deer with a handgun but never a turkey . Why not, provided you are proficient with it. IHMSA guys been doing it for years. Good luck getting close enough.

Papalote
 

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I've filled Turkey tags with a handgun, my old 3 screw Super. Handguns are legal in South Dakota if the cartridge is factory rated to produce over 700 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. That includes .357 Mag, .41 Mag, .44 Mag and several Contender chamberings. The season coincides with the regular Firearms Season for Turkey, that is Gobblers only in Spring, any sex in the Fall. I use a .44 Mag handload with either cast 240's or Rainier plated 240 grain bullets over a mid-range charge of Unique.
 

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I remember watching a hunting program on TV where they were hunting Turkey with a handgun. I don't remember what they were using though. I can' do it here as Missouri is Shotgun/Archery only for Turkey.
 

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And here I came to this thread expecting to see photos of a Turkey carrying.
 

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It's illegal in Ohio. I shoot a lot of small game and varmits with handguns. Wouldn't be a big deal to take a turkey. Wouldn't be as hard to hit as a squirrel with body shots. When I'm out of state deer hunting I always take a few rounds of Turkey ammo with me for deer rifle. Cartridges with bullets that won't expand much. To much gun with center hit on Turkey don't leave much except mattress stuffing. I shot a chicken one time with 44mg, 240gr JHP. It was on a bet with the guy who owned farm we were hunting on. It killed the hen alright but it was creame chicken on Bisquit material when the cloud of feathers cleared. If you hit the breast with a large caliber you might as well not have shot it if you intend to eat it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I say go for it! Can I come too?

AC
Alan, of course!

Am also thinking it might be fun to exhibit the usefulness of a M336/.30wcf loaded to .32-20 velocity with a 115 grain cast bullet on these critters.
 

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My first turkey was taken with a Colt Official Police, 38 special, 140 gr. Hornady at about 950 fps. Worked well then, has worked well for the 30 years since. Also successful were 41 mag, 32 S&W Long with a 100 gr. SWC at 1000 fps, 380 ACP with factory Hornady flexitip ammo (22 yards bang/flop), 38 special out of a Detective Special second model, and a Cobra first model, 45 ACP in the old Gold Cup, and probably another 10 I don't remember. All my turkey handgun hunting has been done with regular carrying guns, although I've several Contenders used for deer, antelope, and coyote, it just doesn't seem right to use a scope on Turkey. Personal thing I'm sure.
Go for it. If you're a competent handgunner it makes for a great hunt.
 

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Alan, of course!

Am also thinking it might be fun to exhibit the usefulness of a M336/.30wcf loaded to .32-20 velocity with a 115 grain cast bullet on these critters.
That will work but if you want, load 115g FMJs for 30carbine. We used these in 30/30 to shoot Red Fox with least pelt damage. For squirrel we use 100gr 1/2jacket Plinkers, this one loaded down to 32/20 vels.
 

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I have a TC Contender. Pretty old but what a pistol. I have a nice scope on the .22 barrel and would easily take a turkey with a head shot. Once I got the thing zeroed in it just does not miss. I am far from being a great shot. It is another gun range favorite. I shoot a 30/30 Waters and guys come over to see what little pistol is making all the noise. I have not figured out how many barrels I need to this thing. The .410/.45 is pretty neat to shoot. I picked this TC Contender up at a yard sale, for crying out load, $200.00 about 30 years ago. It came with a nice shoulder holster and a total of six barrels.
 

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i had a friend who's land bordered a giant orange grove in labelle, he would shoot turkey's with an old ruger 22/45 target model.
don't know if it was legal or not, he was way out there and he was an insatiable drunk.
I know in TN turkey is shotgun only and believe it is #4 shot or smaller to be legal
 

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They will die with a pellet rifle and bow so why not a hand gun?? Even got one with a motorcycle and many with a truck they seem to die pretty easy. No season or tag required.
 

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About 25 years ago I got an osceola with my 38 Special from about 15 yards. I wasn't turkey hunting at the time but I saw a tom coming down a trail so I just took the gun I had available which was a S&W model 15 loaded with my handload of 158gr SWC @ 850 fps. That tom got about 15 yards from me (I was hiding behind a palmetto palm) and stopped so I aimed at the base of the neck and fired single action. I'm not sure if I was good or if I was lucky but that bullet hit the base of the head from the front and split the neck bone.
 

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Back in the day I killed my share of turkeys using factory 250-grain pointed conical lead .45 Colt factory loads from a Colt New Service revolver with 5-1/2" barrel and it always did the job fine, without excessive meat destruction so that you could eat right up to the bullet hole. Most of the time range was from 20-40 yards. Did deer too with the same ammo as I didn't know any better.

45Colt756198429.jpg ColtNS45Colt.jpg
 
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