Firearms

6 Shotguns Under $500 to Tackle Tommy Three Toes

Mossberg 500 Turkey shotgun mossy oak camo right side

It is the time for the wing tips to drop and to strut your stuff to impress the ladies. Well, if you are a gobbler that is. For the rest of us it is time to dust off our favorite turkey gun. If, however, you find yourself lacking a dedicated turkey gun or are in the market for a new gun, we have your short list prepared. While turkeys are a ton of fun to hunt, your turkey gun shouldn’t break the bank. Here are Cheaper Than Dirt!’s best Turkey Guns for under $500.

The first things we need to go over are a few requirements for a turkey gun. Most hunters prefer to pack a 12-gauge, but with today’s modern turkey loads, a 20-gauge is perfectly acceptable. A few hunters head out each year and take a turkey with a small caliber rifle. This can add a great twist to the hunt, but be sure to check with local laws and do your homework first as to caliber and shot requirement before heading out.

Turkeys have the best eyes in the woods bar none. In fact, if a turkey could smell I doubt we would ever be able to kill one. To increase the odds, your turkey gun needs camo—all camo preferably. A wood stock and matte metal will do the trick, but anyone who has taken on a turkey knows the importance of having every advantage, no matter how small. There are aftermarket solutions as simple as a few cans of spray paint or camo tape, but these are less than ideal. Alternatively, you could send your shotgun to a company specializing in camo dipping.

However, let’s assume you are in the market for a new shotgun; specifically one designed to cause turkeys to have nightmares without doing the same to your wallet. Your options become limited, but only by the slightest degree. Compared to rifles or even many handguns, shotguns are cheap and this is good news for hunters looking for a dedicated turkey gun. Speaking of price, make sure the gun fits the shooter. Do not start a youngster, woman or any smaller-frame shooter with your hand-me-down just to save a buck. Give them a gun that fits and allow them to enjoy the experience rather than dread the beating they will take from an ill-fitting gun. When they outgrow it, you can always sell it and get you money back.

Most turkey hunters seem to prefer to have an optic riding on top these days. Perhaps its just older eyes, but more likely it is the aiming advantage when the pressure is on. Putting a red dot at the base of a turkey’s neck is much more accurate than relying on a bead. If this is your choice, pick a gun that is ready to accept an optic.

Mossberg 500 Turkey

The Mossberg 500 Turkey features a pump action and is chambered in 12 or 20 gauge. The Turkey comes standard with a synthetic stock decked in Mossy Oak. The 500 Turkey has a vent rib barrel and bright fiber optic sights for fast acquisition. The barrel is ported allowing gases to be expelled just before reaching the muzzle. This aids in reducing the recoil from heavy turkey loads. The 500 Turkey is shooter-friendly thanks to its ambidextrous safety.

 
Mossberg 500 Turkey
Gauge 12
Chamber 3-inch
Action Pump
Barrel 24 inches
Overall Length 44.25 inches
Weight 7.25 pounds
Length of Pull 14.5 inches
Sights Vent rib with adjustable fiber optic
Stock Synthetic
Capacity Six rounds
Finish Mossy Oak
Features Ported barrel, ambidextrous safety, full choke
 
Mossberg 500 Turkey
Gauge 20
Chamber 3-inch
Action Pump
Barrel 24 inches
Overall Length 44.25 inches
Weight 7.25 pounds
Length of Pull 14.5 inches
Sights Vent rib with adjustable fiber optic
Stock Synthetic
Capacity Six rounds
Finish Mossy Oak
Features Ported barrel, ambidextrous safety, full choke

Remington Model 870 Express Magnum Turkey Camo

With a durable synthetic stock and fore-end that are fully camouflaged with Mossy Oak’s Break-Up, the Model 870 Express Magnum Turkey Camo 12-gauge pump-action shotgun is ready for the harsh weather and environment so often associated with turkey hunting. The low recoil 12-gauge pump comes with Remington’s Full Rem Choke and is capable of handling 3-inch magnum shotshells for added knockdown power. Featuring a 21-inch vent rib barrel, the 870 Turkey provides the proper fit and balance for youth or smaller-stature hunters and the ultimate in maneuverability for turkey hunters of all sizes.

Remington's Model 870 Express Turkey right side camouflage
Remington’s Model 870 Express Turkey boasts low recoil and a Full Rem Choke standard.
 
Remington Model 870 Express Magnum Turkey
Gauge 12
Chamber 3-inch
Action Pump
Barrel 21 inches
Weight 7.25 pounds
Length 42.5 inches
Sights Vent-rib bead-sight, drilled and tapped receiver for use with Weaver rail #429M
Stock Synthetic with integrated sling swivel attachment
Capacity 4 +1 capacity
Finish Mossy Oak Break Up
Features Extra Full Rem Turkey choke, standard express-finished barrel and receiver

Winchester SXP Turkey Hunter

When you need to put a softball-sized shot pattern into the head and neck of a big gobbler, precision is the key. Winchester bills the SXP Turkey Hunter as, “a shotgun that points like a rifle” for just that reason. Winchester outfits the SXP Turkey Hunter with adjustable fiber-optic sights. Alternatively, the SXP Turkey Hunter comes drilled and tapped for your favorite optic. The SPX Turkey Hunter comes dressed in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo.

Winchester SXP shotgun right side Mossy Oak camouflauge
Winchester’s Super-X Pump (SXP) boasts itself as the pinnacle of precision with adjustable fiber optic sights and the ergonomics to point like a rifle.
 
Winchester SXP Turkey Hunter
Gauge 12
Chamber 3.5-inch
Action Pump
Barrel 24 inches
Weight 6 lbs. 10 oz.
Length 45 inches
Length of Pull 13.75 inches
Sights TruGlo fiber optic front and rear, drilled and tapped for scope
Stock Synthetic
Capacity 4
Finish Mossy Oak, black chrome bolt
Features Extra full choke, chrome-plated chamber and bore, Invector-Plus flush choke system, Inflex 1 recoil pad, choke wrench included
 
Winchester SXP Turkey Hunter
Gauge 20
Chamber 3-inch
Action Pump
Barrel 24 inches
Weight 6 lbs. 4 oz.
Length 45 inches
Length of Pull 13.75 inches
Sights TruGlo fiber optic front and rear, drilled and tapped for scope
Stock Synthetic
Capacity 5
Finish Mossy Oak, black chrome bolt
Features Extra full choke, chrome-plated chamber and bore, Invector-Plus flush choke system, Inflex 1 recoil pad, choke wrench included

TriStar Raptor ATAC Turkey

TriStar Arms Raptor ATAC Turkey shotgun isn’t exactly a looker, but thanks to the Mossy Oak Break Up camo-patterned furniture you’ll hardly notice. The ATAC Turkey’s 24-inch barrel gives it a long 30-inch sight radius without sacrificing mobility and handling. The ATAC Turkey is compatible with Beretta Mobile chokes although it is unlikely you’ll need more than the included extended turkey choke. The barrel and chamber are chrome-lined for increased wear and corrosion resistance, so taking a gobbler in less-than-ideal conditions does not present a problem. Raised rifle sights or the included Picatinny rail provides iron/fiber optic sights or your choice of compatible optic. Building on the tradition design, the ATAC Turkey also features a rubber pistol grip.

TriStar Raptor ATAC Turkey
TriStar’s Raptor ATAC Turkey features a chrome lined chamber and barrel making it an ideal choice for any weather condition.
 
TriStar Raptor ATAC Turkey
Gauge 12
Chamber 3-inch
Action Semiautomatic
Barrel 24 inches
Weight 7.2 pounds
Length 7.1 pounds
Length of Pull 14.25 inches
Sights Raised rifle sights or included Picatinny rail
Stock Synthetic with pistol grip
Capacity 5
Finish Mossy Oak Break Up
Features Chrome lined barrel, rubber pistol grip, compatible with Beretta Mobile chokes

Benelli Nova Pump Field

Benelli’s top-of-the-line turkey shotgun carries an MSRP of just under $3,000; however, you can still get Benelli quality in the budget-friendly Nova Pump Field. The Nova Pump Field shotgun offers unsurpassed strength and weather resistance. The lightweight shotgun is offered in 12-gauge, 3-1/2-inch magnum and 20-gauge, 3-inch magnum. Top features include a steel skeletal framework over-molded with high-tech polymer; forend shell-stop button, stock and receiver are formed as one solid unit and the compact 20-gauge configuration, which is ideal for smaller-frame shooters. Keeping you from getting spotted, the Benelli Nova Field is available in matte black, Realtree Max5 or Realtree APG camo.

Benelli Nova Field Pump
The Benelli Nova Field Pump is offered in 12-gauge, 3-1/2-inch magnum and 20-gauge, 3-inch magnum. It is lightweight and soft shooting—do you really need to know more?
 
Benelli Nova Pump Field
Gauge 12
Chamber 3-inch
Action Pump
Barrel 24, 26, 28 inches
Weight 7.8, 7.9, 8.0 pounds
Length 45.5, 47.5, 49.5 inches
Sights Mid bead and red bar front sights
Stock Synthetic, Non-ComforTech
Capacity 4+1
Finish Black, Realtree APG, Max 5
Features Rotating bolt head, push button shell stop

H&R Pardner Turkey Gun

Turkeys are not known for second chances, so you need to make every shot count. With H&R’s Pardner Turkey gun, the single-shot design means you will focus 100 percent on making the first shot count and not worrying about a follow-up.

The versatile and economical Pardner Turkey design has changed very little since its introduction in 1893, because it works. Break actions have long been the choice of straight shooters who want the most out of their single shot at game or a clay target because they are lightweight, quick pointing and have very few moving parts to maintain. The Pardner is a great starter gun due to H&R’s Transfer Bar System. Opening with a press of the lever and with lock up as tight as a bank vault door, the Transfer Bar System acts as a safety to prevent unintended firing. In addition, each gun comes complete with its own special locking device for safe storage. All models are single shot, break-open action with side-lever release, automatic ejection, fixed full chokes or screw-in turkey chokes. A 20 gauge, 22-inch barreled compact model with camo-finished hardwood is also available.

H&R Pardner Turkey shotgun
H&R’s Pardner Turkey gun is perfect as a starter gun or for the veteran. The single-shot break open design ensures every shot will count the ultimate in mechanical reliability.
 
H&R Pardner Turkey Gun
Gauge 12
Chamber 3.5-inch
Action Break action
Barrel 24 inches
Weight 6 pounds
Length 40 inches
Length of Pull 14.25 inches
Sights Front bead
Stock American hardwood stock
Capacity Single shot
Finish Camo patterned, blued
Features Transfer Bar System prevents accidental discharge

Do you have a favorite turkey thumper? Share it with us in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (4)

  1. I love shotguns. I have 4 at the current time, both hunter and tactical models. Of course, my pride ids my father’s very old .410 that he hunted with as a boy. My old Mossberg has been the bane of many pheasants and rabbits, and I love it like a brother.

    While i understand the benefits in terms of marksmanship training for a single shot (I bought a bolt action single shot .22 a loooong time ago to help me improve my marksmanship) the best shotgun there is is the dependable pump. I own a Saiga, but for sheer utility., the pump is king in my book.

    Each to their own, and all of you enjoy what you like, but my mind is made up on pumps.

  2. All of these shotguns are very nice and the price is right, but, with all due respect, I’ll stick with an old timer that I have taken everything from squirrels to elk…Remington Model 48 in 12ga.
    it is chambered for 2.75 but I have used 3″. The only issue with the longer shells is I have to manually remove the spent casing as the election port is too short for the longer round.
    It has functioned flawlessly for over 25yrs. It cost me $99.00.

  3. I am using a UTAS UTS15 12 ga tactical shotgun. It has magazine plugs, which are available from UTAS USA to limit the capacity to a total of 3 shells, a 7″ barrel extension (also an option from UTAS), a TruGlo turkey choke, and an EoTech XPS sight. I shot a federal turkey load. I also used some tape to add camo to the front half of the otherwise black firearm.

    I was able to get a 35 lb tom within the first hour of the hunt, thanks to my guide, John Andrews, of Epic Outfitters. We were hunting the Kessler Ranch, near DeBeque. Colorado. There is a photo here – http://guide.sportsmansguide.com/trophies/james-heimer/.

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