A few years ago, Benelli took me and three other writers to Texas to try out their then-new SteadyGrip tactical turkey stock. I shot an M2 with a Swarovski 30mm dangerous game scope on top. Ballpark, it was a $2500 gobbler rig. I liked it, and, it killed turkeys. But it didn’t kill them any deader than guns I’ve used that cost 1/10 as much. One year, I hunted with an old Model 97 Winchester with a pitted, 30-inch full choke barrel that I paid $190 for. My standby gun for the past five seasons has been a Mossberg 835, although this year I’m shooting an 870 Express Jr. just to try a 20 gauge.
All a turkey gun has to do is shoot once reliably. With the money you save on your gun, you can buy premium non-toxic turkey loads that pattern well in almost any gun. Here’s a gallery of 10 cheap gobbler guns. I’ve shot turkeys with five of these, and either hunted with or shot targets and patterns with the rest. Only one lists for more than $500. Here they are, in descending order of price.