Today you get your choice of one of two guns with which to collect your Thanksgiving dinner, one rifle and one shotgun. To make the fight fair, we’ll pretend rifles are legal for fall turkeys wherever you happen to be hunting and that fall turkey hunting is legal for that matter. Neither of these gun’s owners submitted them as turkey guns, but I hope they won’t mind this matchup, and it’s appropriate for the holiday.

The rifle is a .223, one of the preferred turkey calibers, along with the .22 Hornet. The shotgun is a 20 gauge. I often hunt turkeys with an 870 Youth model just like this one, so I can vouch for its effectiveness. You riflemen will have to enlighten me about the .223 for turkeys but I am betting it’s deadly.

Here are the guns:

Gerry’s 870


This 20 gauge youth model was my son’s primary duck gun, but he recently moved up to a 12 gauge. I camo painted it, and will use it this season as my back up gun in case my new one fails to perform.

Mr. Matthew’s Savage 11


This is my truck gun. It can do whatever I need it to do inside 300 yards. It sports a 20″ barrel and a Nikon 4×12 p-223 scope with BDC (bullet drop compensating) reticle. It eats Hornady 55 grain soft points all day long with one inch groups at 100 yards.

There are your choices. Let’s keep the “rifles vs. shotguns for turkeys” discussion civil. It’s a holiday, after all, and one specifically dedicated to giving thanks for all the blessings we enjoy, including those of the great outdoors. Vote and comment below. Send your gun pictures to I will be thankful if you do. Enjoy the holiday!