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Stoeger’s new 3500 Predator/Turkey is meant to be a two-season gun, ready for spring gobblers, winter coyotes, and anything else walking around that needs a heavy load of shot. As a 3 ½-inch 12-gauge, the 3500 Predator/Turkey can throw a lot of pellets at any problem. It would make a good deer gun, too, if you shoot deer with buckshot, and you could probably make a reasonable dent in a zombie horde with it before you were overwhelmed and eaten. It comes packaged with two Mojo chokes designed by Rob Roberts, one an XX-Full turkey choke, the other an extended Full for predator loads. I took both chokes and a bunch of shells and spent a full day at the range testing Stoeger’s latest to see how it would perform. Here’s what I found out.

Stoeger 3500 Predator/Turkey Overview

The new 3500 Predator/Turkey comes with a paracord sling. Stoeger


  • Length: 46 inches
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Barrel: 24-inch vent rib, fiber-optic bead, ported, one Full one XX-Full choke
  • Action: Inertia semiauto
  • Trigger: 7.5 pounds
  • Capacity: 4+1
  • Finish: Mossy Oak Overwatch
  • Stock: Synthetic
  • Chambering: 3 ½-inch 12-gauge
  • Price: $929

With its tactical turkey grip, inertia action, and overall styling, the gun bears a strong family resemblance to a Benelli, as it should. Benelli USA owns Stoeger, positioning the brand as Chevy to Benelli’s Cadillac. So, the gun you get from Stoeger is not as refined as a Benelli, and it lacks the high-tech extras (Cryogenically treated chokes, vibration-reducing stocks, etc.) of Benellis, too. But this gun has plenty of features of its own that make it an interesting choice for anyone who wants a gun specifically for shooting heavy, aimed loads of pellets big and small.

Besides the Steadygrip and Mojo chokes, you get a nifty paracord sling, stock shims, a recoil-reducing weight to put in the stock, and a receiver drilled for an optic. It has an enlarged bolt handle, a slammer button, and a nice, big triangular safety. It is dipped in Mossy Oak Overwatch camo, a kind of gray/tan topographic pattern that looks like what you see when you look out an airplane window flying over vast stretches of Utah and Nevada. It should blend well into any brush you care to lurk in.

Stoeger 3500 Predator/Turkey at the Range

The author test fires the Stoeger 3500 Predator/Turkey shotgun from a shooting bench. Phil Bourjaily

The 3500 has enough heft at 7 ½-pounds that it’s easy to hold on target, and the SteadyGrip is a very comfortable, sensible handle for a shotgun intended to be aimed. Despite what I considered an overly-large orange bead sight, I was able to put the gun’s patterns right where I wanted to. I did pay a hefty price in recoil. Like many inertia guns, this one kicks with heavy loads. It would probably hurt a lot worse without its ported barrel and extra weight, but it still grabbed my attention when it went off, and if I got my head down hard on the gun, it gave me a good smack on the jaw. The trigger has some creep and some squish, and it breaks at around 7 pounds so, not great, but if you are like me and aren’t bothered much by so-so shotgun triggers, then it won’t be a problem.

Patterning Test Results

With the turkey choke, the gun put more than 300 holes in a 10-inch circle with 2-ounce loads of Hevi18 TSS 9s at 40 yards. Which is more than three times what you need to get the job done. Phil Bourjaily

Between the Mojo chokes and the 24-inch barrel, which generally seems to be the best barrel length for shooting center-dense patterns, I expected good things from this gun at the range, and it delivered. The patterns the gun shot were terrific. With the Full choke in place, it consistently put 8 of 12 Federal Premium 00 buck pellets in a 10-inch circle at 40 yards. The only other predator load I had on hand was some of Federal’s old 15gr/cc tungsten-iron Heavyweight BBs which, fortunately for coyotes, is no longer made. Those averaged 26 (out of 66 total in the load) in the 10-inch circle.

With the turkey choke, I got patterns well in excess of 300 holes in a 10-inch circle with 2-ounce loads of Hevi18 TSS 9s at 40 yards. That, of course, is complete overkill—times about three. And while I’m not a big fan of shooting turkeys out to the horizon, you certainly could kill one well beyond 40 with this gun and load. With 3-inch, 1 ¾-ounce Winchester LongBeard 4s, the turkey choke averaged a very good 127 hits in the 10-inch circle. Back in the days before TSS spoiled us, 127 4s in a 10-inch circle at 40 yards was an exciting average. Bottom line: Anything I tried out of these two chokes performed well.

Related: New Mossbert 28-Gauge Over/Under Turkey Gun Review

Final Thoughts on the Stoeger 3500 Predator/Turkey


  • Ergonomic grip
  • Great patterns
  • Stock shims
  • Drilled/tapped receiver


  •             Stout recoil
  •             Mediocre trigger

The 3500 Predator/Turkey’s milled-out loading port and a softer magazine spring and carrier latch made the gun easy to load quickly. The gun cycled hunting heavy loads fine, but balked at running target loads, although it is supposed to cycle anything over 3 drams and 1 1/8-ounces. The gun might break in, it might not, but shooting 1 1/8-ounce loads of bird shot isn’t part of this gun’s job description anyway. It’s a big gun, meant for shooting big things, and for that special purpose, it’s the hammer you want for this job. If you don’t need all the refinements of higher-end guns and you just want an affordable semi-auto that will be highly effective in the field, then you should take a very close look at Stoeger’s latest.