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March 6, 2024
min read

Something is Right About the Mossberg SA-28: The Ultimate Turkey Gun?

Even though I was able to harvest a turkey with this gun last season, after quite a bit of pattern testing, it quickly became Adrian's favorite. I didn't realize just how fast I could lose a gun to her!


Have you ever seen something that upon initial inspection you anticipated could be amazing? But then after you got it, thoroughly looked it over, and used it for a few weeks you really wish you could return it?

Simply put, that is NOT the case this time.

Will I ever get the Mossberg SA-28 Tactical Turkey shotgun back in my hands?

That was the question I found myself asking toward the middle of turkey season 2023.

We first saw this shotgun first at the Great American Outdoors Show in Harrisburg, PA last year and were really interested. Obviously, there's the buzz around town about sub-gauges and their use of TSS loads in the turkey woods.

In fact, that same focus on sub-gauge loads is what saved my good fortune of shooting first when it came to the new gun.

Thankfully, Adrian was busy testing different loads and chokes with her Mossberg 500 pump shotgun in .410 gauge. Shooting those patterning videos and wanting to use that gun to take her first bird of the season gave me the perfect opportunity to try claiming the SA-28.

Robbie with his Merriam's turkey, taken with the Mossberg SA-28.
My Merriam's turkey taken with the Mossberg SA-28

I was able to con her out of using it for at least one turkey, but as soon as she pulled the trigger on her first bird of the season, my hopes and dreams fell apart faster than a juicy hamburger at a backyard picnic.

I'm pretty sure before we were even on the flight back, I had already been given the opportunity to decide what my weapon of choice for the rest of the season would be. And, the Mossberg SA-28 wasn't on the list.

I know I'm giving her a hard time, but it really doesn't matter that much to me. As long as I'm in the woods, I'm good!

We kept doing pattern testing and made sure it was ready for her, and the rest is history. Adrian has really fired up her love of this gun based on our most recent pattern testing, and she's beyond excited to take a turkey with it this spring.

We’ve already posted a couple of those pattern testing videos with it this year, and we have several more to come.

If you’ve been considering getting into the sub-gauge shotgun world, you’re going to want to keep reading and make sure you watch her full review.

Here are some specs for the Mossberg Tactical Turkey SA-28:

  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Length of pull: 12 ¾”
  • Overall Length: 41 ¾”
  • Barrel Length: 22"
  • Action: Semi-automatic
  • Chamber: 2 ¾”
  • Capacity: 4+1
  • Choke: Interchangeable chokes, comes stock with Extended Turkey Choke
  • Stock: Synthetic Pistol Grip (Mossy Oak Greenleaf)
  • Sights: Fiber Optic Ghost Ring
  • Barrel Finish: Mossy Oak - Greenleaf
  • Mossberg SA Tactical Turkey also available in 20 gauge


  • The tactical turkey SA-28 comes with a Synthetic Pistol Grip stock
Pistol grip stock w/rubberized grip is comfortable in the turkey woods
  • Stock is wrapped in Mossy Oak Greenleaf
  • Pistol grip has a black rubberized grip
  • Mossberg does have a standard stock version available in 28 and 20 gauge


  • Semi-automatic action
Mid-sized bolt handle and smooth action
  • Gas-operated
  • Smooth cycle
  • Mid-sized bolt handle


  • This is probably my only complaint about this shotgun
  • The stock trigger is quite a bit heavier than I like
  • We measured it at about 6 lb average
  • Because of this, I did find myself pulling it a bit when I felt like it wasn’t breaking quickly enough
  • So, we found the MCarbo trigger spring kit and changed out one of the springs
Decreased trigger pull after replacing an internal trigger spring.
  • And it now has about a 4# trigger pull weight which is so much smoother


22" barrel is wrapped in Mossy Oak Greenleaf
  • 22" in length
  • Wrapped in Mossy Oak Greenleaf
  • Vented rib barrel
  • Interchangeable choke tubes -comes with Extended Turkey Choke


  • Sights: Fiber Optic Ghost Ring that is actually quite nice and pretty easy to use (even though we removed and replaced w/Burris FF3)
  • Stock supplied Picatinny Rail mounted on top
Picatinny rail on top, Meadow Creek Mounts w/Burris Fast Fire 3 Co-Witness mount


Recoil with a TSS Turkey load
  • Low recoil in the 28 gauge loads, especially with bird shot
  • Less recoil with TSS Turkey loads as compared to 20 gauge loads
  • BUT, noticeably more recoil than .410 TSS turkey loads

Everything we've discussed so far is right in line with the name given to this gun, the "tactical turkey."

But, can it be used for other animals or even for shooting skeet?

Of course it can. We haven't taken it squirrel, dove, or waterfowl hunting but we have taken a couple of trips to shoot skeet. Of course, we left the red dot on top because we aren't in the business of taking chances with our turkey guns.

Turkey guns can make great skeet guns also!

Little did we know, that red dot would actually make us both more accurate when connecting with those clay pigeons. We couldn't believe it!

Not that she ever really misses anyway, but I don't think Adrian has missed a clay yet with this shotgun.

One last thing to mention before we wrap up this review. While many of Mossberg's guns are made in the USA, there is a line of semiautomatic shotguns and bolt action rimfire rifles that are imported by Mossberg International. The SA-28 Tactical Turkey is one of those. You may think I am joking, but it is actually made in Turkey and imported into the US.

Mossberg International imports this SA-28 "Tactical Turkey," from Turkey

That has no bearing on the function of the gun and makes no difference in its ability to densely pattern TSS loads around a turkey's head. But, I did think you should know that if you think you're buying Mossberg because you want a gun that is made in the USA, this is not one of those.

Pros & Cons

  • Semi-automatic action
  • Low recoil
  • Pistol grip on the tactical turkey
  • Light carry weight
  • Stock turkey choke patterned well across several loads
  • Cross-bolt safety is easy to use with minimal movement
  • Get a ton of pellets downrange especially with TSS loads
  • TSS shot numbers are comparable to 20 gauge
  • Heavier, stiff stock trigger
  • 28 gauge shells aren't as easy to find in stores as 20 gauge
  • We've only had 3 rounds that didn't lock the action back after shooting
  • After several shots while pattern testing, it could have a better recoil pad


Q: Can I mount an optic on the tactical turkey?

A: Yes. It comes stock with a picatinny rail already attached. Of course, I would recommend removing the rail and re-torquing those screws to Mossberg specs just to make sure it will be as you want.

Q: Is the Mossberg International Tactical Turkey made in the USA?

A: No. As the name suggests, it is made in Turkey by Armsan and is imported by Mossberg International.

Q: Does it have as much recoil as a 12 gauge or 20 gauge?

A: No. It has less recoil than a 12 or 20 gauge shooting equivalent TSS turkey loads. Also, using a similar TSS turkey load, it does have noticeably more recoil than a .410 gauge.

Should I Buy This Thing?

I know you will really be surprised when I say, it depends.

Here's a couple things to consider.

  • If you just really like a 12 gauge or even a 20 gauge and don’t want to use sub-gauge then no. Stick to the old reliables.
  • But, if you’ve been thinking about a sub-gauge for yourself or for a family member, this may be the perfect option for you.

Our primary use and intention for this gun has clearly been turkey hunting. In fact, other than turkey hunting and pattern testing we've only taken it shooting skeet a couple of times.

Two different Turkey TSS loads from the SA-28 with well over 300 pellets in a 10" circle at 40 yards

But from our perspective, it is clearly evident that the Mossberg SA-28 is a significantly competent turkey slayer. If you're looking for a sub-gauge shotgun you can easily carry around the turkey timber and you've seen the insane patterns we've gotten with TSS loads, then this one should be high on your list of considerations.

If we don't have you convinced by now, please head over to our channel and subscribe so you don't miss any of the upcoming pattern tests.

The only real down-side to the 28 gauge is that ammo isn’t quite as easy to find as 12 gauge or 20 gauge. But, most of the TSS loads we turkey hunt with have to be ordered directly anyway, so that’s not really something to worry about. 

MSRP on the Mossberg SA-28 is $902 but we've seen it retail on sale for $550 at Sportsman's Warehouse, which is a little more than some but a lot less than others, and we’ve been super happy with it!

So for this turkey slayer, it's clear that for our purposes it gets a full 5 / 5 on the Should I Buy This Thing scale!

Written by

Robbie has enjoyed the outdoors since he can remember. His earliest memories include hours upon hours of squirrel hunting and learning how to enjoy all aspects of hunting season in God's wonderful outdoors. Now he is always working hard and testing gear in the field to give you the best review and most thorough information he possibly can.


All opinions are ours. Some items we receive for free, borrow, or purchase at a discount, but this never impacts our opinions or freedom to report them.
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