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Selecting the Best Turkey Choke for Your Shotgun

March 6, 2015

Selecting the right choke for your scattergun can be a time-intensive, trial-and-error process.

Let’s consider what is “universal” about shotgun chokes for turkey hunting. The ultimate goal is to put as many pellets carrying as much energy as possible into the head-and-neck vital zone of a tom. And there ends the list of universalities. From there on, figuring out the ideal choke and load for a particular shotgun becomes an exercise in subjectivity---much like working up handloads for a rifle. Goals In building a turkey hunting rig, the pursuit centers around achieving more “rifle-like” performance from the shotgun. Maximizing the lethal range of the shotgun is...

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Federal Premium Listened to Turkey Hunters and the Result is 3rd Degree

January 27, 2015

Federal Premium has listened to turkey hunters and developed an excellent new shell called 3rd Degree. Part of its pattern opens up quickly to give hunters an end at ultra-close range. Image copyright RichardBarrow/Getty Images.

Just last week, this column covered the need for sights on a turkey hunting shotgun. The premise for that need is the fact that today’s chokes and loads deliver patterns so tight at close range (20 yards and in) that there is little to no margin for error. Inside 10 yards you’re working with a golf ball-sized pattern. I’ve been pitching sights for a number of years, especially since a hunt in Kentucky during which the guys from Down ‘n Dirty Calls pulled a big tom within eight yards of where I was sitting. Shot with a three-inch 12 gauge Federal Mag-Shok Heavyweight turkey load,...

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Exclusive: Hands-on with the New Benelli 828U Over/under Shotgun

January 21, 2015

The author shouldering the Benelli 828U.

I felt my face flush with nervous anticipation as I stepped up to the designated shooting area. Taking a deep breath, I tried to relax while I surveyed the scenery in front of me: a snow-covered cliff overlooking the Missouri River. I checked my stance and bounced slightly, bending my knees. I held the shotgun at low ready. I could feel the eyes of the eight men who were behind me, watching to see how I would shoot. It’s now or never, I thought, as I yelled, “Pull!” I caught sight of the pair of clays, quickly shouldered the over/under and snapped off two shots, turning both...

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Exclusive: Hands-on with the New Benelli 828U Over/under Shotgun

January 21, 2015

The author shoulders the Benelli 828U. Image by Brian Sheetz.

I felt my face flush with nervous anticipation as I stepped up to the designated shooting area. Taking a deep breath, I tried to relax while I surveyed the scenery in front of me: a snow-covered cliff overlooking the Missouri River. I checked my stance and bounced slightly, bending my knees. I held the shotgun at low ready. I could feel the eyes of the eight men who were behind me, watching to see how I would shoot. It’s now or never, I thought, as I yelled, “Pull!” I caught sight of the pair of clays, quickly shouldered the over/under and snapped off two shots, turning both...

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It’s Time to Set Your Sights on Spring Turkey Hunting

January 18, 2015

turkeysightsHUB

It’s later than you think! Now that we're on the downhill side of January, it’s time to start getting ready for turkey hunting. For those lucky enough to have hunts planned in the Deep South, opening day is just a couple months away. If you’re looking at a new rig for turkey hunting or modifying Ol’ Bessy to take full advantage of the best new shotshells, now’s the time to get after it! Research, acquisition, testing with time to make changes---come to think of it, we may already be running late, especially if you’re going to add sights to your turkey hunting...

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Walmart Refuses to Print Engagement Photo with Shotgun, Couple Takes the High Ground

January 12, 2015

Stephanie Wehner and Mitch Strobl in their engagement photo that "promoted gang culture."

Mitch Strobl is a passionate man. He loves his God, he loves his fiancé, and he loves hunting and the shooting sports. His career is dedicated to producing curricula that teach millions of folks how to hunt, shoot, and handle firearms safely. CloseRange_300x250So when Mitch met Stephanie Wehner, it was only natural their dating included sharing the passion for hunting and the...

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A Shotgunner Looks Ahead to the New Year

December 29, 2014

lookingtonewyears

Shotgunners of every persuasion share a common passion to improve their games, expand their skills, and better their scores. With the calendar turning to a new year, everyone’s about making resolutions to help us enjoy better health, more prosperity, and happy living in the year ahead. Shotgunners ought to do the same to get more enjoyment out of their pursuits. Here are some ideas. CloseRange_300x250...

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Trigger Control for Shotgunners: Don’t Think about It!

December 22, 2014

triggercontrol

I take some heat from readers and colleagues because I still call what I do to make a shotgun fire “pulling” the trigger. They’ve informed me that the correct word, these days, is to "press" the trigger rather than "squeeze" or "pull" it, especially when it comes to handguns and rifles. Granted, “press” is probably is the more precise choice because it can describe the motion of a single finger while “squeeze” is more commonly associated with whole-hand movement like “squeezing” an orange. And you definitely don’t want to move your entire hand when you’re aiming a...

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A Shotgunner’s Wish List for Santa Claus

December 8, 2014

The Real Avid Gun Tool. Image courtesy Real Avid.

If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s a difficult guy for whom to buy Christmas gifts. There are always new and interesting items related to my passions for shotgunning. Some are big some are small, but any of them under the tree or in the stocking marked “Billy” are welcome! Got your reading specs, Santa? CloseRange_300x250Real Avid Gun Tool Okay, okay; I already own at least...

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A Soft Spot for Side-by-side Shotguns

November 24, 2014

Got a soft spot for the side-by-side? It's well warranted.

For a day-in-day-out, hunt-everything, and shoot-every-kind-of-clay-target shotgun, I’m sold on a quality semiauto. They’re just too good these days. They help reduce felt recoil. They are light and easy to carry. It’s easy to find one with slight weight-forward balance to promote follow-through. They make it easy to take a follow-up shot without breaking contact with the gun, added motion, or losing sight picture; and will provide another shot if you need it. And, today, they are made so well, they’ll rival the pump or over/under for reliability. Yet there’s still a place for the...

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