by Greg B. Oliver
I recently read the short story in the May 1999 "Wing Shot" magazine, (yeh I know, I am a little behind in my reading sometimes) were the author said that today's Dedicated Turkey guns, are for just that purpose, and almost useless for anything except taking turkeys.
Although I do agree with most of the points in the rest of the article, I have to greatly disagree with that first opening statement.
He also mentioned that if an Upland shooter made a list of the features they didn't want in a shotgun, it would be what came on a Turkey shotgun. They were ugly, and not suitable for wing shooting. Ugly?!... not suitable?! This maybe true if your a gentleman hunter , and are used to carrying around some expensive highly engraved shotgun in the crook of your arm, while wearing some $200. shooting vest, and only go after upland birds, on perfect sunny days. But for the regular hunter that has several different walking and flying items on his hunting list, some turkeys guns can be made into first class " meat and potato's combo guns" suitable for all kinds of shooting.
I have put together what I, and others I know believe, is the almost perfect combo gun. First of all, I would like to say that I am not being paid by "Remington Arms" for this article. The gun is a Remington 870 SPS T. It comes with synthetic stocks in "Advantage" Cammo, extra full turkey choke, and 20" barrel chambered for 3" black matte finish. I also bought an extra, fully rifled slug barrel, and "Imp cylinder" and "Modified" chokes for the turkey barrel.
Yes I can and have used this shotgun for Turkey hunting, but by simply installing the Imp cylinder, or Modified choke tubes, I now am able to use the gun for rabbit, grouse and deer hunting, and some clay bird busting. When it's deer season, and you come across a couple of nice grouse that you cannot pass up, all you do is exchange the rifled slugs for shot shells. (Assuming that you have the "Imp cylinder" choke tube installed.) Not suitable for anything else? Try telling that to the several bunnies, that have done cart wheels in front of it this winter.
Having the fully rifled slug barrel is a real plus were I hunt deer as it is a shotgun only zone. Fully rifled barrels can have some astounding accuracy using "Sabot slugs". I have taken more deer with shotguns than rifles. I think that it is a real plus to have a gun that has many uses, and is cammo patterned, and has the convenience of a carrying sling. Gone are the days were we need to carry around some cumbersome heavy gun with some 28" plus barrel. Were I hunt including my property, a shotgun with a short barrel and choke changing option is better suited in the heavily wooded area's. A sling on a shotgun comes in real handy when humping through the bush while having a beagle or two on leash's in tow. Maybe this does not appeal or work for everyone, but I have a couple of friends that also have bought the same shotgun and extra's. You can also use the excuse to your spouse, "but honey if I buy this gun and extra barrel and chokes, I won't need to buy another shotgun" :)