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Old March 2, 2010, 03:33 AM   #1
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Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 5,983
evolution of a turkey gun (and hunter)

Spring gobbler season is right around the corner, and I'm surprised I'm not seeing more posts on turkey guns and loads. Here's the story on my rig for 'lo these many years.

1980 hunted my Grandad's 1921 Savage pump w/ highbrass 1-1/4 oz
of #6, killed my first gobbler. I can still see him in strut. Grandad's pump broke that spring in dove season. Repaired and retired same.

Rem 870, 1981, in the days when you had to order a "magnum" receiver, great blue and nice walnut. Great honkin' 30" vent rib, full choke bbl, cause that's what ol' Ben Rogers Lee said a fella oughta have. Screw in chokes were not on the market. The Winchoke had been a flop. Shot WW-1-7/8 of #4. Installed a set of sling swivels.

Same gun. 1983, To darn long and heavy. Bought a 26" , mag chambered ventrib full bbl. Paid way to much for it, dealer said they were SCARCE & I believed him and shelled out the dough. Fed came out w/ a full 2 oz of shot in the 3" shell, and I went to # 6 shot in their ctg.

Same gun, 1988. Syn stock and forearm for gift, and same year, a 20" rifle sighted slug bbl w/ rem choke, to which I attached a Rem X-F factory turkey tube. Learned of the Activ 2-1/4 oz shell and went to them, still in #6, about 1990.

Same gun. 1993 or so, Rem introduces the Super full extended turkey tube and install same. Get a box of Active 2-1/4 oz #5. Seems to kill better.
Scavenge high and wide for Activ 2-1/4 oz loads, prefer #5.

Same gun/2003 or so. A buddy lends me 1 rd of win 1-5/8 oz high velocity #5's. The load will put more # 5 shot on a sheet of typing paper at 30 paces, than a 2 0z load of 6 from other makers. I'm nearly out of my hoarded Activ's. Buy a box and hunt'em that year. Man they seem to kill better.

Same gun/Summer 2009 Walk into Wally World and they are closing out the Win 1-5/8 #5 at $5.00 a box. I buy a lifetime supply. My last box of Activ #6, 2-1/4 oz are going to a guy at work.

The pretty blue is much worn, the 30" tube traded away. The nice walnut is stored in my den, in very good shape. Twenty nine seasons later (??!!??)
the old 870 is as reliable as ever. It seemed a bit heavier last year, was it me? I talked to a buddy about a double, thought it might be lighter. When I moved the 870 in the safe that night to access another gun, I realized what I had considered was wrong and apologized to her. We've heard thousands of gobbles, seen what....over 500 sunrises, easy, and climbed more ridges than I care to count. Froze in a spring snow, and sweltered in late spring humidity. Held her on hung up birds so long my arms ached the next day.

Together we've killed a deer, some ducks & doves, a rabbit or two, coyotes coming to turkey calls and a big rattler next to my house that I nearly stepped on. We did manage to kill a few turkeys too. I bought her as a turkey gun. I won't ever buy another.
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