The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

April 7, 2014

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: A bit of turkey history

(Continued)

A perfect fit

There is no sure way to determine gun fit other than seeing a firearms expert. To ensure that your gun fits, pull the gun to your shoulder (obviously with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction). Ask yourself the following questions. Does it swing into place without extra movement or effort? Does the weight feel comfortable? Try adjusting the placement of your forward hand. Can you hold the shotgun steady for a given amount of time? Can you comfortably carry the shotgun for long distances?

You should be able to answer “yes” to all of these questions. All these variables play a role in determining gun fit for turkey hunting.

The right choice   

With the new, high-powered turkey loads and chokes available, 20-gauge shotguns have become very popular for use in the spring turkey woods. Better advice than simply purchasing the largest gauge or load size would be to ensure appropriate length, weight and recoil for the person doing the shooting.

Pattern...

Take the time to shoot the shotgun with different loads, shot sizes and even choke constrictions when possible. Most shotguns come with several choke options and the aftermarket chokes have shown great success in increasing pattern performance down range.

 

Dialing in your pattern

There are some very important aspects of accurately shooting a turkey gun that need your attention before the season rolls around. After you’ve found a load that patterns well, one that puts over 100 pellets in a 10-inch circle at 40 yards, it’s time to fine tune.

When you’re shooting a tight-patterning shotgun at a small target, like a gobbler’s head and neck, you have to be sure the core of the load is hitting precisely where you aim.

Similar to shooting a rifle, changing loads from one brand to the next can change the point of impact down range. Switching choke tubes can change point of impact, too.

Here’s a simple checklist for getting the most out of your patterning sessions:

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