Enhancing Your Shotgun with Optics

 

The sun rises…the sound of the turkeys gobbling amongst themselves while hiding in the tall grass is like a melody in the hunter’s ear…The season will come upon one and all and the stress of the 9-to-5 and all other worries will subside, as the fun comes back into the outdoorsman’s (and woman’s) life.

But there are those who will glance down at that shotgun in their hands and sigh. Or, perhaps, they will glance at their hunting buddy – see their brand new, state-of the-art gun – and want nothing more for them to miss every single shot just to make them suffer. BUT! If the world of classic cars has taught us anything, it’s that ‘old’ can be way better than new – and there is always a way to ‘trick out’ your favorite gun before the turkey’s take center-stage.

A new stock (and perhaps a forend) is where to begin. Head into the gun shop you like the most in your city or town and find the Remington, Browning, (or whatever you wish), to make sure that the package sits on that shoulder of yours as if it was born there. In literal minutes, you can have these replacements on your ‘good, old gun,’ allowing you the ultimate update of enhancing your shotgun with optics. Certain professional suggestions out there for 2013 are the Remington replacement stock and forend manufactured by Ram-Line, which is an all-weather stock that comes with a recoil pad, Uncle Mike’s sling studs and checkering. Remington also offers a ShurShot thumbhole stock and forend, just in case the first isn’t the direction you want to go.

Image(NWTF)

Image(NWTF)

The FLEX series comes from Mossberg, which offers the hunter a synthetic forend and stocks for its model 500; pistol grip, picatinny rail, forend and short barrel are included in the system, and might be just what you‘re looking for!

Now, for the hunter who wants accessories in camo, a company called ‘Dynamic Finishes’ can offer just that – from water transfer printing to camo dipping.

What really makes that shotgun into a turkey shotgun? High-end components only? Again, not at all. Your shotgun, with only slight modifications, will increase your chances greatly to take that ‘turkey’ down. (No, not the friend the with the expensive gun, the actual turkey). This brings us to choke tubes.

Hunters want a tight pattern for a better chance of hitting the gobbler. There are several screw-in chokes that lessen recoil, but it’s always good to remember that you can find yourself with diminished returns on choke tubes where too much constriction actually alters the pattern. In other words, research and test all varieties of loads with as many choke tubes as possible. And just for safety-sake, check before shooting high density loads through a choke tube that’s ultra-tight. When looking, hunter’s will find that the TruGlo Bone Collector choke tube is something many speak about because it comes with ‘Smackdown’ technology, reducing muzzle jump and recoil. Another name to keep on tap is ‘Hunter’s Specialties’ which makes ‘The Undertaker’ for twelve- and twenty-gauge shotguns. Choke tubes and turkey loads are designed to get the ‘kill’ at around fifty yards; therefore, if you’re far closer to that gobbler, the shot pattern will be far too tight and it will feel as if the shotgun is a rifle.

Optics are what everyone is looking for and TruGlo – yet again – is responsible for providing the ‘Gobble Stopper,’ which is found in the Triton series of red dot sights for turkey guns. Realtree APG finish and a sunshade that keeps the glare away from both the hunter and the turkey’s eye, makes this a popular product. If you’re not into the ‘red dot’ systems and prefer a traditional scope however, Nikon provides the Monarch TurkeyPro 1.5-4.5×20 scope; while Bushnell offers the Trophy LXT riflescope that allows you to see in low light conditions.

And when speaking about a sling, Quake Claw offers a non-slip pad built into the sling, and provides an odor resistant and durable accessory that was created to withstand the extreme cold or heat.

And, finally, the load must be a definite ‘partner’ with your gun. Purchasing upgraded turkey loads and comparing them to others you may be using, will allow you to, again, research and test to make sure that the load you choose works with your choke.

As you can see, in the end your ‘old’ go-to shotgun is not something that needs to be put away in a museum somewhere and forgotten about. From loads to optics, there are all kinds of top-notch accessories that can transform that well-used shotgun into a necessary tool – a tool that will make that friend of yours who went out and spent his rent money on his new gun, burst into tears.

www.SportsmansLife.com