Keep it Simple

Strut As shooters, sometimes we tend to over think things. On a recent Florida turkey hunt I ended up borrowing a single-barrel, break-action Mossberg SSi-One to take my Osceola gobbler. I couldn’t have been happier.

Mossberg made these guns for several years from about 2000 to 2004. The gun featured a custom choke and red-dot site. All you had to do was put the red dot on the base of the turkey’s neck and he was yours. The gun also had a very cool sling that slipped onto the butt stock with a sock. The front of the strap simply slipped over the top of the barrel with a large O-ring. The beauty of this strap setup was that you could easily remove it once you got set up so you didn’t have any straps dangling in your way when it came time to shoot.

I took my bird at about 20 steps. He dropped so fast the second gobbler he was traveling with simply hopped up for a moment before dropping down to spur his lifeless partner. We watched the show for several minutes before the second gobbler decided he’d had enough. (We hope to have this video clip up soon.) As he snuck off, hunting partner Toxey Haas from Mossy Oak made a super 35-yard shot to lay him down for our double.

Mossberg doesn’t make break-action shotguns any more but H&R does. I hope to build one this summer. They’re lightweight with a synthetic stock so they’re super easy to carry. The break-action design is certainly very safe and is ideal for younger shooters. And I can pop it open and have it reloaded just about as quickly as I would cycle a pump or semi-auto.

With companies like Primos offering aftermarket turkey chokes, putting a simple single-shot turkey gun together is easy and they’re not very expensive. If you don’t already have a turkey-specific gun in your hunting battery yet, building one of these is a fun project to consider. Keep your eye on your local classifieds or national shotgun trade publications and you may be able to pick up a used single shot to build your new custom turkey gun real cheap.

—Todd Smith