Hunting Turkey Hunting

Mossberg Tactical Turkey

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File Mossberg’sTactical Turkey shotgun in the “Why didn’t someone do that sooner?”category. This innovative new gun goes a long way toward curing problems thathave long plagued turkey hunters.

The problems aremainly the result of many gunmakers’ failure to recognize the shootingdifficulties unique to turkey hunting. In other words, a camo paint job and anextra-tight choke does not a turkey gun make.

The most egregiousfault of many so-called turkey guns is that the stock dimensions are the sameas that of other bird guns. This means they have a length of pull of about 14¼inches and dimensions at comb and heel that are best suited to wing-shooting,where the hunter is standing or in an upright position. Turkey hunters seldomshoot at flying targets and are typically in huddled, humped-over positions inwhich the dimensions of a wing-shooting gun are a detriment, because they makeaiming (note I said aiming, not pointing) the gun awkward anduncomfortable.

A Smart Stock: TheTactical Turkey’s stock hardly follows the classical lines shotgunners love,but it’s ideally suited to turkey hunting because it’s adjustable to a lengththat allows the best comfort and aiming from whatever position a hunter getshimself into. With a length of pull that varies a full 4 inches–from 10¾ inchesto 14¾ inches–you can almost instantly adapt the stock length to your shootingposition by simply pressing a release catch and sliding the stock rearward orforward.

Another commonflaw of many so-called turkey guns is an inadequate means of aiming the shotcharge. A densely choked shot swarm doesn’t allow much room for aiming error,which, combined with poor sights and further exacerbated by awkward stock fit,all too often leads to the “I can’t believe I missed” lament.

Excellent Sights:The Tactical Turkey comes with the receiver drilled for scope mounts, but thegun’s windage and elevation-adjustable fiber-optic sights are excellent.

The TacticalTurkey can hardly be called a thing of beauty, and I tend to rankle a bit atthe much overused term “tactical” being applied to a sporting arm, butwhatever it’s called, Mossberg’s turkey gun might be the end of many “Ican’t believe I missed” exclamations. Look for these innovations–especiallythe adjustable stock–to be adopted by other gunmakers.

PROS: Adjustablestock and sights are a boon. Hand strap on forend is surprisingly effective andcomfortable.

CONS: Tang-mountedsafety requires excessive hand movement to use with a pistol grip–configuredstock.

FINAL WORD: This835 is an innovative turkey gun.


MANUFACTURER: O.F. Mossberg MODEL: 835 Tactical Turkey TYPE: Pump-action shotgun CALIBER: 12-gauge MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 5+1 (2¾ in.), 4+1 (3 in., 3½ in.) WEIGHT: 7 lb. FINISH: Camo STOCK: Synthetic TRIGGER PULL: 7 lb. PRICE: $574 CONTACT: 203-230-5300;

TheMossberg’s stock has 4 inches of adjustment (left) while the ported choke tubehelps tame the gun’s recoil.