Several years ago, on the last day of a spring season marked up to that point by epic bungling, I wound up calling a turkey too close. After days of scaring birds away, when I finally got one to come, he materialized at five steps. As I squinted down the rib of my Nova, I was more afraid of shooting the bird’s head off and making a mess than I was of missing. As it turned out, the head remained firmly attached to the neck as the turkey ran away unscathed.
Back at the car, I found a cardboard box in the back. I set the box on the ground, paced off five steps, and shot it. You could scarcely fit a golf ball through the hole. No wonder I missed.
Obviously my turkey choke was too tight for close shots. But, I thought, sometimes you need a tight choke for long shots. Hmmmm, if only a gun could have two chokes, and you could instantly choose the one you wanted . . . . and that’s the true story of how I invented the double shotgun.
Well, okay, the double had already been invented, but the idea of a gun with two different chokes as the ideal turkey stopper intrigued me for a while after that hunt. I called a friend at Briley Manufacturing in Houston. “Oh yeah,” he said. “We’ve done a bunch of O/U turkey guns. We start with a Remington 3200, parkerize the metal, cut the barrels down and put an Improved Cylinder in one barrel and a turkey choke in the other. We’ve got lots of customers who are tired of missing turkeys up close.” At the price he quoted, I decided I could get by with a one-barreled gun after all. And, happy as I am now with my 835 and its 870 backup, every once in a while I start thinking about double turkey guns again, especially when I see something like this:
Even if you pay list, and add in the price of sling swivels and a can of flat black Rustoleum, you’ve got your ultimate turkey gun for under $500.
Anybody out there hunt turkeys with a double, or think it might be a good (or terrible) idea?