Gunfight Friday: Remington 870 vs. Weatherby SA-459

Turkey season is a memory by now for those you down South—and a happy memory, I hope—but it’s still going on up north and, in fact, runs into early June in Maine. So turkey guns are still a seasonal topic.

There are two approaches to turkey guns, and we’ve got one of each today. You can either stick a turkey choke into your all-around shotgun and use that, or you can go with a dedicated turkey gun. I like dedicated turkey guns, because it’s my job to like guns, but an all-purpose gun makes a lot of sense, in terms of cost and your familiarity with it.

The 870 doesn’t need much in the way of introduction, for it might as well claim the title of America’s Shotgun. The SA-459 is an inexpensive Turkish gas gun that is beloved by everyone I know who owns one. They are affordable and they work. Both are 3-inch 12-gauges, as turkey guns should be.

David's 870 Express

870 Express
Remington 870 Express.Reader Submitted

This is my 870 Express with a 28-inch barrel. It was given to me, in 2010, by my brother as a wedding present. He even had a small plate added to the butt stock with the wedding date and a personal note added. My brother and I grew up learning to hunt pheasant, chukar, and turkey together, and now I get to take a token of our relationship with me every time I go out. Currently, my brother lives several hours away, but we still try to go hunting together at least once a year.

My gun is currently dressed for turkey season, with an extra-Full choke and saddle-mounted red dot. This year I was able to bag the turkey in the photo at 63 paces, and he dropped like a rock with one shot using 3-inch long beard XR 6 shot. Come summer and fall, it will lose the extra-Full choke and red dot and will be my trap, pheasant, and duck gun.

John's SA-459

Weatherby SA-459
The Weatherby SA-459.Reader Submitted

I had a Weatherby SA-08 that I loved, so when I looked for a turkey gun, I bought a Weatherby SA-459. That's the same gun in a tactical configuration. It has a pistol grip stock with a camo finish, an 18-inch barrel for handling in the close confines of a blind, and a tight turkey choke. I put a 1.5X to 4X scope on it that will never move off 1.5X. It’s big turkey medicine.

Vote and comment below, and keep the gun photos coming to fsgunnuts@gmail.com.