June 2007

12 Gauges: 870 SPS Rates an A+ Over Benelli, Mossberg Guns

The expensive Remington pump outperformed the promising Benelli SuperNova. The less-expensive Mossberg 535 ATS Thumbhole wasn’t in the same league, in our opinion.

Most of us with at least a little gray at the temples and a background in hunting retain in memory at least one "Long Tom" shotgun that was reputed to reduce a gallon can to window screen at 60 yards. Most had at least a 32-inch, fixed-choke barrel — some longer — and were typically described by someone with a tendency toward embellishment. True, in the dark ages of barrel manufacturing, an occasional super-tight tube did fall into public hands — and was capable of impressively tight patterns. They were pretty rare, however, hence the "Long Tom" legends.

But today there are shotguns and powerful, dense space-age shotshell loads out there that can, in the right hands, consistently kill waterfowl or turkeys at 60 yards and farther.

Though there are those hunters who see hammering a strutting gobbler at the length of a hockey rink as a travesty against the sport, virtually everyone nevertheless wants to have that ability.

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