Shotguns-ou-12

Lever-Action 1887 Shotguns: Armi Chiappa Vs. Norinco

That gun is the Winchester Model 1887, a lever-action shotgun originally designed by John Browning and produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The www.callofduty.wikia.com site says of the ancient firepower, "The Model 1887 originally used black powder 12-gauge shells and 10-gauge shells, but replicas made today are often chambered for more common modern ammunition." Further, the site notes that, "The Model 1887 is the only lever-action gun to ever be featured in a Call of Duty game."

Well, yes, because the design isn't a popular choice for shotguns, with semiautos, pumps, and double-barrels being more popular products. But the infatuation with the 1887 lever shotgun doesn't stop there.

In Terminator 2: Judgment Day (a 1991 sequel to Jim Cameron's original film, Terminator), a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) T-800 cyborg is sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and son John Conner (Edward Furlong) from the more advanced T-1000 Terminator (Robert Patrick).

Probably the most recognizable weapon carried by Terminator Schwarzenneger is the highly customized 12-gauge 1887 Winchester lever-action shotgun. The character is seen holding this weapon (atop his Harley Davidson motorcycle) on the one-sheet posters and key publicity material. The movie gun was customized with a variety of lever handles used, such as the loop style for "swing-cocking" on the Harley Davidson.

Also, Brendan Fraser used a cut-down pistol-gripped Norinco copy of the Winchester 1887 in The Mummy Returns, most notably in the bus scene.

We understand the use of the 1887 in the Mummy movies—they're period pieces, and the 1887 fits. The initial runs of 1887s were made by Winchester in New Haven, Connecticut. They are notable for a small hammer spur at the top of the action, a solid lever, and a ball-type pistol grip on the buttstock. Most had fluid steel barrels, though some had Damascus steel and were only safe to use blackpowder. They were made from 1887 to 1901, about 65,000 in all.

Coming back to current times—in a way—the 1887 is widely used in Cowboy Action events, but perhaps most fluently by SASS champion "Gunfighter" Lassiter, aka Tom Wildenauer. Starting with an open action, he's able to load two and shoot two in under 3 seconds. Not bad for a design that few have seen and fewer have shot.

So, with all this interest in the 1887, we wanted to compare a couple of current production models to see which one we'd buy for fun shooting. Our test guns were the IAC Imports Reproduction Cowboy 1887 87W-1 lever action, $600; and the Armi Chiappa 1887 Fast Load 930.004, which we found selling under the Puma name by Legacy Sports International for $1229. Both guns have 12-gauge barrels chambered for 2.75-inch modern shells. The IAC has a 20-inch barrel with a fixed Cylinder choke and a five-round-capacity tubular magazine. The Chiappa we tested had a 22-inch barrel and was threaded for choke tubes and and came with a Cylinder screw-in tube. It had a total capacity of two because of an action modification that speeds reloads for CAS at the expense of total round count.

Here's what we thought of them:

Super-Auto Shootout: Benellis SBE II Versus Browning Maxus

It is an old story in the gun business: Fancy new model gets announced; months later prototypes leak out for promotional media testing; then, finally, a year (or two) later, real guns start shipping. And so it is with Browning's Maxus, which was announced in November 2008, with some prototypes available to shoot at the January 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando, and lagging production. Originally slated for late-spring-2009 availability, early-fall delivery has proved to be the case instead—and then, only for the 31/2-inch-chamber models.

The initial offerings of Browning's new-for-2009 autoloader is the matte Stalker style and also a Mossy Oak Duck Blind camo version for $1499 MSRP, both with 31/2-inch chambers. The 3-inch versions are said to be arriving soon—again, in either Stalker matte black or camo for now.

Included in all the "Planet Maxus" hoopla, Browning has made several claims about the Maxus and touted several new features. A few of the features aren't particularly meaningful, so let's dispense with these first. The "Turnkey" quick-change magazine plug is hardly of any use in a dedicated field gun, one directed to waterfowl at that, where three shots (2+1) is going to be it.

Things like shim adjustments for drop are nice to have, of course, and were a bit more remarkable when they appeared 20 years ago. Now, they have become so prevalent that it seems more like a glaring oversight when new autoloaders fail to provide this feature. Naturally, we are glad they are included in the Maxus, but this is no different from many autoloaders. We do note that the Maxus has adjustable length of pull, with the appropriate buttstock spacers included right in the box—not an optional accessory, but already supplied.

Burrowing deeper into the Maxus, Browning has promised us not just cosmetics, but a new gas action and trigger system that moves beyond the similarly weighted Winchester SX3 Composite ($1239 MSRP) and its Browning rendition, the half-pound-heavier Browning Silver Stalker ($1179 MSRP). Rather than an afterthought, the Maxus was designed from the start to be a 31/2-inch gun, and it appears that Browning hopes the Maxus will outscore both the Beretta Xtrema2 and the stalwart Super Black Eagle II.

There are a number of shotguns against which we could pit the new Maxus, but to clean up the field and make the comparisons truly head to head, we chose to bring in an "Our Pick" from the January 2007 issue. There, we tested the Benelli Super Black Eagle II No. 10016 12 gauge, $1515, rating it above the Beretta Urika Optima and Remington 105Cti. Almost three years ago, we wrote of the SBE II, "The latest version of the evolving Super Black Eagle design is a comfortable, ever-functional hunting gun, with the capacity to shoot 23/4-, 3-, and 31/2-inch ammunition." If the Maxus could compete against the SBE II, we reasoned, then its successful launch into the world's autoloading shotgun pool would be assured. Toward that end, we acquired a Benelli Super Black Eagle II No. 10101 Max-4 HD Camo 31/2-inch 12 gauge, $1759, to compete with the Browning Maxus Stalker No. 011600204 31/2-inch 12 Gauge, $1379.

Here's what we found:

Semiauto 12 Gauges: S&W Edges Browning and Winchester

Back-to-the-basicsshotguns featuring black composite stocks and forearms fill a special niche in the world of scattergun enthusiasts. These firearms are picked for their ability to serve as a shooting tool that can withstand rugged hunting conditions and not with a lot of attention to appearance. They also eliminate the possibility of a flash of sunlight glinting off a shiny stock or barrel and alerting incoming waterfowl of potential danger.

Most of the major manufacturers offer at least a few of their shotgun models featuring composite stocks and forearms and non-glare barrels, and a variety of the shotguns make their way to the used gun racks where shooters are looking to pick up a bargain.

The three used composite semiautomatic shotguns we gathered for our test included the Smith & Wesson Model 1012, $630; the Winchester Super X Model 2, $600; and the Browning Gold Hunter, $700. While the trio's prices are probably in the moderate-to-high-end range for a used semiautomatic, we picked them as a good representation of how composites compared in the field and on the range.

The Winchester Super X2 is the same model reviewed by Gun Tests in March 2004, when it was pitted against a Mossberg 935. The Winchester was our pick in that match-up. In addition, we looked at a Super X3 versus a Benelli M2 in November 2007 and also gave the Winchester model a thumbs up in that comparison. In both cases, we were pleased with the Winchester's handling ability; functioning features; and the speed of the action over the other shotguns in those tests.

This latest match up involved two more recent introductions into the composite stock and forearm world of shotguns, and we were interested in determining how the veteran Winchester would fare.

To check out the shotguns in a variety of shooting situations, we selected the following test ammunition:

For clay targets, we used Winchester AA Light Target 23/4-inch loads with 11/8 ounce of No. 8 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1145 fps; and Winchester Super Sport Sporting Clays 23/4-inch loads with 11/8 ounce of No. 71/2 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1300 fps. It should be noted that none of the three shotguns would function well with the light target loads, resulting in numerous failures to feed a second shot. These shell-feeding problems were eliminated when we switched to the hotter sporting clays shells.

For the patterning tests, we selected Federal Steel Duck and Pheasant 3-inch loads with 1.25 ounces of BB shot and a muzzle velocity of 1300 fps. No functioning problems were encountered with any of the shotguns when firing the 3-inch shells.

We also function-fired several 31/2-inch shells, Estate High Velocity Magnum Steel with 13/8 ounces of No. 4 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,500 fps. We wanted to see how the Browning and Winchester would handle the heavy loads. The Smith & Wesson is limited to no more than 3-inch shells.

While there were no functioning problems, there was quite a bit of shoulder shock when firing the 31/2-inch loads in the Browning. Probably because of the Winchester's heavier weight, there was no appreciable difference in recoil between 3-inch and 31/2-inch loads. However, we were happy to limit our practice time with the big shells to only a few rounds.

We were generally pleased with the way all three of the shotguns could be moved onto targets on the clays course and with the trio's patterning performance using steel shot on paper targets set at a range of 30 yards.

Details of how each shotgun performed at the clay target range and patterning field follows in our report:

Over/Unders: Caesar Guerini, Ruger, Browning, & Winchester

This over/under match-up has a distinctly international taste to it. We recently pitted a Belgium-made gun with an American name-the Winchester 101-against the all-American Ruger Red Label engraved model, the increasingly popular Caesar Guerini representing the Italian trigger-plate actions, and Brownings most recent stackbarrel, the Japanese-made Browning-branded Cynergy. All are marketed as general-purpose models suitable for hunting and casual clays use.In more detail, they were 3-inch-chamber 12 gauges that would likely be the most expensive shotgun 95% of us might own. The smallest price tag came on the Winchester Model 101 Field No. 513046361 3-inch 12 gauge, $1739. It is Belgium-made by F.N., the country and manufacturing facilities that J.M. Browning turned to originally when he was dissed by the old Winchester in the very beginning. This "101" is related to the Olin-Kodensha 101 is its name and styling attempt only.Next up was the Ruger Red Label Engraved No. KRL-1227-BRE 3-Inch 12 gauge, $2180. This Red Label comes with scroll-engraving and gold-inlaid pheasants adorning both sides of the stainless-steel receiver. What we quickly noticed about this model was both the engraving and the wood. Contrasted with the sleek, smooth look of the base models stainless receiver, the engraving dresses the gun up. Also, the well-figured wood elements in the forearm and the buttstock matched in color and tone, and the checkering was deeply and crisply cut, making the furniture functional as well as visually appealing. If this were an import, you might have to add an "E" or an "L" to describe its wood quality. You also wont have to worry about a plated finish chipping off or flaking, nor will you ever see any receiver bluing wear. Stainless steel has its benefits.The next step up in price was the Browning Cynergy Euro Field 3-inch 12 Gauge No. 013297304, $2609. To oversimply the reason for the Cynergy, it is Brownings effort to produce the lowest-profile over-under shotgun ever made. Theres a very good reason for pursuing this design-the lower barrels are set into the receiver, the less muzzle rise you are going to have. In our view, Browning succeeded in its goal of producing a low-profile design.The most expensive gun in the test was the Caesar Guerini Tempio, $3195. It had a low-profile receiver, Prince-of-Wales grip, and schnable fore-end. The receivers "French grey" metal finish is a nickel alloy underlying full-coverage scroll engraving featuring Bulino-style gold game scenes. The Tempio also features a deluxe grade of Turkish walnut with a hand-rubbed oil finish.With the stage set, we set out to find if the Tiempo could possibly be worth a $1400 price premium between it and the Winchester, worth $1000 more than the Red Label, and almost $600 more than the Browning. Heres what our team found:

12-Gauge Autoloader Shoot-Out: Beretta, Benelli, and Remington

Ever since the introduction of the Browning Auto-Five, autoloading shotguns have taken places of the distinction in the hunting fields across the country. The soft-shooting Remington 1100 soared to popularity in the 1960s, popularity that has since waned in favor of more versatile models. Here, we turn our critical eyes to the latest generation of the Beretta 3-inch autoloader, the Urika 2 Gold, the hypebole-laden Benelli Vinci that is new for 2009, and the re-release of the Remington CTi105-now designated the CTi105 II, also 'new for 2009.' They are all $1500 or so sticker-priced autoloaders, they all claim to be technically advanced, and they are all offered solely in 3-inch models. We were extremely interested to see if the latest and greatest are what they claim to be, or not. The Beretta Urika 2 Gold, introduced at the 2007 SHOT Show, has finally arrived. The 12 gauge with 3-inch chambers, Optima 28-inch barrel and chokes, is one of the most popular semiauto configurations offered. The Urika 2 is available with a standard walnut stock (as tested) or as the 'X-tra-Grain' version (a wood stock with grain artificially burned in). To say that we have used the Beretta 303/390/391 series extensively over the years would be an understatement. Countless models have come and gone from our working shotgun repertoire. The tested Urika 2 12/28 weighs 7.9 pounds. To compare this to identically barreled guns, an AL390 Gold Mallard weighs 8 pounds and an AL390 DU 12 gauge weighs 8.25. The steel-receiver B-80 12 gauges weigh 8.6 pounds.

12-Gauge Autoloader Shoot-Out: Beretta, Benelli, and Remington

Ever since the introduction of the Browning Auto-Five, autoloading shotguns have taken places of the distinction in the hunting fields across the country. The soft-shooting Remington 1100 soared to popularity in the 1960s, popularity that has since waned in favor of more versatile models. Here, we turn our critical eyes to the latest generation of the Beretta 3-inch autoloader, the Urika 2 Gold, the hypebole-laden Benelli Vinci that is new for 2009, and the re-release of the Remington CTi105-now designated the CTi105 II, also 'new for 2009.' They are all $1500 or so sticker-priced autoloaders, they all claim to be technically advanced, and they are all offered solely in 3-inch models. We were extremely interested to see if the latest and greatest are what they claim to be, or not. The Beretta Urika 2 Gold, introduced at the 2007 SHOT Show, has finally arrived. The 12 gauge with 3-inch chambers, Optima 28-inch barrel and chokes, is one of the most popular semiauto configurations offered. The Urika 2 is available with a standard walnut stock (as tested) or as the 'X-tra-Grain' version (a wood stock with grain artificially burned in). To say that we have used the Beretta 303/390/391 series extensively over the years would be an understatement. Countless models have come and gone from our working shotgun repertoire. The tested Urika 2 12/28 weighs 7.9 pounds. To compare this to identically barreled guns, an AL390 Gold Mallard weighs 8 pounds and an AL390 DU 12 gauge weighs 8.25. The steel-receiver B-80 12 gauges weigh 8.6 pounds.

Duel at the Mostly OK Corral: 12-Ga. Cowboy Action Shotguns

Cowboy Action Shooting members, whose increasing numbers show no need of a stimulus package, have developed their hobby into a tribute to the gun battles of the Old West-both real and fictional. Shotguns often figured into these armed conflicts, normally giving the scattergun handler a distinct advantage over opponents armed with a handgun or rifle, as long as the battle was up close and personal.One of Hollywoods classic depictions of how a shotgun could turn the tide in a gun battle was in the 1966 movie The Professionals, featuring Academy-award-winning actors Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster.Marvin, armed with a Winchester Model 1897 pump-action shotgun, faces down eight mounted bandits armed with bolt-action rifles as they meet in a narrow canyon. With just a little help from Lancaster, himself armed with a Winchester lever-action rifle, Marvin clears the canyon of bandits as he touches off seven shotgun blasts in rapid succession. Most of the bad guys dont even have a chance to get off a shot before they are knocked out of the saddle.Although the battle is pure Hollywood, this type of shotgun action and its recreation on film has become a driving force behind the increasing popularity of the veteran firearms. Both the side-by-side hammer guns and the pump-action hammer guns of old left a distinct mark in history and are now resurfacing in the form of replicas finding favor at shooting competitions across the country. The popularity of the simple and easy-to-handle shotguns is also growing among people interested in home-defense firearms.For our trip back to the past, we selected both a side-by-side and a pump action to see if there is any advantage or downside-other than the number of shots-with either Old West style shotgun.Our test shotguns were a Cimarron T.T.N. Model 1878 Coach Gun 12 Gauge Side-by-Side and a Cimarron Model 1897 Pump 12 Gauge Shotgun,both carrying a price tag of $480 in the new gun rack at Durys Gun Shop in San Antonio (www.durysguns.com). Because of the popularity of the firearms, we waited more than six months to receive the back-order Model 1897.Both of the shotguns are recreations of solid, dependable and well-used scatterguns of the Old West. With their 20-inch barrels and simple actions, the two firearms are also fulfilling a modern duty as self-dense shotguns for home owners. Shotguns firing typical hunting loads in a home-defense situation have the advantage of providing stopping power that will not pass through walls like handgun or rifle slugs.To determine the effectiveness of both shotguns, we selected three distinctly different types of ammunition for our testing. For the Cowboy-Action range, our ammunition was Rio Target 2.75-inch loads with 1 ounce of No. 8 shot that produced an average muzzle velocity of 1,210 fps. For our home-defense loads, we used Winchester 00 Buckshot 2.75-inch loads firing nine pellets at an average muzzle velocity of 1,325 fps, and Remington Express Power Piston 2.75-inch loads with 1.25 ounces of No. 6 shot pushed at an average muzzle velocity of 1,330 fps.In the home-defense simulations, we limited our patterning tests to a range of 20 feet (recreating a shot across a typical room) and relied upon Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C 12-inch targets to determine pattern effectiveness. Heres our test report:

Duel at the Mostly OK Corral: 12-Ga. Cowboy Action Shotguns

Cowboy Action Shooting members, whose increasing numbers show no need of a stimulus package, have developed their hobby into a tribute to the gun battles of the Old West-both real and fictional. Shotguns often figured into these armed conflicts, normally giving the scattergun handler a distinct advantage over opponents armed with a handgun or rifle, as long as the battle was up close and personal.One of Hollywoods classic depictions of how a shotgun could turn the tide in a gun battle was in the 1966 movie The Professionals, featuring Academy-award-winning actors Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster.Marvin, armed with a Winchester Model 1897 pump-action shotgun, faces down eight mounted bandits armed with bolt-action rifles as they meet in a narrow canyon. With just a little help from Lancaster, himself armed with a Winchester lever-action rifle, Marvin clears the canyon of bandits as he touches off seven shotgun blasts in rapid succession. Most of the bad guys dont even have a chance to get off a shot before they are knocked out of the saddle.Although the battle is pure Hollywood, this type of shotgun action and its recreation on film has become a driving force behind the increasing popularity of the veteran firearms. Both the side-by-side hammer guns and the pump-action hammer guns of old left a distinct mark in history and are now resurfacing in the form of replicas finding favor at shooting competitions across the country. The popularity of the simple and easy-to-handle shotguns is also growing among people interested in home-defense firearms.For our trip back to the past, we selected both a side-by-side and a pump action to see if there is any advantage or downside-other than the number of shots-with either Old West style shotgun.Our test shotguns were a Cimarron T.T.N. Model 1878 Coach Gun 12 Gauge Side-by-Side and a Cimarron Model 1897 Pump 12 Gauge Shotgun,both carrying a price tag of $480 in the new gun rack at Durys Gun Shop in San Antonio (www.durysguns.com). Because of the popularity of the firearms, we waited more than six months to receive the back-order Model 1897.Both of the shotguns are recreations of solid, dependable and well-used scatterguns of the Old West. With their 20-inch barrels and simple actions, the two firearms are also fulfilling a modern duty as self-dense shotguns for home owners. Shotguns firing typical hunting loads in a home-defense situation have the advantage of providing stopping power that will not pass through walls like handgun or rifle slugs.To determine the effectiveness of both shotguns, we selected three distinctly different types of ammunition for our testing. For the Cowboy-Action range, our ammunition was Rio Target 2.75-inch loads with 1 ounce of No. 8 shot that produced an average muzzle velocity of 1,210 fps. For our home-defense loads, we used Winchester 00 Buckshot 2.75-inch loads firing nine pellets at an average muzzle velocity of 1,325 fps, and Remington Express Power Piston 2.75-inch loads with 1.25 ounces of No. 6 shot pushed at an average muzzle velocity of 1,330 fps.In the home-defense simulations, we limited our patterning tests to a range of 20 feet (recreating a shot across a typical room) and relied upon Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C 12-inch targets to determine pattern effectiveness. Heres our test report:

Home-Defense 12-Gauge Pumps: Ithaca, Remington, Mossberg

Perhaps due to the "Obama-effect"—wherein the fear of future gun bans is driving sales—the home-defense/tactical class of self-defense shotguns is booming like never before. But we must recognize that other factors figure into the segment's sales rise as well, not the least of which is that a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun is an effective close-quarters weapon.

To wit: The M97 version of John Browning's Winchester 1897 shotgun was the original "trench-sweeper." Widely considered the first truly successful pump shotgun, the M97 was fitted with a heat shield and the M1917 16-inch bayonet for combat duty. The highly effective use of the shotgun by United States forces in WWI had a dramatic effect on the morale of front-line German troops. As a result, on September 19 of 1918, the German government issued a diplomatic protest against the American use of shotguns, alleging that the law of war prohibited the shotgun. The 5+1 capacity M97 and OO buckshot defined the fast-handling, reliable close-quarters shotgun for about 30 years, the platform of the high-capacity pump persisting through to present day.

The reason to consider a shotgun for personal defense is what many combat studies have shown: the hit probability of a shotgun is roughly twice that of a rifle. For home defense, the shotgun is a quicker stopper than a handgun due to its being able to produce more wound trauma with multiple wound paths. It is considered easier to use in a high-stress situation, and minimizes wall penetration compared to some handgun ammunition. It is also economical to practice with.

Number 1 Buckshot is 30 caliber; it is the superior choice as defined by the International Wound Ballistics Association: "Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2-inch 12-gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma. In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. Also, #1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body." (For further reading, consult Dr. Martin Fackler and Duncan MacPherson's works on bullet penetration and wounding ballistics.)

This match-up includes the Ithaca Model 37 Defense Gun ($469), very close to the M37 "Trench Gun" that saw action in WWII and in Vietnam; the Remington Model 870 Tac-2 FS ($692), and the Mossberg 590A1 w/Black Aluminum Adjustable Stock ($693). The Mossberg 590A1 in various configurations is currently an active service shotgun for the U.S. Military. Here's what our test team thought about the trio:

Home-Defense 12-Gauge Pumps: Ithaca, Remington, Mossberg

Perhaps due to the "Obama-effect"—wherein the fear of future gun bans is driving sales—the home-defense/tactical class of self-defense shotguns is booming like never before. But we must recognize that other factors figure into the segment's sales rise as well, not the least of which is that a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun is an effective close-quarters weapon.

To wit: The M97 version of John Browning's Winchester 1897 shotgun was the original "trench-sweeper." Widely considered the first truly successful pump shotgun, the M97 was fitted with a heat shield and the M1917 16-inch bayonet for combat duty. The highly effective use of the shotgun by United States forces in WWI had a dramatic effect on the morale of front-line German troops. As a result, on September 19 of 1918, the German government issued a diplomatic protest against the American use of shotguns, alleging that the law of war prohibited the shotgun. The 5+1 capacity M97 and OO buckshot defined the fast-handling, reliable close-quarters shotgun for about 30 years, the platform of the high-capacity pump persisting through to present day.

The reason to consider a shotgun for personal defense is what many combat studies have shown: the hit probability of a shotgun is roughly twice that of a rifle. For home defense, the shotgun is a quicker stopper than a handgun due to its being able to produce more wound trauma with multiple wound paths. It is considered easier to use in a high-stress situation, and minimizes wall penetration compared to some handgun ammunition. It is also economical to practice with.

Number 1 Buckshot is 30 caliber; it is the superior choice as defined by the International Wound Ballistics Association: "Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2-inch 12-gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma. In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. Also, #1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body." (For further reading, consult Dr. Martin Fackler and Duncan MacPherson's works on bullet penetration and wounding ballistics.)

This match-up includes the Ithaca Model 37 Defense Gun ($469), very close to the M37 "Trench Gun" that saw action in WWII and in Vietnam; the Remington Model 870 Tac-2 FS ($692), and the Mossberg 590A1 w/Black Aluminum Adjustable Stock ($693). The Mossberg 590A1 in various configurations is currently an active service shotgun for the U.S. Military. Here's what our test team thought about the trio:

Turkey 12s: Browning BPS Pump Vs. Remingtons 11-87 Auto

Turkey hunting in most areas of the country is a sport that is heavy on stalking, concealment and calling to bring the big toms into effective scattergun range. All of that work can be for nothing if the shooting tool brought into play does not produce a killing pattern with the first shot or cannot provide a rapid, effective follow-up shot.Testing a semiautomatic against a pump-action provided us with an interesting opportunity to see if there was a difference in ability to take a quick follow-up shot on a wounded turkey. In our timed tests with two targets attempted with two quick shots, we found there was virtually no difference in the follow-up shooting sequence. However, as noted in the individual reviews of each shotgun, we did find a difference in patterning performance.As preliminary requirements for our turkey gun test, both shotguns had to be decked out in camouflage; both had to handle 3-inch shells; and both barrels had to accept screw-in chokes-a handy accessory for helping produce the best killing shot at normal turkey-hunting ranges.We found a good match on the used gun rack at Durys Gun Shop in San Antonio, www.durysguns.com, with an older model Remington 11-87 semiautomatic and a fairly new version of the Browning BPS pump-action. Both shotguns also featured 26-inch barrels, which seem to be favored by turkey hunters who, in some situations, have to deal with close-quarter shooting conditions.Another appreciated feature on both shotguns was sling attachments that permitted the installation of a carrying strap. Being able to carry the shotguns-heavier than typical scatterguns used for field work-with a sling over a shoulder would be a welcome benefit for a turkey hunter taking a long hike to an ambush site for big toms.For the patterning tests, our ammunition included Remington Nitro Turkey 3-inch loads with 1 7/8 ounces of No. 4 lead shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,210 fps; and Federal Premium Mag-Shok 3-inch loads with 2 ounces of No. 4 copper-plated shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,300 fps. We also spent some familiarization time with the two shotguns at a five-stand course shooting Remington Premier STS Light Target 2.75-inch loads with 1 1/8 ounces of No. 8 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,145 fps. The patterning and handling performance are covered in the individual reviews of each shotgun.Heres our test report:

Turkey 12s: Browning BPS Pump Vs. Remingtons 11-87 Auto

Turkey hunting in most areas of the country is a sport that is heavy on stalking, concealment and calling to bring the big toms into effective scattergun range. All of that work can be for nothing if the shooting tool brought into play does not produce a killing pattern with the first shot or cannot provide a rapid, effective follow-up shot.Testing a semiautomatic against a pump-action provided us with an interesting opportunity to see if there was a difference in ability to take a quick follow-up shot on a wounded turkey. In our timed tests with two targets attempted with two quick shots, we found there was virtually no difference in the follow-up shooting sequence. However, as noted in the individual reviews of each shotgun, we did find a difference in patterning performance.As preliminary requirements for our turkey gun test, both shotguns had to be decked out in camouflage; both had to handle 3-inch shells; and both barrels had to accept screw-in chokes-a handy accessory for helping produce the best killing shot at normal turkey-hunting ranges.We found a good match on the used gun rack at Durys Gun Shop in San Antonio, www.durysguns.com, with an older model Remington 11-87 semiautomatic and a fairly new version of the Browning BPS pump-action. Both shotguns also featured 26-inch barrels, which seem to be favored by turkey hunters who, in some situations, have to deal with close-quarter shooting conditions.Another appreciated feature on both shotguns was sling attachments that permitted the installation of a carrying strap. Being able to carry the shotguns-heavier than typical scatterguns used for field work-with a sling over a shoulder would be a welcome benefit for a turkey hunter taking a long hike to an ambush site for big toms.For the patterning tests, our ammunition included Remington Nitro Turkey 3-inch loads with 1 7/8 ounces of No. 4 lead shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,210 fps; and Federal Premium Mag-Shok 3-inch loads with 2 ounces of No. 4 copper-plated shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,300 fps. We also spent some familiarization time with the two shotguns at a five-stand course shooting Remington Premier STS Light Target 2.75-inch loads with 1 1/8 ounces of No. 8 shot and an average muzzle velocity of 1,145 fps. The patterning and handling performance are covered in the individual reviews of each shotgun.Heres our test report:

He Said The Quiet Part Out Loud

During a July 21 town hall event on CNN, President Joe Biden was addressed by a member of the audience who posed a set-up...