March 26, 2021
By Sam Forbes
While everyone carries an autoloader afield in turkey season for fast follow-up shots, shooting an over/under shotgun all but eliminates the need for a second shot. By screwing in two different chokes and stuffing each barrel with a different shotshell, turkey hunters can switch barrels instantly and put the proper load on target at the proper range.
The most recent trend in turkey hunting is long-range shotshells that have the ability to reach out and touch turkeys that hang up past 40 yards. That’s all well and good, but the real goal should be fooling a turkey into committing those last few yards. It is hunting after all. Still, it is nice to be able to teach that wary tom a lesson if he does hang up.
I think our fear of far-off gobblers has steered us too far off track. We are so worried about that out-of-range tom that we’ve all bought into the trendy new choke tubes and high-priced loads. These advancements help us feel beyond prepared on the range, they even give us something to gloat about on social media, but they skip over the common reality of up-close action.
That’s where a double-barrel shotgun comes into its own. Screw an extra-full turkey choke into one barrel and load it with the most modern tungsten shotshells. Now you’re covered for those long-range shots. In the second barrel, opt for a close-range set-up: maybe a modified choke and a load of deadly, heavy No. 7.5 shot. Now, you are just as equally prepared for an 8-yard shot as you are a 40-yard shot.
In terms of double-barrel options, a great option for the price is the CZ USA Reaper Magnum. With dual 3-1/2-inch chambers, this over/under can handle any modern 12-gauge turkey load. CZ provides six different extended choke tubes with each Reaper Magnum shotgun, so you’ll have more than enough variation to customize your gun’s versatility right out of the box. With just a single flip of the switch, hunters can alternate which barrel will shoot first.
Weighing in at just 7 pounds, this shotgun is both light and maneuverable. This weapon is optimized to give you the best in long-range shooting and quick tracking with its 26-inch barrels. Twin ejectors make reloads quick and easy if a second round of follow-up shots are necessary.
The Reaper Magnum comes stock with a bead sight for that classic shotgun sight picture, but it also comes equipped with a removable Picatinny rail. This rail is specifically mounted directly to the gun’s vented rib, just over the monobloc, so that optics can be mounted low to the barrel.
The synthetic stock is built with an exaggerated pistol grip to aid in stability and is dressed in Realtree APG camo. With a generous sized trigger guard, gloves won’t hold you back from pulling the trigger on toms near and far.
All in for just over $1,000, this double barrel may deliver just the versatility you’ve been looking for. Visit cz-usa.com to learn more, or watch their YouTube video on the CZ Reaper Magnum.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.