Boar Down!

Herschel Smith · 30 Oct 2022 · 9 Comments

Readers may have noticed I was absent the last several days.  It was a good time away.  A very good buddy and neighbor of mine, Robert, and I went hunting courtesy of the fine folks with Williams Hunting in South Carolina. I was shooting a 6mm ARC rifle with a Grendel Hunter upper, Aero Precision lower, Amend2 magazines, Brownells scope mount, Radian Raptor charging handle, Nikon Black scope, and a Viking Tactics sling.  I have no complaints about the gun.  It's at least a 1 MOA gun…… [read more]

Ernest Langdon on the Beretta 1301

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

He says it’s the best combat shotgun available.  I agree.

Pistol Grip Shotguns May Now Be an NFA Weapon

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

From a friend, these words, pages 22-23 on the ATF website.

“Because these types of firearms were never designed to be fired from one hand, this rule, as described in the NPRM, does not apply to firearms commonly referred to as pistol grip shotguns.29 86 FR at 30828–29. The 2014 classification described above and any classification that provides that a pistol grip shotgun is not an NFA firearm is no longer valid or authoritative as of [INSERT DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER], and the firearm should be resubmitted to FATD for evaluation.”

Do you own a Benelli M4 for home defense?  If so, you may be rolled into the ATF clown show they’ve created for themselves and you with their awful pistol brace release.

Or based on the caveats, they may be referring to bullpup shotguns, or AOW.  Who knows at this point?

Savage Stevens 555 Sporting Over-Under Review

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

Seen at All Outdoor.

Frankly it didn’t seem like a very educated or enlightened review to me.  I’m not sure what sort of shotgunner routintely shoots sporting clays with a 22″ barrel and thus has trouble with a 30″ barrel.  That seems odd to me.

However, the gun looks beautiful to me.

I normally keep up with new offerings and so it surprised me that I hadn’t seen that Savage had come out with new over-unders.  I do like the fact that it has an adjustable cheek riser.

Savage should have sent the shotgun to me for review.  I would have examined the quality of the walnut, the finish, the parts fit-up, the lockup, etc., and reported back honestly and completely, after putting many hundreds of rounds through the gun (quail season is ending soon so I would be limited to the clay range).

With the Beretta 686 running for $2,400. the Beretta 694 running for $4,500, the Benelli over-unders running for that or higher in some cases, the Beretta DT11 running for $11,000, it’s nice to finally see an American made over-under for a reasonable price (< $1,000) and good finish and fit-up.  If it indeed can claim that – as I said, Savage didn’t send it to me for review.

Paul Harrell: 00 Buckshot vs #1 Buckshot for Deer Hunting

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

Frankly I think I’d rather just stick to a rifle.  But this is useful information if you live in a north midwestern state.

I see someone in the comments posed the question I thought of: what if this test had been done using different wadding, such as Federal Flitecontrol?  Someone ought to send him some ammo to test this question.

Rifled Choke Tubes

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

American Hunter.

Finding a rifled choke tube isn’t particularly difficult for most common thread patterns, such as the Remington RemChoke, Benelli Crio Plus, Beretta/Benelli (Mobil), Beretta Optima HP, Browning Invector and Invector Plus, and Winchester Win Choke. At this time, Browning appears to be the only gunmaker that sells them direct to consumer (as accessories); there’s no need to fret, as aftermarket companies, and particularly Carlson’s Choke Tubes, cover those mentioned above and then some. Options in 12 gauge typically outnumber those in 20.

As with choke tubes offering varying degrees of constriction, rifled models are, at times, available in flush-fitting and extended configurations, though the latter are now conventional. I haven’t found one length to outperform the other, but the extra length of an extended model definitely aids the installation and removal process. Given that many slugs—including those featuring a sabot—can be used with fully rifled barrels and rifled choke tubes, it’s unsurprising that the twist rate of both are similar, if not identical. For instance, a 1:35-inch twist rate is commonly employed in 12 gauge.

While there is ammunition that plays nicely with both fully rifled barrels and rifled choke tubes, some is outright incompatible with the latter. When the manufacture states, “Use in fully rifled barrels only,” or something similar, heed their warning. Avoid that load. Unfortunately, such cautions are common to the highest-performing—and flattest shooting—slugs, but that’s simply the tradeoff associated with going the rifled-choke-tube route.

Provided there’s no warning, or the ammunition box reads, “Suitable for use in smoothbore and rifled shotguns with any choke,” or an analogous message, that slug is safe for use through your rifled choke tube. Most will be of the traditional, full-diameter, Foster-type design or Brenneke’s improved version, though there are sabot slugs that can be utilized in rifled choke tubes, too. Examples of the latter are Winchester’s Super-X BRI Sabot Slug, a favorite of mine, and Brenneke’s new Topas, which pairs a blue, 12-gauge wad with a Brenneke-style, lead-alloy, 16-gauge slug. That’s only the beginning, too.

I found this to be a very helpful article.  A day or two ago I watched Ron Spomer discuss rifled slugs, and I was a bit confused until I figured out we’re talking about two different things between the article above and Ron – rifled slugs that don’t spin versus rifled chokes that do spin a slug.

Anyway, I’m not a slug shooter so this was a learning experience for me.

Review Of The Beretta 694

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

I would love to have this gun, but they’ve priced me out of the market at just over $4000.  I’d also like to have the predecessor to this one, the 686.

Model 686 is no longer in production so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find them for sale (although some are still out there).  They don’t a bit of upgrading and added $2000 to the price for the 694, making it less appealing that owning a model 686.

The comments in the video seem to prefer the 694 over the Browning.

Semi-Auto Shotgun Ascendancy

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Shooting Illustrated.

Faster?
Yup. No matter how good the shooter is with a pump. Many big 3-gun matches also have a side match for shotguns. There is usually a low target count, so nobody has to reload. The buzzer goes off and you shoot the targets. No reloading, running, jumping or standing on one leg, and no tricky targets. Just stand there and shoot the shotgun. Pump guns never win. No matter what the guy at the gun shop says, semi-autos are simply faster.

Semi-autos will not shoot all ammo.
That was an issue with that bird gun I mentioned and a few others, but not with most guns today. Today’s best semi-automatic shotguns can digest a wide range of ammo from low-recoil to full-power without a problem. Shotguns with the inertia system pioneered by Benelli, or the multi-port gas systems like Remington used in its guns, will handle all ammo. Most of the newer gas guns will likewise eat any ammo they are fed.

Semi-autos jam.
They pretty much don’t anymore. At least, no more than other firearms. Pumps do, though. I shoot a pump shotgun a lot. (I never said I don’t like them.) When it counts, I will now and then inadvertently short stroke and jam it up.

It’s not just me. I have seen even the very best pump-shotgun shooters in the world short stroke their guns when trying to go fast. The simple fact is that operating a pump shotgun is a human function. When subjected to stress, humans do not beat well-designed machines, because machines are not subject to emotional stress.

I agree with all of these remarks.  I think that a commitment to pump action shotguns over semi-auto shotguns because you believe that semi-auto shotguns are less reliable is based on a false paradigm that may have been correct 50 years ago, but certainly isn’t now.

Specifically, he’s reviewing the latest Savage tactical shotgun, the Renegauge Security.  It appears to want to compete with the Beretta 1301.  I doubt that it can come up to the level of the 1301, but since Savage didn’t send me one to review, I have no way of knowing with certainty.

It’s a nice looking gun, and maybe I’ll get a chance to shoot one some day.

Patterning Semi-Auto Shotguns for Waterfowl Hunting

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

As I expected, the Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus did a magnificent job at putting pellets in the bird (19:48).  My takeaway isn’t so much that one shotgun does better than another, but that you need to know what you’re doing and get your testing protocol and equipment settled out when you presume to test one against another.  Having to admit you screwed up a test should be just a bit embarrassing, but at least it’s honest.

I’ll also say that after a morning of shooting quail with the A400, I felt like I had plinked with a .22 rimfire rifle all morning.  The action and stock design manages the recoil better than any 12 gauge shotgun I’ve ever used.

Observations On The Beretta Shotgun Gas Operating System

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

These observations will be brief and to the point, and they apply to the A400 Xtreme Plus and 1301 (but I suspect to all their newest line of shotguns excluding over-unders).

The bolt carrier is very similar in design to that of an AR-15, with a firing pin held in place by a retaining pin, a cam, and the bolt carrier.  There are differences of course including dimensions, the spring on the fire pin, and the lack of gas return to operate the bolt (the Beretta gas system follows the tube).

But it has the look and feel of maintaining and cleaning an AR-15 at times.

Either Beretta learned from Eugene Stoner’s design and liked it and decided that it would lead to increased cycling speed, or they wanted American buyers to feel more accustomed to the system (or both).

There are numerous YouTube videos on this design.

Their over-unders are absolutely beautiful, but very pricey.

Shotgun Slugs

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Recoil.

Rifled slugs are designed to be used in smoothbore shotguns. The rifled slug’s defining feature is a set of exterior grooves that resemble barrel rifling. Unlike barrel rifling, the slug’s grooves do not spin the projectile. Instead, the channels allow the slug to compress slightly so it can fit through a shotgun’s choke tube.

Sabot slugs lack the rifled slug’s exterior grooves because they are designed to be used in shotguns with rifled barrels or with a smoothbore paired with a rifled choke.

They go on to discuss various brands, including Remington Sabot slugs, Federal TruBall rifled slugs, Hornady American White Tail slugs, Winchester Super-X, and Brennecke Black Magin and Hefty Slugs.

I wouldn’t want to be behind a shotgun shooting Brennecke slugs unless my life was in danger.

The Hornady slug is 325 grains.  I’m left wondering why anyone would choose to shoot that over 45-70 at 325 grains.  Oh yea, stupid states like Illinois where shotgun and bow hunting are the only legal ways to harvest deer.

I don’t know the fate of HB 4386, but here’s the concern as expressed by the controllers.

“We are talking about cartridges that are as powerful as you need to cleanly harvest the animal without being excessively powerful so that there is accidental damage at distant targets that you can’t see,” Dale said.

Dummies.  South Carolina is a much more densely populated state than Illinois and this has never been a concern there.  The gigantic woods and corn fields of Illinois are the last place one should be concerned about “targets you can’t see.”

I know The Alaskan prefers Brennecke for dangerous animals.  If I lived there I’d probably practice with that – for one or two shots anyway.


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