“I am weak!”
When it comes to guns, I’m fickle, especially when influenced by a good friend trying to convince me “how good it will look in my gun cabinet.”
Let me tell you about my most recent visit to Beecroft’s Shooters Supply in Schaghticoke with my friend, Dave Rooney. While I was talking to Dave Beecroft, Mr. Rooney was checking out the gun racks. When he called me over, I could feel my erratic changeableness building.
In his outstretched arms was an older Remington 16-gauge Wingmaster with a modified choke, and it was surprisingly in “as new” condition. I knew I shouldn’t have taken it and pull it into my shoulder.
As expected, I began to feel the “I want it” fever beginning to rise, and actually gave the gun back to Dave and said: “No! My Benelli does everything I want it to.”
I was quite shocked at my ability to say, “No.”
In the next half-hour of telling tales at the gun shop, I probably glanced at the Wingmaster several times, but left the shop without it. On the way home, I must have told Dave several times that my [Benelli] Vinci was really all I needed.
I know, although she didn’t say anything, my wife was surprised when I came in without carrying a gun.
That afternoon, I was in my office working on my column, but that Wingmaster was still on my mind. About 4:30 p.m., I grabbed the phone.
You probably know what happened next. I called Beecroft and told him to take the Remington Wingmaster off the self and put my name on it.
He laughed and said, “I already did.”
He knows me well.
Early the next day, I was at the gun shop when he opened and picked up my new
16-gauge. David smiled and joked about my weakness for pretty old guns.
On the way home, I had to stop by several friends’ homes to show them my new 34-year-old Wingmaster purchase.
When I told them I planned to use it for turkeys as well as other small game, they all kiddingly asked, “What about the Benelli 12-gauge?”
My eagerness to shoot the Wingmaster was settled the very next morning at my friend Paul Galcik’s Olde Saratoga Shooting Supply range in Schuylerville.
Just for patterning, I used 23⁄4-inch Remington (SP116) 16-gauge Express Long Range ammo. This 11⁄8-ounce load sends 233 pellets out at 1,295 feet per second.
The targets were a turkey head and neck printed on 81⁄2- x 10-inch, plain white paper. With a computer, internet and printer, there are a number of free, easy-to-print shooting and hunting targets.
My first shot was at 25 yards, sitting on the ground, resting the gun on my raised knee.
I was quite pleased when I walked up to the target and counted 36 pellets in the turkey kill zone (neck and head). Actually it only takes one, but the experts say 8-12 is good.
Moving out to 30 yards, again shooting sitting on the ground, I placed 30 pellets in the kill zone.
Considering I was not using a tighter turkey choke tube, the Wingmaster was turkey-ready.
However, I’ve been scouring the internet in search of a Remington Wingmaster 16-gauge barrel with screw-in choke tubes.
In the meantime, I’ll think about taking the Remington afield not only for turkeys, but for other small-game animals in the fall.
Good luck next Friday!