Remington 870 SPS Super Mag Turkey Predator Review
Spring turkey seasons are in progress all over the map, and one of the most practical, and hard-hitting, scatterguns to come along in quite some time specifically for challenging these sharp-witted birds is now available from Remington.
I have been enjoying some pre-season field work with the new Model 870 SPS-T Special Purpose Turkey Super Magnum, and have to report that emphasis should definitely be placed on the word “super.” This is one firearm that truly lives up to its intended purpose.
Having seen it on exhibit at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show earlier this year, I made arrangements with Remington’s Linda Powell to have a test gun shipped out to me care of a local gun shop near Gun Week’s western bureau in Bellevue, WA.
One of my longtime hunting buddies, who is something of a fanatic about turkey hunting, may actually purchase the test gun, but don’t be disappointed. Remington assures me there are plenty more where this one came from.
Wild turkey hunting is one of America’s true success stories, and would not have become such without the direct involvement of sportsmen and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). I needed to get that right up front, along with the fact that I’m not a member of NWTF, so whatever I say about that group’s accomplishments is entirely objective.
Another thing I’ll have to state right now is that in my home state of Washington—where all too many outdoorsmen view the Department of Fish and Wildlife disdainfully as the “Department of NO Fish and Game”—that thanks to the efforts of a biologist named Dan Blatt nearly 20 years ago, there is a thriving population of wild turkeys. And at least one of them is probably doomed, if my shooting is up to snuff.
Actually, make that several thriving populations, because Blatt, in what seems now to have been remarkable foresight, introduced stocks of Eastern, Merriam and Rio Grande turkeys to parts of Washington with habitat particularly suitable to each of these subspecies. They have taken hold with such vigor that today, turkey hunting is a top draw in Washington, as it is in many other states. As you read this, it’s just possible I may be sneaking around out there in the boonies, looking for one of these allegedly elusive birds.
I say allegedly because nary has an autumn gone by in the last dozen years or so when I have not, quite by accident, stumbled into flocks of turkeys. I nearly tripped over a dozen of them on a blackpowder elk hunt about three years ago, and a couple of years before that, a trio of them walked right up to me as I sat against the base of a tree while deer hunting. Mind you, I was dressed in blue jeans, a red checkered wool coat, hunter orange cap and cape, yet they were oblivious to my presence until I actually said “hello” and they looked at me in surprise, and decided they needed to be somewhere else.
- 1 Tripping over Turkeys
- 2 Remington 870 Super Mag Review
- 3 Assorted Shotshells for the Remington 870 Turkey Predator
- 4 Remington 870 SPS Super Magnum Turkey/Predator w/Scope Pump Shotgun
- 5 Remington Model 870 SPS Super Magnum Turkey/Predator Shotgun Package
- 6 Remington Model 870 SPS Super Mag Turkey Predator 12 Gauge
Tripping over Turkeys
Last fall, I encountered several more turkeys, also during a deer hunt, which is leading me to wonder if they’re really that hard to find and shoot, or if all the television shows about turkey hunting are over-dramatized. Of course, I am a true believer in bad karma. I can find just about anything when I don’t need it. When I am looking for something I desperately need, I am likely to miss it even when it is right in front of me in plain sight.
All that said, turkey hunters across the map really need to thank smart biologists like Blatt for working with organizations like NWTF to make turkey enhancement such a success.
On the other hand, turkeys may not be too happy with Remington for this new shotgun. Take my word for it, the birds are going to lose.
While turkey enhancement is an unabashed success, so is the saga of Remington’s Model 870 pump gun. It has a history of reliability and popularity seldom matched in wingshooting.
With the development of the 3-1/2 inch 12-gauge magnum shotshell some 15 years ago, one would have figured it would only be a matter of time before those bright folks at Remington adapted the Model 870 slide-action to accommodate the longer shell, and then decided to load ammunition specifically for “Ol’ Tom.” We’ll talk about the shotshells in a moment.
Remington 870 Super Mag Review
The 3-1/2 inch 12-gauge round is a shoulder-pounder, no two ways about it. When the longer shotshell was first introduced many years ago, ostensibly to either replace or offer an option to the 10-gauge magnum, I fired a few rounds and told somebody that I’d been kicked by mules easier.
Shotgun companies—notably Mossberg, Benelli and Remington—have developed guns and recoil pads to soften the thump, and on this new Model 870 Turkey Super Magnum, that has included installing a thumbhole stock with a remarkable R3 Recoil Pad. Whatever that thing is made from, it certainly works. Combined with the laminated thumbhole stock that allows a shooter to really hug that gun in tight, the round still delivers a jolt, but hardly one that will cause discomfort.
Remington designers incorporate the Model 870’s twin-bar slide-action with a forend that is something of a beavertail that is flat on the bottom. Some might think this to be an extraneous affectation, but trust me on this, such a feature will allow for a steadier hold when birds are moving in and you must remain still. I found that it actually felt something like holding a target rifle.
As is common with the genre, Remington covers this turkey gun with camouflage. In this case, it’s the new Mossy Oak Obsession, and the only part of my test gun that was not covered was the front end of the turkey Super Full Choke. Remington provides a padded camo sling with this gun.
Remington 870 Super Mag Turkey in Details
Would you like more details? The barrel measures 23 inches, which is just right for swinging around in brushy spring environments. It is topped with an adjustable rear rifle sight and a front Tru-Glo fiber-optic sight that really pulls in the light. With an overall length of 44.5 inches, Remington’s new Special Purpose Turkey Super Magnum will slip into any average-size gun case with room to spare.
One thing I noticed with a couple of the shells I tried is that it takes a bit of getting used to when shoving in 3-1/2 inchers through the bottom loading port. Once in the magazine tube, they cycle fine, but it might take a bit of practice to ramp them down into the magazine.
I tried this gun with both 3- and 3-1/2 inch magnums, and found it to perform as advertised, and that says everything you need to know. The longer action of the 3-1/2 inch Model 870 receiver never skipped a beat, kicking out all of the empties satisfactorily.
I might just suggest that this shotgun would have some interesting applications in goose pits, as there is no reason to believe that a shotgun fitted with a thumbhole stock is any less capable of bringing down fat grain-fed mallards or plump Canada honkers than it is a wily tom turkey, when fed the proper ammunition.
Assorted Shotshells for the Remington 870 Turkey Predator
Because the Model 870 is a pump gun, it will also handle all 2-3/4 and 3-inch magnum shotshells. I can say without fear of contradiction that some people will prefer the lighter recoil of those shells, and, naturally Remington, Federal and Winchester offer a pretty good assortment of loads that give turkeys headaches . . . momentarily, if you’re lucky.
From Remington, there are bird-busting loads in Premier Hevi-Shot Magnum Turkey, Premier High Velocity Magnum Copper Plated Turkey, Nitro Mag buffered magnums, and Premier Magnum Copper Plated buffered turkey loads.
Federal’s lineup includes 3- and 3-1/2 inch loads in Premium Mag Shok Magnum Lead turkey, Premium Mag Shok High Velocity turkey, and Premium Mag Shok Heavy Weight turkey selections.
Winchester’s Supreme lineup includes several loads in 2-3/4, 3, and 3-1/2 inch high velocity.
Bottom line is that there are many loads from which to choose, and everyone of them is bad news to those bearded birds.
After shooting Remington’s Model 870 Special Purpose Turkey Super Magnum, and checking out all the available shotshells designed to clobber those big American fowl, I might be inclined to wish the turkeys “good luck.”
I said “might.”
Model 870 SPS-T Super Mag. Thumbhole Camo
|Gauge:||12 (3-1/2 inch)|
|Mag. Capacity:||4 (2-3/4 or 3-inch) or 3 (3-1/3 inch)|
|BBL Length:||23 inches|
|Barrel Type:||Vent Rib|
|Rem Choke:||(Turkey Super Full)|
|Sights:||Tru-Glo Rifle Sights|
|Metal Finish:||Mossy Oak Obsession|
|Overall Length:||44-1/2 inches|
|Drop (Comb):||1-3/8 inches|
|Drop (Heel):||1-7/8 inches|
|Stock Material:||Camo-Covered Laminate|
|Stock Finish:||Mossy Oak Obsession|
|Avg. Weight:||8-1/8 pounds|
(Information from Remington catalog.)
Remington 870 SPS Super Magnum Turkey/Predator w/Scope Pump Shotgun
Remington 870 SPS Super Magnum Turkey/Predator w/Scope Pump Shotgun -The most dependable slide action of all time super-tuned to bring the strut to a grinding halt. The specialized turkey shotgun is fully covered in Mossy Oak Obsession camo and delivers a payload with lethal authority at the longest ranges. Now featuring a ShurShot synthetic pistol-grip stock, the updated Model 870 SPS ShurShot Synthetic Turkey offers both right-and left-handed hunters the pinnacle of lightweight shooting comfort and handling ease. With this stock in your grip, repositioning for the shot is quick and efficient, plus the position of your hand naturally diffuses recoil. The 20" barrel offers awesome maneuverability, while the fully-adjustable TruGlo fiber-optic sights and an extended Turkey Rem Choke maximize pattern placement.
Mossy Oak Obsession Synthetic Stock
TruGlo Red/Green Dot Scope
Remington Model 870 SPS Super Magnum Turkey/Predator Shotgun Package
The most dependable slide action of all time in a design that will go the distance with deadly precision, whether your target is the crease behind a buck's shoulder, a wily coyote or a big red head. The model 870 SPS Super Magnum Turkey/Predator w/scope is an all inclusive, all-camo package put together with devastating implications for birds at extended range and predators that close the distance. Along with the ambidextrous freedom and handling ease of our ShurShot pistol grip stock with grip-enhancing overmolds, it features a highly maneuverable 20" barrel and a TruGlo red/green selectable illuminated sight mounted atop its pre-installed Weaver-style rail. It handles 2 3/4", 3" and 3 1/2" 12-gauge rounds interchangeably. A black padded sling and Wingmaster HD Turkey/Predator Rem Choke are included.
Remington Model 870 SPS Super Mag Turkey Predator 12 Gauge
Mossy Oak Obsession, 3rd/4rd, 20 Barrel, Truglo Red Dot