American Hunter - June 2014 - (Page 67)

No safe queen, the Longfowler is nonetheless a solidly built double gun not afraid of getting muddy in the blind. Side-by-Side extended use between cleanings. Stoeger installs improved cylinder and modified choke tubes, though I think a gun called the Longfowler should also come with a full choke for gunning high birds. In addition to its longevity under repeated pounding and hard use, the real test of a value-driven double gun is barrel regulation, or the ability of each barrel to hit as close to the same point of aim as possible. Due to the difference in chokes, shot variance and a host of other factors, absolute regulation is hard for manufacturers to accomplish and test with any reliability, but a good side-by-side should at least show some pattern convergence at a range appropriate for the gun's intended use. Since Stoeger chose the name Longfowler for this shotgun, I decided to test barrel regulation at  yards-a bit longer than I would with a gun more suited for upland bird hunting. My thought is this gun in its -gauge configuration would be better suited for pass-shooting Canada geese or bringing down big divers skirting the dekes. If I were decoying puddle ducks, I'd probably opt for the -gauge version. The patterning board was a -inch circle with a -inch triangle in the center. I shot both barrels with the modified choke, stuffing them with a -ounce load of No. ½ lead shot for testing purposes. That gave me an estimated total pellet count of  per round. During testing, I was somewhat surprised to find each barrel shared the same point of impact, putting between  and  pellets, or about  percent, in the circle each time. Interestingly, that point of impact was just about  inches right of center, with the right half of the target absorbing  to  percent more shot than the left. While the patterns were consistent, they were a little more open than I'd prefer. If I were relying on the Longfowler all season long, I'd invest in a good set of waterfowl-specific chokes such as those from Trulock or Patternmaster. With an  of  and a street price a little over , the Longfowler leaves some room in the budget to take it from an adequate fowling piece to a good one with a couple choke tubes. Like any working tool should, the Longfowler swings like a hammer in your hands, too, with a balance point just forward of the hinge. Belying its weight, the gun starts fairly easily and changes direction without much effort, helping the shooter toward crossing doubles. With the Longfowler registering nearly  pounds on the scale, I wouldn't want to carry it while walking up pheasants in the uplands, but it proved perfectly suitable last season over the water and in the goose fields. I really appreciated the fact that I never felt like I had to baby the Longfowler in . ❘  ❘   STOEGER UPLANDER LONGFOWLER stoegerindustries.com ■ Type: boxlock double-barrel shotgun ■ Gauge/Chamber: 12/3" (tested); 20/3" ■ Barrels: 30"; solid rib, threaded for choke tubes ■ Trigger: single, non-selective; 6.25-lbs. pull weight (right barrel), 7.5-lbs. pull weight (left barrel) ■ Sights: front brass bead ■ Safety: tang-mounted, automatic ■ Stock: A-grade walnut, satin finish; LOP 14.5"; drop at heel 2.5"; drop at comb 1.5" ■ Metal Finish: matte black ■ Overall Length: 47.5" ■ Weight: 7 lbs., 15 oz. ■ Accessories: extended improved cylinder and modified choke tubes ■ MSRP: $499 any way. It spent most of the waterfowl season lying next to me in muddy cornfields or propped in the corner of a dirty blind in all manner of weather conditions. Through several boxes of loads, from Federal Black Cloud to Remington HyperSonic and Kent Fasteel, it only failed to fire once. Now, once might be once too many, but I consider it acceptable in the case of a sub- side-by-side that never so much as got close to a cleaning rod for three months. That kind of consistency should be considered a blessing to those of us who view such a gun as a tool, rather than a work of art. ah http://www.stoegerindustries.com http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - June 2014

Table of Contents
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover1
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover2
American Hunter - June 2014 - 1
American Hunter - June 2014 - Table of Contents
American Hunter - June 2014 - 3
American Hunter - June 2014 - 4
American Hunter - June 2014 - 5
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American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover4
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