One shot, one kill! This is the goal of great hunters. Primitive weapons certainly allow this to happen. An archer gets one shaft at a time. Flint lockers need to reload after one shot. Even in the military, the soldiers at Gettysburg needed to reload between shots. A skilled marksman may get off 3 shots a minute, but could hit a target out past 600 yards.
You don’t need to go primitive to hunt with a single shot weapon. Archers can now go to a crossbow. These modern weapons can throw a bolt/shaft over 300 feet per second with a range of well over 50 yards. Even modern compound bows and wooden bows are well improved.
When Custer’s men were in their last stand, they shot Sharps single shot rifles. These weapons were accurate and deadly. Each soldier had 100 rounds to support their weapons, but half of their rounds were on the horses that were stampeded. Custer’s brother, a twice Medal of Honor winner, had a lever action rifle and was one of the last soldiers to go down.
My favorite Big Game rifle is a 30-06 Ruger #1. This accurate single shot has helped me tag elk, deer, antelopes, coyotes, and every game animal I have used it on. A second shot was never required, even at long ranges past 400 yards.
You shoot and hunt differently when you know you only get one shot. If you are calling, then you allow the critter to come in closer before putting the hammer down. Tagging out requires you to be a better hunter and marksman.
Spring turkey season is a perfect time to become one with a single shot weapon. Newer modern ammunition comes loaded with special cups, buffers, shot sizes, and powder loads to create tight shooting patterns out past 50 yards. You do not shoot at a turkey; you aim at its head. The special turkey choke gives he hunter an even tighter pattern for longer range, more accurate shots.
Whatever gun or rifle that you choose, sight it in. Single shot shooters rely on confidence in their weapons. That one perfect shot is the result of many practice shots off the bench.
If you are mentoring a rookie or kid, a single shot weapon is safer and instills more confidence. The new Henry single shot turkey shotgun is a great choice. It comes with fiber optic iron sights but will accept a scope.
This 12-gauge weapon packs a 3 ½ inch shell. The safety is a rebounding hammer. The weight is 6.79 pounds, at a length of 39 ½ inches with a 24-inch barrel, that accepts Rem Chokes. The walnut stock comes in a Mossy Oak camo and is fitted with sling screws. For turkeys, I would use the full choke.
This weapon sells for around $750, about half of what it costs for a newer Turkey gun. One of the nice features is the adjustable trigger. Most shotguns come with triggers set at over 7 lbs. The Henry is under 4 pounds, at 3lb. 12 oz. This means better accuracy. I would not use this gun for upland birds. By adjusting the chokes, you could also load slugs in this gun for greater accuracy on bigger game.
If you get just one shot, make it count!