|my pop- cleaning up the 695's bore with a wire brush|
Well the scope as it turns out, had some issues and was sent back to Bushnell this year for some repair. Now on ring duty is a very nice 15 year old Leupold 3-9. As we had to remount the scope, zeroing was in order.
First let us talk about the negatives of this gun. Chief among them in my opinion, is the magazine. It is quite prone to rimlock on the 12 gauge cartridges if care is not taken while loading up the 2 shot mag. I personally think it is easier to only load 1 in the chamber and 1 in the mag to avoid the problem entirely, so owners could use that as a possible solution if they are experiencing similar issues.
Second, the trigger needs work. We sent ours to bill springfield at http://www.triggerwork.net/index.html and frankly it was completely worth the money. With return shipping, the trigger job ran right around 70 dollars. As we had the leupold sitting around collecting dust, this gun still has under 200 bucks invested into from our end, and has laid up 5 deer to date.
|still cleaning. . .|
This gun, shooting good slugs (in our case, the ever popular lightfield 2 3/4in slug) will pull an honest 2.5 minute 5 shot group at 100 yards. if you are willing to take a 3 shot group, it'll get you in the 1.5-2 minute range, cloverleafing rounds readily. However, I have never had this gun hold that level of accuracy for a full 5 shots. Maybe it is heat sensitive? frankly I'm not sure- but for a shotgun that cheap, I'll take a sub 3 inch group at 100 yards any day.
I do not shoot 10 shots because lightfields run about 12 bucks a box, and I want to cry every time we pull the trigger at $2.40. The gods were kind today though, and we were able to get it completely zero'd in 2 boxes. Not bad considering the last 3 were for group- so 7 slugs for adjustment. There is no doubt that the gun is a shooter, but it is not without quirks. in addition to the above issues, the gun also kicks like a mule (much like most mossbergs in my experience). Some might describe this feature as 'packable' meaning the gun carries well over distance because it is so light. I would describe it as 'abusive'- because eventually you have to shoot the damn thing, and I'd rather carry an extra pound of stock weight to keep me from wanting to flinch whenever I stare it this gun too hard.
However, it does the job it is meant to do, and does it well. the recoil isn't too abusive in NE hunting garb, and it puts rounds where you point it. Also because it is so cheap, you really don't care how ugly the gun ends up.
As for me? I'll stick to the handguns for deer thank-you-very-much. Unless this 20 gauge Encore experiment wows me, I suspect handguns will still rule the day for my woods wandering adventures.
Oh- as an afterthought- a big bonus of this gun is the bolt action itself. It is very easy to bore sight the gun by looking straight through the barrel from the rear, and focusing on a distant target. I had an 8.5x11 in piece of paper at 100 yards that I bore sighted with, and that put me on the paper (same size) at 50 yards, which then put us on at 100. All said, it was two shots at 50 for confirming bore sight and gross adjustment, then five shots at 100 for fine adjustment, then a final three for confirmation of group.
If you have any optics mounted and you have the ability to look through the barrel from the breach, practice your bore sighting and you will save BOXES of ammunition and a significant (but much less measurable) amount of frustration.