Savage/Stevens has brought a new gun to market that is likely to cause some interest on several fronts – their purpose-driven turkey hunting shotgun dressed for success and built to excel with Federal Premium’s new HEAVYWEIGHT TSS turkey loads. The new Stevens 301 Turkey is a single-shot, break action shotgun featuring a 26-inch barrel that is optimized for the new HEAVYWEIGHT TSS loads with an extra full extended screw in choke and a removable rail for optics. Dressed in Mossy Oak Bottomland or Obsession camouflage and paired with the new loads, it will deliver the power and dense patterns required to take down wary gobblers.
Compared to the hammer guns of the past, this one has an ambidextrous takedown lever located on the right side of the receiver above the trigger guard. Once actuated, it swings open the bolt and exposes the chamber. Shells are loaded one at a time by sliding the load gate back and forth against the breech face. To fire, the shooter simply cocks the hammer and squeezes the trigger.
This is a solid, reliable, easy to use shotgun with an excellent trigger and great finish. It comes in a variety of gauges and configurations. The only drawbacks I found are a push button fore-end release, cheap plastic innards and no place for sling mounts. The ejector spring is also very heavy, which can cause a problem with shells that won’t eject. This is easily fixed by replacing the stock ejector spring with a lighter AR-15 buffer retainer spring.