A Stock to Bond With

Synthetics are certainly more durable, but give me figured walnut every time if it’s available. The beauty and warmth of wood just makes a day in the field much more special.

According to my Brownells gunstock pull-and-drop gauge, the Turkish walnut buttstock has a 14" LOP with a drop of 1.5" at the comb and 2" at the heel. It’s finished with a thick rubber recoil pad featuring a smooth, rounded plastic insert in the heel to ensure snag-free mounting.

The gnarled checkering panels on the pistol grip and forend are “grippy” and — being darker than the surrounding walnut — are pleasing to the eye. The forend itself is fully rounded at the bottom and scalloped in toward the barrel to enhance your grip. The gun’s a “pointer” all right.

The barrels on the Phenoma line are all 28", giving the guns an overall length of 48.5". Five choke tubes are standard — C, IC, M, IM, F — as is the red, fiber-optic front bead.

Not only do most 28s pattern exceedingly well, most people can shoot them well. They’re fast on target, easy on the shoulder and so light you can spend the whole day afield with them without feeling like a gun bearer. If you think you’re seeing more 28-gauge shells on store shelves lately, you have. Thankfully, the prices are coming down with every passing year.