Legacy Sports Pointer Phenoma

A Turkish Delight 28-gauge autoloader
3

Legacy Sport’s small-gauge Pointer is a graceful upland gun with nice Turkish walnut.

I admit to being a 28-gauge enthusiast. Some call it a “magic gauge” — the perfect ballistic marriage between bore size and a 3/4 oz. payload producing patterns all out of proportion to its diminutive size.

Holt, Steamer and a 28-gauge Pointer can’t wait for opening morning.

Gauge of Success

At this year’s SHOT Show, Legacy Sports International’s 28-gauge Pointer Phenoma semi-auto really caught my eye. To begin with, “Pointer” is a great name, considering the fact shotguns are pointed (not aimed), and more often than not are found in the hands of an upland hunter trailing his favorite pointer. Unlike many of their heavier big-bore brothers, small-gauge guns weighing 5.5-6 lbs. are lively and dynamic, so feathery in some cases you have to readjust your swing a bit or else you’re not where you should be when the shot breaks.

Available in 12, 20, 28 and .410, the gas-operated Pointer Phenoma guns are available in three distinct finishes. There’s a basic synthetic stocked model completely finished in Realtree Original, Mossy Oak Bottomland, Mossy Oak Obsession and good, old, simple black with an MSRP of $529. Next up is an upgraded synthetic line with Cerakote treated receivers in Burnt Bronze, Midnight Bronze and OD Green laser etched to blend in and match three Realtree camo patterns applied to the stocks. These have an MSRP of $999. Then there’s the sensational duo-toned combination of a Cerakote treated receiver and barrel mated with richly figured Turkish walnut stocking (pictured here) in 28 gauge and carrying an MSRP of $669.

The Cerakote-treated receiver and streamlined trigger guard add to the visual impact of the Pointer.

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.

Holt’s 28-gauge Pointer produced lethal, well-balanced patterns on HunterJohn clays targets.

The bronze-colored magazine cap contrasts nicely with the walnut fore-end.

On-Paper Performance

The first thing I do with a new shotgun — particularly a pump or auto with interchangeable barrels and choke tubes — is to determine if the point-of-aim and point-of-impact coincide. Often they don’t, and there’s no sense in taking a gun afield if this is the case.

The POA/POI test is simple. Take a plain piece of letter-size paper and draw a solid 2" circle in the middle. (I’m lazy so I use a HunterJohn “clays” patterning target that already has a large red dot in the center). Place it 15 feet in front of your bench. Install a Full-choke tube. Bench the shotgun, aim it like a rifle at the center of the dot or at 6 o’clock and shoot one round.

At this distance, the result will be one ragged hole plus one or two wad holes. If the shot hole coincides with your POA, you got a keeper. Next comes patterning.

Again, I use the HunterJohn clays patterning target depicting 126 clay silhouettes, roughly the body size of smaller game birds. To pattern the Pointer, I selected a modified tube, Winchester AA ammo (3/4 oz. of 7-1/2s at 1,300 fps) and let fly at 30 yards.

My hope was to get a 30-yard pattern with no less than two (and hopefully three or four) pellets in most of the clay silhouettes in the core 20" area. I was a happy hunter when the Pointer produced a very even 50-50 pattern (50 percent above and 50 percent below my POA. This is very useful for rising birds, crossing birds and bounding cottontails. Functionally, the Pointer fed, fired and extracted without a hiccup.

Weighing only 6 lbs., Legacy’s 28-gauge Pointer with its handsome bronze receiver and walnut stock would make a great upland gun for you, your spouse, your kids or grandkids. And, yes, the 28-gauge does have a certain magic about it.

Legacy has been continually improving and expanding their Pointer Phenoma line. The more Turkish shotguns I see and handle, the more impressed I am. It’s remarkable how fast Turkey has come online as a hotbed for innovative shotgun designs, modern production processes and strict quality control.

www.legacysports.com



www.hunterjohn.com


Purchase A PDF Download Of The GUNS Magazine August 2019 Issue Now!