This Twin-Choked Turkey Over/Under
Gives A Decided Advantage Afield
By Holt Bodinson
There’s something very classy about a double gun carried into the turkey woods. It’s historic. It’s nostalgic. Pump guns and autoloaders are fairly new-fangled designs. For decades, the double was the predominant turkey hunter’s gun and it still has a lot going for it.
Right off the bat, let’s agree you rarely—very rarely—get more than two shots at an individual turkey. I can remember a couple of occasions when I had to shoot more than once. A classic example happened to me just last year. Assuming my first shot had thoroughly flattened Mr. Tom, I let my guard down as I strolled over to tag my turkey. As I approached what looked like a very dead bird, he instantly flopped to his feet and took flight. Fortunately, the necessary second shot was a you-can’t-miss-straightaway, and the big boomer crash-landed 30 yards distant, but it was a very tense moment. I was shooting a tight, turkey choke tube and for the in-flight shot, I would much rather have had the immediate choice of a more open IC or IM tube.
My second 2-shot story is quite different. I was calling from a low, tight blind when two mature toms came in from opposite directions, roughly at 3 and 9 o’clock. When they were both within range, I took the first tom at 9 o’clock, shifted the gun from my right to my left shoulder and hammered tom number two at 3 o’clock as he was making a dash for the near wood line. Two thoughts about this “border shift” event. Fortunately, I wasn’t shooting a shell-shucker that had to be pumped, breaking up a smooth, fluid shift from shoulder-to-shoulder, and two, I would rather have had the option of a more open choke for that 3 o’clock tom tearing away in high gear.
Although I was shooting autoloaders in both cases, a double with two different chokes in place would have served me better during both events which brings us to Browning’s 2017 introduction of their O/U Cynergy “Composite Ultimate Turkey” finished in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo, which comes factory fitted with “Ultimate Full Turkey” and “Spreader” choke tubes installed.
The Browning Superposed and the more moderately priced Citori share a design now almost 90 years old. The design is classic, and the guns have proven to be unusually durable. In creating the Cynergy, Browning was looking for the durability of the Citori while offering one of the lowest profile receivers in the industry.
Before we get into the internals of the Cynergy, take a look at the exterior. You’re either going to like it, question it, or hate it. The styling of the Cynergy is the product not of a gun designer, but a commercial designer who shapes products to appeal to the buying public. Firms like Beretta and Benelli have been using commercial design houses for years. Their highly stylized and successful models don’t just pop off an engineer’s CAD screen.
Frankly, I find the Cynergy’s lines, from its sculptured “Inflex” recoil pad to its striking checkering patterns to its sculptured top lever and open, angular, triggerguard, simply refreshing. The lines of the gun flow forward. They say “speed” and I think that’s exactly what the designer was trying to achieve.
Browning’s Cynergy is all set up for turkey hunting.
All you have to provide is the talent.
Having a two-choke option handy (above) can prove to be a distinct advantage
when turkey hunting. Fired at 30 yards from the tight turkey tube, the Winchester
Double-X and Federal 3rd Degree loads (below) were lethal.
To create the lowest possible receiver, Browning created a new hinge arrangement. Gone are the traditional hinge pins and trunnions. The new design is called a “MonoLock Hinge.” Basically, the receiver carries two massive C-shaped lugs engaging similar shaped seats in the monoblock. Browning claims the new hinge provides 300 percent more surface area than common trunnion designs.
Lock-up is accomplished by two rectangular locking pins and they automatically compensate for wear. A forearm screw can also be adjusted to take up wear.
Next, Browning replaced traditional lock work consisting of sears and hammers with a compact, lightning fast, striker system. It consists of two coil-spring powered strikers released by a mechanical trigger. The advantage of the system is an ultra-fast lock time and a crisp trigger averaging only 5.5 pounds on a Lyman electronic gauge.
The slim profile, back-bored barrels of the Cynergy Composite Ultimate Turkey are available in 24- or 26-inch lengths, with chrome-plated 3.5-inch chambers and accept Invector Plus choke tubes. The factory sighting arrangement is turkey perfect, featuring a short Picatinny rail for red dot optics and a fixed Marble Arms “Bullseye” rear sight matched to a highly visible, green fiber-optic front. At the range, the fixed sights proved to be dead-on.
The stocking of the Cynergy Composite Ultimate Turkey is flexible, user friendly and fully adjustable to the owner’s requirements.
Spacey in appearance, deeply cushioned and providing long-travel recoil reduction, Browning’s “Inflex” pad simply works. As factory adjusted, the LOP is 14.25 inches, but shorter and longer Inflex pads are available as accessories and a 1/4-inch spacer is included with the gun. In short, the LOP can be adjusted from 13.75 to 15 inches by the owner.
The comb of the Composite Turkey model is also fully adjustable in 1/8-inch increments. Plus, cast-off and cast-on adjustable combs are available as accessory parts from Browning.
Mossy Oak’s Break-Up Country camouflage pattern is so good and so natural in a wooded setting, I would recommend you do not lay this gun down in the turkey woods. The only essential element missing in this turkey gun was a set of sling swivel bases.
How did it perform? The Cynergy showed up too late for the 2017 spring turkey season so it was checked out at the range with Champion VisiColor and HunterJohn patterning targets. I was curious how tight the turkey tube might prove to be and how loose the spreader tube would perform.
For testing purposes, I selected two turkey loads: Winchester’s Supreme Double-X 3-inch Magnum load consisting of 2 ounces of No. 6 shot at 1,125 fps and Federal’s 3rd Degree 3-inch mixed shot load consisting of 40-percent No. 5 copper-plated lead + 20-percent No. 6 Flitestopper lead + 40-percent No. 7 Heavyweight at 1,250 fps.
Shot at 30 yards with the turkey tube, both loadings were devastating on Old Tom. Testing both loads through the spreader tube, only the 2-ounce Double-X load provided what I would consider an effective pattern with a well distributed 30-inch spread and a dense 20-inch core. Federal’s mixed shot load spread out well but was just too thin to be considered reliable. When choosing a 12-gauge turkey load, I would definitely pick a 2-ounce load every time, and for the Cynergy I would stick with 3-inch—not 3-1/2-inch—magnums to keep recoil at manageable levels.
While it may sound retrograde in an era of high-tech autoloaders, I think Browning has really brought back the double turkey gun and is proving the classic double has a unique ability in many hunting scenarios to provide two different degrees of choke instantly and with great success.
As Browning says, the Cynergy has “the heart of a race car, the looks of a super model and the soul of a Browning.”
Champion Traps & Targets
1 ATK Way
Anoka, MN 55303
900 Ehlen Drive
Anoka, MN 55303
P.O. Box 477
St. Louis. MO 63166
600 Powder Mill Road
East Alton, IL 62024