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Should I Get My Nova Drilled and Tapped for Turkey Hunting?

Advice for the Shooter

The Benelli Nova for turkey hunting

The Benelli Nova is an excellent turkey hunting shotgun.

I have a Benelli Nova and would like to put a Burris FastFire on it. I am going to use a saddle mount at first. I was thinking about having the Nova drilled and tapped, but I have heard bad things about getting some shotguns drilled and tapped. I also have seen Novas from the factory drilled and tapped. Is it a good idea to have my Nova drilled and tapped? — Sam Gasser

We passed your question along to our resident shooting expert, Clark Bush, director of development and media for All About Shooting. Here's his response:

"The Benelli Nova is an excellent shotgun. With a chrome-lined chamber and bore, and polymer stock and forearm, much of the routine maintenance has been simplified. That polymer stock with its steel skeleton can, however, present some challenges when it comes to having it drilled and tapped.

"That being said, it is quite possible and easily done by an experienced gunsmith who is familiar with that gun and who has done a few. You don't want your gun to be his first Nova!

"Properly tapping the Nova's steel skeleton is the key to a successful drill and tap procedure. The smith must drill through the polymer receiver and into the steel skeleton precisely. Once that is accomplished, he must tap the steel skeleton. Since the polymer receiver is quite thick, he must then use longer screws to attach the base. Once properly attached, it (the base) is as secure, if not more secure than on any other gun.

"I've had two of my Novas drilled and tapped by John Mann of Mann & Son Sporting Goods (since 1946),, and those guns have had hundreds of 3" and 3.5"  turkey loads shot through them. The bases are still as secure as they were the day they were done.

"I've just never found saddle mounts to be very satisfactory. They can bind your action if installed too tightly or be unstable if too loose. They can also create wear marks on your gun. All in all, having your gun drilled and tapped is a much more satisfactory option."

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