• Savage Model 210FT 12-Gauge Turkey Gun Review

    Turkey hunting has become quite popular throughout most of the United States and Canada. Successful conservation and management by the federal, state, provincial, and local wildlife agencies as well as hunters has provided more turkeys than ever before. With all the interest shown towards the sport, it's no wonder that most firearms companies have at least one offering in their line up for turkey hunters. This season, Savage will be no exception.

    Savage took their successful Model 210 shotgun and made a turkey gun offering. The new gun is labeled the Model 210 FT. It is a bolt action shotgun that has a 60 degree bolt turn with three lugs on the bolt-head. It uses a rifle bolt body and has a larger sleeve around it. At the end of the bolt body is a floated bolt-head just like the centerfire rifles have except is for use with 12 gauge shotshells. The action also uses a control round feed set up similar to the WSM/RUM rifle actions, with an over-sized handle fitted to the bolt.

    To further appeal to turkey hunters, the barrel is threaded for Win Chokes, a very common screw in choke tube. The Savage 210 FT comes with a full choke tube but can easily be swapped for anything that will work in a Win Choke barrel. The finish of the barrel is the normal Savage bluing. Not sure why they chose to use a blued finish on a turkey gun.

    The stock is a synthetic which is quite similar to the factory rifle stocks. It has Advantage Camo applied to the exterior and looks rather good. The interior has a tan finish and has pillars for the action screws. There is a box magazine extruding below the bottom of the stock. The 210 doesn't have a recoil lug like the rifles do but instead has a lug as part of the receiver. This lug is drilled and tapped for the front action screw much like a Model 1903 Springfield or Mauser 98. The rear pillar is basically like the Savage centerfire rifle models. There are reinforcing webs in the forend with a script reading "SAVAGE 210". The stock comes with Uncle Mike's style sling swivel studs and a recoil pad of synthetic material.

    Rear sight is non-adjustable and attached to the action with a screw.Sights used on the Model 210 FT are a traditional brass bead at the front and a v-notch blade at the rear. The v-notch is not adjustable in any way. It is threaded in to a hole that is located on top of the receiver ring just behind the barrel nut. This little rear sight is rather cheesy looking and not all that functional. I would prefer rifle style sights or just the bead by itself. No big deal though as it can be unscrewed and plugged with a scope hole screw. The top of the receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounting. The 210 FT uses a different scope base than the centerfire rifles do. Savage recommended using the base from B-Square.

    Once I received the shotgun from Savage, I gathered up some ammo and targets and went to the range. I fired five rounds of each of the following:

    • Winchester Super-X 3" No. 5
    • Winchester Supreme 3" No. 5
    • Federal Mag-Shok 3" No.5
    • Remington Premier Magnum 3" No. 5
    • Remington Premier Magnum 3" No. 6

    All of these cycled wonderfully with the Federals being a little more snug on feeding. The oversize bolt handle and 60 degree rotation made easy work of it. Of all the loads listed above, the Winchester Supreme No.5 shot the best with the Federal being a close second. The Remington No.5 was third and the Remington No.6 wasn't even close. Unfortunately, the Winchester Super-X was even worse and only a few pellets touched the paper. I wasn't terribly impressed with the patterning of any of the loads as most of them seemed to want to make a crescent shaped pattern. I'm not sure how much of the issue was the choke and how much was the sights. Using the v-notch rear and bead front, all of the impacts went high right at about 2 o'clock position at around 4 to 5 inches out. With the rear sight removed, I was able to use half a bead and get the shots lower but they still stayed to the right in that crescent shape. The Winchester Supreme's shot closest to a rounder group and I could have done well with it. Before spring season comes in, I'll try out some aftermarket chokes and see if there is any significant improvement. I may even get an optical sight for it but that's a few month away.

    A view of the bolt configuration and trigger assembly on the 210FT.Now that I had the ammo thing figured out, it was time to hit the woods. Alabama has a fall turkey season in two counties, Clarke and Monroe. I went to Monroe for my hunt. Time was short and I could only make this one weekend. Anyway, long story short, I didn't take a turkey that weekend. Conditions were good but I was lousy. I did see a nice gobbler at the edge of a clear cut but he was about 75 yards out. I never could get him to come away from the edge. So, that said, I'll be getting ready for spring season and hope and pray for better fortune.

    While at the club where I was hunting as my brother's guest, I let some of the men there look the Model 210 FT over and a few took the opportunity to shoot it. Everyone liked how well it cycled. Some didn't like the oversize bolt handle as it was prone to striking the top knuckle on the shooter's index finger. Nobody liked the blued finish and bright silver bolt on a shotgun that is marketed as a turkey gun and I agree with them. The same folks also thought that the plastic trigger guard was a bit cheap.

    All in all, I like the Model 210 FT. It's a much more comfortable shotgun than my Mossberg 500 is to shoot. It doesn't shoot quite as good though but hopefully a new choke will fix that. The rifle style stock makes it very easy to point and carry. The price of the Model 210FT makes it very appealing in a market where low price shotguns are plentiful. The fact that it's made right here in the USA makes it even better.

    Caliber: 12 gauge, 3 inch shells
    Overall Length: 44.75 inches
    Barrel Length: 24 inches
    Choke: Full / Win Choke
    Sights: Front- brass bead, Rear- v-notch blade (also drilled & tapped for scope mounting)
    Weight: 7.5 pounds
    Magazine Capacity: 2 rounds/ 3 with 1 in chamber
    Stock: Synthetic with Advantage Camo
    Finish: Blued
    Features: Control Round Feed, Sling Swivel Studs, and Over-sized Bolt Handle

    Additional Photos:

    The synthetic stock is specific to 210 models. The barrel of the 210FT is threaded to accept WinChoke choke tubes. Controlled Round Feed bolt head ensures reliable feeding from the magazine.

    Savage Arms, Inc.
    100 Springdale Road
    Westfield, MA 01085

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