The number of new shotguns this year doesn’t begin to rival the number of new rifle introductions, but some noteworthy and newsworthy offerings are launching throughout the price spectrum.
In the market? Here’s a look at several shotguns seen and handled during the recent Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades, or SHOT, Show in Las Vegas, presented in alphabetical order:
BENELLI SUPER BLACK EAGLE 3
What: Benelli wanted to make a big splash with this sweet-shooting shotgun, and they’re succeeding. I shot some 20 target rounds through this 12-gauge semiautomatic and it points impeccably well. Felt recoil, at least with these lighter loads, was extremely gentle.
The original Black Eagle was a pioneer in the world of autoloading waterfowl magnums. This new gun has Benelli’s famed inertia-driven action and some oversized features designed to make operation easier in cold, inhospitable weather while you’re wearing gloves. These include an oversized bolt handle, bolt release, safety and a redesigned magazine cap along with an enlarged loading port.
Use the included shim kit to make up eight different cast and drop configurations. The slim grip and forend make for comfortable handling.
What else: Handles up to 3.5-inch shot shells; weighs 7.05 to 7.2 pounds (depending on barrel); comes with five choke tubes; red-bar front sight and metal bead mid-sight; receiver drilled and tapped for 93A Weaver base
Available in: Black synthetic, Realtree Max-5, Gore Optifade Timber and Mossy Oak Bottomlands camo
Barrel basics: 26- or 28-inch cryo-treated barrel
Weight: 7.05 to 7.2 pounds, depending on barrel
MSRP: $1,899 (black), $1,999 (camo)
BROWNING A5 WICKED WING
What: This is a line extension of the venerable humpback. What stands out is this shotgun’s cool, new look with a variety of camo patterns available and a unique burnt bronze Cerakote finish on metal components. This duck gun, which handles up to 3.5-inch Magnum loads, also features some oversized buttons and trigger guard for gloved hands and cold weather.
What else: Shim adjustments can tweak length of pull, cast and drop; lengthened forcing cone; three choke tubes; fiber-optic front sight and ivory mid-bead sight; Dura-Touch coating; storage case
Available in: Camo options include Mossy Oak Bottomland or Shadow Grass Blades, Realtree Max-5, or A-TACS AU.
Barrel basics: 28 inches with a flat, ventilated rib and fully-chromed bore to deter corrosion
Weight: 7.5 pounds
BROWNING B15 BEAUCHAMP
What: Look, I know you’re probably not going to spend up to $20,000 on a shotgun, but it doesn’t hurt to dream. Finely engraved and checkered shotguns with premium walnut stocks are things of beauty. Many such guns are crafted in Italy, but this newer Browning, first unveiled in 2015 and offered as part of the John M. Browning collection, gets its finishing treatment in Belgium.
Butt plates and fore-end stylings are also included, as well as a leather case. It shares the locking system and technical features of its renowned predecessor, the B25.
What else: Low-profile receiver, mechanical trigger, back-bored barrels and set of choke tubes
Available in: Four grades with a choice of engravings and wood quality
MSRP: Save your nickels – prices range from $12,999 for the Grade B model to $20,499 for Grade E.
CHIAPPA DOUBLE BADGER
What: This super lightweight shotgun/rimfire combination expands with a 20 gauge/.22 LR option. You can easily fold this gun up and stuff in a backpack, slip it behind a seat or haul it just about anywhere – push the trigger guard down and fold it to just 21.2 inches. Chiappa’s original model has a .410/.22 LR or .22 WMR pairing.
Some people call it a survival gun, but with the new 20-gauge shotgun barrel, it’s legitimately capable of both self-defense and hunting situations from small game to deer (not that it’d be your first choice as a deer gun).
What else: Williams Fiber Optic ghost ring and front sight, 3/8-inch dovetail rail for mounting optics
Barrel basics: Each 18-inch barrel is selectively fired by its own trigger and controlled by a top tang safety.
Weight: 6.8 pounds
MSRP: $499 (.410 version $429)
CZ-USA 628 FIELD PUMP SELECT
What: This is a stylish little pump gun in 28 gauge. These 28-gauges make great bird guns and are a lot of fun to shoot. It has an aluminum action, a metal finish in a glossy blue and a select-grade Turkish walnut stock.
What else: Comes with a set of interchangeable chokes
Barrel basics: 28 inches with with a flat, vented rib.
Weight: 5.4 pounds.
MSRP: Affordable at $429
IVER JOHNSON IJ700-18
What: Here’s another little foldable, packable shotgun. It’s only chambered for .410 loads, either 2.5- or 3-inch. Overall length is 34 inches, and it folds down to about 20.
To fire it, you pull back the hammer and squeeze the trigger. An internal firing pin rest keeps the hammer from resting on the cartridge when the firearm isn’t cocked.
What else: Checkered walnut stock; smooth forend with sling swivels
Barrel basics: 18-inch, fixed-choke, smoothbore. The IJ700-26 model has a 26-inch barrel.
Weight: 4.5 pounds
MSRP: $175 (both 18- and 26-inch barrel models)
MOSSBERG INTERNATIONAL 28 GAUGE
What: Mossberg International’s SA-28 Field shotgun is another line extension. It has a classic autoloader look with a gloss-finish walnut stock with laser checkering on the forend and grip.
What else: Front bead sight; five interchangeable choke tubes; five-round total capacity (2¾-inch shot shells)
Barrel basics: 26-inch vent rib barrel
Weight: 6.5 pounds
What: This Italian manufacturer is among those known for making high-end guns with loads of features, but their new over/under BR110 field shotgun has a lot of similar accoutrements at a lower price. It may not have the “Old World” styling and hand engraving of models double and triple its price, but the BR110 is a handsome gun with a matte black, slim, low-profile receiver, upgraded Turkish walnut, pistol grip stock with 26 line-per-inch checkering and a classic Schnabel forearm.
What else: Accepts up to 3-inch shot shells; interchangeable choke tubes; brazed rib; automatic ejectors
Available in: 12-, 20- and 28-gauge models
Barrel basics: Chrome-lined, glossy blued barrel in either 26 or 28 inches
Weight: 5.75 to 6.75 pounds, depending on gauge
WINCHESTER SUPER X4
What: I really like the way the Winchester SX3 handled and shot when it was released back in 2008, so it was exciting to try out the new SX4. Winchester says the redesign is supposed to result in a shotgun that’s lighter, faster cycling, smoother swinging and more ergonomic than previous models.
Check on the lighter factor: At 6.75 pounds, this SX4 waterfowl gun is a half-pound lighter than the original SX3. It cycled flawlessly at the range. It has a slightly slimmer pistol grip and a larger bolt handle and oversized bolt release button – again for those cold, gloved hands days.
What else: TRUGLO long bead fiber-optic front site; length of pull adjusters; interchangeable choke tubes.
Available in: Debuting with four models – the SX4, SX4 Waterfowl Hunter, SX4 Field and SX4 Field Compact. The composite-stocked SX4 and SX4 Waterfowl Hunter models in Mossy Oak Bottomlands camo will be offered in 3 and 3½-inch versions, while the others will only have 3-inch chambering.
Barrel basics: Chrome-lined barrel with vented rib; 24-, 26- and 28-inch variants available