Finest in the Field

Our 24th annual review of the best new shotguns, shotshells, and chokes.

 

From the July/August 2017 issue of  Sporting Classics.

 

FAMARS AVANTIS

The Avantis is the first side-by-side to feature a removable trigger group. The hand-detachable sidelock drops from the bottom, while the trigger guard and assembly remove with the sidelock. All parts are milled from solid steel; the action is without pins and screws, which increases strength and reliability. The Avantis also features chopper-lump barrels, single or double triggers, and two spare mechanisms, one with single and one with double triggers.
famars.com

 

FABARM AXIS ALLSPORT

Incredibly versatile, the Axis Allsport is designed for shooters who want one gun that can be configured for varying styles and disciplines. By making the top rib easily changeable, Fabarm can offer ribs that change the point-of-impact or even the rib height. Whether you shoot sporting clays, FITASC, skeet, or trap, the Allsport has you covered. A great option for scholastic shooters.
fabarmusa.com

 

CAESAR GUERINI ESSEX LIMITED GOLD

Available in 20 and 28 gauge with 28-inch barrels, the Essex Limited Gold features a trim pistol grip and rounded forend with a solid top rib. The stock’s extra-deluxe grade of wood has a hand-rubbed oil finish. But what sets the gun apart is the intricate Essex engraving pattern on the case-colored action with the use of rose-, yellow-, and white-gold inlays to create a unique and captivating appearance.
gueriniusa.com

 

BENELLI SUPER BLACK EAGLE 3

The new Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 boasts many new features to improve the shotgun’s looks, feel, and performance. At the heart of the SBE3 is its inertia-driven action centered around an Easy Locking System. The bolt handle, bolt release, and safety—all oversized—and redesigned magazine cap, along with the enlarged load port, altogether make for easier operation. The Easy Fitting System of the SBE3 includes a shim kit that allows for up to eight different cast and drop configurations.
benelliusa.com

 

MOSSBERG FLEX SHOTGUN

Based on the 500 pump-action platform, Mossberg introduced a system of FLEX modular, pump-action shotguns and interchangeable accessories, enabling you to convert your FLEX shotgun in seconds without the need for tools. Now a 20-gauge 500 FLEX Field/Security Combo is available with two barrels (26-inch all-purpose field and 18½-inch cylinder bore), two FLEX stocks, and two FLEX forends, conveniently packaged in a soft-sided case.
mossberg.com

 

TR IMPORTS XT3T28

A variant of the popular XT3, the XT3T28 features a stylish brushed aluminum receiver, Turkish walnut furniture, and a 28-inch barrel with three chokes (IC,M,F). The gun ships in a hard plastic case with two silver detachable magazines. The XT3T28 cycles unbelievably fast and is loads of fun to shoot.
trimports.com

 

CHARLES DALY TRIPLE BARREL SHOTGUNS

Triple Barrel shotguns are made with the same quality and attention to detail as any of the finest over/under shotguns. Available in 12, 20, 28, and .410, the shotguns are built with a Rem Choke thread pattern for multiple pattern options. Shown here is the Charles Daly Triple Crown Compact model for ladies.
charlesdaly.com

 

BLASER F16 INTUITION

Blaser’s new F16 Intuition shotgun is geared for the lady hunter and shooter. The lower position of the buttplate on its Monte Carlo stock enables the shooter to mount the gun effortlessly and grip it firmly. Recoil management has been addressed by making the original F16 Microcell recoil pad even softer.
blaser-usa.com

 

BERETTA 690 FIELD I

With a lean, low-profile receiver, the 690 Field I features a strong, double-fenced design and contemporary floral engraving. The hammer-forged barrels and sleek receiver make the 690 Field I impeccably balanced, perfect for spending days in the field gunning pheasants and quail with your gundog.
beretta.com/en-us/

 

ORVIS CLASSIC

The Orvis Classic is a handsome side-by-side with a rounded action, scroll engraving, fancy walnut stock, hand-rubbed oil finish, and blitz-action triggers. Other features, which can be changed upon request, include ejectors, single trigger, 28-inch barrels, fixed IC/M chokes, and auto safety. Available in 12, 20, and 28 gauge.
orvis.com

 

TURNBULL RESTORATION

Turnbull Restoration is committed to honoring the earliest gunmakers by returning firearms like this Parker BHE 12 gauge to their original condition. Turnbull-restored shotguns benefit from a lifetime of knowledge, craftsmanship, and a keen eye for detail. The firm’s gun projects preserve important pieces of history and, most importantly, cherished memories.
turnbullrestoration.com

 

CONNECTICUT SHOTGUN

Connecticut Shotgun has released its Generation 3 Galazan O/U shotgun, which is the company’s flagship. Limited to only 20 guns per year, this low-profile, sidelock over-and-under incorporates a number of patented features developed by Connecticut Shotguns over its many years of producing fine guns. Each gun is completely handcrafted by master smiths to the highest level of quality and unmatched reliability.
connecticutshotgun.com

 

FAUSTI  ITALYCO SLX

The side-plated Italyco SLX is one of the very few examples of a round-body O/U in the world. The gun is 100 percent “Taylor made” and features custom stock dimensions and specifications. It can be coin-finished or color-case-hardened using the traditional bone-charcoal technique. The marbling and flames of colors vary, making each gun truly unique.
faustiusa.com

 

CARLSON CHOKE TUBES

Precision-machined from 17-04 stainless steel, the new Gold Ported Sporting Clays choke tube reduces recoil and muzzle jump while producing better patterns. The extended portion of the choke allows for quick and easy removal and insertion. Lead, copper-plated, nickel, Hevi-Shot, Bismuth, tungsten, and steel—all can be shot through these choke tubes, which have a gold finish, carry a lifetime warranty, and are made in the USA.
choketube.com

 

AGUILA HIGH-VELOCITY

As the old saying goes, speed kills. Aguila’s high-velocity loads are made from clean combustible powders for maximum output and minimal residue. Aguila also offers standard-velocity shotloads engineered to happily knock birds out of the sky, boasting high quality, dependability, and affordability.
aguilaammo.com

 

TRULOCK CHOKES

Trulock has developed a new line of 12-gauge chokes for the Stevens 555 over-and-under. They include 12-gauge tubes in cylinder through turkey constrictions in three styles. The first is a flush-style choke tube. The second is an extended tube with a black-oxide finish. The third is an extended “bright” choke designed for sporting clays. All extended choke tubes for the Stevens 555 are available in ported versions.
trulock.com

 

FEDERAL PREMIUM AMMUNITION

The new Hi-Bird 12-gauge shotshell combines speed, hard-hitting pellets, and a specialized wad to fold the highest doves, pheasants, and other upland birds. The unique two-piece wad features SoftCell technology to decrease perceived recoil and produce more consistent long-range patterns. Plus, its lead shot is engineered for an optimum blend of hardness and density.
federalpremium.com

 

ITHACA MODEL 37

The 28-gauge Model 37 was designed by Ithaca engineers in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Built on its own exclusive frame, it’s available with 24-, 26-, and 28-inch barrels. The 28 gauge retains the famed Model 37 reputation of being an easy gun to handle and point, and its reliable bottom-eject action makes it a favorite of both right- and left-handed shooters.
ithacagun.com

 

SYREN

Syren is a product of two factories, Caesar Guerini and Fabarm in Brescia, Italy, which combined are the second-largest exporter of firearms in Italy. Since its debut in 2014, the Syren brand has led the market in shotguns for women. Syren has offerings for shooting upland birds, waterfowl, sporting clays, and trap. The latest is the Elos Sporting, which has Syren’s outstanding performance and aesthetics, proper fit and balance, all at a value price point with no compromises.
syrenusa.com

 

BARRETT RUTHERFORD

The Rutherford over-and-under is one of the newest models in the Barrett Sovereign line. The steel-body, boxlock design is coin-finished with custom engraving. The receivers are scaled to their respective gauges, which include 12, 16, 20, and 28.
barrettsovereign.com

 

COLE GUNSMITHING

Cole Gunsmithing has been selected as the U.S. East Coast sales and service center for Perugini & Visini, makers of Best-quality Italian guns. Of particular interest are the over-and-under Boss-action, detachable-trigger shotguns. The guns are CNC machined in the P&V factory and hand-finished by some of Italy’s best craftsmen.
colegunsmithing.com

 

BROWNING WICKED WING

Browning has introduced the A5 Wicked Wing, shown, and Maxus Wicked Wing autoloaders, each with a receiver finished in a durable Cerakote Burnt Bronze camo. The barrel is finished in Cerakote Burnt Bronze, and the composite stocks and forearms are coated in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades camo pattern.
browning.com

 

FRANCHI AFFINITY 3

The inertia-driven Franchi Affinity is now available in 3- and 3½-inch magnum configurations. The Italian-crafted semi-autos have been upgraded with an oversized bolt release and charging handle, plus an improved, easy-to-use loading port. Additional features include a drilled and tapped receiver, stepped vent rib, fiber-optic front sight, Mobil choke system, and a variety of finish options.
franchiusa.com

 

WINCHESTER SUPER X4

Winchester Repeating Arms’ Super X autoloading shotguns have been popular with hunters and clay-target shooters for a long time. Now Winchester Repeating Arms introduces the Super X4, which is designed to be lighter, faster cycling, smoother swinging, and more ergonomic than previous models. The 12 gauge will be offered in four models, including the SX4, SX4 Waterfowl Hunter (shown), SX4 Field, and SX4 Field Compact.
winchester.com

 

MERKEL 40E

Weighing in at 6.2 pounds, Merkel’s new 40E is available in 12 and 20 gauge with either double triggers or a single-selective trigger and the buyer’s choice of a straight, English-style stock or a pistol-grip stock. A 28-gauge version built on a 20-gauge frame and with a single-nonselective trigger is available in limited quantities. The 12- and 20-gauge shotguns have 3-inch chambers, while the 28 gauge has a 2¾-inch chamber. The integral chokes are improved cylinder and modified.
merkel-usa.com

 

KENT CARTRIDGE BISMUTH SHOTSHELLSKent Cartridge has developed a proprietary manufacturing technique for producing Bismuth pellets of superior integrity and ballistic capability. The shot is safe for the environment and suitable for fixed-choke and high-grade shotguns. Bismuth comes in 12, 16, 20, and 28 gauge.
kentcartridge.com

 

SAVAGE FOX A GRADE SHOTGUN

The new Fox A Grade series reflects the fine craftsmanship inherent in making shotguns that handle gracefully, point naturally, and hit hard—using the same components and styling that made all Fox shotguns the envy of collectors. Each of the four boxlock side-by-sides features a beautifully checkered black walnut stock, splinter forend, and a bone and charcoal case-colored receiver. Available in 12 and 20 gauge with 26- or 28-inch barrels.
savagearms.com

 

HEVI-SHOT SPEEDBALL

Speedball delivers high-density Hevi-Shot pellets and copper-clad steel pellets at 1,635 fps with fast-burning propellants that ignite well in cold weather. The Speedball pellet accelerator reduces ignition pressure and allows a much smoother burn to achieve high pellet speeds. This gives you very consistent patterns, shot after shot.
hevishot.com

 

KEVIN’S PLANTATION SHOTGUNS

Two years of Kevin’s design work, combined with the Poli brothers’ engineering skills, have produced another success story in the premium-shotgun world. Available in 20 or 28 gauge, these over-and-under and side-by-side models feature hand-checkered and hand-rubbed oiled stocks with hand-polished, bright-blued barrels and classic English scroll engraving. Kevin’s Plantation Shotguns are finished by old-school master craftsmen using gunsmithing techniques from the past. A lady’s model is also available.
kevinscatalog.com

 

 

 

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