What's New In Upland & Waterfowl Shotguns
September 28, 2010
Faster, lighter & less felt recoil '“ and, in some cases, more elegance '“ mark some of the new shotguns today.
Two trends seem to be prevalent in the shotgun world as this is being written. One involves barrel designs that seek to reduce shot deformation through the use of extended forcing cones. The other is a combination of weight and recoil reduction. The latter is absolutely necessary because lighter guns have less mass to absorb perceived (felt) recoil. Manufacturers can't rewrite the laws of physics, so they are doing more to manage perceived recoil with new designs.
Here is a look at what you'll find on the shotgun racks at your favorite gun shop this fall.
Benelli's new Ultra-Light 20-gauge weighs in at only 5.2 pounds. The new gun is a lighter-gauge version of the UL 12 previously introduced. It also features an ergonomically designed recoil gel-pad, said to provide maximum contact with your shoulder and, as a result, maximum recoil absorption. Its walnut stock is finished in WeatherCoat, which makes the wood impervious to the elements.
Benelli's Inertia Drive system provides reliable semi-auto operation, and its weight-loss features include a carbon fiber vent rib and a shorter, lighter magazine tube and fore-end. (www.benelliusa.com)
Beretta brings several new features to the world of over-and-unders with its 12-gauge Perennia. The new double is available with 26- or 28-inch barrels. It features Beretta's Q-Stock quick takedown stock system. You'll also see that the gun features what Beretta calls its Optima-Bore High Performance Profile, which comprises a longer forcing cone to improve patterning and reduce felt recoil.
And if recoil reduction is important to you, Beretta offers (as an optional upgrade) its Kick-Off Recoil Reduction Mechanism, which is said to reduce felt recoil by up to 70 percent. (www.berettausa.com)
Browning's new Citori 625 adds a new dimension to a name that has had a home in the upland fields and waterfowl blinds for generations. The Field and Sporting versions are available in 12 gauge only, and they feature Browning's Vector Pro system to improve patterns with the supplied Invector Plus choke tubes. Extended forcing cones (2 inches longer than other systems) provide a more gradual taper down the barrel, which reduces shot deformation and, thus, improves patterning.
The Sporting Grade model includes five choke tubes, and is equipped with Browning's Triple Trigger System. (www.browning.com)
Mossberg has expanded its Reserve Series of doubles with the new Silver Reserve and Onyx Reserve side-by-sides. Each is available in 12, 20 and 28 gauge with 26-inch chrome-lined barrels. The 12 gauge also is available with 28-inch barrels. All the guns come with five choke tubes -- a pair of IC tubes, and one each of improved modified, modified and full.
The Silver Reserve features an engraved silver receiver, the Onyx Reserve an engraved blued receiver. The 28, 20 and 12 weigh in at 6.4 pounds, 6 1/2 pounds and 7.1 pounds, respectively. (www.mossberg.com)
Remington is celebrating 100 years of its pump shotguns with the Model 870 Wingmaster 100th Anniversary Edition 12 gauge. The gun features gold inlays on each side of the blued receiver, and a high-gloss walnut stock and fore-end that are accented by Remington's nostalgic fleur-de-lis checkering. It complements a line that also includes the XCS (Xtreme Conditions Shotgun) models.
These guns, available with black synthetic or camo (Mossy Oak duckblind) stocks, are
3 1/2-inch magnums designed for waterfowlers. But their all-weather ways also fit well in upland fields. (www.remington.com)
SMITH & WESSON
Smith & Wesson offers a complete line of semi-autos and double-barrels. Among the latter is the Elite Silver Series, its 12-gauge over-and-under available with 28- or 30-inch barrels. Engraved receivers feature true bone-charcoal case hardening, and the Prince of Wales stocks are made of Premier Grade Turkish Walnut.
Like all S&W smoothbores, the Elite Silver Series include five choke tubes -- one each in cylinder, improved cylinder, modified, improved modified and full. In addition, every Elite Series shotgun comes with Smith & Wesson's Heirloom Warranty, which provides lifetime coverage for the original owner and his/her heir. ((www.smith-wesson.com)
Weatherby has introduced the SA-08 semi-auto shotgun in 12 and 20 gauge. The guns are available with 26- and 28-inch barrels, and there's also a youth model with a 26-inch barrel. The Turkish-made smoothbores feature easily interchangeable valve caps for the gas operating system that give owners the ability to choose between light load (up to 1 1/8 ounces) and heavy load (1 1/4 to 2 ounces) operation.
The SA-08 also features a chrome-plated bolt and a drop-out trigger system for easy cleaning and adjustment, and a checkered walnut stock and fore-end. All the metal is finished in non-glare black. (www.weatherby.com)
Winchester Repeating Arms has reintroduced its Speed Pump shotgun in 12 gauge, and it's available with either a 26- or 28-inch barrel. Its rotary bolt design features four lugs that allow inertia to start the slide action rearward as the stock recoils from a shot, speeding up the cycling process for follow-ups.
Barrels incorporate Winchester's .742-inch Back Bore Technology, which reduces shot deformation for better patterns. The Speed pump is available in Black Shadow Field Grade and Walnut Field Grade). (www.winchesterguns.com)