Best Over-Under Shotgun Choices for 2015

Best Over-Under Shotgun Choices for 2015

Best over-under shotguns for 2015

We were pleasantly pleased to see so many new over-unders on the market this year. We are big fans of O/U's. They are among the safest shotguns: you can see down the barrel to confirm that nothing is obstructing it, like a 20-gauge shell in your 12. They are easy to clean and maintain. It's also nice to have a two-choke option on the fly when you're in the field.

If hunting means more to you than just dropping birds, you probably have an over-under shotgun in your collection.

Our editors checked out five brand-new O/U's to help you decide if you need a new one, and, if so, which one.

Benelli 828U | Innovative Italian 

Benelli 828

Benelli has been introducing amazing semi-auto shotguns these past few years. The Legacy, Vinci, Ethos come to mind. And the true workhorse, the Super Black Eagle, turned 25 in 2016. But this year, Benelli really turned the tables and introduced a truly innovative over-under called the 828U.

The first thing you'll notice is the unique way the barrels lock into the receiver. Instead of the barrel closing up tight to the receiver, the barrels of the 828U actually lock to a firing plate, not the receiver. That means Italian engineers could take weight off the gun by using aluminum instead of steel on the receiver. The 28-inch barrel version is a feathery 6.6 pounds.

For the shooter, it means that gun shouldered beautifully, has a bit of a weight-forward balance and was a pleasure to shoot. It has a custom comb and 40 possible positions with shims. The body is smooth, contemporary and very Italian. Auto safety, mechanical triggers, crio barrels and carbon-fiber rib.

The engraved, nickel-plated version is $2,999, and blue anodized receiver style (pictured above) is $2,499

CZ-USA Redhead Premier | New, one-piece CNC'ed receiver 

CZ-USA RedHead Premier

The Redhead is CZ-USA's flagship over-under shotgun. The Redhead Premier is the latest iteration of the line. The gun is manufactured in Turkey by Huglu, which has been producing quality for many brands for more than 50 years. The Premier has near identical specs to its predecessor, the Deluxe, but the Premier offers a new one-piece CNC'ed receiver. That means the guts of the gun are more precisely machined and it costs less to produce.

When testing the Premier over-under shotgun, one feature that stood out was the ventilated rib barrel, which kept the barrel noticeably cooler.

Although we ran a couple hundred shells through the gun, the cocking system was still quite tight. When you first use this gun, make sure you open the breech all the way or you might find — like we did — that the second pin won't fire. Call it operator error. Likely the spring will loosen up after more shooting, and both hammers will cock consistently.

For its price, TriStar's new Setter S/T has some nice touches, including a handsome walnut stock and forearm, along with a nicely engraved receiver.

Tristar Setter S/T | Great price for this starter 

Tristar Setter S/T over-under shotgun

Our 12-gauge tester was well-balanced, and it featured a chrome-lined chamber and barrel with a vent rib and fiber-optic sight. TriStar's Setter S/T over-under shotgun offerings, including their semi-autos, have impressed us. The company makes no bones about the fact that many of its guns look very similar to more expensive guns on the market. In many cases, they are made in those same Turkish factories where the higher-cost guns are made.

The Setter employs a single-selective trigger and top tang safety/selector. Five Beretta-style choke tubes were included with the gun we tested, and a rubber recoil pad is standard issue. TriStar backs the gun with a five-year mechanical warranty.

Weatherby Orion | The "hunter" resurrected

Weatherby Orion over-under shotgun

Weatherby is re-introducing a over-under shotgun many hunters fondly recall: the Orion. Although it's a new gun, it's easily recognizably as the old Orion, which was imported from Japan by Ithaca, Mitsui later by Weatherby. It does have a few changes -- the receiver is streamlined and the gun has a Prince of Wales grip.

Also, the barrel selector is on top of the neck, along with the safety (both of which felt good and were easy to use). When I tested it, I shot it well and it performed without fault. Given its solid feel and decent wood (grade A walnut), I thought it was a $2,000 gun. In fact, it will sell for about half that. It's a lot of gun for your money.

Browning Citori 725 | A fine new 28

Browning Citori 725 over-under shotgun

The 725 comes from the group responsible for continuing the legacy of John Moses Browning, and in some ways the gun evolved out of the Superposed, JMB's last firearm design and one of the first over-under shotguns.

Two of the more noticeable features that are updates from earlier designs are the low-profile receiver and the FireLite mechanical trigger, both of which improve accuracy. The receiver allows shooters to get down closer to the bore, while the trigger provides for a lighter pull.

As is typical for most shotguns, Browning first introduced the 725 in 12 gauge, then 20 and finally in 28 -- which was added this year and is the model we tested -- and .410. All feature Invector-DS chokes, an Inflex recoil system and receiver engraving that makes this gun fit right in at any upland game club or sporting clays range.

Standout Over-Under Shotgun: Benelli 828U

Over-under shotguns for 2015 The 828U is, by far, the most innovative over-under shotgun we tested. Throw in the fact that it shoots well and looks a lot like an Italian sports car, and well, we're in love again. We still haven't figured out what the 828U stands for and neither do the folks at Benelli.

Steel Barrel Locking

The plate locks into the barrels to eliminate recoil slamming into the receiver. Benelli could then make the receiver lighter, hence the 6.6-pound 12 gauge.

Removable Trigger Group 

Here's a feature you usually see in very high-end guns: a removable trigger group. This makes it easy to clean and maintain. It also makes a simpler mechanical link-up in the receiver.

And..It's Italian 

If Pope Julius II asked Michelangelo to design an over-under, I think it would have looked like the 828U. The Urbino designers take risks and succeed. Grazie!

Guns reviewed by Game & Fish/Sportsman editors Shaun Epperson, John Geiger, Terry Jacobs, David Johnson and Paul Rackley

Recommended for You

Other Hunting

New Gear: MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

G&F Staff

Perfect for competition or a day at the range.


Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.


Baitfish for Bass: Search, Suspend or Sink Crankbaits

Jason Houser - May 21, 2019

Crankbaits mimic exactly what they eat when hungry — other fish!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead gets new product details from Simms Fishing Product's John Frazier about the new waterproof 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch.

MLF BPT angler and former Classic champ Casey Ashley has been with Costa del Mar sunglasses his whole career. At ICAST 2019, he shows OSG writer Lynn Burkhead some new products and talks how to pick the right lens color for the water.

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper - April 02, 2015

We all have our "swear by" bait for catfish. For me, it is chicken liver, live shad or my...


4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

See More Stories

More Guns


G&F Field Test: 5 Shotguns Grilled

Game & Fish Editors - November 14, 2018

Game & Fish editors racked five new shotguns in order to give you a heads-up about what each...


Top Dog: Savage 110 Apex Predator XP

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 22, 2019

The affordably priced package rifle comes ready to hunt, and that's bad news for coyotes.


Load Up a New Long-Distance Shotshell

Brad Fitzpatrick - November 14, 2018

A look at Browning's BXD Extra Distance loads.

See More Guns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.