If you're looking for a new shotgun for your upland bird hunting — whether it's grouse, pheasants, doves or quail — here are some suggestions for 2017.
Check out 11 of the best and newest shotguns we featured this summer in our 2017 Gear Issue magazine editions.
Note: This is an overview of bird-hunting shotguns. Do your research to pick the right firearm for your specific bird-hunting needs.
Benelli Super Black Eagle 3
Completely redesigned from butt pad to muzzle for easier operation, the design of Benelli's new Super Black Eagle 3 reduces felt recoil with its third-generation stock. The SBE3's inertia-driven action is easier to clean and requires less maintenance than the action of a conventional, gas-operated semi-auto. Black synthetic, Realtree Max-5, Gore Optifade Timber and Mossy Oak Bottomlands. 26- or 28-inch barrels.
Key features of Winchester's new Super X4 include a larger bolt handle, oversized bolt release button and a pistol grip that is slimmer and more ergonomic for both right- and left-hand shooters. Weighs less than SX3, quicker swinging and easier to carry. The new Super X4 12 gauge will be offered in four models including waterfowl, field and field compact.
Browning Sweet 16
Browning added a 16-gauge model — the "Sweet 16" — to its updated lineup of A5 autoloaders. The Browning A5 16-gauge autoloader uses kinetic energy to power the recoil-operated action. The classic humpback receiver is lightweight aluminum alloy with a black anodized bi-tone finish. The stock and forearm have a gloss-finish. Stock is adjustable for cast and drop and length of pull. Less than 6 pounds. 26- or 28-inch barrels. Comes with three Invector-DS chokes.
You want a workhorse of a shotgun? From the folks who proudly brought you the M1100 and M11-87, Big Green continues to refine versatility with the Versa Max Sportsman. Capable of handling 2-3/4" to 3-1/2" shotshells interchangeably, thanks to an innovative gas-metering system, the Versa Max shoots clean, shoots softly, and functions reliably.
Stevens 555 Enhanced
Stevens has updated its popular 555 over-and-under shotgun with imperial walnut stocks and laser-engraved filigree-ornament silver receivers. The 555's light aluminum receiver is scaled to gauge and incorporates a steel insert that reinforces the breech, minimizing weight and maximizing strength. Carbon-steel barrel, manual safety and a single-selective mechanical trigges. Five interchangeable choke tubes. .410-bore, 12-, 20- and 28-gauge.
Browning Cynergy CX
Gun owners looking for an over/under shotgun they can use for everything from sporting clays to upland bird hunting will want to take a look at the new Cynergy CX shotgun from Browning. The Cynergy CX has a Grade 1 walnut stock and Inflex recoil pad. 30- or 32-inch barrel.
Mossberg's new addition to its line of gas-operated autoloader, the 28-gauge SA-28, is made in Turkey and weighs in at only 6 1/2 pounds. The gun features a walnut stock and checkered-walnut forend with a blued 26-inch barrel. Five interchangeable chokes.
Browning A5 Wicked Wings
If you liked the original Browning A5 and couldn't wait for their reintroduction of the "new" A5 — well, you're going to go Ga-Ga over Browning's most recent creation, the A5 Wicked Wings. Recoil-operated, humpbacked, and wearing Mossy Oak's Shadow Grass Blades camouflage pattern, this 3-1/2" machine features an oversized bolt release and operating handle. And that's just the beginning.
Benelli Performance Shop Ultra Light Shotguns
These are some of the lightest semi-auto shotguns out there. Featherweight alloy receivers, shortened magazine tubes and strong, lightweight carbon-fiber ribs. The 12-guage is 6.1 pounds. The 20 is 5.2 pounds.
Browning Citori 725
The Citori 725 comes with a 30- or 32-inch barrel that is ventilated via top and side ribs and ported. Other features are an effective Inflex recoil pad, fiber-optic sight, ivory mid-bead, hammer ejectors and more.
Remington V3 Field Sport
Available in American walnut, black synthetic and camo versions, the V3 blends legendary pointability with reliability of the unique VersaPort gas system. This recoil reduced autoloader comes in 12 ga. with three screw-in Remchokes.
Contributing: M.D. Johnson, Frank Miniter, Scott Haugen, Dennis Foster