The Year’s Lineup of New Scatterguns
By Brad Fitzpatrick[I]f you follow hunting and shooting social-media sites, then you know that the first few months of the year mean a blitzkrieg of information about new gear introduced at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show. Companies use the show as their launch pad for new products, and thousands of offerings are showcased every year—everything from high-tech night-vision equipment to modern sporting rifles to concealed-carry handguns.
There are also plenty of new shotguns launched at the show, and this year was no exception. From budget-priced pumps to high-end Italian doubles, there were a variety of models introduced in Vegas in January. And Shooting Sportsman was there to get the lowdown. No matter what your preference—whether it’s upland hunting, waterfowling or clay shooting—you’re sure to find something of interest in the following roundup.
The big news from Benelli is the launch of the Ethos 28-gauge autoloader. Like the 12- and 20-gauge versions, the 28-gauge receives the Progressive Comfort stock with buffers (for reducing recoil), Crio choke tubes, AA-grade satin walnut, an engraved receiver, a carbon-fiber top rib with interchangeable fiber-optic front beads, and the time-tested Inertia Driven operating system. Although a 28-gauge may seem like a simple line extension, there is something revolutionary about this model: It has a 3″ chamber. That’s a game changer, and this 5.3-pound 28 (which has a 26″ barrel) is perfectly suited for teal, wood ducks, pheasants, chukar, sharptails and more. MSRP is $2,199.
Also new from Benelli is the 25th Anniversary Super Black Eagle II. At the heart of the SBE II is the legendary Inertia Driven system, which operates using just three primary parts and has helped make the Super Black Eagle one of the top waterfowl guns for the past quarter-century. The anniversary edition is available with a black Cerakote or Realtree Max-5 finish and comes with a 28″ barrel, a corrosion-resistant brushed-nickel bolt, an oversized bolt handle and bolt release, an elongated front sight and extended choke tubes. MSRP is $1,999.
The Performance Shop M2 Waterfowl Edition 20-gauge is a purpose-built M2 semi-auto that is slimmer and lighter than the Performance Shop’s 12-gauge SBE II Waterfowl Edition. It receives the Performance Shop treatment, with an oversized bolt handle, HiViz sights and extended choke tubes, but it lacks the heft and length of the SBE II. (The M2, which has a 28″ barrel and overall length of 49.3″, weighs just 5.9 pounds, whereas the SBE II, with its 28″ barrel and overall length of 49.6″, weighs 7.3 pounds). Kick is dampened by the ComforTech stock. MSRP is $2,399.
Benelli USA, 800-264-4962; www.benelliusa.com.
In 2014 Beretta had Australian industrial designer Marc Newson customize the appearance of the company’s 486 Parallelo side-by-side. The resulting 486 by Marc Newson incorporated a number of unique features, including an “edgeless” round-body receiver, a “woodbridge” separating the back of the receiver from the safety, a toplever emphasizing that element’s independence from the rest of the gun, and a streamlined forend. The engraving paid homage to Asia as the homeland of the pheasant. The gun originally came in 12 gauge, and this year it is being made available in 20 gauge with 26″, 28″ or 30″ OptimaBore barrels and adjustable chokes, as well as 28 gauge with 28″ barrels. Prices are available from Beretta Galleries and Premium Dealers.
Also new are the DT11 Sporting and International Trap Black Editions, the latest versions of the company’s competition over/unders. These racy-looking guns are not just black versions of the DT11, as they have new features, such as carbon-fiber top ribs and detachable trigger groups (for reduced weight) as well as adjustable weighting systems in the Steelium Pro barrels and stocks. They are available in 12 gauge with 30″ or 32″ barrels, 3″ chambers and five OptimaChoke HP extended tubes. MSRPs range from $10,800 to $11,300.
The 692 Sporting and International Trap Black Editions have many of the same features as the DT11, including balancing systems in the barrels and stocks as well as carbon-fiber ribs. Both come in 12 gauge with 30″ or 32″ Steelium Plus barrels, with the Sporting having 3″ chambers and five OptimaChokes and the International Trap having 23/4″ chambers and fixed IM & F chokes. MSRPs are $5,250 (without the stock balancing system) and $5,750.
The 690 Sporting Black Edition has a black receiver with orange highlights and comes in 12 gauge with 30″ or 32″ Steelium barrels, 3″ chambers and five OptimaChokes. MSRP is $3,000.
Beretta USA, 800-929-2901; www.berettausa.com.
The Blaser F16 represents the latest evolution of the German company’s high-quality over/unders. Rather than simply adjusting the balance point forward and backward, Blaser actually lowered the F16’s center of gravity and combined this with a low boxlock action that makes for an extremely smooth-handling gun. The monocoque (aka “structural skin”) design gives the borders a rounded edge similar to that of a round-body gun. Other key features include a tapered rib for improved peripheral vision, a Triplex bore and the reliable Ejection Ball System, borrowed from Blaser’s successful F3. The F16’s trigger breaks at 3 pounds 10 ounces, making it competition-ready right out of the box, and the Inertia Block System prevents accidental “fanfires,” or doubling. As might be expected, the walnut stock has the superb fit and finish of a world-class field and competition gun. The Blaser F16 Game comes with a gunmetal-gray receiver, 14¾” length of pull and 28″ or 30″ barrels (12 gauge only). The Sporting model is offered with 30″ or 32″ barrels and comes with a stock balancer (to adjust the gun’s balance point), an adjustable trigger and a red-bead sight on the tapered top rib. MSRP is $3,795 for the Game model, $4,195 for the Sporting.
Blaser USA, 210-377-2527; www.blaser-usa.com.
Browning has brought back the Sweet Sixteen! Though the autoloader shares the same name and hump-backed profile as the earlier 16-gauge version, the new Sweet Sixteen is mechanically very different. For starters, it relies on the Kinematic Drive recoil-operation system, which minimizes moving parts and weight and uses the recoil energy produced by the shot to cycle the action. The receiver is made of aluminum alloy, and the Inflex recoil pad helps reduce muzzle rise for faster follow-ups. The gun weighs just 5 pounds 13 ounces, making it ideal for long walks in open country. MSRP is $1,700.
The 725 Citori is now being offered in Sporting and Field models chambered for 28 gauge and .410. These lightweight, sub-gauge over/unders are built to Browning’s typically high standards, and the 725’s redesigned low-profile boxlock action makes it trimmer than previous Citoris. The Sporting has ported barrels (30″ or 32″), a gloss oil finish and an engraved receiver. The Field version comes with a gloss oil finish, as well, and is available with 26″ or 28″ tubes. MSRPs are $2,540 for the Field model and $3,200 for the Sporting.
Browning Arms, 801-876-2711; www.browning.com.
Caesar Guerini USA
Italian gunmaker Caesar Guerini has launched two new shotguns this year. The first is the Invictus V Sporting, which builds on the original Invictus line, introduced in 2014. The Invictus V Sporting has a sideplated action with full-coverage engraving that incorporates four engraving techniques for a magnificent aesthetic. The hand-polished coin finish receives Invisalloy coating, which protects the metalwork from the elements, and the deluxe-grade Turkish walnut stock has a semi-gloss oil-rubbed finish. Perhaps most important to serious clay shooters is the addition of the DTS II trigger, which offers the crisp break competitors demand. MSRP is $8,795.
Guerini’s other new model is the 20-gauge Gold Edition Ellipse Curve, based on the Ellipse Round Body action. This limited-edition model comes with exquisite engraving that Guerini says was inspired by classical fine art, and there are gold accents that add to the gun’s high-end aesthetic. A deluxe-grade Turkish walnut stock with high-luster oil finish rounds out this breathtaking gun. MSRP is $7,795.
Caesar Guerini USA, 410-901-1131; www.gueriniusa.com.
It’s safe to say that in the past decade few gun companies have increased their US footprint more than CZ. Consistent with that growth, the firm has introduced a number of new shotguns this year. To begin, the 712 Green G2 gas-operated semi-auto is available in 12 gauge with a wood stock and a green-anodized receiver that is a real head-turner. MSRP is $499. The 712 Synthetic Camo G2 is also in 12 gauge and has a polymer stock and comes in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades. MSRP is $670. A variant of the 712 G2 is the 720 Reduced Length G2, which operates on the same gas system as the 712 but is in 20 gauge and has a Turkish walnut stock and reduced 13″ length of pull. MSRP is $499.
Serious trap shooters need to check out the All-American Trap Combo, which comes with two 32″ barrel sets: an unsingle with a dial-adjustable rib that goes from a 50/50 point of impact to a 90/10 and a standard set of barrels with a stepped rib offering a 50/50 POI. The CNC-machined action has a white metal finish, the firing pins ride in bushings and the locking blocks are replaceable. The gun also has an adjustable parallel comb, competition trigger and ejectors. MSRP is $3,399.
The Drake is CZ’s newest budget-priced-but-well-equipped over/under. The gun has extractors, a single selective trigger, laser-cut checkering on the Turkish walnut stock, and a basic black receiver. It is available in 12 or 20 gauge with 28″ barrels and five choke tubes. MSRP is $629.
There are two new versions of the Upland Sterling O/U. The Lady Sterling has an adjustable comb, a reduced length of pull and increased pitch (about 8°) for proper fit for female shooters. It comes in 12 gauge with 28″ barrels, extractors and five flush-mounted chokes. MSRP is $1,321. The Southpaw Sterling, as you might guess, is made with cast-on for left-handed shooters, although it has a right-handed toplever. It comes in 12 gauge with 30″ barrels, ejectors and five flush-fit chokes. MSRP is $999.
Also new is the Redhead Premier over/under, which has a one-piece CNC receiver and comes with 28″ barrels, a single selective trigger, five flush-mounted choke tubes, and a Turkish walnut stock with laser-cut checkering. It comes in 12 and 20 gauge with ejectors and 28 gauge and .410 with extractors. (A Reduced Length version comes in 20 gauge and has 24″ barrels and a 13″ LOP.) MSRPs are $959 or $1,057.
One of CZ’s other tried-and-true stackbarrels gets a new color treatment. The Upland Ultralight Green is a lightweight (6.3 pounds in 12 gauge, 5.8 in 20) over/under that comes with a green anodized-aluminum receiver, hollowed-out buttstock, 28″ barrels, single trigger and five choke tubes. MSRP is $762.
CZ-USA, 800-955-4486; www.cz-usa.com.
Fabarm is offering something new for North American duck and goose hunters with the introduction of its XLR5 Waterfowler. Like previous XLR5 guns, the Waterfowler uses the Pulse Piston system, which has revolutionized gas-operated design. The design eliminates valve systems and allows the gun to operate with a wide range of loads. It is reliable, simple to clean and easy to maintain, and the braking Pulse system greatly reduces felt recoil. The Tribore HP barrel, with its tapered bore, reduces recoil further and produces even patterns. The Exis DK competition choke tube is tuned for nontoxic loads in the most common sizes and allows for Extra-Full chokes to be used without damaging the gun. Waterfowl-specific features include an oversized trigger guard, safety and magazine cutoff, as well as an extended bolt handle for easy operation while wearing gloves. The Long Rib adds 4″ of sighting plane for comfortable upright shooting and has a matte top to reduce glare. The XLR5 Waterfowler is available in Kryptek Banshee camo and comes in 12 gauge in either a right- or left-handed version with a 28″ or 30″ barrel. To protect against corrosive elements the barrel extension and bore are chrome-plated, the bolt is PVD coated and the chokes are nickel-plated. The stock has a Soft Touch coating for a sure grip in wet conditions. MSRP is $1,650 for right-handed models and $1,825 for left-handed.
Fabarm USA, 410-271-7067; www.fabarmusa.com.
Italian gunmaker FAIR (Fabbrica Armi Isidoro Rizzini) is expanding its line of Iside side-by-sides with the introduction of the Iside Prestige Tartargua Gold. The gun comes with a case-colored finish and is available in a wide variety of configurations and gauges. The trim sideplated action has elegant engraving, including gold-inlaid birds on either side of the receiver, and the wood-to-metal fit is excellent. Walnut stocks are well figured, and there is fine checkering on the pistol grip and forearm. The design of the pushbutton forearm release gives the gun an uncluttered look. The Tartargua Gold is available in 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauge as well as .410 with 26″, 28″ or 30″ barrels. You also can opt for fixed chokes or tubes and single or double triggers (single-trigger models have a barrel selector on the tang-mounted safety). MSRP is $2,999.
Italian Firearms Group, 800-450-1852; www.italianfire armsgroup.com.
Fausti has launched a version of its exquisite round-body shotgun designed for women—appropriate for a firm operated by the three daughters of one of Italy’s best-known gunmakers. The Aphrodite has stock geometry fashioned for female shooters, with specific cast, pitch and drop; a Monte Carlo stock; and a specially designed recoil pad. In addition, lengthened forcing cones and special internal geometry are designed to mitigate recoil. Embellishment includes a combination of English scroll and ornamental laser engraving, and there is an image of Aphrodite on the bottom of the receiver and a special toplever. The gun truly is befitting a smoothbore named for the goddess of beauty. Available in 12, 20 and 28 gauge as well as .410, the gun uses the company’s time-tested, Four Locks low-profile boxlock action. Barrels are from 25″ to 30″ and come with interchangeable chokes. The stock is high-grade, hand-oiled walnut. MSRP: TBD.
Fausti USA, 540-371-3287; www.faustiusa.com.
Franchi has launched two new shotguns designed specifically for women: the Affinity Catalyst and the Instinct Catalyst. As the names suggest, the guns are based on Franchi’s Affinity and Instinct models—two of the best-designed and best-selling guns in the company’s history. The Affinity Catalyst is an Inertia-Driven autoloader with a Monte Carlo stock that has measurements specifically tailored for women. The Instinct over/under uses the same stock geometry but on the company’s low-profile boxlock action. Both the O/U and semi-auto are available in 12 gauge and have walnut stocks. The Affinity Catalyst comes with a 28″ barrel; 3″ chamber; 137/8″ LOP; black anodized receiver; 4+1 capacity; IC, M and F chokes; and a weight of 6.6 pounds. MSRP is $999. The Instinct Catalyst has 28″ barrels; 3″ chambers; a LOP of 137/8″; a color case-hardened receiver; IC, M and F chokes; and a weight of 7.2 pounds. MSRP is $1,599.
Franchi USA, 540-371-3287; www.franchiusa.com.
Krieghoff’s newest offering is the elegant K-20 Parcours. Based upon the company’s robust and reliable K-80, the scaled-down Parcours has a trimmer receiver wrapped with graceful scroll and floral engraving. The receiver is mated with high-grade, hand-oiled walnut, and the gun’s balance is superb. Also, like the K-80, the Parcours comes with Krieghoff’s crisp, adjustable trigger. The K-20 Parcours will be available in 20 gauge with 30″ or 32″ barrels and in 28 gauge with 30″ tubes, all with 7mm tapered ribs and fixed M & IM chokes. Average gun weight is 7 pounds. MSRP is $11,695, with interchangeable barrels costing $4,695.
Krieghoff International, 610-847-5173; www.krieghoff .com.
Mossberg’s new 930 Pro-Series Sporting is a semi-auto that operates on a dual-vent gas system that helps mitigate recoil and functions with light target loads. The gun was designed in collaboration with Gil and Vicki Ash, professional shooting instructors and proprietors of the Optimum Shotgun Performance School. Features include a boron-nitride-coated gas piston, piston rings, magazine tube, hammer and sear to prevent corrosion, as well as a shell stop, bolt slide and elevator that receive additional friction-reducing finishes for smoother operation and fast follow-ups. The receiver is protected by a Cerakote finish. The stock and forend are semi-gloss walnut, and the Ashes narrowed the comb, reducing the need for cast and allowing the gun to fit right- and left-handed shooters equally well. In addition a Stock Drop System allows for five drop-at-comb adjustments for a custom fit. The 930 Pro-Series Sporting is available as a 3″ 12-gauge with a 28″ ported barrel, HiViz TriComp sights and three Briley extended choke tubes (Skeet, IC and M). Buyers receive a complimentary 60-day trial subscription to the Ashes’ OSP School Knowledge Vault, with valuable tips from the two instructors. MSRP is $1,029.
O.F. Mossberg & Sons, 203-230-5300; www.mossberg.com.
Remington is now offering the V3 Field Sport, a 3″ autoloader that, like the Versa Max before it, uses a gas system that operates based on shell length. Known as Versaport, the system uses gas vents that are either opened or closed depending upon whether you’re firing 2¾” or 3″ shells. With a longer 3″ load, four gas ports are open, but when a 2¾” shell is in the chamber, 8 ports are open for maximum gas uptake for smooth, reliable cycling. The V3 will fire anything from light target to heavy waterfowl loads. A unique dual-piston design keeps the gun functioning smoothly, and the gas system itself helps reduce felt recoil, making this one of the softest-shooting 12-gauge semi-autos on the market. The dense recoil pad helps mitigate kick as well. The bolt-release button is located on the side of the receiver, and an oversized trigger guard makes shooting with gloves easy. The V3 is available in 12 gauge with a black synthetic or camo (Mossy Oak Blades or Break Up Country) stock and weighs 7¼ pounds. MSRPs start at $895.
Remington Arms Co., 800-243-9700; www.remington.com.
SKB has broadened its selection of field and target guns imported from Turkey. The Model 200HR Target side-by-side is now available with cast-on stocks (for left-handed shooters). It comes in 12, 20 and 28 gauge as well as .410 with a triggerplate action, non-selective single trigger, pistol grip, flush-fit chokes, raised vent rib and 30″ barrels (or 32″ in 12 gauge). MSRP is $2,500 for 12- and 20-gauges and $2,625 for 28s and .410s.
The 90TSS Trap O/U and Combo guns are now offered with reduced-length stocks for youth shooters. The guns have adjustable buttplates for length of pull (131/2″ to 14¾”) as well as adjustable combs. The regular O/U comes with 30″ or 32″ barrels, and the Combo includes an additional 34″ single barrel. MSRPs are $1,800 for the O/U and $2,600 for the Combo.
The 90TSS Sporting O/U now comes with an adjustable parallel comb (in addition to an adjustable standard comb) and an adjustable buttplate in 12-gauge models with 30″ or 32″ barrels for right- or left-handed shooters. MSRP is $1,800.
SKB, 800-752-2767; www.skbshotguns.com.
Syren was the first company to develop guns designed specifically for women, and this year it is adding two new models to the line. One is the Tempio Trap, a competition trap gun available as an over/under, an unsingle or a combo set. The adjustable stock has a 13.75″ length of pull, a reduced grip diameter, a pitch of 7° and more. Syren’s DTS (Dynamic Tuning System) allows the shooter to adjust the rib for POI changes, and the comb can be adjusted for height, drop, offset and cast. The trigger is adjustable for take-up, over-travel and length of pull. The action has classic scroll and bouquet engraving with gold accents, and signature carved roses adorn the deluxe Turkish walnut stock. MSRPs are $6,395 or $8,855 (for the combo set).
Also new from Syren is the Elos Sporting, which has a blued receiver and floral engraving with gold accents. The Turkish walnut stock has a Triwood finish for an enhanced look and protection from the elements. The Elos Sporting comes with 5 EXIS HP hyperbolic choke tubes and Tribore HP barrels for consistent patterns. It is available in 12 gauge with 30″ barrels and a 10mm ventilated rib. MSRP is $2,595.
Syren USA, 410-901-1131; www.syrenusa.com.
Winchester has added several 20-gauge versions to its popular line of SXP pumpguns. The list of new models includes the walnut-stocked Field and Field Compact, which has a stock that is ¾” shorter than the standard SXP to accommodate smaller shooters. Also included are the Waterfowl (in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades) as well as the Universal Hunter and Black Shadow. All come with Winchester’s four-lug bolt, a crossbolt safety (positioned in front of the trigger guard), chrome-plated chambers and bores, and Invector-Plus choke tubes. MSRPs are $399.99 to $549.99.
Winchester, 800-333-3288; www.winchesterguns.com.