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Gear & Accessories Shotguns

9 Upland Shotguns You Should Know About

by John Taylor   |  October 31st, 2011 19

This year’s crop of upland shotguns emphasizes lightweight and performance.

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Benelli Ultra Light

This 20-gauge shotgun, weighing in at just 5.2 pounds, is the lightest 20 gauge in the world. Using Benelli's proven Inertia-Driven operating system, the Ultra Light sports a featherweight alloy receiver and shortened magazine tube that holds two shells. Interestingly, the raised target rib used in these guns is made from the same carbon fiber employed in Formula 1 race cars. Ultra Light 20-gauge is an uplander's easy-to-maneuver gun that carries light for hours and hits hard for even longer. And Benelli's Legacy 28 is a great choice for the 28-gauge aficionado.

  • Mike Niles

    Now if we could only get it in a 16 ga!!

    • Alex

      The Franchi 48 AL is a great gun. The 20 gauge hits like a 12 with a modified choke. It's also available in a 28 gauge.

  • Tom

    You might want to consider the Browning White Lightning in 28ga. Nice little gun!

  • Shane

    So many nice guns on the market right now and you choose the Remington Versa Max as an Upland gun? And only one SxS? and one O/U? Sheesh…. that's why I don't subscribe to Gun Dog anymore I suppose. A 7.7lbs 3.5" camouflaged automatic is not an upland shotgun.

    • Husker in MO

      AGREED!!! Someone missed the mark on this column!

    • Riant

      Amen! How about he CZ family of SxS's; why not Merkel, AYA and some other quality doubles? Wattaya mean, they don't spend enough advertising dolla? Gun Dog has lost me, also!

    • JRT

      Ha… 7.7 lb 3.5 inch. I want to see the giant size ruffed grouse he needs that for. At least he didn't include a scoped turkey gun in the list.

      For upland birds, I'd suggest including the 12ga Beretta Ultralight Deluxe on the short list. Its really a nice handling gun for that. As for 12 vs 20, this one is as light as a 20ga, but has the advantage that the 12ga has a shorter shot column when throwing similar weight, delivering a less extended shot string.

  • Mike

    +1 on the AL48

  • marshall watson

    look for a 1964 65 winchester # 59 12 ga. 5 pounds

  • RLHodges

    I've been shooting the Benelli Feather Weight 12 g. for about six years now. Great gun to carry all day in the field. Am sure the 20 and 28 are even better!

  • Shane

    Even the one sxs here is 7.5 pounds. Now I may be too much of a luddite to even consider an auto, but at least have a look at the Yildiz for affordable, light, reliable cheap double guns. I suppose if we all sat in a blind and considered sand hill cranes to be upland game, then gun dog would be right up our alley.

  • Dave O'Neal

    These Weatherbys look and weigh exactly the same as my 2 Tristar Vipers 12 n 20 gauge. Turkish styling… Both of them are excellent guns and the 20 is really light and doesent affect my artheritis on long days quail hunting!

  • luke

    I love the winchester SX3 upland. Awesome gun.

    • mike

      I am considering the sx3, 12 ga, 26" barrel. How is the balance and the speed to aim?

  • Mark

    What about the Beretta Silver Pigeon Series…

  • Dustin

    I have both the 48 al and browning lighting both in twenty GA the 48 is nice to carry but when I pull it up to shot it is to light I'll go with the browning

  • Bob

    I've been hunting this year with a Winchester SX3 3 1/2" shooting 3" high velocity steel loads since more areas are being restricted to non toxic shot. If a duck gets up, I can still shoot them legally too. I don't like to shoot shoot steel through my 20GA Beretta O/U so I only use it during chukar hunting. The SX3 is light enough that it does not bother me. The recoil with the 3 1/2" shell is also tolerable.

  • Bob

    The Versa-Max is one gun I'd like to try. I parked my 12ga, 20ga, and my 28ga O/U last Fall in favor of my Winchester SX3 3 1/2 camo gun. I hunted pheasants with #2 and #4 3" steel shot and it knocked the birds down with authority even at long range. Another advantage is that I can shoot ducks too when I jump them. I would never consider shooting steel out of my $4,000 O/U. Aside from carrying my 20ga Beretta O/U with 26" barrels for chukar hunting, I really enjoyed hunting with my SX3. If I were looking for another gun to buy, I would consider the Versa Max. Never mind what the catalog advertised weight is, the dynamics of the gun and how it feels is what is important. My 9lb Perazzi sporting clay gun does not feel that heavy because it fits.

  • SDhunter

    I don’t really believe this gun should be categorized as upland. It is only available in 20 or 28 gauge. Any pheasant hunter worth his weight shoots a 12. Simply because nothing else will put a bird down for the count. I would love to own this gun in 12 gauge though. Maybe Franchi will wise up next year!

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