Upland guns are sleek and fast, yet light in the hand for all-day carrying. Over the past few years more and more manufacturers have slimmed down their heavy repeaters, making them lighter and better 
balanced for the field. Equally, 
over/unders and side-by-sides have become feathery, better-handling and available in small gauges that appeal to bird hunters.

Many are learning that the 28-gauge is perhaps the ideal upland load. Much like the sadly neglected 16-gauge with its ballistically efficient 1-ounce “square” load, the 28 patterns its ¾-ounce load well and has become a first choice for the uplands. Twenty-eight-gauge shells are not cheap, but in terms of performance they are way ahead, and these guns are a joy to carry and handle extremely well.

Of course, about all shotguns nowadays come with screw-in chokes that enable the shooter to set up his gun for whatever he’s hunting that day, from long-flushing cornfield pheasants to close combat bobwhites, grouse and woodcock.

The following is a quick look at the 10 best upland shotguns for 2013. Check them out, and then go to your local gun shop and try them for real.