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.
- <h2>Benelli Ultra Light</h2>Topping the scales at less than five pounds, the <a href="http://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/benelli-ultra-light.php" target="_blank">Benelli Ultra Light</a> 28-gauge semi-auto is balanced to swing smooth and easy. Using Benelli’s proven inertia system for flawless cycling, this gun combines light, all-day carrying weight with a proven game-getting gauge. For anything from game-farm pheasants to elusive grouse, this gun does it all. <p> <strong>Price: $1,699</strong>