As the chill of autumn nips the air, it's time to lean out the dog and shop for a new shotgun. Here you'll find shotguns to fit every pocketbook and every style, from side-by-sides and over/unders to semi autos. Nearly all offer screw-in chokes, but there are traditional guns with fixed chokes too. Many offer stock-adjusting shims to fine-tune the gun to make it shoot where you look. A few 16 gauges are among the more common 12, 20, 28s and .410s.
Too, you'll find increased technology to tame recoil. In some it's sophisticated recoil dampers, in others a high-tech pad, but most have taken a look at their stocks and crafted them straighter with the aim of reducing recoil. There's something for everyone here, so have fun, be safe and enjoy your new shotgun!
AYA Nº 2 RA
For 101 years AyA has been making quality shotguns in the Basque region of Northern Spain. The Nº 2 RA side-by-side is their most popular with its full Holland & Holland-style sidelocks, select hand checkered walnut stock and forend. Styled after the finest game guns, it has all the attributes of a far more expensive gun.
$6,900 | aya-fineguns.com
Winchester SX4 Upland Field
This fast-cycling semi-auto's Grade II/III walnut stock is designed for a "quick to the shoulder" feel that puts you right on target. The aluminum-alloy receiver gives the gun the lightness to carry it all day. The chrome-plated chamber and bore provide a slick transition of the shot through the choke to the bird. Recoil is snuffed out by the Inflex 2 recoil pad.
$1,110 | winchesterguns.com
Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus
Expanding on their excellent A400 platform, the Plus is a tweaking of an already proven shotgun. New is an ultra-soft comb that tames that whack to the jaw when firing heavy loads. Also new is an extended bolt/charging handle and enlarged bolt release for easy loading in tough conditions.
$1,750-$1,900 | beretta.com
Using Benelli's time-proven inertia operating system, the Ethos 28-gauge is perfect for the upland hunter. The Progressive-Comfort recoil managing system uses interlocking leaves that progressively collapse under recoil, making shooting a breeze. The loading port is enlarged for fast stoking of the magazine.
$1,999 | benelliusa.com
Browning Citori CXS
The Citori has been Browning's flagship over/under since 1973. The new CXS is a crossover design for the skeet/sporting clays-shooting hunter who wants one gun that does it all. The barrels have a light profile and the point of impact is 50/50. The stock has straight dimensions of DAC 1½ and DAH 2¼ that positions the shooter's head to see bird or clay over the barrels.
$2,140 | browning.com
Caesar Guerini Magnus Light
Made in Italy, the Magnum Light is an over/under that is light enough to carry all day yet has the balance of a heavier gun. The action and forend iron are made of aircraft-grade aluminum reinforced with hardened steel at all wear points. The stock is hollowed out to preserve lightness.
$4,925 | gueriniusa.com
CZ Supreme Field
Here is a bargain-priced over/under with some expensive features. The action is CNC machined steel with a rust resistant nickel-chrome finish. The engraving is by hand in the classic style and the checkering is both generous and excellent on both butt stock and forend, setting off the Grade III Turkish walnut.
$1,699 | cz-usa.com
Fabarm Elos D2
Made for all-day carry, the 20-gauge O/U tips the scales at 5.8 pounds, even less for the 28. The action is nickel-plated for durability and the game scene and scroll engraving is inspired by Italian master engravers. The barrels use Fabarm's tapered TRIBORE HP that combines with their INNER HP choke tubes for dense killing patterns.
$2,595 | fabarmusa.com
Franchi Instinct SL
This is an O/U for you 16-gauge fans. Also available in 12 and 20, the SL boasts AA-grade satin-finished walnut that sets off the coin-silver action. The 16 weighs in at a svelte 5.8 pounds bracketed by the 12 at 6.3 and 20 at 5.6 respectively. The action has a classic reinforcement at the junction of the action and barrels that adds strength and looks. Automatic ejectors make quick reloading in a hot dove field a snap.
$1,599-$1,729 | franchiusa.com
Here's a great 16-gauge O/U made in the finest German tradition. You'll never wear it out with its Kersten crossbolt locking system. Built on a 20-gauge action, the 28" hammer-forged barrels are choked IC and Mod., and the automatic ejectors can be quickly disengaged if you keep your hulls. The Grade 6 Turkish-walnut stock comes in straight-hand or semi-pistol grip.
$13,255 | merkel-usa.com
Mossberg 930 Field
This is a rugged, go anywhere, shoot anything semi-auto in Mossy Oak Bottomland. The Dual Gas-Vent system ensures reliable cycling with any shells you stuff into it. When you're done for the day, the quick-empty magazine release button makes unloading a snap. Like all Mossbergs, the safety is on top of the pre-drilled and tapped receiver.
$630 | mossberg.com
The Fausti sisters are following their family lineage of fine Italian gun making. Their RDX has a low-profile round body box-lock action machined from a solid billet of hardened and tempered forged steel. It is then case-hardened for durability and beauty. Available in 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauges and .410 bore.
$5,799-$6,389 | faustiusa.com
Remington V3 Sport
Decked out in Mossy Oak Blades, this is a super-reliable semi-auto from America's oldest gunmaker. The V3 uses Remington's innovative Versaport gas system that places the gas ports in the chamber and, depending upon the length of the shell, determines how many ports are open to send gas to the twin pistons that cycle the action, which stays very clean.
$895 (start) | remington.com
Stoeger Uplander Supreme
For side-by-side aficionados in either 12- or 20-gauge, the Supreme provides two fast shots from one barrel choked IC for close in, and then the modified-choked barrel for the going away shot. Taking a clue from fine British-made doubles, the grip is a squared-off version of the popular Prince-of-Wales grip.
$549 | stoegerindustries.com
Syren L4S Sporting
LADIES ONLY for this semi-auto designed just for them. The Monte-Carlo stock raises the comb to accommodate a longer neck and the proper cast and pitch plus the smaller pistol grip puts a woman's eye over the rib and her finger on the trigger. Made to point and balance like a fine double, the L4S has the action-return spring around the magazine tube for added reliability.
$1,895-$2,080 | syrenusa.com
Named for the constellation Orion the Hunter, the new Sporting O/U features 30" ported barrels for recoil and muzzle-rise control. Targets are easy to find with the tapered ventilated rib and fiber-optic front sight. The low-profile boxlock action helps tame recoil by directing it straight back to the shoulder. The bores are chrome-lined and the gun sports automatic ejectors and extended choke tubes.
$1,200 | weatherby.com