Smoothbore Manufacturers Place a Premium on Versatility
By Richard Mann
Shotguns remain the most versatile firearms in the world, and versatility best explains the new offerings for 2017. Manufacturers are building new pursuit-driven shotguns and continuing to tweak current offerings to provide even more niche specialization of their products. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a get-in-the-duck-blind-mud over/under or a behind-the-truck-seat compact scattergun, this year no one can argue there’s a lack of diversity in this category.
The 12-gauge Super Black Eagle 3 is available in black synthetic, Realtree Max-5, Mossy Oak Bottom Lands, and Gore Optifade Timber. This inertia-driven shotgun, which features an oversize bolt handle, bolt release, and safety, is chambered for 2 ¾-, 3-, and 3 ½-inch shells.
The shotgun ships with a carbon-fiber rib and five chokes, and either a 26- or 28-inch barrel. SRP: $1,899, black; $1,999, camo.
As Browning enters the fifth year of the High Grade Program, it’s now offering a Citori 725 12-gauge Trap model in Grade V and Grade VII models. The Grade V will have either 30- or 32-inch barrels. SRP: $5,339.99. The Grade VII will also be available with 30- or 32-inch barrels. SRP: $6,399.99. Another addition to the smoothbore lineup includes a Citori 725 Sporting Golden Clays 12-gauge with either 30- or 32-inch barrels. It will have Sporting Golden Clays engraving on the right, left, and bottom of the receiver. SRP: $5,349
Browning will also be offering a B15 over/under shotgun that has been exquisitely enhanced by the gunsmiths of Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal. These B15s will be offered in four grades, with a choice of exceptional engravings and wood quality. Along those same lines is an A5 High Grade Hunter with special engraving that depicts pheasants on the left side and mallards on the right, surrounded by intricate scrollwork. The 12-gauge has 3-inch chambers and 26- or 28-inch barrels, and will be offered in a gloss finish with grade 2.5 walnut. SRP: $1,859
The A5 and Maxus Wicked Wing shotguns are semi-auto waterfowlers that feature receivers and barrels coated in a duck-blind-mud- and water-resistant Cerakote burnt bronze camo finish. Banded extended choke tubes, Briley extended bolt handles, and oversize bolt releases are standard, as are composite stocks in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades camo. Both 3- and 3½-inch models are available. SRP: $1,979, A5 Wicked Wing; $1,739, Maxus Wicked Wing.
For those eaten up with clay-busting craziness, the BT-99 Trap and Micro Trap come with adjustable buttplates and combs. Both feature a Graco Pro Fit adjustable comb and buttpad plate. The Micro version has a 13¾-inch LOP; the full-size version has a 14 ³⁄8-inch LOP. The Micro is offered with 30- or 32-inch barrels, and the full size can be had with 32- or 34-inch barrels. SRP: $1,799
The Cynergy Composite Ultimate Turkey over/under shotgun is available in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo. This is a 12-gauge with a 3½-inch chamber, and it comes with either 24- or 26-inch barrels. It has a Marble Arms Bullseye rear sight, a fiber-optic front sight, and a short Picatinny rail to mount red-dot optics. Five Invector-Plus choke tubes, including the Extended Ultimate Turkey and Spreader, come with the shotgun. SRP: $2,339
The All-American—featuring drop-in replacement parts, including locking blocks—is the sporting clays half of the company’s Trap Combo. It has a four-way comb, combined with adjustable buttplate hardware, that will allow you to tune cast, toe, and LOP for a perfect fit to your shooting style. All-Americans fire the bottom barrel first, the purpose of which is to reduce recoil going into the second shot. Blacked-out extended chokes in a mid-thread pattern, a blacked-out action, and select wood round out the package. SRP: $2,499
For competitors who want a nicer version of CZ’s affordable 612 Trap, the Target model has select-grade wood with a glossy oil finish. The metal gets a deep polished blue. With a tuned trigger system, raised rib, and comfortable Monte Carlo stock, this is a clay-killing machine. A set of extended chokes and a pair of Bradley-style white beads are standard. SRP: $549
For those wanting a light, classy pump gun to carry in the field, CZ has put together an ideal candidate. Built on a gauge-specific 7075 aluminum action, this 28-gauge has a deep glossy blue finish and select-grade Turkish walnut. A set of interchangeable chokes lets you tune constriction, and the full forend and pistol grip make this lithe shotgun feel like the shotgun gods have blessed you. With 28-inch barrels, the shotgun weighs a scant 5.4 pounds. SRP: $429
For those wanting to whack waterfowl with a vengeance, CZ’s Swamp Magnum is the shotgun with which to do so. The Swamp Magnum is the only over/under in the line that has an automatic safety that engages every time the action is opened, making it more duck-blind-friendly. With polymer stocks in either black or Realtree Max-5 camo, and with all metalwork blacked out, these over/unders are ready for the mud, rain, blood, and tears for which duck blinds are famous. SRP: $929 to $1,029
The Missione semi-auto is available in 20- or 12-gauge, with 3-inch chambers. The 28-inch barrels are chrome-plated, with a ventilated rib, a Hi-Viz Spark front sight, a stainless receiver, and a Turkish walnut stock sporting rubber grip panel inlays. Sling swivels, five extended chokes, and a hard case come standard. SRP: $715
Two new and interesting .410 shotguns from Iver Johnson should appeal to those looking for a behind-the-seat truck gun or a shotgun sized for youths. The IJ700-18 has an 18-inch barrel and is only 34 inches overall. It weighs just 4 pounds 8 ounces. It comes with a blued barrel, a silver receiver, a walnut stock and forend, a rubber buttpad, and sling swivels. Its most unusual feature is that it folds in half for storage and transport. The IJ700-26 is the same gun but with a 26-inch barrel and an overall length of 41.5 inches. SRP: $175
The Shockwave is an ATF-approved shotgun with a 14-inch barrel and an overall length of only 26 inches. This 12-gauge is built on the 590 action and features a Raptor grip and corncob forend with a strap. With a matte-blue finish and cylinder bore, the 590 Shockwave is a whole lot of wickedness in a defensive-style shotgun. SRP: $455. The 510 Mini Muddy Girl 410 might be the ideal shotgun for the young shooter who is looking for a bit of feminine flair in her first scattergun. It has an 18.5-inch barrel, a ventilated rib, and a fixed Modified choke. It is also adjustable for length of pull and is covered in the vibrant Muddy Girl camo. SRP: $469. The Mossberg Compact Cruiser AOW is available with an 8- or 10-inch barrel, an ATI T3 pistol grip and folding vertical handgrip with a strap, a parkerized finish, and a Cylinder-bore choke. SRP: $910 to $980
Stevens has made its 555 over/under line even more versatile with the new 555 Compact. The stylish shotgun has a mid-length forend and a compact, 13.25-inch LOP, making it perfect for smaller-framed shooters. Like the original 555, it features a light aluminum receiver that’s scaled to gauge. In addition, it sports a Turkish walnut stock and forend, shell extractors, a manual safety, and a single, selective mechanical trigger. It ships with five interchangeable choke tubes. Available in .410, 28-, and 20-gauge. SRP: $692. Stevens is also offering an enhanced version of the original 555. It has an Imperial walnut stock and laser-engraved filigree ornamentation. It is available in .410, 28, 20, and 12 gauge. SRP: $863
Three new 12-gauge shotguns make up Stoeger’s new entries for 2017. The M3000 Tactical can be had with either a field or pistol grip with an 18.5-inch barrel. This inertia-driven gun will accept 2¾- or 3-inch shells and has a fixed Cylinder bore. SRP: $599, field stock; $649, pistol-grip stock.
The P3000 Tactical is a pump-action 12-gauge available with a field or pistol-grip stock and an 18.5-inch barrel. It, too, will accept 2 ¾- or 3-inch shells, and it has a fixed Cylinder bore. SRP: $299, field stock; $349, pistol-grip stock. The P3500 12-gauge is offered in either black synthetic or Realtree Max-5, with a 28-inch barrel. It will accept 2¾- or 3-inch shells, and has a red-bar front sight and a ventilated rib. Accessory chokes are available.
The Viper Max is designed to shoot 2¾-inch light target loads as well as 3.5-inch turkey loads. It features a two-piston system, and a light- and heavy-load piston are included with the gun. The spare piston stores in the top of the forearm so it is always with the gun. It is available in Realtree Max-5 with a 26-, 28-, or 30-inch barrel. A black synthetic version with a 28-inch barrel is an option. A fiber-optic sight and three choke tubes are included. SRP: $640 to $730
The Double Trap Adjustable (DTA) comes with 30-inch barrels, an adjustable high-post target rib, ported barrels, and color-coded extended chokes. It also features a fully adjustable buttpad system that allows the shooter to change LOP. The buttpad can be adjusted for cast, moved up or down, and tilts for a perfect fit. The Monte Carlo stock has an adjustable comb in Turkish walnut and is drilled for a recoil reducer. Weight is 8.8 pounds. SRP: $1,450
The Mono-Trap has a 34-inch barrel with porting and extended chokes. It features a Monte Carlo stock in Turkish walnut with an oil finish. A target rib with a fiber-optic sight is standard. The TT-15 MT is an ideal entry-level trap gun and ships with Modified, Improved Modified, and Full chokes. SRP: $1,035
Winchester Repeating Arms
The Super X4 12-gauge autoloader is based on the proven Active Valve gas system and offers enhanced ergonomics, with easier to access operating controls. It’s lighter and faster cycling than its predecessor. The shotgun is offered in four models—the SX4 Composite, SX4 Waterfowl, SX4 Field, and SX4 Field Compact—all with 3- or 3 ½-inch chambers. SRP: $799 to $939
The new SXP Shadow Defender and Shadow Marine Defender pump shotguns feature synthetic pistol-grip stocks with textured gripping surfaces and are supplied with two interchangeable comb pieces. Offered in 20- and 12-gauge, with 3-inch chambers, the alloy receivers are drilled and tapped for bases and rings, and a tactical ribbed forearm offers better control. The Marine Defender features matte hard-chrome plating on the barrel, magazine tube, and slide arms for added resistance to wear and the elements. Barrel length is 18 inches. A Cylinder choke tube is supplied. The 12-gauge Defender retails for $449.99, the 20-gauge for $469.99. The Marine Defender retails for $499.99 in 12-gauge, and $519.99 in 20-gauge.
The new SXP Turkey pump shotgun is available in either 12- or 20-gauge and features a composite stock and forearm in a matte black finish. The black alloy receiver is drilled and tapped for scope bases, and TruGlo fiber-optic adjustable sights are standard. The 12-gauge version has a 3½-inch chamber with a 24-inch barrel. SRP: $439.99. The 20-gauge has a 3-inch chamber and 24-inch barrels. SRP: $439
Reporting by SHOT Business Daily, reprinted with permission. SHOT Daily, produced by The Bonnier Corporation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, covers all facets of the yearly firearms-industry show. Click here to see full issues. Product pricing and availability are at of time of publication and subject to change without notice.