At the 2012 SHOT Show, in Las Vegas, we got to see a lot of shotguns. While the majority of the industry buzz surrounding shotguns lives in the home defense category, there remains an interest in the finer shotguns used for wing and clay shooting. FABARM® released information on an upcoming semi-automatic shotgun that promises to be an industry game changer. Top-notch shotguns are often an overlooked part of the industry, since so many of the models are out of the financial reach of the common shooter. Professional shooters, however, as well as wealthy collectors, value these firearms not only for their beauty and craftsmanship, but also for their performance. For the entry-level shotgunner, Webley & Scott are back into that shotgun game with promising looking guns. These shotguns set the precedent for performance and aesthetics, in their price range. There is no easier way to obtain a high quality British shotgun.
Meanwhile, Ithaca Shotgun Company quietly unveiled a stunning new trap model that’s reverse-engineered from the original single-barrel 4E “Knickerbocker,” but with a high-tech topper. Ithaca also disclosed a surprise enhancement to its impending Phoenix 12 gauge that will clearly ratchet up the value and performance of perhaps the most highly anticipated over/under this year.
FABARM USA has an incredible new semi-auto that could be a game changer. The XLR5 Velocity is a shotgun that earned praise from the world press. The XLR5 Velocity uses the Pulse Piston operating system, which is widely known in Europe for being an outstanding platform. FABARM’s gun is very similar to the Caesar Guerini Impact over/under. The Impact now dominates the mid-range of the high-rib sporter market. The gun is highly adjustable, and it lets shooters fine tune the rib height, comb, trigger, length of pull, fore-and-aft balance and recoil absorption. These adjustments are present along with other native attributes of the marquee such as balance, beauty, and value.
Caesar Guerini also debuted the Evolution Sporting and the Summit Ascent. The evolution features the round-body action of the Guerini Ellipse, grafting the adjustable high rib like most sporting models. The new 14mm rib lets you regulate the point of impact from a 50/50 percent to 70/30 percent pattern on the 12-gauge gun. By comparison, the Impact lineup has a 17mm-tall rib that adjusts from 5 percent low to 90 percent high. The 12-gauge Summit Ascent is an entry-level high-rib sporting model. It has a Monte Carlo stock with adjustable comb and higher, ramped tapered rib that starts at 10mm and graduates down to 8mm at the muzzle. It looks like a good starter shotgun for people interested in seriously evaluating high-rib clays guns for five-stand, sporting clays and skeet, which are disciplines where high-rib guns still remain rare compared with trap.
Connecticut Shotgun showed off the Inverness this year. The Inverness will come in at a very reasonable introductory price of $2,995 dollars after discounts apply for the initial 500 orders. The Inverness, due to it’s excellent manufacturing and superior handling, will be hard to beat at the price point it is coming in at.
Franchi introduced the lightweight Affinity this year. Franchi intends for this inertia driven gun to be available in both 12 and 20 gauges. The Franchi Affinity benefits from a receiver of a lightweight, durable aluminum alloy that’s strengthened with steel inserts that ensure a solid steel-to-steel lock-up.
For the very much entry level beginner, the new 28-gauge over/under rounds out Stoeger’s line of Condor field and clays shotguns. Weighing 6 pounds, the gun should be easy to haul around the property or the range. It’s available in 24 and 26-inch barrel lengths. The 28-gauge Condor carries an MSRP of $449.