This year, there are plenty of shotguns to get excited about. Mossberg has a whole raft of turkey guns, including several optic-ready pumps, and RemArms expands its 870 FieldMaster line to include 20-gauges and synthetic stocks. And there are new inertia guns from Retay and Sauer, too.
But the big news for 2023 in shotguns is the 3-inch 28-gauge, which is what the 3-inch .410 wishes it was: a capable smallbore that’s easy to hit with and kills instead of crippling. The new magnum 28 makes a good vehicle for TSS, too, as it holds significantly larger payloads, and there are also some dedicated 28-gauge turkey guns this year. For those who want an all-around 3-inch 28, Beretta obliges with a new A400 semi-auto.
Mossberg 835 and 500 optic-ready turkey guns
Mossberg 500 turkey optic-ready shotgun. Mossberg
Mossberg is introducing three dedicated turkey-hunting pump guns with receivers cut for an RMR-style red dot, building on last year’s optic-ready 930 semi-autos. The cuts permit a very low mount so you don’t have to lift your head off the stock to see the dot. All three guns have synthetic furniture dipped in Mossy Oak Green Leaf camo and come with a cover for the cut should you choose to shoot the gun without an optic on board.
As a long-time 835 turkey gun fan, I’m most excited about this gun—an optic-ready 3 ½-inch 12 gauge with a 24-inch barrel. It features Mossberg’s Ulti-Full choke tube, a top safety, a fiber-optic bead, and a listed weight of 7.5 pounds. It has an MSRP of $693.
Mossberg 835 turkey optic-ready shotgun. Mossberg
The venerable Model 500 gets the optic-ready treatment in both the 20-gauge and the .410 bore. The 20-gauge has a 22-inch barrel and ported X-Factor tube, while the .410 has a 24-inch barrel and unported tube. The guns weigh 6.75 and 6.25 pounds respectively and list for $644.
Mossberg SA Pistol Grip Turkey Guns
The Mossberg SA 28 turkey shotgun in 28-gauge. Mossberg
Mossberg’s lightweight, gas-operated SA semi-auto comes in a pair of dedicated, pistol-gripped turkey guns this year. The stock features a contoured pistol grip for a comfortable hold in the woods and a shortened, 12.75-inch length of pull to make it easier to mount when you’re plunked down against a tree. It comes with a full-length Picatinny rail and a rib-mounted fiber-optic ghost ring sight. The guns have 22-inch barrels, extended X-Full turkey tubes, and full coats of Mossy Oak Green Leaf camo. At six pounds they carry easily through the woods. They come in 3-inch 20-gauge and 3-inch 28-gauge and list for $902.
Mossberg SA-20 Turkey Gun
The Mossberg SA 20 turkey. Mossberg
Mossberg rounds out its new turkey gun lineup for 2023 with a camo-furniture, matte-metal, 20-gauge gas semi-auto set up for the woods. The SA-20 has become popular with its owners as a lightweight, reliable gun, and this version is one you can trust to make the shot on a gobbler when the time comes. The synthetic stock and forend have a Mossy Oak Green Leaf finish and the gun has 22-inch barrel to keep it compact. Like the other new SA guns, it features a rib-mounted fiber-optic ghost ring sight and an extended choke. It also has a Picatinny rail if you prefer to add a scope or red dot. It weighs just 5 ¾ pounds, making it ideal for the run-and-gun hunter, and it lists for $816.
Beretta A400 Upland
Beretta A400 Upland 28-gauge. Beretta
Beretta joins the list of gunmakers offering a 3-inch 28-gauge with a magnum version of its A400 Upland. The proven A400 is a reliable, soft-shooting gas gun that is extremely popular among target shooters and high-volume dove hunters. This newest, scaled-down version should make a great all-around smallbore gun, with the ability to shoot light 28-gauge target and dove loads but also handle heavier payloads for pheasants, ducks, and even (with TSS) turkeys. Currently, it comes in a walnut version with a nickel-plated receiver with a new engraving pattern and walnut furniture with a choice of 28- or 30-inch barrels. The long-barreled version should make a great sporting/dove/waterfowl gun. A 26-inch model should be added to the line soon. Beretta barrels are justifiably famous, as the company has been making them since 1526, and the A400 boasts the Steelium barrel with a lengthened forcing cone. It lists for $1,829.
RemArms Synthetic FieldMaster
Rem Arms 870 FieldMaster Black Synthetic. Rem Arms
RemArms, the group that brought the classic 870 back to life, extends the FieldMaster line with a 3-inch, 12-gauge black synthetic-stocked pump. Like the walnut-stocked FieldMaster introduced last year, the gun will be fit and finished to a higher level than the old Expresses, with a matte metal finish that better resists corrosion. It has a black synthetic stock and forend, and, the stock comes with a flush, soft comb insert. Raised and extra-high inserts are available separately, for those who need less drop or want to turn a duck gun into a trap gun or scoped deer or turkey gun with a raised comb. The gun also features a soft recoil pad and sling swivel studs. In news that will excite a lot of 870 lovers, the FieldMaster will also be available in both walnut and synthetic 3-inch 20-gauges this year. All the guns will list for $610.
Retay Gordion Compact
Retay Gordion youth stock 20mm short. Retay
Retay semiautos continue to build a following as well-made, attractively priced inertia guns. New for this year they’ve come out with a shorter version of the Gordion for smaller shooters. The 20-gauge gun has a 12.5-inch length of pull and a choice of either 24- or 26-inch barrels. Full-size stocks are available so the gun can grow with a young shooter. The Gordion is Retay’s lower-priced semiauto, so it lacks a couple of the niceties of the top-of-the-line Masai Mara. It has a one-piece receiver in place of the two-piece design of the Masai Mara, and it lacks the pushbutton trigger-group release. You can easily live without those features while still appreciating the Inertia-Plus bolt that eliminates the out-of-battery misfire of some inertia guns. It’s a lightweight gun at 6 pounds and it has Retay’s soft Comfort recoil pad. The gun lists for around $900 and comes in black synthetic or in camo.
JP Sauer Waterfowl SL5 semi-auto
J.P. Sauer Sauer SL5 Waterfowl. J.P. Sauer
German gunmaker J.P. Sauer has a new line of its SL5 semiautos aimed specifically at waterfowlers. The 3 ½-inch, 12-gauge inertia guns are well-made, fitted, and finished, and have enlarged bolt handles and bolt release buttons that are popular features among those who hunt in cold, wet conditions. The guns also feature a rubber comb insert to reduce recoil. You can choose among an all “Fred Bear Old School Camo” version, essentially old school WWII camo, a gun with “Fred Bear” furniture and Cerakoted receiver and barrel, or an all-black model. They come in 26-, 28- and 30-inch barreled versions and each gun has five Benelli-style Crio chokes. The SL5, with its two-piece receiver, is very similar in looks and design to a Benelli Super Black Eagle. It’s a high-quality inertia gun and one you can trust to shoot reliably in the blind. The guns start at $1,579 for black synthetic $1,579.00; $1,679 for all camo and $1779 for camo and brown Cerakote.
Browning Citori 50th Anniversary
Browning Citori High-Grade 50th Anniversary. Browning
Browning has made well over a million Citori O/Us, beginning back in 1973. Originally made as an affordable substitute for the legendary Belgian Superposed, it has gone on to become a classic in its own right. Like all Citoris, this one is made in the Japanese Miroku factory where a great deal of hand-work goes into every gun. This Citori boasts highly-figured Grade IV Turkish walnut stock, 20 line-per-inch checkering, and a gloss oil finish with a right-hand palm swell. The silver nitride-finished frame is covered in a traditional acanthus engraving pattern.
The 50th-anniversary gun is a 12-gauge with a choice of 30- or 32-inch barrels and 3-inch chambers, making it suitable for the sporting clays course, the dove field, or, perhaps the duck blind or goose pit. It has Browning’s soft Inflex recoil pad and a trigger that adjusts for pull length and has three interchangeable shoes. The anniversary Citoris will be a limited run and they’ll sell for $8,399.
Browning Cynergy CX
The Browning Cynergy CX. Browning
The Browning Cynergy comes in a cross-over target/hunting “CX“ model this year in both 12- and 20-gauge. The Cynergy makes a perfect platform for the cross-over treatment, as it has a very low-profile and very durable action, making the gun a natural pointer that can withstand heavy use. The CX has a 60/40 point of impact, flat enough for bird hunting but high enough for skeet and sporting clays and even some trap use. The Cynergy employs a unique reverse striker system that offers a short lock time, clean trigger pull, and, as a mechanical system, it doesn’t rely on the recoil of the first shot to reset the trigger.
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The CX has an unadorned finish with a plain, nitride-silver frame and a Grade I satin finish stock with 18 line-per-inch checkering and a soft Inflex recoil pad. The CX guns have 3-inch chambers and come with a choice of 28-, 30-, and 32-inch barrels in 12 gauge and 28- or 30-inch barrels in the 20-gauge. The 20-gauge in particular seems like a perfect fit for the dove field, but any CX will serve dependably in the field and on the range for years. The CX will retail for $2,079.
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