Shotguns

There are two challenges to finding a great shotgun -- fit and suitability.

The shotguns section of Shotgun Life is dedicated to helping you recognize the perfect shotgun (that you’ll want to keep for the rest of your life, and then hand down to your family for generations to come.)

For some people, finding a great shotgun is simply love at first sight. For others, a great shotgun grows on them -- and they find themselves down in the basement cleaning it for absolutely no other reason than just to be in its company.

But for every shotgun owner who falls in love with their pride-and-joy, there are teams of engineers and craftsmen toiling away behind the scenes to bring your gun to fruition.

As you’ll see, shotguns are generally designed for a particular sport. Some shotguns have composite stocks and fore-ends to withstand the travails of duck hunting. Then there are single-shot trap guns with high ribs that help you intercept rising targets. And skeet shooters find that their beavertail fore-end is particularly adept at bringing about a smooth, quick swing.

So let the search begin. Here is what you’ll find in our shotgun section…

  • Shotguns for Clays and Wingshooting
  • Shotgun Actions
  • Break Actions
  • Over/Under
  • Side-by-Side
  • Single-Barrel Shotgun
  • Semiautomatics
  • Pumps
  • Skeet Shotguns
  • Trap Shotguns
  • WaterFowl Shotguns
  • Upland Shotguns

The mule-drawn bird wagon trundled through Chokee Plantation in Leesburg, Georgia − a 5,800-acre homage to the vanishing wild-quail hunts that for generations put meat on the table and tendered sporting birds by the good graces of the land.

In America, you would be hard-pressed to find a more magnificent collection of fine shotguns than at the Safari Club International Convention, held this year during the first week of February at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. One of our perennial favorites there is Austrian, Peter Hofer. Mr. Hofer specializes in drilling shotguns that include rifle barrels in a brilliant display of artisanal workmanship befitting royalty. At the 2017 SCI convention, he unveiled his latest creation, “The Peter Hofer Special Double Shotgun with Hidden 17 Hornet Rifle Barrel.” We asked him to explain the intricacies of designing and building it.

− Irwin Greenstein, Publisher, Shotgun Life

There were at least two Browning Superposeds in Ernest Hemingway’s life. One of them was a very early model that may have come indirectly from Val Browning, the son of John Browning, the genius who designed the gun. However, neither its serial number nor its fate are yet known. However, the second B25 − as the Superposed is still known in Europe − is a standard–grade 12-gauge field gun, Serial No. 19532, with double triggers and 28-inch barrels (both choked Full) with a ventilated rib. It was made in Belgium and sold to Master Mart, a retailer in Fremont, Nebraska, on 26 October 1949 for $195.20. After that, we don’t know how, when or where Ernest Hemingway acquired the gun, whether new or second-hand, or what he accomplished with it, but we know where it is today and how it got there.

Suppose you were a connoisseur of fine shotguns. And suppose you possessed a vision of the best way to sell those beautiful firearms to fellow disciples of the shotgun sports. And finally, let’s suppose you were a successful retired banker with the time and resources to make your vision a reality.

Through its many incarnations the Weatherby over and under has continued to stand for a quality gun at a reasonable price.

Mention Weatherby, and most people associate the company with its line of magnum rifle cartridges and the associated rifles. The Weatherby name also stands for quality and that carries through to the company’s shotgun line as well.

Once you have handled a really well-balanced shotgun, you will never again be satisfied with less. One shooter, back in the 1990s, described it as being like the first time you taste a really great French wine. Your palate changes forever.

In November 2015 we visited the legendary OSP Shooting School in Fulshear, Texas to evaluate a pre-shipment model of the Mossberg 930 Pro-Series Sporting 12-gauge semi-auto under the guidance of clays instructors extraordinaire, Gil and Vicki Ash.

Vintage orange recoil pads that conjure an era we might call the “Golden Age of Shotguns” bestow today’s bird guns with a classic, abiding romance. Let yourself drift and that autumnal ginger color invites the fragrances of pipe tobacco, dewy tweed, musky dogs and wet feathers.

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Irwin Greenstein
Publisher
Shotgun Life

PO Box 6423
Thomasville, GA 31758
Phone: 229-236-1632

igreenstein@shotgunlife.com