SHOT­GUN SHOOTOUT 2017

We tested 14 new shot­guns to find the year’s top new mod­els for both the up­lands and the wa­ter­fowl blind

Field and Stream - - FIELD TEST - By Phil Bour­jaily

In July, F&S hunt­ing ed­i­tor Will Brant­ley came up from Ken­tucky to meet me and three hand­picked lo­cal shoot­ers at High­land Hide­away Hunt­ing near River­side, Iowa. We had 14 shot­guns, a pile of Fed­eral ammo, and all the five-stand and sport­ing clays tar­gets we wanted. Com­par­ing shot­guns isn’t straight ap­ples to ap­ples. The gun that stars in the grouse woods may stum­ble in a goose pit, so we broke the test guns into up­land and wa­ter­fowl cat­e­gories.

Test­ing shot­guns is as much sub­jec­tive as it is ob­jec­tive, and gun fit varies from one in­di­vid­ual to the next. So our four-man, one-woman test team was com­piled to re­flect a va­ri­ety of shapes and sizes. All told, we shot more than 2,000 shells—at least 150 through each gun—to de­ter­mine the top per­form­ers and the best val­ues in each cat­e­gory. Here are the re­sults.

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