First Look: The Best New Hunting Shotguns For 2020

Start smiling because some new players, and some great new models, are redefining hunting shotguns.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

Looking for a trophy spring gobbler? More aspen-stand grouse and riverbottom mallards? Start smiling because some new players, and some great new models, are redefining hunting shotguns.

RenegaugeOB 900RenegaugeBottom 900Savage Renegauge. The company well known for its affordable and accurate rifles has made a big splash in a new market with the semi-automatic Renegauge that’s available in Field, Waterfowl and Turkey models (shown above in Mossy Oak Obsession and Bottomland camo). Not since a brief run of Browning Auto-5 spin-offs decades ago has Savage put its name on autoloaders, but the impressive new Renegauge has already proved well worth the wait. Savage has put forth a self-regulating, dual-valve gas system that cycles the lightest to heaviest loads without missing a beat. Though the Renegauge will not chamber 3.5-inch magnums, new shotshell technology brings magnum performance to shorter, lighter-recoiling loads. Speaking of recoil, the Renegauge’s design makes it feel like one of the softest-shooting autos on the market. With an upgrade to the company’s AccuFit stock system, the Renegauge’s LOP and comb height can be tailored with the included inserts. MSRP on the American-made Renegauge runs from $1,449-$1,549 for the separate Field, Waterfowl, and Turkey models with a variety of finishes, including multiple Mossy Oak camo patterns and Melonite-coated, fluted barrels.TristarTrinity 900TristarTrinityLT 900TriStar Trinity & Trinity LT. TriStar’s line of affordable Turkish-made shotguns expands with an entirely new series for 2020. Though many affordable over-under offerings are driven more by budget than by looks and features, the Trinity line of over-unders proves that both attributes can exist in the same platform. The steel receiver of the Trinity (shown above at top) is built for heavy-duty use and may be the best-looking of the bunch, with a deeply laser-engraved receiver inlaid with 24-karat gold detail. The LT (shown above), meanwhile, puts that engraving on an aluminum alloy receiver that, according to a company press release, makes it “one of the lightest O/U’s in the world” at 5.3 to 6.3 pounds, depending on gauge. Whether chasing upland birds, small game, or busting clays, the Trinity should get the job done and look good doing it. This model offers chamberings aplenty, with .410, 28, 20, and 12 available in the Trinity LT, and the same (plus a 16-gauge option) in the steel Trinity. Each gun ships with five Beretta Mobil choke tubes, with retail prices ranging from $685 to $700.Henry X Model 900Henry Lever Action X Model 410. Few hunters would have thought to wish for a lever-driven scattergun, but here we are, with a practical new model that should please both the small-game hunting and self-defense markets. The X Model 410 expands Henry’s wildly successful line of Side Gate firearms that can be charged via the side-loading gate, in addition to the company’s traditional tubular magazine port. These synthetic-stocked long guns target practicality over bling, with matte black metalwork, fiber optic sights, integral sling studs, a picatinny lower rail, and M-LOK gear attachment points. The 20-inch smoothbore barrel is wieldy and threaded for Invector choke tubes. Though the 2 1/2-inch chamber will not accept the majority of specialty 3-inch .410 turkey loads, the gun should nonetheless put out dandy patterns at close to mid ranges, and do so with all the nostalgia of lever actions with the modern X flair. MSRP on the X Models, including not only the .410 bore, but the rifle chamberings as well, is $970. These guns are shipping immediately.RemV3 Waterfowl Max5 900RemV3WaterfowlTimber 900Remington V3 Waterfowl Pro. Soft-shooting semi-autos are a treat for hunters, and Remington’s V3 Waterfowl Pro is no exception, with its VersaPort gas system. Much to its credit, like the Savage Renegauge, the Remington V3 is made in the USA. Though the V3 Waterfowl Pro is obviously targeting dedicated duck and goose hunters, the chamber on these autoloaders—like the Savage—is limited to 3-inch shells, another indicator of the shifting ammunition technology. The V3 Waterfowl Pro is a looker with its Burnt Bronze or Patriot Brown Cerakoted barrel and receiver, mated with either Realtree Max-5, Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades, or Realtree Timber camo stocks. Oversized controls are ideal for gloved hunters in adverse conditions. A fiber optic front sight and steel mid bead adorn the 28-inch barrel. MSRP is set at $1,195; included is a set of three chokes and a sling.Retay Masai Mara 900Retay Masai Mara 20 Gauge. Companies flying under the radar can sometimes offer hidden gems, and if you haven’t heard of Retay Arms, you’re in for a treat. The Turkish company’s line of Masai Mara inertia-driven semi-automatic shotguns has been expanded for 2020 as the company amplifies its presence in the States. Retay’s “Inertia Plus System” uses a patented floating bolt system to prevent misfires from improper lockup that have plagued other inertia guns, most notably at inopportune times in the duck blind. The Masai Mara’s 20-gauge introductions will be welcome for hunters, with models in both synthetic and high-grade walnut, some specific for waterfowlers and others targeting turkey chasers. In a thoughtful move, the 20s are not simply built on the 12-gauge frame, but rather, fully downsized for svelte, lightweight performance, especially important when toting the gun afield all day. If heavy hitting is more important, Masai Mara 12-gauge models are available to cycle everything from 2 3/4-inch to 3 1/2-inch magnums. Features like a quick removable trigger group set the Retay design apart from competitors. The majority will begin shipping by late February 2020, with specialized and youth models slated for later in the year. Retail prices range from $1,099-$1,299Benelli828 900Benelli 828U 20-Gauge. While Benelli’s big news at the 2020 SHOT Show back in January was both a new rifle and the weather-impervious B.E.S.T. finish now offered on its SBE3 autoloaders, it’s the sleek Benelli 828U now chambered in 20-gauge that’s really turning the heads of discerning shotgunners. Not only is the double a looker, but the sleek, trim lines of the scaled-down frame mean the O/U is lightweight, balances well, and should serve hunters well in the upland fields. Benelli’s patented steel locking system reinforces the aluminum receiver. Further, the company’s Progressive Comfort system helps reduce recoil. Though a full line of 12-gauge guns is already on the market, the new 20-gauge is available with either 26- or 28-inch barrels, topped with a carbon fiber rib and dressed in sweet AA Grade Satin Walnut. The new 828U ships with five chokes. Beauty doesn’t come cheap, though, with an MSRP set at $3,199.CZ BobwhiteAllTerrain 900CZ RedheadPremierAllTerrain 900CZ 1012AllTerrain 900CZ All-Terrain Series Shotguns. CZ has gone all-in on pleasing hunters with a new series added to its existing shotgun models. The company’s All-Terrain line includes O/Us, side-by-sides, and even the recently-launched 1012 semi-autos. With a mix of modern-meets-practical OD Green Cerakoted metalwork, paired with fine walnut stocks, All-Terrain shotguns are built for performance but look good doing it. The most-intriguing feature is one not outwardly visible—the addition of a set of rare earth magnets to the extractor/ejectors of the All-Terrain doubles. This feature, per a company release, is designed for practicality, “making loading easy in a pit blind or boat, and never will a dog-handler accidentally dump shells out of their gun while bending over to work with their dog.” Hunters will also appreciate sling swivels, extended chokes, and other features regardless of the platform. The All-Terrain series has been added to CZ’s existing Bobwhite G2, Upland Ultralight, Redhead Premier, and Drake, as well as the company’s new and fast-cycling inertia-driven 1012 autoloader. Because of the wide range of models, prices run the gamut from $690 to $1,123.MossbergNew 900 Mossberg SA 410. Though the ultra-fast-cycling, high-capacity 940 JM Pro autoloader steals most of the show at Mossberg these days, it is another line of baby-bore semi-auto scatterguns that will likely appeal most to hunters. While last year saw the launch of gobbler-specific 500 pump models, this time it’s a pair of SA 410 semi-autos. Both the SA410 Turkey and Field shotguns sport 26-inch vent rib barrels, three-inch chambers, and hold 4+1 rounds of hunting ammo. The Turkey model (shown above) is dressed for the job in Mossy Oak Bottomland camouflage, with a picatinny rail, fiber optic ghost ring iron sights, and an extended XX-Full choke. The Field model, meanwhile, is more unassuming for birders and small game hunters with black synthetic furniture, flush-mount Sport Set chokes, and a front bead. The SA 410 Turkey retails for $735, with the Field set at $616. These lightweight baby bores should be available in time for Spring 2020 seasons. stevens 301 900Stevens 301 Turkey XP. Sometimes good things really do come cheap, and the upgraded Stevens Model 301 single-shot turkey guns are proof of that. The break-action 301 debuted last year in .410 bore and found outstanding success and tight patterns on turkeys, using Federal Premium TSS and other specialty ammunition. The new XP models are available in either .410 or 20 gauge, both with a 26-inch barrel and weighing an incredibly wieldy five pounds. Instead of simply topped with a picatinny rail, the new XP sells as a boresighted combo with a 1×30 red dot optic that comes ready to tear up those turkey targets on the patterning board. The XP single shots come with an extended extra full choke and are available in either Mossy Oak Bottomland or Obsession camo (shown). Retail price, regardless of chambering, is a reasonable $239 and makes an ideal entry into the smaller-gauge turkey hunting market.TriStarHunterMagBronzeBlades 900TriStar Hunter Mag Camo. Drawing on the success of CZ’s Swamp Magnum double shotgun, TriStar’s updated Hunter Mag Camo model mates the stoutly-built over-under action with a magnum-sized 12-gauge, 3.5-inch chamber capable of pounding out the heaviest hunting loads with the reliability and simplicity of a double. Armed with the simplicity of this break-action Hunter Mag, hunters will no longer wonder whether their old semi-auto will cycle under harsh conditions. Injection-molded synthetic stocks/forearms are covered in your choice of Mossy Oak Bottomland, Duck Blind, Blades, or Bottomland camo. In addition to earlier options in full camo coverage or black synthetic with blued steel, new models feature Midnight Bronze steel with Mossy Oak Bottomland camo stock/forearm, and Bronze steel with Mossy Oak Blades camo stock/forearm (shown), two classy and practical options. Each gun ships with five Beretta Mobil chokes in a hard case with an MSRP of $760; barrel-length options of 26, 28, or 30 inches, are ready with two magnum shots to rain waterfowl from the sky.



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