Best New Shotguns for 2015

Best New Shotguns for 2015

It's the most anticipated event in the shooting and hunting industry. Spend a day at the NSSF's Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) show and it's easy to see why.

This year's SHOT Show, held in Las Vegas in January, covered 630,000 feet of floor space and had more than 1,600 exhibitors who showed off a vast array of hunting and shooting equipment. Many of those exhibitors unveiled new shotguns. Whether you are a dedicated upland hunter, a hardcore waterfowler or an all-season, all-game hunter, there was something at the 2015 SHOT Show for you.

Here's a look at 10 new shotguns from this year's show.

Benelli | 828U

Well-known for it's pump and inertia-driven semi-auto shotguns, Benelli jumped feet-first into the over-and-under market with the introduction of the 828U, the company's first-ever double-barrel shotgun. Thanks to new innovations that include a patented locking system, the gun is built with an aluminum receiver that brings the gun's weight down to just 6.5 pounds.

The 828U also comes with Benelli's Progressive Comfort System for reduced recoil, impulse-driven ejectors and a unique receiver design unlike other over/unders, among other features. It's available in a black anodized receiver or a nickel-plated receiver.

Price: $2,499

Beretta | A400 Left-Hand

Although lefties make up about 13 percent of the population, plenty of them are avid shooters and hunters. Now they have the option of owning a gun made by one of the most reputable and reliable names in shotgunning: Beretta. Surprisingly, the A400 is the 500-year-old company's first left-hand gun.

It has all the same high-quality features as Beretta's other gas-operated semi-auto shotguns, except the ejection port is on the left side of the receiver and the safety is made for lefties. It has a 12-gauge, 3-inch chamber and optional Kick-Off recoil reduction system, among other quality features.

Price: $1,500

Browning | Citori 725 .410 and 28-gauge

Over-and-under fans looking to add to their collection should take a close look at Browning's new additions to the popular Citori 725 series. Now available in .410 and 28-gauge, the smaller options are sure to be a hit with upland bird hunters and target shooters alike. In fact, both bores are available in sporting and field models.

Shooters have a choice between 28- or 30-inch barrels in the sporting model and 26- or 28-inch barrels in the field version. Both models have a low-profile receiver, Grade III/IV gloss walnut stocks, a full-width steel hinge pin and Browning's Inflex recoil pad.

Price: $2,599 (field); $3,199 (sporting)

Escort | M87 Pump

Although Escort isn't a big name in the shotgun industry, the company is slowly making inroads into the hunting and shooting world. The no-frills M87 is definitely a step in the right direction. Even better, you won't mind putting this gun through the rigors typical of a day in a duck marsh.

Built without any bells or whistles, the M87 is little more than a workhorse at an affordable price. Available in 12- and 20-gauge models, including a 20-gauge youth option, the M87 includes a raised vent rib, a chrome moly-lined barrel, a walnut stock and three choke tubes.

Price: $350

Pointer | Semi-Auto

The Pointer brand is owned by Legacy Sports, the same company that owns Escort Shotguns and other firearms brands. And like Escort's new M87 pump, Pointer's gas-operated semi-auto is a no-frills shotgun that is a great entry-level option for all-season hunters. Heck, it doesn't even come with a fancy name.

Available in a standard gloss wood stock, a synthetic black stock or a handsome gray laminated stock, it comes with a moly chrome-lined barrel, three choke tubes, a magazine cut-off for single-shell loading and a fiber-optic front sight. The semi-auto is available in 12-, 20- and 28-gauge models.

Price: $674-$796

Remington | V3

Leave it to Big Green to come up with an exciting and innovative shotgun for the 2015 SHOT Show. The gas-operated 12-gauge V3 isn't necessarily from-the-ground-up new. It is, however, filled with new design features that set it apart from Remington's recent auto-loader offerings.

The V3 uses a modified VersaPort gas system that in part changes the balance of the gun, giving shooters a better, smoother swing. Additionally, there is no recoil spring located in the butt stock. Instead, there are two springs located in the receiver. It weighs just 7.2 pounds and comes with interchangeable chokes.

Price: $895

Weatherby | Orion

The over/under crowd has long been dominated by a few well-known names. Weatherby, however, plans on becoming one of those names with the reintroduction of the Orion. A bit sleeker and lighter than discontinued models, the new Orion weighs 7 pounds and has a thinner receiver than the old Orion. It's also more affordable than the previous model.

Although only available in 12-gauge for now, there is talk of smaller gauges in the future. In the meantime, the 12-gauge Orion shoots up to 3-inch shells and comes with either a 26- or 28-inch barrel and an A-grade walnut stock.

Price: $1,099

Winchester | SXP 20-gauge

Billed as the world's fastest pump, Winchester's SXP is a popular gun for hunters who demand the workhorse reliability of a pump along with fast follow-up shots. Up until this year, however, it was only available in 12-gauge.

Winchester now offers the SXP in several 20-gauge variations, including a field model, a turkey version, which is wrapped with Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, and a compact version ideal for young or small-framed shooters. It comes with Invector-Plus choke tubes, a drop-out trigger assembly and Winchester's InFlex recoil pad, among other features.

Price: Starting at $430

Mossberg | L-Series 500

Although it's hard to say the addition of true left-handed shotguns by several gun makers to this year's SHOT Show line-up is part of a growing trend, one thing's for sure: Left-handed shooters now have more choices than ever. Mossberg enters the lefty market with the addition of the 500 and 590 in left-handed versions.

Affordable and reliable, both models are excellent choices for cost-conscious hunters and competitive shooters. Combined, there are 15 versions, ranging from tactical models to hunting models, including turkey, slug and waterfowl versions.

Price: $518 to $942

Syren | XRL5 Waterfowler

Do women need their own line of shotguns? Maryland-based gun-maker Syren thinks so. Their line-up includes a series of over/unders designed exclusively for women, along with a semi-auto made for women who waterfowl. The new XRL5 Waterfowler is a take on the company's semi-auto target XRL5 shotgun designed for lighter loads and chambered only for 2 ¾-inch shells.

The Waterfowl version shoots 2 ¾- and 3-inch shells, however, and is wrapped in Realtree Max5 camo. Both semi-auto versions have a thinner pistol grip and other features that make the gun ideal for female shooters. Available in 12-gauge and weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces, the XRL5 Waterfowler could help draw even more women into the duck marsh.

Price: $1,995

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