January 25, 2023
By Wildfowl Staff
Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 28-Gauge BE.S.T. Shotgun
Introduced last year, the 28-gauge addition to the Benelli SBE 3 lineup was a huge hit. And why not, since the sub-gauge offering weighs in at only 5.5 pounds, features an oversized bolt handle and release, and produces shorter shot strings that make it an ethical and efficient shotgun for a host of wingshooting opportunities. New for 2023, the SBE 3 28-gauge semi-auto is now available with Benelli's BE.S.T. multi-layered finish, an impregnable surface (NOT a coating) that we torture tested in Alaska on a sea duck hunt with the 12 gauge. It gives the 28-inch and 26-inch 'fowling pieces an impenetrable armor—even when exposed to hours of saltwater—and a 25-year warranty on parts treated in the finish. This is another can’t miss shotgun to carry to the duck blind from Benelli.
$2,100 | benelliusa.com
Browning A5 Wicked Wing Auric Shotgun
The old humpback just got even better in 2023. This year, Browning is bringing the Wicked Wing design into an all-new camouflage pattern (Auric) specifically made for waterfowlers. Aside from looks that kill, this striking 12-gauge semi-automatic features Kinematic Drive recoil operation, extended Invector-DS Goose Band choke tubes, and and ABS case. Add in the Burnt Bronze Cerakote finish on the receiver and barrel, a composite stock with textured gripping surfaces, shim and spacer adjustment options, an oversized bolt release, and a fully chrome-plated, corosion-resistant bore, among other things, and this show-stopping, crowd favorite should fly off the shelves this year in the new camo pattern.
$2,280 | browning.com
CZ-USA 712 G3 Shotgun
The recently upgraded smooth-shooting, gas-operated 712 G3 autoloader is a great choice for any shotgunning situation, whether targeting clays or waterfowl. The latest update features a barrel and receiver cloaked in a matte black finish to complement the black synthetic or walnut stock, sleeker ergonomics, oversized controls, a thicker recoil pad, and two removable pistons, one for light-medium loads and one for heavy-magnum loads. This crowd-favorite 3-inch 12-gauge comes complete with 26- or 28-inch chrome-lined barrels and five extra-long Active-Chokes. The 712 G3 is also available in a head-turning Mossy Oak Terra Elements camo finish.
$580-$680 | cz-usa.com
Stoeger M3000 Series Shotgun
Stoeger has set out to make a big splash this year among hunters with their performance-grade, economic, workhorse shotguns, with nine new and improved semi-automatic 3-inch 12-gauge models for 2023. Upgrades include a new recoil pad and removable cheek piece (except on satin walnut and satin walnut/Burnt Bronze models) to ensure maximum comfort and customization. Other improvements are enhanced ergonomics with a thinner grip and sleeker overall look, along with a beveled loading port and larger controls for increased functionality. The clean and reliable Inertia Driven System is still at the heart of the M3000 platform, and each model features a vented rib, red-front sight bar, and a three-pack of chokes. Grab one in black synthetic, satin walnut, or your choice between a few camo finishes.
$560-$670 | stoegerindustries.com
Benelli 828U Steel Shotgun
New for 2023, Benelli is bringing traditional styling and advanced engineering together in the 828U Steel. The innovative and patented steel lock plate prevents shotshell pressure from transferring to the receiver to eliminate excessive wear and tear, making the 828U the obvious choice for over/under hunters. This new model features a steel receiver, and while slightly heavier than aluminum, the extra weight translates to less felt recoil and a smoother swing for the shooter. The best part of the new Steel is Benelli’s BE.S.T. corrosion- and abrasion-resistant surface treatment, protecting your investment for the ages. The classic-looking, field-ready 12- and 20-gauge 828U Steel is sure to sweeten up your season.
$3,400 | benelliusa.com
Mossberg 940 Pro Field Walnut Shotgun
Prepared to take on any wing or clay shooting pursuit you can put it through, the 940 Pro Series from Mossberg is well-equipped to keep up with your demand. Mossberg’s cleaner-running upgraded gas system is specially engineered to handle an unbelievable 1,500 rounds between cleanings, and with corrosion-resistant internal components, you can keep shooting reliably all season long. Optimized for the hardcore hunter, performance-enhancing features include oversized controls, a redesigned elevator for pinch-free reloading, and a user-adjustable stock design to find your perfect fit. The brand-new, all-purpose 940 Pro Field is trimmed with a dapper, dark walnut forend and stock with Mossberg’s signature texturing and a 940 Pro logo emblazoned on the receiver.
$1,061 | mossberg.com
Browning Citori Composite Shotgun
New for 2023, the hunt is finally over for stackbarrel shooters that have been searching for a reliable, all-weather, versatile shotgun. The Citori Composite is a direct descendant of the legendary Browning Superposed with modern technology of the utmost rugged durability to meet the tenacity of today’s hardcore hunter. The new Citori’s construction includes rubber overmolds for superior grip and proper balance, and a tough, weather-resistant composite material that allows the shape of the stock to be adjusted to your own personal specifications. The Citori Composite has been “slimmed” for light weight as well, and will certainly be one of the most sought-after shotguns of the year.
$2,200 | browning.com
Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus 20-Gauge Shotgun
As the industry expansion toward smaller gauges continues, Beretta is bringing to the waterfowling market three new 20-gauge versions of the unstoppable A400 Xtreme Plus shotgun lineup. With a well-known reputation for producing premier shotguns for any winged pursuit, the A400 Xtreme Plus offers reliable shooting, accurate ballistics (thanks to its Steelium Plus barrel), a self-cleaning gas-operated action, enlarged controls, Kick-Off stock for recoil mitigation, and an ergonomic design for instinctive pointing. With a 3-inch chamber and 28-inch barrel offered in black synthetic, Realtree MAX-7, and Mossy Oak Bottomland camo patterns, these new 20-gauge scatterguns should be a big hit with Beretta fans looking for plenty of punch in a lighter package.
$1,930 | beretta.com
TriStar Arms Viper G2 PRO Shotgun
With no reason to mess with success, TriStar has taken their fan-favorite Viper G2 shotgun next level with the G2 PRO, with upgrades that include an oversized bolt release and bolt handle, enlarged triangular safety, and an enlarged magazine well for easier, pinchless loading. Additional improvements include overmolded rubber grips on camo models and a redesigned stock and forend just to name a few exciting enhancements. The Viper G2 PRO Line is available in all common gauges in the beautiful Bronze finish, along with .410, 28-, 20-, and 12-gauge in Silver, and camo options in 12- and 20-gauges.
$855-$1,050 | tristararms.com
Browning Maxus II Auric Shotgun
Like the A5, the reliable, gas-operating, autoloading Browning Maxus II is now available in Browning’s new Auric camo pattern. The Maxus II also features a composite stock with SoftFlex check pad and Inflex Recoil Pad, oversized controls and overmolded gripping surfaces, a fiber-optic front sight and ivory mid-bead, and shim-adjustability for gaining the correct length of pull, cast, and drop. While the new Auric pattern was unveiled at the 2023 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, the same bomb-proof shotgun designs that have been built down through the years thanks to John M. Browning’s rich gun making legacy continue this year with this new Grade A waterfowl hunting shotgun.
$2,050 | browning.com
Benelli Montefeltro Shotgun
New for 2023, Benelli is now including their newest Inertia Driven System bolt for outstanding performance and exceptional reliability in their Montefeltro shotgun. The redesigned bolt handle improves handling and is an eye-catching complement to the handsome walnut stock and deep gloss-blue finished barrel and receiver. The new two-piece shell latch makes reloading easier and faster so you can get back to dominating the skies. The sleek, classically styled Montefeltro is now available in eight different configurations (including compact models) of 3-inch 12- and 20-gauge with 24-, 26-, or 28-inch barrels, and a trio of Crio® chokes.
$1,130-$2,000 | benelliusa.com
Retay Gordion Compact 20-Gauge Shotgun
The brand-new Gordion Compact 20-Gauge from Retay was built to bring a premium shotgunning experience to smaller statured shooters. Not a youth gun, this new semi-auto is a full-sized 20-gauge frame with a shortened stock, bringing the length of pull down to 12.5” for a great fitting gun with each and every bit of the same performance as its bigger brethren. Like every other model in the Retay roster, the Compact is built upon Retay’s Inertia Plus drive system and deep-bore drilled barrels for more reliability, straighter shooting, and better patterning. Pick one up in standard black, Realtree, or Mossy Oak camo finish.
$900 | retayusa.com
Stevens 560 Field Shotgun
Budget-minded bird hunters are going to go nuts for the brand-new 560 Field 3-inch 12-gauge semi-auto from Stevens. This hard-working, lightweight, and sleek-looking gas-operated autoloader is primed to perform and outfitted with oversized controls, a black, lightweight aluminum alloy receiver, chrome-lined barrels, and a Turkish walnut stock and forend. The 560 Field has a raised ventilated rib and front fiberoptic sight for consistent and accurate shooting. It is available in both full-size and compact models with 26- or 28-inch barrels to find your perfect fit. Will it run? Savage ran thousands of rounds in testing AND at range day at SHOT Show with no problems. We were impressed.
$500 | savagearms.com
Mossberg SA-28 Field Synthetic Shotgun
New for 2023, Mossberg has introduced a synthetic model of their well-regarded SA-28 autoloader, a line targeted for sub-gauge shotgun enthusiasts. This light and nimble shotgun is well-known for its well-designed gas operating system that offers lower recoil and less fouling of the internals for smoother, longer-running operation. Built with a black synthetic stock and forend that is complemented by the blued metal finish, this new SA-28 features a 26-inch barrel, five-round magazine capacity, and a five-pack of Sport Set interchangeable chokes. Other standard features in this featherlight semi-auto are a cross-bolt safety, extended charging handle, and easy-load elevator.
$721 | mossberg.com