The must-have shells and best shotguns to keep you blasting away in 2019.
What are the best shotguns and ammo this year:
- Winchester Ammunition Xpert Snow Goose
- CZ-USA CZ 1012
- CZ-USA Bobwhite G2
- Charles Daly AR-12S
- Charles Daly Honcho Tactical Triple
- Mossberg 590 Nightstick
- Benelli 828U Sport
- Browning TSS Tungsten Turkey
Ah the shotgun … as ubiquitous as cravenness in politics, but a whole load more useful, and enjoyable. Arguably the most versatile of all firearms, outside of going center mass on a nickel at 1,000 paces it will get most jobs done. Hunting, home defense, plain ol’ busting clays – it’s got you covered. And the scattergun continues to get better.
We’re not just talking guns here, though there are some real gems that shine through as of late. But also what you feed these ravenous beasts. Never before have shotgun shells been better designed and higher performing than today, with cutting-edge shot and materials milking the most out of your favorite smoothbore. Turkeys and intruders beware.
A new year well upon us, there’s already been some solid additions to the shotgun end of the market and plenty to add to your guns safe. So, without further ado, here are eight new shotguns and shotgun ammo options you need on your radar.
Xpert Snow Goose shotshells were designed with the hardcore snow geese hunter in mind and combines two of Winchester’s waterfowl technologies: Xpert steel shot and the Diamond Cut Wad. Xpert Snow Goose is available in 12 gauge 3-inch and 3.5-inch BB, and also with a duplex payload of No. 1 and No. 2 shot. These shotshells also use a gray hulls, so leery snow geese are less likely to spot the pile of hulls around your blind when the shooting is good. MSRP: $16.50 for 3-inch Xpert box of 25; $21 for 3½-inchers // www.winchester.com
Brand new for CZ-USA is an auto-loading shotgun that’s not gas operated. The new CZ 1012 makes use of a spring-bolt system, which stores the energy of the fired shell and uses it to rotate and unlock the twin lugs of the barrel extension and eject the spent casing. The functioning advantages are huge: The amount of fouling and powder residue is greatly decreased, and cleaning the gun is much less a concern. The CZ 1012 has a 28-inch barrel and five extended chokes tubes, weighs 6½ pounds and two of the models have a cool grey or bronze finish. MSRP: $659 // www.cz-usa.com
CZ-USA also brought back a popular double-barrel shotgun: the Bobwhite G2. This trim little gun has a straight English-style stock with double triggers and a new durable finish, 28-inch barrels and ships with five chokes. The Bobwhite has been improved with a CNC-machined receiver and a new internal spring system using coil instead of leaf springs, which last longer and retain their tension and elasticity better. The 28 gauge model is a petite little thing that’s very seductive and weighs 5½ pounds. MSRP: $655 // www.cz-usa.com
On The Mark With More Shotgun Info:
- 5 Best Slug Gun Options Ready For Deer Season
- Kent Elite Target: Less Recoil, More Fun
- Operation Shotgun Recoil Reduction
- 8 Classic Field Shotguns That Won’t Quit
- Browning Auto-Five Shotgun Started It All
Several new shotguns are to be released by Charles Daly for 2019, and one is the AR-12S shotgun, featuring a 19.75-inch barrel with a modified Beretta/Benelli Mobil Choke, chambered in 3-inch 12-gauge. It has an adjustable comb, a carry handle, adjustable rear sight and standard front sight, and it comes with a single-stack five-round magazine. MSRP: $517 // www.charlesdaly.com
Also new in the lineup is the Honcho Tactical Triple, featuring three 18.5-inch barrels with a bottom-barrel-mounted Pic rail. The gun is available in 12-gauge or .410 bore, both with 3-inch chambers. Fire sequence: right, left, top. Intimidation factor as a home defense weapon: off the charts. MSRP: $1,299 // www.charlesdaly.com
The Mossberg 590 Nightstick is the latest edition in the series built on the Model 590 action. The Nightstick features a 14-inch heavy-walled barrel, a 5+1 round capacity and a matte blue finish. The main event here is the wood furniture on this gun, which gives a retro look that has to be noticed. MSRP: $539 // www.mossberg.com
There is no doubt that Benelli makes some fine shotguns with its proven inertia system. So, for the company to bring out its first O/U shotgun is big news, even though it was officially new early in 2018. The Benelli 828U Sport features excellent ergonomics, and some of the goodies include an adjustable weighting system to adjust the balance of the shotgun, matte blue finish and AA-Grade satin walnut. The 828U is built around a steel receiver for additional weight, and the improved grip angle and comb height work in conjunction with the tall rib and sight channel to point fast and swing smooth. MSRP: $4,399 // https://www.benelliusa.com/
Browning is announcing its new TSS Tungsten Turkey loads with new duplex payloads of No. 7 and 9 shot, as well as No. 7 shot. The TSS shot used in these loads has a high density of 18gm/cc, which means greater pellet energy and longer range performance. The duplex payloads of No. 7 and 9 shot deliver three times more pellets on target and 30 percent deeper penetration in a 20-inch circle at 60 yards when compared to standard No. 5 lead loads. A .410 bore of No. 9 TSS shot offering is also available and boasts 70 percent more pellets in a 20-inch circle at 60 yards vs. standard 12 gauge No. 5 lead loads … and it provides similar penetration. MSRP: $44, 12 gauge 3-inch box of five; $39 for 20 gauge // www.browningammo.com
Editor's Notes: This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.