10 Classic Shotguns You’ve Got to Own


Benelli Super Black Eagle

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Gas-operated shotguns, for a spell, seemed to put their recoil-driven counterparts on their heels, until the eagle landed. With its ingeniously simple inertia action and excellent handling, the Super Black Eagle became a staple of duck blinds and goose pits up and down flyways. Similar to Browning's Auto-5, the Eagle was as reliable as the march of time, giving waterfowlers — and other hunters — peace of mind they’d knock birds out of the sky, no matter how deep into the cattails they ventured. Add in its ability to really reach out, and, well, it became a classic nearly the moment it was introduced in 1991. The captivating aspect of the shotgun is its innovative action, designed by Bruno Civolani in 1967. He tried to unsuccessfully sell it to a number of gunmakers, until he happened upon Benelli — then better known as a motorcycle maker. And dedicated wing shooters have reaped the benefits ever since.

If there is one gun that might do it all, short of long-distance work, it's the shotgun. The jack-of-all-trades is an absolute bruiser in a fight, arming shooters with overwhelming firepower. Shotguns have literally taken nearly every game species know to man, from the very smallest to the absolute largest (we're talking elephants here people). And finally, certain specimens are among the most elegant and coveted guns ever forged from from blued steel and walnut. Honestly, if your gun safe is devoid of a shotgun it is truly not complete. Thankfully, the firearms world is brimming with excellent examples, many among the most affordable guns around. So what are you waiting for? Check out these 10 classic shotguns you've got to own and find that smoothbore that can do it all for you.

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