If you are a shotgunner, the name Stevens is most likely dear to you.
The gunmaker has earned a special place in many sports shooters’ hearts, because, in many cases, a Stevens was the first smoothbore they owned. Countless youths cut their teeth on hunting and clay shooting with the old Model 94 single barrel.
There are good reasons why Stevens was a perennial choice of parents aiming to pass shooting to the next generation. The Massachusetts manufacturer’s products were affordable and, more importantly, safe.
Stevens latest addition to its catalog looks to continue that tradition.
Of course the Stevens Model 555 – released earlier this year – is a bit more elaborate and expensive than some of its classic models. But the over-under shotgun appears to offer shooters of every age a fairly solid entry-level option.
With an MSRP of $692 for both the 20- and 12-gauge models, there are few shotguns in the world of double-barrels that can compete with the 555’s affordability. Especially with what Stevens has included in the package.
Possibly one of the top features of the shotgun is one of its most clandestine – its trigger operation. The 555 is outfitted with a mechanical trigger, meaning that the trigger being pulled on the first barrel sets it for the second.
This seems to be a particularly advantageous addition, especially for those taking their first foray into double-barreled shotguns. Had Stevens opted for an inertia trigger, which sets the second barrel off the recoil of the first shot, a lot of clays would go unbroken and a lot birds would go off into the wide-blue yonder. All it would take is one misfire.
A more outwardly asset of the 555 is the gun’s stock and forearm. Stevens has stocked the gun in Turkish walnut, giving it a timeless look. The Schnabel forearm – the lip at the front of the forearm – is a nice addition as well, giving a solid tactile reference for hand placement.
The Schnabel forearm also plays into an aspect of the 555 Stevens has touted in its press – the shotgun’s weight. The shaving of the forearm along with an aluminum receiver, scaled to gauge, makes the gun light – the 20-guage tips the scales at 5.5 pounds, the 12 at 6.
The over-under can shoot 2 ¾” and 3” shells, giving it the ability to handle nearly any task demanded of a sporting shotgun. It has chrome-lined barrels, extending their lifetime. And it features a tang-mounted safety, which allows it to get into the action quickly.
The gun is outfitted with shell extractors, a single-select trigger and comes with five interchangeable choke tubes.
The 12-gauge has a 28” barrel, 14 3/8” length of pull, 44 7/8” overall length and a 2 1/8-inch drop at the comb. The 20-gauge features a 26” barrel, 14 3/8” length of pull, 42 7/8” overall length and 2 ¼” drop at the comb.
There were no reports or reviews of how the Stevens 555 shoots, so it’s difficult to say if the shotgun truly cuts muster. But, if the company has tuned the gun to hit what it’s pointed at, then the brand might still be living up to reputation of providing great value.