merkel 40E
For fit, finish, and overall quality, the Merkel 40E is an outstanding shotgun. Alex Robinson

Gun Test: Merkel 40E by OutdoorLife

This heirloom shotgun is a beautiful example of the gunmaker’s art. The classic elegance of this side-by-side made this one of the guns we were most eager to shoot. The design is based on traditional principals of stock dimensions, weight, balance, and function that were perfected in the early 20th century.

The lack of interchangeable choke tubes for a gun of this price bothered some of the judges, but the constriction on this 20-gauge, ¼ and ¾, will handle nearly any scenario. For fit, finish, and overall quality, this is an outstanding shotgun.

To see more shotgun reviews from this year’s Gun and Optics Test, click here. You can find rifles here, and riflescope reviews here.