3 Best Light Smoothbore Shotguns for Grouse

1. Franchi AL 48
Introduced in 1948, Franchi's AL 48 is the latest of the Browning-designed long-recoil guns, and is ideal for the grouse hunter who prefers a semi-automatic. The 28-gauge version tips the scales at a light 5.4 pounds, and its slim profile fits nicely in hand. It's an all-day gun, and the 28-gauge is perfect for close-flushing grouse. With its interchangeable choke tubes, you can adapt the AL 48 to any cover, and the mild recoil makes it a perfect youth gun. (From $899; franchiusa.com)

2. Browning Citori 625 Feather
The Browning Citori has been around since 1976, and new models of the basic over/under continue to emerge. The 20-gauge 625 Feather weighs 5 pounds 8 ounces and the 28-gauge weighs in at 5 pounds 11 ounces. The receiver is made of a high-strength aluminum alloy with a steel billet dovetailed into the breech face. The 20 has Invector-Plus choke tubes, and the 28 standard Invector tubes. (From $2,800; browning.com)

3. Connecticut Shotgun Inverness
When Anthony Galazan, who is noted for his top-of-the-line bespoke doubles, announced the RBL Round Body Launch Edition, a high-quality yet affordable American-made side-by-side, he created a huge stir in the shotgunning community. Likewise, his new Inverness over/under 20-gauge (above) is turning heads. Both are light, fast-­handling guns ideal for alder thickets. (Inverness $4,995; RBL, from $4,749; ­connecticutshotguns.com)