Sneak Peek: Shotguns

Whether one's tastes run to the traditional or the Space Age, 2010 sees new models and model upgrades that will 
have a widespread appeal. New semi-auto operating actions, the re-vamping of some traditional repeaters, an interesting selection of tactical and home defense shotguns and some new models in the 
over/under and side-by-side product lines promise to make this a 
very interesting year for shotgunners.
Benelli The company's flagship introduction into the 2010 shotgun market is the new Vinci semi-auto 12-gauge. It can best be described as innovative in design, futuristic in appearance. The Vinci uses a synthetic stock (available in black, Advantage Max-4 or Realtree APD camo finishes) to reduce weight. Available with 26-inch or 28-inch barrels, empty weights are 6.8 and 6.9 pounds, respectively. The barrel features a stepped ventilated rib with a metal mid-rib bead and a red-bar front sight, and the receiver is drilled and tapped, for those who wish to add optical sights. Benelli states the gun, chambered for 3-inch 12-gauge shells, will function flawlessly with any load, from a 2 ¾-inch 3-dram 1-ounce target load to the stoutest 3-inch magnums. Magazine capacity is three rounds. Each gun is supplied with Benelli Crio choke tubes in C, IC, M, IM and F. Three additional task-specific extended Crio choke tubes are available as accessories: Turkey Choke (optimized for tight patterns with modern turkey loads), a Pass Choke (tuned for tight long-range patterns with modern non-toxic waterfowl loads) and the Decoy Choke (providing more open non-toxic patterns for closer-range decoying waterfowl). The innovative Vinci uses a new In-Line Inertia Driven operating system that combines with the ComforTech Plus recoil-reduction system to significantly reduce recoil. In addition, the Vinci incorporates a modular system design that allows the gun to be easily disassembled into three components (buttstock, forearm/trigger assembly and barrel/receiver group) for easy cleaning, storage and transportation. SRP: $1,379 to $1,479, depending upon stock finish. Those looking for a high-end turkey gun will want to check out the new 12-gauge Benelli Performance Shop SBE II Turkey Edition. Built on the Inertia Driven Super Black Eagle II, the Performance Shop adds enhancements designed by Rob Roberts of Gobbler Guns, well known for his shotgun-pattern development. The Turkey Edition Crio barrel features a lengthened and polished forcing cone. Barrels are also ported via electrical discharge instead of drilled holes, and are angled to re-direct gases for recoil reduction and decreased muzzle rise. Each gun is equipped with a ComforTech stock and also includes an accessory SteadyGrip buttstock. A Burris FastFire II red dot is mounted on each gun and sighted in at the factory; each gun includes a computer printout showing actual points of impact and the number of pellets in 
10-, 20- and 30-inch circles. Barrel length is 24 inches, with Realtree APG camo finish, and the empty weight is 7.1 pounds. SRP: $2,729. (800-264-4962; benelliusa.com)
Beretta USA New from Beretta is the revolutionary A400 Explor Unico 12-gauge semi-auto shotgun, which, according to Beretta, underwent three years of development and testing. Built on a new aluminum-alloy receiver, the A400 will be available with 26-, 28- and 30-inch barrels. The empty weight is 6.6 pounds with the 28-inch barrel. Chambered for 12-gauge 3.5-inch shells, it is capable of handling all 12-gauge loads, from 24-grain 2 ¾-inch target loads to 3.5-inch magnums. The operating system is the new Beretta Blink gas system, which powers a rotating bolt with reinforced locking lugs. The Optima-Bore HP barrels use the Optima-Choke system (three choke tubes supplied) and feature a 6x6 ventilated rib with a metal bead front sight. The action features a safety button, reversible for right- or left-hand use. The stock is composed of Beretta's X-Tra Grain material with an oil finish and offers adjustable spacers for changing drop. The recoil pad uses the new Micro-Core design. The A400 is supplied with a new dedicated case, stock drop spacers, quick-detachable sling swivels, three choke tubes and choke-tube wrench. (301-283-2191; beretta.com)
Browning For 2010 the Citori and Cynergy over/under shotguns receive a performance upgrade with the addition of Vector Pro lengthened forcing cones in every 12- and 20-gauge model. Vector Pro features a 2.5-inch forcing cone length that gives a more gradual taper to minimize shot deformation and maximizes pattern uniformity, consistency and density. Combined with Browning's back-boring to .742 bore diameter in 12-gauge, Vector Pro enhances shot performance by reducing friction and increasing velocity. The Browning Citori Lightning and White Lightning will get new high-relief receiver engravings for 2010 that give the models enhanced aesthetics. Both will be available in 12-, 20- and 28-gauge, as well as .410, with 26- or 28-inch barrel lengths. The Citori White Lightning will feature a receiver with a silver nitride finish; Citori Lightning will have a blued receiver finish. SRP: $1,869 to $1,939, Citori Lightning; $1,939 to $1,999, Citori White Lightning. Also new to the Cynergy line of over/under shotguns is an upgrade in the Cynergy Classic Field and Classic Sporting models to include a jeweled monobloc with high-relief engraving. Both will be offered in 12-, 20- and 28-gauge and .410 bore. SRP: $2,399 to $2,429, field models; $3,469 to $3,509, Classic Sporting models. Browning will add the new Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity pattern to models in the Silver semi-auto shotgun lineup for 2010 that will include the NWTF turkey model, deer models in 12- and 20-gauge and 12-gauge 3 ½-inch models. The new Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity pattern will also be added to the BPS pump shotgun line and Gold Lt 10-gauge semi-auto shotgun for 2010. (801-876-2711; browning.com)
Franchi New to the Franchi Renaissance line of over/under shotguns is the Franchi Renaissance Sporting 20-Gauge. Weighing in at 7.4 pounds, the Sporting 20-Gauge features 30-inch ported barrels with lengthened forcing cones and a wide, tapered, target ventilated rib with a green fiber-optic front sight. Each gun is shipped with extended knurled choke tubes in C, IC and M. The coin-finished receiver is highly engraved with traditional scrollwork and gold embellishments. The highly figured A-grade walnut stock features fine line-cut checkering, a right-hand palm swell and traditional oil finish. Further stock enhancements include an adjustable comb and the Franchi Twin Shock Absorber recoil reduction system. SRP: $2,349. (800-264-4962; franchiusa.com)
Mossberg New this year is the Lightning Pump Action, which offers a creep-free rifle-like trigger in a pump-shotgun action. Factory-set at 3 pounds, it is user-adjustable for pull weights up to 7 pounds. The new Lightning Pump Action will be featured in several configurations of the Mossberg 500, 535 and 835 Turkey, Slugster and combo models, including slug models with fluted barrels and cantilever scope mounts as well as Turkey models with tactical pistol-grip stocks. (203-230-5300; mossberg.com)
Weatherby This year sees new models added to Weatherby's semi-auto and pump shotgun lines. The SA-08 semi-auto line expands with the addition of the SA-08 Deluxe and Waterfowler models. Both models offer Weatherby's proven dual-valve system, which allows shooters to quickly adapt the gun to a wide variety of loads, ranging from ¾-ounce target loads to the heaviest 3-inch magnums. Other features common to both the Deluxe and Waterfowler include a lightly muzzle-weighted balance for improved swing and follow-through, a CNC-machined aircraft-grade aluminum alloy receiver, a drop-out trigger-module system that allows 
easy removal for cleaning, chrome-lined barrels with lengthened forcing cones, 
ventilated top rib and Weatherby's screw-in Multi-Choke system (compatible with the Briley thread pattern), with IC, M, and F tubes included with each gun. All Weatherby choke tubes feature an easy-to-use identification system that allows shooters to quickly select the choke they need. The SA-08 Deluxe features a hand-select walnut stock with precision-cut checkering. The stock and blued metalwork are finished in a high gloss. The Deluxe is available in 12- or 20-gauge with barrel lengths of 26 or 28 inches. SRP: $739. The Waterfowler model features an injection-molded synthetic stock that reduces average gun weight to 6.5 pounds. Stock and metalwork (with the exception of the matte black bolt and trigger guard) are finished in Mothwing Marsh Mimicry camo. The Waterfowler is available in 12-gauge (3-inch chamber) only. SRP: $699. The PA-08 pump-action shotgun line expands with two new models: a versatile field workhorse and a dedicated home defense model. The new PA-08 Synthetic pump incorporates the CNC-machined receiver, chrome-plated bolt, drop-out trigger system, chrome-lined barrels chambered for 3-inch shells, with lengthened forcing cones, ventilated rib with brass bead front sight and Weatherby Multi-Choke system (IC, M and F tubes included) that characterizes the standard PA-08 Upland pump shotgun. Setting it apart is the black synthetic stock and black matte finished metalwork. SRP: $399. While the PA-08 Synthetic is designed as a no-frills field workhorse, the new PA-459 is intended to serve the same purpose in the home. The model number comes from the California State Penal Code section designating a "burglary in progress." Built with the same action as the other PA-08 guns, it features a 12-gauge 19-inch chrome-lined barrel with an extended and ported Cylinder choke tube. Magazine capacity is four 3-inch 12-gauge shells or five 2 ¾-inch shells. The stock is a synthetic pistol-grip-style buttstock with a soft textured grip, low-density recoil pad and shorter (13.5-inch) length of pull to improve handling in close quarters. A Mil-Spec Picatinny rail is installed on the upper receiver to facilitate the mounting of optical sights and lights, and the standard sights supplied with the gun are a clamp-type LPA rear Ghost Ring (windage and elevation adjustable) and a front blade sight with a fiber-optic insert for fast target acquisition. An extended forend and slide release allows quick handling, and the forend has a Picatinny rail to allow the installation of lights and lasers. The gun is finished in black matte, with an empty weight of 6.5 pounds and an overall length of 40 inches. SRP: $469. (805-227-2600; weatherby.com)
Winchester Repeating Arms The All-Purpose Field
model in the SX3 12-gauge 3.5-inch semi-auto shotgun will be offered in the new Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camo pattern for 2010. Available in 26- or 28-inch barrels. SRP: $1,469. (801-876-3440; 
winchesterguns.com)
Winchester Repeating Arms The exciting news in shotguns from Winchester Repeating Arms for 2010 is the introduction of the Walnut Field SX3 20-gauge semi-auto model. The new 20-gauge SX3 includes all the features of the SX3 design
in a lighter, softer-shooting model for lighter-framed
shooters. Available in 26- or 28-inch barrels with gunmetal gray Perma-Cote UT finish. SRP: $1,199. Read SNEAK PEAK: HANDGUNS here!

In just a few weeks the entire outdoor world will convene in Las Vegas for the 2010 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show. But we just couldn't wait to show you some of the new products. Next up, shotguns.