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A high-grade Beretta sidelock over-and-under. Stocked with exhibition-grade wood with intricate checkering, and exquisite engraving inlaid with gold. It is the epitome of today’s finest shotguns. Click here for John Taylor’s book Fine Shotguns.
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Several Holland & Holland over-and-unders that show the typical understated elegance of London Best shotguns.
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A collection of historic stocks, bullet-casting molds, and other tools displayed in Holland & Holland’s New York gun room.
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Three pump-action shotguns that were produced in higher grades. From top: The venerable Winchester Model 1897, the Winchester Model 12 and the bottom-ejecting Browning, the third variation of the pump made on an early John Browning design.
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The development of the double shotgun. From top: The muzzle-loading percussion double, an exposed hammer breechloader, a sidelock and a boxlock. The sidelock and boxlock placed the hammers inside the action.
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A group of great American-made shotguns. From top: A. H. Fox, an 1895 hammer Parker, Winchester Model 21, Ithaca NID made by Classic Doubles, and a Winchester Model 12 pump.
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Another view of four America-made classic doubles. From top: A. H. Fox, an 1895 hammer Parker, Winchester Model 21, Ithaca NID made by Classic Doubles.
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The A. H. Fox was made in grades A through F. The E grade, like Parker, indicated ejectors. The plain Sterlingworth was ungraded and in direct competition with Parker’s Trojan.
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An Ideal-grade L. C. Smith. In this case it’s a Long Range model made to compete with the A. H. Fox Super-Fox.
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An example of the ground-breaking Browning Automatic-5 that, in 1903, was the first semiautomatic shotgun released to the sporting public.
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The Remington 3200 that followed the lines of the discontinued Remington Model 32. A much heavier gun than the 32, the 3200 was made for about 10 years, until its production also ceased.
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An exquisitely engraved, inlaid and case-hardened shotgun from the British gun maker Charles Boswell.
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During the Golden Age of shotgun making, many variation existed such as this Greener Side Safety. Also note the crossbolt locking mechanism.
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A typical German-made shotgun with extensive engraving.
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A Beretta sidelock over-and-under with magnificent engraving and gold inlays that is stocked with the highest-grade wood; a glorious modern shotgun.
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A single-row checkering tool is used in tight corners such as on this forend.
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A example of small-gauge tubes–in this case 20 gauge–being inserted into old and potentially unsafe Damascus barrels to make this 1875-vintage hammer Parker a joy to shoot.
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Two contrasting finishes on these side-by-sides: the top steel is left in the white and the bottom is case-hardened.
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A transitional hammer to hammerless action. The external hammer performs no function in firing the gun other than showing the user the gun is cocked.

Author John Taylor, a frequent Outdoor Life contributor and one of the world’s top authorities on shotguns, has come out with a new book titled, appropriately, Fine Shotguns, published by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Here are some of the drool-worthy guns Taylor highlights.

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