February 1999

Shotgun Bargains and Flops: Guns To Search Out—And Avoid

Escalating shotgun prices are taking ever-bigger bites out of our wallets. This made us wonder which “previously owned” scatterguns would save money, but deliver a lifetime of use.

The best shotgun shooters usually have a collection of special-purpose guns; that is, expert competitors and hunters have their favorites among pumps, over/unders and automatics, and they match the gun to the course or field conditions. By sticking to a small set of guns as their first choices, they grow very familiar with them and get pretty good at killing things or breaking targets.

But to gather such a varied and strong-performing collection requires that you start out with pretty good guns. Otherwise, they will fail, be balky, not fit right, get dirty, or simply be more trouble than they are worth. Picking these must-have shotguns is like picking the right spouse: Do it right, and yo...

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