August 1999

Benelli’s 3.5-inch Nova Gives The 870 a Run for Its Money

We’d pick the new Nova over the Remington’s king of shell shuckers, but both are great guns.

The need for a shotgun that can handle 3.5-inch magnum loads appears to be increasing, as more shooters determine they need the maximum load of steel shot they can manage for waterfowl shooting. Gun makers are being sure to chamber their shotgun offerings for the full-length shotshell with its 1 9/16-ounce of steel capability. The prime users of these long-chambered guns seem to be waterfowlers, who forego the 10-gauge guns because, presumably, they want to use their duck guns for other things that the 10 can’t do very well. These uses include upland hunting, casual trap, even Sporting Clays to sharpen the eye in the off season.

The manufacturer’s challenge is to make a gun that can, at l...

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