Author: Vic Fayard, Contributor for GunBroker.com
Some of the most cherished and trusted names in the shotgun industry introduced new and important updates to their much-loved classics as well as some new models in store for those ready to take the field in 2023. GunBroker.com is happy to share these with you.
Beretta-owned Benelli USA seems to have signed a big agreement with Realtree. Benelli is adding Realtree’s all-new Max-7 camo pattern on just about everything they make that can be used by hunters heading to the fields, swamps, and marshes. This includes Super Nova pumps in 26-and 28-inch barrel lengths, Super Black Eagle 3 models in 12-, 20, and 28-gauge chamberings, and an SBE3 12 in a 3.5-inch super mag.
Why the big deal? According to Realtree, the new pattern “features photorealistic imagery of common elements found in open waterfowl habitats such as reeds, mud, cattails, milo, and corn. Benelli Realtree MAX-7 combines these elements in the foreground of the pattern with a highly detailed layer of cracked mud and moss in the background to unite the pattern and enhance its concealment capabilities with shadows and highlights.”
Building upon the legacy of the Benelli’s 828 doubles, the new Benelli 828U Steel, as the name would imply, is made with a steel receiver versus the standard aluminum. While it adds a couple of ounces of weight to the gun, Benelli said it helps mitigate recoil when using heavier loads and offers a subtle balance shift for smoother swings—even on fast crossing shots.
The 828U Steel comes chambered for 2 3/4- and 3-inch shotshells in both 12- and 20-gauge. Barrel lengths offered are 26-, 28-, and 30-inch. Crio-treated chokes in C, IC, M, IM, and F are included. However, with top-shelf features like AA-Grade walnut furniture, its Progressive Comfort System stock buffers, and the company’s proprietary Benelli Surface Treatment– a high-tech hybrid PVD/PECVD coating– to all metal surfaces.
Without a doubt, the top-of-the-line of Beretta’s 680-series over-under shotguns is the 687 EELL Classic. This year sees the Beretta 687 EELL Diamond Pigeon with restyled game scenes or scrollwork engravings that can just serve as great wallpaper for your mobile device if nothing else. For the record, the shotgun is offered in 28- and 30-inch barrel formats in 28, 20, and 12-gauge. Beretta offers a matching pair with sequential serials through their Gallery program, but that is more of a price-on-request type of thing.
A really big deal when it comes to combat-style shotguns, the new A300 Ultima Patrol Shotgun series seems to be Beretta‘s well-liked Tier 1 Model 1301 Tactical autoloaders. The new guns run a 7+1 round extended magazine tube, an oversized and reversible safety button, as well as an enlarged loading port, and an extended bolt release and bolt handle.
Plus, you have Pic rails for accessories, three M-LOK slots, the ability to use 1301 series optic mounts, and a mag clamp with integral M-LOKs slots and a QD sling socket. Besides the standard matte black finish, Beretta is also offering the A300 Ultima Patrol in a flat grey and a limited edition Tiger Stripe.
The newest A400 Upland autoloader adds a 28 gauge 3-inch magnum chambering to the family tree. Using a reshaped stylized nickel-plated receiver and wearing walnut furniture, it comes with a newly redesigned extended bolt handle and release. The standard barrel length is 28 inches, and it ships with three interchangeable OPHC flush-mounted chokes. Like the rest of Beretta’s autoloaders, the A400 Upland 28 Gauge uses the company’s recoil-mitigating “Kick-Off Plus” stock system.
Another new A400 for 2023 is the Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus which adds a 20-gauge 3-inch chambering to the line that the company bills as well suited for hunting fast gamebirds. Beretta went deep into the colorways on this one as it is available in black synthetic as well as Realtree Max-7 camo, Mossy Oak Bottomland camo, Optifade Timer camo, and True Timber Prairie camo. All run 28-inch vent ribbed Optima Bore HP Steelium Plus barrels with corresponding OBHP chokes.
Beretta’s new fast-handling Ultraleggero, or Ultralite is finally here! The 3-inch magnum chambered 12 gauge over-under double gun has a steel receiver and full-length Steelium barrels but still just hits the scales in the low 6-pound range due to a “skeletonized” construction technique.
KelTec introduced their KSG bullpup 12-gauge pump-action shotgun back in 2011 and has gone on to make a dizzying array of variants since then. New for 2023 is the company’s first KSG in a different caliber, and instead of going for the logical 20 gauge route, they elected to slim it all the way down to run .410 shells.
The new KSG 410 is very thin, at just 1.7 inches wide, making it feel about half as bulky as its full-sized 12 gauge counterparts. Just 26.1 inches long due to its bullpup layout, weight is only 5.4 pounds. Using twin 5-shot magazine tubes and allowing for one in the chamber, the KSG 410 can carry 11 3-inch shells. The recoil is about as mild as it gets.
Look for it on GunBroker.com around Christmas 2023 Season.
Savage’s Turkish-made Stevens branded import line features a new series of autoloading 12 gauges for 2023, the 560 Field. Available in what Savage calls a full-size and compact model, with the difference being an inch of stock length of pull, the Stevens 560s carry walnut furniture and a lightweight aluminum receiver. They are available in both 26 and 28-inch barrel lengths with some decent features, such as a well-done raised ventilated rib ending in a front fiberoptic sight and oversized surface controls.
Stevens 560 Field Shotgun is coming soon to GunBroker.com!
Spandau is a new shotgun maker on the market this year, one of Tennessee-based SDS Imports companies that have Tisas, Tokarev, Military Armament Corp, and others. As SDS brings in most of their stuff from Europe and Turkey, we are not sure if the Spandau series guns are from Italy or Istanbul but, as they wear Turkish walnut stocks and foreends, the latter is most likely.
Their introductory model is the Premier Target, a 12 gauge 3-inch chambered over-under offered with either twin 30- or 28-inch barrels. The furniture is well-appointed and includes an adjustable cheek riser in the stock.
Spandau Arms Premier Shotgun is coming soon to GunBroker.com.
Another company under the SDS Imports umbrella, despite the Tokarev name these pump action 12 gauge shotguns are made in southwestern Turkey. The Tokarev TX3 shotguns have a retro feel to them but are rock solid on the range and have Remington 870-style controls, a rear ghost ring sight, and a top Pic rail for optics. We’ve seen them with wood furniture, and recently they had Magpul’s 500/590 SGA stock and foregrip outfitting some floor models.
New for the Beretta-owned Turkish gunmaker for 2023 are improvements and updates to nine new-and-improved semi-automatic M3000 series Inertia Driven System autoloading 12-gauges. The refresh includes new style recoil pads and removable cheek pieces on all models except the satin walnut and satin walnut/Burnt Bronze.
The lines’ overall ergonomics have changed with the grip thinned to look less boxy and more streamlined while a slimmer magazine cap with improved grip has been added. The bolt handle has been enlarged, and the beveled loading port has been redesigned. Plus, a Realtree Max-7 camo colorway has been added. The companion lightweight 20 gauge little brothers, the Model 3020 line, received the same updates.
Like the series of changes introduced to the M3000 autoloader series guns this year, Stoeger has revamped the no-frills M3500 line of 12 gauge guns as well– essentially upgrading them to having at least some frills. An oversized bolt handle boosts functionality for those wearing heavy gloves in the field. The safety is bigger, the forend is redesigned, and the magazine cap is easier to grip and remove. A redesigned beveled loading port makes reloading quick and efficient, and a new style recoil pad helps keep users from bruising up on heavy magnum field loads.
All the M3500s are capable of cycling 2 3/4-, 3-, and 3 1/2-in. shells. The new lineup includes an M3500 Waterfowl Special in Realtree Max-7 camo/FDE Cerakote, an M3500 Snow Goose in Distressed White Cerakote, a satin walnut model, a Realtree Max-7 field model, and a plain black synthetic, all with 26- and 28-inch barrel options. There is also a more budget-minded P3500 Realtree Max-7 pump with the same new features.
Stoeger had previously marketed an M3K Freedom series defense shotgun and for 2023 has gone competition-oriented. The new model is a 24-inch barrel 12-gauge that cycles both 2 3/4 and 3-inch shells and uses the same dependable Inertia Driven System as seen on the company’s 3000/3500 series hunting shotguns. Lightweight and maneuverable– probably the two most important things in a 3-Gun shotgun besides reliability– the Stoeger M3K 3-Gun only weighs 6.9 pounds and feels handy, with the red-bar front sight coming up quickly to the eye. Using Benelli chokes, it ships with C, IC, and M chokes.
Hand-in-hand with the general overall updates to the rest of their shotgun lines this year, Stoeger has also stepped up their Defense shotguns. These guns look and feel a lot like Beretta 1301s– and for a good reason, as Beretta owns Stoeger. The new Stoeger M3000 Defense Freedom Series now includes a redesigned ghost ring sight system, a receiver-mounted Weaver scope base, and an impressive 7+1 capacity for 2 3/4- and 6+1 for 3-inch 12-gauge shotshells. Grip areas have been thinned and refined, while an oversized bolt handle and a large safety button have been added.
There has been some enhancement to the interesting Stoeger Double Defense line of side-by-side and over/under double-barreled 12 and 20-gauge shotgun series as well. We are seeing lots of Picatinny accessory rails on these handy and efficient short-profile shotguns plus the SXS model is running top ported barrels to help mitigate recoil. Added to this are fiber-optic front sights. The Stoeger Double Defense 12 only weighs 7 pounds and runs 36.5 inches with 20-inch barrels.
Missouri-based TriStar Arms has updated the already well-loved Viper G2 line of shotguns for 2023. The new guns feature oversized operational hardware, over-molded rubber grips on stock and forend, an enlarged triangular safety, and an enlarged magazine well for easier loading. The TriStar Viper G2 PRO Line is available in just a ton of options, including .410, 28, 20, 16, and 12 gauge in a bronze finish. .410, 28, 20, and 12 gauge in a Silver finish, and FDE/MO Terra Bayou camo options in 12 and 20 gauge. There is also a Viper Snow camo model in 12 gauge.
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