From January 18th through the 20th, the great firearms pilgrimage once again took place. After a year off, SHOT Show was once again the destination for tens of thousands of people. Less crowded than past shows, it still proved packed full of new and interesting products. While I did my best to take in the miles of booths, one of my favorite items to search for was new shotguns. After four days and 40 plus miles of walking, I have put together some of the most interesting guns for 2022.
Best New Shotguns 2022
Mossberg 940 Pro Snow Goose
First up is a great looking gun from my friends at Mossberg, the 940 Pro Snow Goose. This gun utilizes a competition-inspired gas system for unfailing functionality and comes chambered for 12-gauge shotshells. The 940 Pro Snow Goose also has the capability to operate with both 2 ¾ inch and 3-inch ammunition for up to 1,500 rounds continuously before required cleaning.
An advanced, improved version of the 930, it includes an enlarged loading port for quad-loading in addition to modifications to the elevator and shell catch. Hunters will appreciate these touches when loading with gloved hands during winter hunts. It also has enlarged controls and a cocked indicator housed within the trigger guard.
Browning Citori 725 Sporting Medallion High Grade
Next up is the Citori 725 Sporting Medallion High Grade. The Citori 725 is the evolution of John M. Browning’s legendary B25 Superposed, now with the modern performance advantage of a low-profile receiver. The new 725 receiver is significantly lower than other Citori 12-gauge receivers, yet the 725 shares the renowned durability of generations of Citori over and unders with the same rugged full-width hinge pin and tapered locking bolt design. The Citori 725 also showcases an all-new FireLite Mechanical Trigger that offers unmatched feel and lighter pull weights than ever before. Inflex Technology helps make shooting more comfortable. Experience the benefits these improvements can do for your shooting with a new Citori 725.
Winchester SX4 Universal Hunter
You simply can’t talk about shotguns without including something from Winchester. Now offered in Mossy Oak DNA camouflage, the Winchester SX4 Universal Hunter comes complete with a drilled-and-tapped receiver to mount optics and a TruGlo long bead fiber-optic front sight. The proven Active Valve Gas System allows for consistent and reliable cycling, from light field loads to heavy magnum waterfowl and turkey loads. The oversized bolt release and large bolt handle make operation easy, even while wearing thick gloves.
Winchester SX4 Left-Hand
Winchester also released a left-hand version of the SX4. These new left-handed versions of this popular shotgun match their right-handed counterparts in every way. They feature the same function, handling and ergonomics as the original SX4. This model has a non-glare, all-black exterior that helps prevent spooking game and makes it a dedicated hunting machine. The SX4 also includes critical functional controls that are large and easy to operate. They provide a real benefit in damp weather and cold conditions.
If you’re a lefty who has never had the experience of using a left-hand specific shotgun, you owe it to yourself to try an SX4. The ergonomics of the SX4 remain well thought out with a slim grip area designed for comfort and pointability. The same goes for the forearm. Both have gripping panels positioned to help prevent slipping and the texture feels good against your hands especially when you are not wearing gloves.
Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 28-Gauge
One of the most respected names in the scattergun business is Benelli. This year they showed off their new SBE 3 28-gauge. The new 28-gauge SBE 3 looks just like the others, only smaller, and it shares all the same features. It has the ComforTech stock to reduce recoil, the Easy Locking bolt to prevent out-of-battery misfires, and it shares the trim lines of the SBE 3, plus a beveled loading port and two-piece carrier latch to make it easier to shove skinny 28-gauge cartridges into the magazine tube. It will come in black and a variety of camo finishes. This will be a solid performer in the duck hunting world.
TriStar Bistol 16-Gauge
A reminder that shotguns can be as good looking as they are functional was demonstrated with the TriStar 16-gauge Bristol. The Bristol 16g is a side-by-side that delivers beauty, elegance, and performance. It features an English stock with a case-colored receiver. The gun is built on a true steel frame with precision laser engraved detail. The Bristol comes standard with select Turkish walnut, auto ejectors, 5 chokes Beretta Mobil (SK, IC, M, IM, F), brass bead front sight and a selective top tang safety. A side-by-side with competition grade craftsmanship at field grade pricing.
Browning A5 Wicked Wing Sweet Sixteen
My next stop was at Browning to see the new Wicked Wing edition A5 Sweet Sixteen autoloader. These shotguns are designed to be top performers in every way. From the smaller, 16-gauge humpback receiver that reduces weight and allows for quick handling to the short-recoil autoloading operation that is so reliable that Browning backs it with a 5 year/100,000 round guarantee. The Cerakote Burnt Bronze camo finish on the receiver and Burnt Bronze on the barrel are added to increase durability and add great looks that stand out everywhere except in the field. An oversize bolt release and bolt handle make it easier to use these controls under all conditions. The bolt and shell carrier have a nickel Teflon coating that adds protection and lubricity to these crucial parts. Even the chamber and bore are chromed for resistance to wear and corrosion.
My last stop was Franchi. Their guns have always caught my eye and are as much art as they are functional blasters. One that really stood out was the Franchi Instinct Sideplate Over/Under. This is a lavishly highly decorated model. It has two sideplates on the frame that allow extra room for case coloring, gold game birds, and engraving. The Instinct also features an AA-walnut stock with a satin finish to complement the deluxe sideplate appearance. It has the Prince of Wales grip and a Schnabel forend as other guns in the Instinct line, and it comes with five extended choke tubes and a hard case. Since their introduction, the Instinct series of O/U shotguns have delivered the great fit, form, and agile handling worthy of Franchi’s place among Europe’s best double barrel manufacturers, while at the same time, not asking a price that is super high.