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Shooting industry's 1992 shotgun survey.

Although access to hunting areas may be restricted in may parts of the country, sportsmen continue to be interested in specialized shotguns. These "niche guns" range in function from sporting clays, skeet, and trap guns to camouflaged, weatherproof magnums for waterfowl and turkey hunting. Moreover, shooters who started with entry-level guns some years ago are now interested in upgrading to better models.

From budget-priced beginner's single-shot guns to deluxe side-by-sides, the shotgun dealer has to be ready to provide the products to fit his customer's wallets and the demands of his geographical area. If you can't stock everything (and who can?) the next best thing is to know who makes it and where to get it. Shooting Industry's survey of major shotgun manufacturers for 1992 will help you to better serve all of your customers.

American Arms, Inc.

Americans Arms, Inc. of North Kansas City, Mo., offers the lightest 12- and 20-gauge autoloading shotguns in the world These are the Franchi-made model 48/AL, which weighs about 6 1/2-pounds in 12-gauge and 5 1/2-pounds in 20 gauge. The M48/AL have been given a new rotary bolt, recoil-operated system for 1992.

Also in the American Arms catalog are Franchi and Lanber over/unders plus an affordable line of single-trigger side-by-side. One specialty here is a side-by-side for either the 10-gauge magnum or the 3 1/2-inch, 12-=gauge magnum hull in either 26-inch or 20-inch barrels for turkey or waterfowl hunting.

Benelli/Hecker & Kock

The only company thus far to make an autoloading shotgun for the 31/2-inch, 12-gauge magnum, Benelli of Sterling, Va., has now produced a 24-inch rifled barrel for the Super Black Eagle. the gun can be had with a polymer stock and forearm to withstand weather and other abuses. the Benelli is reputed to have the fastest action of all semiautomatic shotguns.

Beretta USA

For 1992, Beretta in Accokeek, Md., introduced an entirely new autoloading shotgun the Model A390ST, which handles all standards length and 3-inch, 12-gauge ammunition interchangeably. This gun replaces the former Model A303 field gun, although the Model A303 remians available models.

Also new from Beretta is an Ultra-Lightweight Model 686 that weighs just 5 3/4-pounds in 12 gauge for long uplands hikes. The Onyx is also being made in a new sporting clays version.

In the premium price category, the Beretta ASE 90 comes with advanced features including a detachable triggerplate action.

Bernadelli/Magnum Research

New from Bernadelli of Minneapolis, Minn., the Hemingway model is being introduced in 28 gauge this year, but the 16-gauge Bernadellis are teetering on the brink of discontinuation for lack of volume. Magnum Research also stocks the line of Bernadelli over/unders which are lively pieces.


From Morgan, Utah, Browning's replica of the Winchester model 42 .410 pump comes alive in 1992, as does a Pigeon Grade Model BPS. The magnum BPS pumps now carry tasteful fineline engraving.

For small-framed trap shooter, there's a BT-99 Micro Grade with a shorter stock and barrel; and for the traditionalist, the famed Model A-5 has been given a synthetic stock and forearm combo. Finally, the Model A-500G has been put into a sporting clays mode with a 30-inch barrel.

Harrington &

Richardson, 1871

This old-line firm of Gardner, Mass., is back in action with an extensive line of break-action singles for beginners and specialty hunting niches. They produce two gun lines: the economy-priced New England Firearms brand and the H&R 1871 line which is built around the established Topper name. Gauges run from 410 to 10 magnum including the new 3 1/2-inch 12 gauge. Certain turkey gun models are fully camouflaged with short barrels.

Ithaca Gun

From King ferry, N.Y., Ithaca's Model 87 is being made with a rifled slug barrel to match the equally new Brenneke Golden Slug. The smoothbore models have full camo coverage.

O.F. Mossberg

& Sons

Mossberg's new shotgun from North Haven, Conn., is the Model 9200 Regal semiauto, which handles both standards and magnum-length 12-gauge loads up to 3 inches with no required adjustment The lower-priced Mossberg 5500 semiauto is offered in both a Combo model with a 28-inch field barrel and a 24-inch slug barrel, along with a camo-finish model with a 24-inch magnum turkey barrel.

Precision Sports

Screw-in choke tubes are supplied with some of the Precision Sports side-by-sides from Cortland. N.Y., which run from 10-gauge magnum to .410 in both the classic British styling and the American models with a beaver tail forearm and pistol grip. Precision Sports also distributes the Bill Hanus Birdgun.

Remington Arms

Wilmington, Del-based, Remington's Model 11-87 has been revamped by the development of a "light-contour" barrel that reduces the weight by about 1/2 pound. Another version of the M11-87, the Sporting Clays guns, has had its forearm shortened for further weight reduction and improved dynamics.

The economy Model 870 Express is offered in .410 and in a 20 gauge Combo package with a 28-inch smoothbore barrel and a 21-inch slug barrel with slights.

Remington's Special Purpose (SP) Model 11-87s and 870s now have total camouflage coverage on their synthetic stock and forearm assemblies and all metallic parts. There is also a shiny, corrosion-resistant Model 870 Marine Magnum for use or around salt water.

Savage Arms

A very affordable and serviceable over/under, the Model 312, is found in the savage line from Westfield, Mass. Made in field, trap, and sporting clays models, it is an attractive entry-level stackbarrel with modern lines and good pointing qualities.

SKB Shotguns

Side-by-side in 20 and 28 gauges have been reintroduced by SKB under the Series 38685 designation. The SKB over/unders have also been expanded and modified. New this year are Models 585 and 685 with a little more decor than their companion Models 505 and 605. Too, the 12-gauge SKBs made in 1992 will have slightly overbored barrels, longer forcing cones, and longer competition-type choke tubes.

Sturn, Ruger

& Company

The popularly priced Red Label over/under from Sturn, Ruger & Co., of Southern Conn., will now be made in two additional styles. One is a straightgripped (English style) field gun in 12 and 20 gauge; the other is a sporting clays gun in 12 gauge only. The clays gun has 30-inch, overbored barrels, longer forcing cones, and a new pattern of stainless steel choke tubes plus oil-finished wood.

U.S. Repeating

Arms Company

Variations of the Model 1300 pump and 1400 autoloader from USRAC of New Haven, Conn., remain this company's forte. New for 1992 are a trio of M3100 Series III Turkey Guns which can be had with rifle sights or a ventilated rib. This includes a youth-style M31300 Turkey variant with shortened stock in 20-gauge magnum.
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Author:Zutz, Don
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:May 1, 1992
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