2009's Shotgun and Wingshooting Awards

Despite the unusual fascination with black and tactical things instigated by the panic of the political environment, 2009 has been a fabulously good year for scatterguns and accessories. Here's a listing of the new offerings that I found to be the most impressive.


For turkey hunting with a 20 gauge, Federal's new 1-1/2 oz. load of #7 heavyweight shot has brought 20 gauge performance to a whole new level. The Federal Heavyweight #PHT258F load packs an amazing 1-1/2 ounces of payload into a three inch twenty gauge hull-and produced patterns for me that no other 20 gauge shell has every approached ever before. It is just one shot and make it count-Federal delivers beyond all previous 20 gauge turkey load attempts by no small margin. It is an astounding achievement: one that brings 20 gauge shotshells to a new and higher performance level than I've ever seen before.

Two 12 gauge lead loads from B & P USA, the 1 oz. F2 Mach #7-1/2 for sporting clays and doves, and the B & P USA MB Long Range 1-1/4 oz. #5 nickel plated loads for pheasant are both astonishingly good in pattern quality combined with pleasantly soft shooting. These are two shotshells that have given me more performance than I've ever seen before from any similar shells-they are amazingly good loads, offering both superb patterning and relatively soft recoil. They are the best there is in these two categories of shells.


Ithaca Gun Company is currently offering the best Model 37's that have been ever been made. Whether the 12 or 20 gauge field models, the new and first ever M37 28 gauge, or the 20 inch high-capacity 12 ga. Home Defense gun-- those looking for true top-quality in a classic design need look no further. It is the best quality slide action shotgun on the market today. They are made with pride and distinction, the way quality shotguns should be but seldom are.


The Caesar Guerini Tempio 12 gauge has the looks, the triggers, the handling, and the extreme level of exemplary build quality to become the finest O/U field shotgun I've tested in recent memory, making some of the "B" guns look second-rate by comparison. CG is offering guns today that are competitive with guns going for twice the price, backed by outstanding customer service. If you want a lifetime O/U that is really worth the investment, look no further: Caesar Guerini delivers.


There have been a couple of noteworthy autoloaders introduced this year, all introduced with more than adequate hyperbole. For an upland and waterfowl gun that is the right weight, the right balance, and comes to the shoulder effortlessly and is just hard to miss with, the Benelli Vinci is the freshest, most inspiring semi-auto to appear in decades. A desirable field gun is the combination of many factors, and they all come together in the Benelli Vinci. It is an inspired design that is the most practical combination of field performance ever offered in an autoloading shotgun. If birds in the bag is why you go afield, the Vinci gets you there. Illinois pheasants beware: there is a new shotgun in town that delivers the goods in the field like no other.


The Trulock Precision Hunter extended choke tube have improved the performance of every shotgun I've hit the patterning board with. Consistently and universally good, there are many choke tubes out there but none better than a Trulock Precision Hunter. When I trust a hunt to the best possible pattern I can place on game, Trulock PH tubes deliver without fail.


No question, if recoil bothers you-it is the "Evo-Shield." Now you can laugh at recoil, as nothing works better.


It is the Do-All White Wing Automatic Trap Thrower, the first affordable "Gun Club in a Box" available from Cabela's and most everywhere else. An automatic trap has never been more fun, easier to use, or more affordable.

Copyright 2011 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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