Review: Stevens 555 O/U 12 Gauge Shotgun

The July 31, 2014 press release from Savage Arms announced the new entry-level Stevens O/U shotguns:

SUFFIELD, CT - July 31, 2014 -Stevens, by Savage™ Arms, has introduced a fast-handling, stylish over-and-under shotgun that carries a price tag below $700. The all-new 555 is as suited for hunting as for breaking clays.

Stevens kept weight to a minimum while maximizing strength and rigidity by incorporating a steel insert within the shotgun’s lightweight, scaled-to-gauge aluminum receiver. The 555 also features a Turkish walnut stock and forend, shell extractors, a manual tang safety, chrome-lined barrels, and a single, selective mechanical trigger. The five interchangeable choke tubes included let shooters tailor the 555 to any shooting need.

Stevens offers the 555 in 12- and 20-gauge models. The 6-pound 12-gauge has 28-inch barrels, a 14 3/8-inch length of pull, 44 7/8-inch overall length, and a 2 1/8-inch drop at the comb. The 20-gauge model features 26-inch barrels, a 14 3/8-inch length of pull, 42 7/8-inch overall length and a 2 1/4-inch drop at the comb. It weighs 5 1/2 pounds.
Part No. / Description / MSRP
22165 / Stevens 555 12-gauge, 2 3/4- to 3-inch chamber / $692.00
22166 / Stevens 555 20-gauge, 2 3/4- to 3-inch chamber / $692.00

While the market for utilitarian over / under shotguns is undeniable, as evidenced by the sales of the Mossberg Silver Reserve, the satisfaction of actually owning one is equally dubious. The Savage 555 O/U right out of the box is light for a 12 gauge, weighing in at 6 lbs. 1 one ounce via Lyman electronic trigger gauge.

The gun is noticeably muzzle heavy, as you might expect with an alloy receiver. For the money, it isn't a bad looking gun at all, just plain in appearance. The tang safety works smoothly, and the triggers are surprisingly light, breaking at just under 4 pounds after noticeable take-up.

There isn't much in the way of any recoil pad, just a thin rubber butt plate. As you would imagine, the gun kicks like a mule, just as any six pound class fixed breech 12 gauge would be expected to. It is no clays gun, to be sure, but tolerable with 1180 fps 1 oz. loads.

I took the first few shots at clays myself and the Stevens broke them just fine. Unfortunately, I asked my eighty-six year old father if he's like to try a shot or two. The reason it was unfortunate is that on Dad's first shot, the gun doubled, simultaneously discharging both barrels. It was loud, of course, and Dad had the benefit of throwing 2 ounces of lead out of a six pound gun . . . taking a few steps backward as a result. It is a good thing were weren't trying to utilize the 3 inch chambers of this shotgun at the time.

As supplied, the triggers on the Stevens cannot be trusted, obviously, so I cannot recommend this shotgun at this time as a result. Perhaps this one just slipped through the cracks, but no one would be happy with a “give 'em both barrels” from time to time O/U shotgun with a single trigger. So, back to Savage goes the Stevens 555, with no remorse.


Copyright 2014 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.


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