FIELD & STREAM 2005 BEST OF THE BEST AWARDS
This year, seven of our field editors looked through the thousands of new products offered by the outdoor industry, tested hundreds of them, and finally came up with a list of the 22 best. These are Field & Stream's Best of the Best.
RUGER GOLD LABEL
This side-by-side shotgun is a new American classic with distinctly English lines. Patterned after the round-action guns of John Dickson, the Gold Label is wonderfully slim and light. At 6¿¿ pounds with 28-inch barrels, this 12-gauge is lighter and trimmer than many 20-gauges.
I found the Gold Label easy to shoot well. It has just that smidgen of muzzle heaviness that makes a light gun swing smoothly through a target. The straight grip and splinter forearm keep the gun so low in your hands that it points like a sixth finger. It handles like a British best but sells for a price that many ordinary uplanders can afford.
Although the Gold Label was announced in 2002, production problems kept it from dealer shelves until this year. It’s here now, and upland hunters can rejoice. $2,000; 928-541-8820; ruger.com -P.B.