In our December/January issue, my esteemed colleague (and Shotguns columnist) Phil Bourjaily had the gall to pick the 50 best shotguns of all time, and you can read what he has to say right here on our website.
But I have quibbles. I can see his picking a Purdey as number one because the Brits pretty much perfected the over/under and side-by-side, but I think the Italians have beaten them at their own game. Their guns are stronger and the work is better. If an Italian engraver, for example, tried to get away with the engraving seen on the Purdey in our photo (below), he would be stoned to death in the street.
On the other hand, I am thrilled to see that Phil put the Remington 870 second, ahead of the Winchester Model 12, which he ranked 7th. No repeating shotgun has ever pointed as well as the Model 12, but the Remington was as good a gun, maybe better, and could be built far more easily. It is still here today, and flourishing, while the Model 12 is history.
So read Phil's rankings and dive in.