Six Top Sporting Clays Shotguns from 2007

{1} CAESAR GUERINI MAXUM This gun (shown on previous page) shoots as good as it looks, and it looks great. … Continued


This gun (shown on previous page) shoots as good as it looks, and it looks great. Its side plates are covered with beautiful high-relief scroll engraving, and the oil-finished stock bears flawless fine-line checkering. At 8 pounds in 12 gauge with 30-inch barrels, the Maxum is heavy enough to absorb recoil but it points well and swings smoothly. It comes in 30-, 32-, and 34-inch 12-gauge versions as well as in 20 and 28 gauges with 30- and 32-inch barrels. All have extended choke tubes. A limited number of small-gauge combo models are also available: a 20/28 and a 20/28/.410. $5,195-$8,240; 410-901-1131;


With the lowest-profile receiver of any o/u on the market, the Cynergy (see previous page) sits deep in a shooter’s hands, making it a natural pointer. The new Classic tones down the aggressive Euro-styling of the original, so shooters who prefer traditional lines can now enjoy the gun’s smooth handling and crisp triggers. The Classic comes in 12, 20, 28, and .410 gauges. In the 12-gauge, there are 26-, 28-, 30-, or 32-inch barrels. The barrels are backbored and the gun comes with three Midas Grade gold-tipped extended choke tubes. This year, Browning has added an optional adjustable comb. $3,200-$3,489; 800-333-3288;


The F3 Blaser o/u is a masterpiece of Teutonic engineering. At the factory, every receiver is fitted to a set of master barrels and every barrel is fitted to a master receiver, thus ensuring that everything is interchangeable. Stocks, made of Turkish walnut, can also be swapped, and there’s an adjustable weight inside that allows you to tinker with the gun’s balance. The F3 is a target-shooting machine that simply comes alive when you pick it up. The 12-gauge comes with 28-, 30-, or 32-inch barrels. $5,790; 410-604-1495;


Soft recoil has long made the 1100 a favorite of trap and skeet shooters. This new Competition is an 1100 aimed squarely at the sporting clays market. There’s a nickel-Teflon coating on the polished internal parts for improved reliability. The barrel is overbored to .735 for better patterns, and at the other end, a super-soft R3 recoil pad is attached to the semi-fancy walnut stock. The Competition comes with a 28- or 30-inch barrel in both standard- and adjustable-comb versions. $1,490-$1,650; 800-243-9700;


Beretta’s ultrareliable 391 auto has already proved itself as a sporting clays gun. If you shoot trap, skeet, and sporting clays and subscribe to the adage “Beware of the man with one gun,” then this new Teknys is the gun for you. With its adjustable stock and two interchangeable ribs, the Teknys can be set up for any clay-target game. The gas action combines with the recoil reducer in the stock and a weighted magazine cap to cut kick to a minimum. The 12-gauge has a 30-inch barrel. $2,100; 800-237-3882;


The Evolve is the rakishly styled version of the popular Gold gas auto. Lighter than the standard model by nearly a pound thanks to an aluminum magazine tube and a lightweight barrel, the Evolve is a quick, responsive gun for shooters who find a full-size 12 to be a handful. The shock-absorbing recoil pad makes an already light kicker shoot even softer, and a hard plastic insert on top of the pad keeps it from snagging on your clothes. The 12-gauge sporting Gold Evolve comes with an oil-finished walnut stock, a 28- or 30-inch ported barrel, five choke tubes, and a molded case. $1,285; 800-333-3288;