HUNTING

28 Gauge Shotgun: Best Choices for A Great Hunting Game

Best 28 Gauge Shotgun
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

There is a good chance you have never considered purchasing a 28 gauge shotgun. In fact, unless you hunt quail or shoot American skeet, you may have never heard of one before! It is a shame that these firearms aren’t more popular.

Their recoil is similar to a .22LR, making it a great shotgun for a new shooter or a child. You can use a 28 gauge shotgun for a variety of targets and game; I bet you will end up loving it!

Over time, the price for the ammunition for 28 gauge shotguns has increased drastically. It is a shame because there are some reasons people would want to use one of these great guns.

They are perfect for clay target shooting, hunting upland birds or any small game. If you are looking for a lightweight gun that is easy to shoot, I will consider purchasing one.

What Is An Over Under Shotgun?

As you read the different kinds of 28 gauge shotguns, you will notice a few are noted as over/under shotguns. If you are new to the world of shotguns, you may wonder what this term means. Buyers can find over/under and side-by-side shotguns.

28 Gauge Shotgun features

They offer versatility to the shooter, as well as an instant recovery in the event of a misfire, and ease of maintenance.

When you use an over/under, you can use different chokes with each barrel that will help you with skeet, sporting clays, or other situations. Cleaning an over under is relatively straightforward. It only takes four to five steps.

Many people debate between pump actions and over/under shotguns. One of the benefits to the latter is it can’t have a cycle of the action jamming or not ejecting the cartridges. Plus, the major advantage is the instant recovery.

Misfires happen. If the first barrel fails for whatever reason, you simply pull the trigger again and the second barrel will fire, for mechanical triggers.

Some still prefer a pump action. The iconic sound is often enough to cause people to want to purchase, especially for protection against invaders. Pump actions are also cheaper. However, over/under shotguns are loved by many, especially for small game hunting.

8 Great Options for 28 Gauge Shotguns

686 Silver Pigeon 1

686 Silver Pigeon 1

Weight: 6.25 pounds

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 26 inches, Overall Length – 44 inches

Features: Over/Under, Low Profile, Lightweight, Classic Finish

Description: Although Beretta priced the 686 pretty high, it is without a doubt one of the best double barrel shotguns you could purchase. It has a low profile, box lock action.

If you ask around, you are sure to get the answer that this gun is one of the best sellers if you want a 28 gauge shotgun. The low profile and slim design allow shooters the chance to shoot quickly with their instinct because it aligns greatly with eyes and hands.

The 686 is lightweight, weighing just a bit over six pounds. Beretta crafted a nicely balanced shotgun with a classic look. It has an oil-finished walnut stock and a thickly built receiver. Once in your hand, the 686 feels solid and durable.  Buyers have three options: 26, 28 or 30-inch barrels.

Browning Cynergy Classic Field

Browning Cynergy Classic Field

Weight: 6 pounds 7 ounces

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 28 inches, Overall Length – 45 inches

Features: Checkered Walnut Grip, Lightweight, Over/Under, Single Trigger, Oil-Finished Walnut

Description: Many shooters like a classic, American style shotgun. Browning crafts several shotguns, and their Cynergy Classic has a beautiful, gloss, oil finished, walnut stock with ejectors, ventilated top and side ribs and choke tubes.

Browning engraved quail and grouse artwork into the walnut, which is a clear indicator of what this shotgun is best designed.

Purchasers can opt for either a 26 or 28-inch barrel. The Cynergy Classic is lightweight, weighing only 6 pounds 7 ounces. The Cynergy Classic is an over/under that uses a striker fired design.

It has a single selective trigger and automatic, selective ejectors that work great. Many people love this over/under for clay shooting and trapping. It deserves a serious look for those desiring an over/under.

Benelli Ultra-Light Shotgun

Benelli Ultra-Light Shotgun

Weight: 5 pounds

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 26 inches, Overall Length – 45.6 inches

Features: Lightweight, Alloy Receiver, Walnut with WeatherCoat

Description: Are you looking for a super lightweight shotgun? Look no further than the Benelli Ultra-Light. It weighs only five pounds! I couldn’t think of a better option for hunters who have to track for long periods or need to travel over steep terrain.

There is no reason to add extra pounds to your pack with this option on the market.

Benelli crafted their shotgun with precision. They used an alloy receiver and a carbon fiber rib. These materials are naturally lightweight but not a typical choice for a shotgun.

You only have a choice for a 26-inch barrel, which reduces the weight even more. Just because it is lightweight doesn’t mean it is less durable than other Benelli firearms. It has a wood stock, creating a classic look, and their WeatherCoat protection on the wood. No worries about taking this out in the woods!

Remington 1100 Sporting Series

Remington 1100 Sporting Series

Weight: 6.5 pounds

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 27 inches, Overall Length – 47.75 inches

Features: Vent Rib Barrel, Sporting Clays Guns, Lightweight, Interchangeable Chokes

Description: The Remington 1100 is a classic sporting clays gun, but some people prefer to use it in the field. It is lightweight and classically designed with a walnut stock.

The 1100 weighs only 6.5 pounds. Instead of a typical 26 or 28-inch barrel, Remington opted for a 27-inch long barrel, creating a reliable firearm. There is little recoil, so many beginners find the 1100 a great option.

The 1100 is one of the most popular choices for clays competition. This 28 gauge shotgun has a 27-inch vent rib and a choke barrel.

It comes with twin bead sights that are standard, along with four interchangeable options for chokes – skeet, improved cylinder, light modified and modified. It is a great feature that Remington includes the various chokes! Most require you to purchase them separately.

Franchi Aspire

franchi-aspire

Weight: 5 pounds 9 ounces

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 28 inches, Overall Length – 45.5 inches

Features: Over/Under, Lightweight, Appropriate Frame, Oil-Finished Walnut, Three Chokes

Description: The Franchi Aspire is a favorite shotgun for grouse and woodcock hunters because it is lightweight and easy to carry throughout the woods. Franchi designed it with a 28-inch barrel, and it weighs only 5 pounds 9 ounces!

You could move it around with ease. The Franchi’s Aspire is an over/under built on the same action as their 12 and 20 gauges. It is a slender shotgun, weighing close to six pounds.

The Aspire is classy but durable enough for a working gun. It has a walnut and case colored receiver. It has a thin wrist area and a rounded grip. There are so many great design features! Also, the Aspire has three chokes and a mechanical trigger.

However, it is quite pricey. Many prefer the classic look that the Aspire offers, with an oil-finished walnut stock and a case colored receiver. The stock offers a rounded grip.

If you want a 28 gauge shotgun that is designed and built on a 28 frame, Franchi’s Aspire is worth consideration, even with a higher price tag.

Rizzini BR 550 Small Action

Rizzini BR 550 Small Action

Weight: 5 pounds 7.8 ounces

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 28 inches, Overall Length – 42.5 inches

Features: Side-by-Side, Single Trigger, Fixed Choke, Lightweight,

Description: Are you a quail hunter? Then, you need a side-by-side 28 gauge shotgun. The biggest problem with the Rizzini is the price. It is near $5,000, putting it well out of the range for many hunters. However, the top dollar pays for beautiful craftsmanship.

It has a streamlined, boxlock design. They placed a single trigger, along with checkering and scrollwork. Buyers can opt for a straight or pistol grip stock.

The standard Rizzini 550 comes with a 28-inch barrel and a fixed choke. They do offer other barrel choices and screw-in chokes at additional costs. It is lightweight, weighing only 5 pounds 7.8 ounces!

Overall, this shotgun is a higher priced, but it is the price matches the quality. If you like an elegantly made firearm, the Rizzini BR 550 is a great selection.

Benelli’s 28 Gauge

Benelli’s 28 Gauge

Weight: 4.9 pounds

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 24 inches, Overall Length – 47.5 inches

Features: Upland Game, Lightweight, Alloy Receiver, Satin Walnut, WeatherCoat

Description: Benelli shotguns have an excellent reputation for some of the best shotguns for waterfowl, sporting clays, upland gunners and more. Their 28 gauge shotgun, created by Benelli, is an upscale option. It is one of the lightest choices on the market, weighing only 4.9 pounds.

They offer a 24 and 26-inch barrel. The 26-inch barrel weighs just around 5 pounds, which is still incredibly light. How did they get it so light? They have a scaled down action, a slimmer barrel, an alloy receiver, and a carbon fiber barrel rib. They also included a shorter magazine.

The Benelli is an incredible shotgun for upland game. They also acid etched game scenes on the receiver. It has satin walnut and a blued barrel. It is a well-crafted firearm that is easy to carry and has virtually no recoil.

However, it is far from an entry level gun. The cost is too high for most newbies, but if you cover a lot of ground while hunting, the Benelli is the perfect option for an upland game.

Browning BPS Hunter

Browning BPS Hunter

Weight: 6 pounds 15 ounces

Dimensions: Barrel Length – 26 inches, Overall Length – 46.75 inches

Features: Pump-Action, Satin Walnut, Blued Finish, Bottom Ejection, Ambidextrous, Reliable

Description: For those who like pump action guns, the Browning BPS is a heavy, double barrel with semi-automatic actions. The BPS Hunter comes in with a beautiful, classic walnut stock and blue pump.

The bottom ejecting design makes it an excellent option for those shooters who are left-handed; they won’t get hit with empty shells. The top tang safety is also perfect for right and left handers. One of the other reasons people love the BPS is the price; it comes in well under $1,000, making it an affordable option for many.

The BPS has a 26-inch barrel and weighs only 6 pounds 15 ounces, which is a bit heavier than some of the other 28 gauge shotguns on the list. If you opt for the 28-inch barrel, it weighs 7 pounds even.

Many hunters prefer a pump action due to its reliability. The Browning has a machined steel receiver and dual steel action bars. Without a doubt, this firearm is one of the strongest options for a pump action.

Making The Final Selection

There are plenty of 28 gauge shotguns on the market today. Most are overlooked for the more desired 12 and 20 gauge. They are ideal for the upland game and clay sporting. You should first consider the price tag.

Many of the ones listed here could easily go over your reasonable budget. If you are new to the 28 gauge, I wouldn’t suggest sinking $5,000 into a shotgun you may not like. Instead, I would try a pump action, such as the Browning BPS Hunter to get a feel for it.

Choose your 28 Gauge Shotgun

If you want an over/under, you have to expect to pay more for the shotgun. The Browning Cynergy Classic is less expensive than a few of the other selections on the list. Make sure to look at the weight, especially if you upland hunt.

Covering rugged, uneven terrain is best done with the lightest gear possible. Look at the accessories offered; some of them offer multiple chokes without having to purchase them separately.

Even though the 28 gauge isn’t commonly sought after, it is an excellent choice for sporting, target shooting, and upland game.

It is often replaced by the .410 and other, larger gauges, yet many appreciate the classic lines, the versatility, and the lightweight design that is given by using a 28 gauge shotgun.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn Harrison
Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

  • James Nowicki

    The Browning BPS was my first 28-gauge and I personally believe it is one of the finest pump guns currently on the market.

    As a lefty, I often found I was getting hit by empty shells, however, the bottom ejecting design mean’s I’m left with a neat little pile by my feet.

    They are solid guns and excellent shooters with a best in class fit and finish. They are, by far, my favorite pump guns and I highly recommend them to anyone who is a left-handed shooter or even just annoyed by pump and auto guns throwing shells all over the place.

    • Shawn Harrison

      Getting hit by the empty shells is one of the most common inconveniences of being a lefty, and this is one of the problems that got fixed when using the Browning BPS. In general, Browning shotguns are more lefty-friendly and also a truly reliable brand across all levels of shotgun expertise.

  • Adam Hollifield

    I own a Beretta 686 and I couldn’t agree more with what Shawn has said, this gun is brilliant for shooting quickly from carry position, thanks to its low profile and lightweight.

    I always recommend the 686 as a great starter shotgun, as it has fewer moving parts than others, which means fewer things are likely to go wrong and it isn’t affected a great deal by the weather when firing as it doesn’t have to cycle shells.

    If you’re looking for a great shotgun for clay and game, you could do a lot worse than a silver pigeon.

    • Shawn Harrison

      While Beretta is not completely the primary choice for shotguns, the 686 is great for users that prefer a very portable and lightweight shotgun. This is something great for beginners and moderately advanced shotgun wielders.

  • Alan Peterson

    My favorite is Remington 1100 28 gauge. The main reason I like it so much is its low recoil. I compared it to other similar shotguns and found out that its recoil is the lowest. It’s excellent for a young shooter. My 11-year-old son has no problems using it. It’s the best quality gun, almost flawless, but not the lightest.

    • Shawn Harrison

      This is exactly the model that I have recommended to a friend who is quite rattled with the notorious recoil shotguns are known for massive recoil. This Remington has significantly reduced recoil, thanks to the stabilized weight.

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