If you're an aficionado of firearms, January can feel a lot like Christmas as gun manufacturers roll out their latest innovations. Both Christmas and the January launch of all the new guns of 2021 were a little different in the age of COVID-19, so we haven't yet had a chance to test these new firearms. Keep an eye on this space, however, as we put each of the shotguns that excited us the most this year through their paces in search of the best new shotguns for women.
Benelli Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T.
The Benelli Ethos Cordoba, first introduced a few years ago, is Benelli's answer to a shotgunner's quandary: How can I shoot all day without having to clean my shotgun, or bandage my shoulder? There was only one question left unanswered, and that question was: How can I shoot all day without worrying about the elements damaging my beautiful wood-stocked gun? The 2021 introduction of the Benelli Ethos Cordoba BE.S.T. is the tie-breaking bonus-round answer to that question.
Browning Maxus II Camo
Like its big brother, the Maxus, the new Maxus II Camo is built upon the Power Drive Gas System. It's a semi-automatic platform that works with the shotgun's action to reduce the recoil you feel while cycling shots rapidly. That's just the ticket for duck or goose hunters who'll be taking multiple shots at distances using smoking-hot waterfowl ammunition for clean, ethical kills.
The new stock can be trimmed for a shorter length of pull (LOP) or increased with the included spacers. Shims are included to adjust cast and drop at comb. Rubber overmolding on the stock and new forearm improve traction in all conditions. A new screw-on style forearm cap makes disassembly easy. The Maxus II Camo will be available in multiple camo pattern offerings including: Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Habitat, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Mossy Oak Bottomland, Mossy Oak Original Bottomland, Realtree Max-5, Realtree Timber and retro Vintage Tan.
Mossberg Gold Reserve
You heard "Mossberg" and thought "quality gun at a wallet-friendly price." Then you heard "Gold Reserve" and got a little nervous about your credit-card balance. Fear not: Although Mossberg's Gold Reserve over/under (O/U) shotguns have features traditionally reserved for high-end double guns, the sticker price tops out at $1,200! With hand-selected black walnut stocks, cut-checkering on the grip and forend, and polished-blue barrel finish, these lovely double guns boast polished silver receivers with decorative accents including jeweling of the action, rich scrolling engraved on the safety/barrel selector and action release, and a distinctive 24kt gold inlay on the underside of the receiver.
Mossberg's 2021 release includes two 12-gauge options. The Gold Reserve Black Label sports a 30-inch, polished-blue barrel with bead sight and polished blue receiver; the Gold Reserve Super Sport is designed for maximum shooting comfort with its adjustable stock for cast, comb height and LOP (13" to 15"); 30" high vent rib barrel (12mm tall x 10 mm wide) equipped with a fiber optic front sight. Mossberg.com
Savage Renegauge Competition
The only reason the Savage Renegauge Competition is fourth on our list is that it's an alphabetical list! Obviously, the recipient of our inaugural NRA Women Golden Bullseye "Long Gun of the Year" for 2020 is going to get our attention in 2021. The Savage Renegauge Competition builds on the runaway success of the original, while adding new features specifically for competitive shooting. The extended magazine tube increases capacity to a full 10 rounds. The barrel is finished with Melonite, while the receiver, magazine tube and Extended Skeet2 Light Modified Choke are finished in Cerakote. Naturally, the Renegauge Competition retains all of the functionality and amazing shot-to-shot speed and incredible user adjustability of the original. What has us the most excited, though, is the chance to experience the soft-shooting Renegauge with fewer reloads and one cool-looking finish. SavageArms.com
Meet Julia, your new best wingshooting friend! Just like you, she's every bit as seriously expert as she is beautiful. Syren is an imprint of the Caesar Guerini brand, featuring shotguns designed by and for women who love to break clays and harvest game. The Syren Julia Sporting is a competition-grade shotgun chock-full of features. With high-performance barrels and chokes, a precision-tuned trigger and six MAXIS competition chokes, Julia's ready to join you on all your adventures. If that gorgeous hand-rubbed walnut stock and color case hardening have you a little worried about the rough-and-tumble of an upland bird hunt, put that worry to rest with the gun's "Invisalloy" protective finish.
The Julia has a 30" barrel and weighs in just under 8 lbs. Its pitch, cast and comb are already tuned to a woman's proportions, but you may also adjust the length of pull (LOP) and reach if you wish. The shotgun comes with a black rubber recoil pad, and is only offered in 12 gauge at this time. SyrenUSA.com