The 12-gauge shotshell was standardized about a hundred-twenty years ago, right along side smokeless powder and industrialization and toilet paper. They’ve been used by hunters, lawmakers, soldiers, and criminals alike for more than a century. That doesn’t mean that they’re perfect.
It’s the 21st century now, and as you’d expect, Benelli and Mossberg have tweaked and tuned the shotgun to its pinnacle. I’m just not sure which is the pinnacle:
The Benelli Super Vinci*. These beasts aren’t satisfied by old, practically useless standard 12-gauge shot, they hunger only for 3-1/2″ magnum uber-shells. (They will also shoot 2-3/4 and 3″ shells. They just aren’t satisfied by them.) Completely designed around the best shell length ever, Benelli guarantees that these shotguns feed off the recoil and subsequently deliver less to you, the shooter.
See? A graph.
The Super Vinci has a capacity of 3+1 earth-shattering shots, and the receiver is drilled and tapped for optics. It’s available in two lengths of barrel, 26 and 28 inches, comes in three colors, and includes five chokes. The base MSRP is $1649.
Now Mossberg, on the other hand, isn’t satisfied by magnum shells at all. In fact, the SA-20 won’t even allow 12-gauge shells into its magazine. Owing to its tactical ergonomics, tactical mindset, and tactical color scheme, the 20-gauge buckshot that leaves its muzzle is automatically more lethal.
That is so much a fact Mossberg doesn’t even make graphs for that.
Available in pistol-grip tactical and non-pistol-grip still tactical flavors, the SA-20 is balanced and soft-shooting. The SA-20 also comes with five chokes but has a tactically superior magazine that loads up to 5+1 shells. It is available in four barrel lengths, 20, 24, 26, and 28 inches, with the above tactical SA-20s sporting the 20-inchers. Only they have rails for optics, should you need them over the peep sights. The base MSRP for these tactical weapons is $510.
What we have here is conclusive proof that the old standard 12-gauge shotshell is past its prime. With Benelli and Mossberg vigilantly improving these weapons, we finally have a gun that is more powerful/lighter and easier to handle, needing fewer shots/having more shots, great for hunters/super tactical, priced in accordance with its superiority/relatively cheap, and most importantly, has less recoil/less recoil.
*In Latin, the letter V is spoken with a W. So this is actually the “Super Winchy,” which is the face you make when you’re shooting 3-1/2″ magnums.