With hunting season close at hand and Labor Day behind us, we look at some of the current no-nonsense but affordable offerings on the shotgun market.
It used to be that you could pick up a sweet 12, 20 or 16 gauge (don’t scoff, that was the most popular chambering in the U.S. for decades) at your local hardware store, filling station and farm co-op for a little bit of folding money. Even though so much of that has changed, there are still several shotguns on today’s market that you can get– new– for less than $200, and they are just one click away.
Made in Mossberg’s Texas facility, the Maverick 88 is styled after the company’s famous Model 500 series of pump-action guns and is often called “the working man’s shotgun.” Nonetheless, the Maverick still has dual extractors, twin action bars, positive steel to steel lockup, and an anti-jam elevator. Available in general-purpose, security, slug and combo variants, these guns interchange with regular Mossberg 500 barrels as well and start at $196.90, new (although we also have some used models in stock for even less). Best yet, it is American made.
While not offered in as many variants as the Maverick, American Tactical Imports’ China-made MB3 series caters more to those looking for a security or camp shotgun rather than a deer gun or wing shooter. With an 18.5-inch barrel, 4+1 12-gauge capacity and Picatinny rail, you still get a lot of bang for the buck as these guns start at $131.95, new.
The Stevens 320 series of pump-action shotguns come in both a Field Grade series of 12 and 20-gauge models with full-length barrels as well as a more “tactical” looking Security variant with an 18.5-inch barrel and pistol grip stock. The good news is, both are under $200.
Using a steel receiver and chrome-plated bolt, the H&R Pardner is available in both 12 and 20 gauge and with both walnut and black synthetic furniture. Starting at $159.50, these 5+1 shell sliders have a lot to offer in at least five different models.
Iver Johnson PAS 12
Made by Armed in Turkey, the Iver Johnson PAS 12, like most of the guns on this list, is an imported shotgun. Sold in a defense format with an 18.5-inch barrel and medium length forend, it still comes with dual action bars and an extended bolt release latch. Available from $163.90.
Escort M87 Youth
Another Turkish import, Escort’s M87 Youth 20 runs a 22-inch barrel and shortened length of pull which is perfect for smaller statured users. Further, at just 5.4-pounds, it is light in the hand and to the shoulder. While new full-sized 12-gauge M87s run past our price point, the Youth model is currently just under it at $199.
Don’t look past used shotguns as, in many cases, guns that are still in excellent condition and showing signs of low use pop up on the second-hand market every day. Just looking through the Guns.com Vault, it is not hard to find great sub-$200 deals on a Russian-made Baikal, a vintage Stevens 67E with a corn-cob pump, a Stevens 94 break action .410, a classic Winchester 370 20-gauge Youth and even the occasional score on a pre-owned Mossberg 500 and Remington 870.