The hectic week-long industry trade event, SHOT Show 2023 in Las Vegas, is behind us. Most major firearms companies were showing off their latest and greatest scattergun advancements and introductions. Given some time to reflect, we have compiled a list of the shotguns we’re most interested to handle, study, and ultimately, hunt with, as we venture into another year of upland, waterfowl, turkey, and small game seasons. 

Mossberg Optics-Ready Turkey Shotguns


Mossberg Shotguns
New gobbler guns from Mossberg. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The budget-friendly company continues turning out sensible hunting shotguns with all the most requested features. As interest in optics-readiness grows among gobbler-chasers, Mossberg fills that wish with multiple such model choices. In 2022, the company debuted a pair of semi-automatic 940 Pro Turkey models with a machined receiver cutout for direct-mounting low-profile, RMSC-pattern micro red dots. Now for 2023, they’re tailoring three proven models with optics-readiness for turkey hunters.

The additions include two Model 500 pump actions as well as a Model 835 Ulti Mag pump. The 500s see a 24-inch barreled .410 bore alongside a 22-inch barreled 20-gauge version. The 835 is the magnum 3.5-inch chambered shottie fitted with a 24-inch barrel. All are covered stem to stern in fresh, throwback Mossy Oak Greenleaf camouflage, fiber-optic front sights, and an X-Full choke tube. 

RELATED: First Looks – Mossberg Shows Off Patriot LR Rifle, Optics-Ready Hunting Shotguns

CZ-USA Model 712 G3


CZ Model 712 G3
CZ showing off a new camo pattern. (Photo: Seth Rodgers/

CZ-USA is adding more cost-effective gas-driven semi-automatic shotguns to its 712 lineup for the new year. The G3 series represents the company’s third generation of upgrades, replacing the now-discontinued G2s. All the newly introduced models are only in 12 gauge at this time. There’s a 28-inch barreled hunting rig with full camouflage coverage. A shorter, 20-inch-barreled utility model wears black synthetic stocks. The most traditional will be a hardwood-stocked pair with a choice between a 26- or 28-inch barrel. 

Barrels are chrome lined and chamber 2.75- and 3-inch shells. Each comes with five interchangeable Active-Choke tubes and two gas pistons. One piston is for lighter sporting loads, and the other for heavy hunting rounds. While most shotgun manufacturers moved away from such a design, this latest CZ rig means hunters must make the swap for their chosen ammunition. Both the hardwood and black synthetic list for $579, while the Mossy Oak Elements Terra version retails for $679.

RELATED: CZ Brings New Shotguns and Long-Awaited Dan Wesson DWX to SHOT Show 2023

Stevens by Savage Model 560

Savage Model 560
New budget-friendly shotguns from Stevens. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The budget-minded Stevens by Savage line got not only a rifle, but also this semi-automatic 12-gauge Model 560 shotgun line for 2023. Built completely in Turkey, the repeater joins the brand’s existing shotgun family with models like the 301 single shots, 320 pumps, and 555 over-unders. The 3-inch chambered Model 560 is gas driven and handles both 2.75- and 3-inch shells without adjustment. Stocks are Turkish walnut fitted to a lightweight aluminum alloy receiver. The oversized controls that have become common on hunting shotguns are found here on the 560 Field.

Buyers have a choice of two barrel lengths: 26 or 28 inches. The barrel is hard-chrome-lined and dressed with a ventilated rib. A mid bead matches the fiber-optic front sight. The gun accepts interchangeable chokes and ships with three tubes in IC, IM, and Full. In a thoughtful move, the 560 will be available in both standard and compact versions, with the latter offering a shorter LOP for smaller-framed shooters. Retail price is set at $499 regardless of selection, making these affordable to a wide hunting and clay shooting market. 

RELATED: ‘Stevens by Savage’ Shows Off Budget Rifle, Semi-Auto Shotgun for 2023

TriStar LR94


TriStar LR94
The new lever-action shotgun offering from TriStar is sure to be a crowd pleaser. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

TriStar enters an entirely new category with its lever-action shotgun launch. The LR94 is a lever-driven .410-bore shotgun built in Turkey. Three variants are launching simultaneously: matte blued, case colored, and nickel silver. The models we handled were fitted with either a 22- or 24-inch barrel and showed interchangeable choke tubes. Though slightly unusual, the shotguns feature large rifle-style sights with a blade front and adjustable rear.

The Turkish walnut stocks are checkered and fitted with sling studs. The LR94 feeds via a receiver loading gate into the five-round magazine tube. Like other levers on the market, the TriStar chambers 2.5-inch shells. The oversized dial safety is an oddity, but the leather-wrapped loop adds to cowboy flair. Depending on the finish selected, retail pricing ranges from $990 to $1,100. 

RELATED: New Lever Guns Plus More Upgrades From TriStar

Benelli 828U Steel


Benelli 828U Steel
The 828U Steel is a welcome addition to the 828 family. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Benelli's 828U family of over-under shotguns has long been a favorite of hunters and clay shooters alike. For 2023, the family grows with a much-anticipated Steel variant. The stronger receiver material adds a bit of weight, but that’s a welcome addition in terms of recoil reduction. Most shooters also find this to be a more balanced, weight-centric gun with a smoother swing on fast-moving birds.

The 828U Steel uses the company’s proven BE.S.T. durable surface treatment, while stocks are prime AA-grade satin walnut. There’s even Benelli’s Progressive Comfort System, which mitigates recoil from the heaviest magnum loads. The new Steel will be available in both 12 and 20 gauge with barrel lengths of 26, 28, and 30 inches. A full set of five Crio-treated chokes comes standard. MSRP is set at $3,399. 

revolver barrel loading graphic