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The Best Shotguns of 2021

shotgun showdown Dec 30, 2021


 Best Shotguns of 2021 

Welcome! This year we have reviewed a lot of semi-auto shotguns, done some shotgun showdowns, and have had some fun doing experiments and hunts. To close out the year, I thought it'd be fun to look back and break down some of my favorite guns that I shot this year across a couple of different categories - kind of like an award show per say. These are the categories that we're ranking today:

  • Best Shotgun OVER $1,000 (With a gas and inertia pick)
  • Best Shotgun UNDER $1,000 (With a gas and inertia pick)
  •  Best Bang for your Buck (With a gas and inertia pick)
  • Best Lookin' Shotgun
  • (Top 3) Fastest Shotguns Ranked


Lets get into this! If you are interested in any of these guns, simply click the name to watch the review, or the "SHOP HERE" link to shop! We looked at some expensive shotguns this year - many over $1,000 so these were tough picks. 


Best over $1,000 Gas Pick: The Browning Maxus 2  (SHOP HERE)

The Maxus 2 was an absolute blast to shoot. It is a huge step up from the Maxus 1. To be fair, a large part of why I fell in love with this gun is because of how beautiful it is. This is the Wicked Wing edition. Besides the look, I had next to no issues with the high performance of this gun. It shoots fast, its reliable, and feels amazing.   









Best over $1,000 Inertia Pick: The Benelli Super Black Eagle 3  (SHOP HERE)

All Benelli owners fell in love with their guns by simply picking it up - These guns feel like their suppose to be in your hands. This is my pick mainly because they recently came out with a 3 inch version which is my preference over 3.5 inches. The 3 inch is lighter, shoots faster and costs less all the way around. Its criminally easy to break down and I simply just had a heck of a time shooting it. 










Next we ought to give some love to best shotguns UNDER $1,000 - these are guns that I'd recommend every day of the week for those looking for a fantastic gun with high performance, but a price tag in mind. 


Best UNDER $1,000 Gas Pick: The Winchester SX4  (SHOP HERE)

I'm not sure if this is a biased pick - I am not rewarded for choosing this gun whatsoever. It's simply an incredible gun that runs like a work horse. Its fast, consistent, and has really never let me down!









Best UNDER $1,000 Inertia Pick: The Franchi Affinity 3  (SHOP HERE)

I have not had nearly as much as experience with this gun but I was honestly blown away. A lot of viewers seemed to really enjoy this gun as well. I was shooting the Waterfowl Elite edition but the plain camo version operates the same and still comes in under $1,000. Overall great gun. It's even lighter than the SX4! This isn't an official category but its worth mentioning - in a showdown of the compact versions of the Franchi and the SX4 my son chose the Franchi as the winner for his gun. So double props to Franchi for making fantastic guns!


Next we're looking at the best bang (No pun intended) for your buck. Out of the guns I reviewed, these are my highest value picks for the lowest price possible.


Best Bang for Buck Gas Pick: The Winchester SX4 (Again!?)

Yes, again. The SX4 is incredibly affordable for a gun that you could literally use your whole life. What's not to like!


Best Bang for Buck Inertia Pick: The Weatherby Element (SHOP HERE)

This pick may surprise some folks. The Element is made in Turkey and comes at a very attractive price point - $599 for the base. This gun gave me little issues too. What really did it for me was the fact that it came with fantastic rubber grips (Similar to the Maxus 2) you really only see this on guns over $1,000 so the fact that Weatherby thought to do this won it for me.


A lot of folks including myself fall in love with shotguns simply because of how pretty they look. I couldn't top my pick for this category so there will be only one lucky winner. And that winner is...


 Best Lookin' Shotgun: The 28 Gauge Benelli Ethos  (SHOP HERE)

This is the sporting model Ethos - there are many more to pick from but this one was calling my name. The fantastic shine of the wood contrasting with the pop of the receiver results in an incredibly attractive gun. Benelli has put much effort into the detail of the Ethos. There are many other options with awesome engravings and what not that'd I'd like to get my hands on but these guns are not cheap!



The final category is top 3 fastest shotguns (That I shot this year) These ranks come from speed tests that I do in every review - This test is 3 hand thrown clays from an unmounted position, into a mount, on target, with 3 consecutive shots on the clock. Lets go!



I was able to shoot the A5 at a time of 1.14! This time made me very happy as I love the history of this gun, and how Browning reintroduced it with a new amazing look. The humpback is very unique - this A5 is also the Wicked Wing Edition (Just like the Maxus 2)


The Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus  (SHOP HERE)

The Beretta A300 Ultima  (SHOP HERE)

These are 2 amazing guns by Beretta and its awesome to see them tied in second place! I was able to shoot a 1.12 with both! I noticed that it took very little time and effort to accomplish this time with both guns. Their both fast and consistent! The only downside is that I have since then had trouble with the Ultima trigger, but it is now fixed and shooting fast again.


FIRST PLACE: The TFL Winchester SX4

I know I know - we've showed a lot of love to the SX4 today but to be fair, the SX4 is what I've used for years now doing live exhibitions and trick shots. I used my brand new custom SX4 cerakoted with Target Focused Life graphics. There is nothing internally customized so NO I didn't cheat. I've added a Carlson's mag tube extension and a Falcon Strike recoil reduction pad but besides that, it was just good honest repetition and practice. I was able to crush 3 targets with a time of 1.05.



Thank you all for a fantastic year! There is much more to come in 2022! Remember to check out the reviews linked above if you are interested in any of these guns, and to check them out at REEDS SPORTS. Happy New Years!


 Remember, whether in the field, or in life, to LIVE Target Focused



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