The fluid movement of a favorite shotgun to a winged or furry target; the versatility to hunt ducks and geese in the morning and quail in the afternoon, or even drop a buck with a slug; this is what makes a shotgun a beloved addition to our outdoor life.
I’m sure I am in trouble with someone because their pet shotgun is not on the list, but my choices are those that broke new ground or that have stood the test of time. Their elegant design and quality craftsmanship set the standard by which we judge modern smoothbores and helped us round out our field. Check out my list of the 10 best shotguns ever made in America.
Parker Brothers VH Grade
Many shotguns were produced in the golden age—1880 to 1930—but few had a Parker’s quality.
Parker Brothers started business after the Civil War, and instead of making each part by hand, as gunmakers in London did, Parker’s gunsmiths meticulously hand-assembled their guns from machine-made parts. Parker Brothers made nearly 240,000 guns in many grades—the VH Grade was the lowest and most common—gauges, and configurations, from lightweight bird guns to heavyweights for waterfowling, but all were made to the same standard of excellence. ($4,500, VH Grade)