Shotguns are rugged workhorses. They have to withstand a lot of use in the field, usually in suboptimal environments. For this reason, people do not want a flashy shotgun or an expensive one. They just want a solid shotgun that can take a lot of abuse at a reasonable price.

And this is what we will be looking at today. I have here a list of ten practical, value-packed shotguns. While they may lack Bluetooth speakers in the stock or engravings of pheasants that glow in the dark, what they offer is extreme reliability and value. Without further ado, these are my recommendations in no particular order.

1. Browning Cynergy CX

The CX is like an ugly duck because of its futuristic aesthetics, which sets it apart from traditional designs found on other shotguns. However, I feel that the CX is underrated. You get a very low-profile receiver and an action that will outlive you. The trigger is nice and crisp as well.

You have plenty of gauge options such as 12, 20, 38, and .410 bore. If you can get your hands on the field-and-target model, get it. It only comes in 12-gauge but you get to choose between 30 or 32-inch barrels. If you are hunting, get the 30-inch. If you are shooting targets, the 32-inch is for you.

The only downside I can find is that the matte finish is not the best. But it will be a reliable companion throughout the seasons.

Browning Cynergy CX

2. Beretta A400 Xcel

Also known as the Blue Gun, the Xcel is something that many serious sporting clays shooters swear by. It is a bit expensive compared to other guns on the list, but it holds itself well against some premium shotguns in the market. It punches way above its weight and it’s a surprise to see the Xcel at this price point. It works very well even with minimal maintenance, so it rarely malfunctions. To be real with you, if the gun does malfunction, it is probably your fault because taking it apart to clean is very easy. There is no reason why you should let it fail due to neglect.

Beretta A400 Xcel

3. Remington V3

The V3 utilizes the VersaPort system which is known for its simplicity and effectiveness. The system is created so that the gun can fire all loads while maintaining light recoil without compromising reliability. This system is what sets the V3 apart from its peers.

Of course, this 12-gauge gun does not look that handsome, but you get a lightweight shotgun that is easy to maintain. The trigger is just perfect as well. In terms of reliability, there is no question about it. It works just as well in the hottest summers and coldest winters.

Remington V3

4. Winchester Super X4

The Super X4 is a relatively new introduction to the Browning/Winchester lineup. It is made to be cheap but reliable. It is based on the X3 with a few tweaks. For one, you get a larger square safety, bolt handle, and bolt release button which is handy if you operate in a colder climate and have to wear gloves. It also features a TruGlo bead as well.

Under the hood, you get the reliable and soft-shooting gas system found on the X4’s predecessors. This 12-gauge shotgun is available in black synthetic at a very affordable price. Of course, you can find cheaper alternatives, but none of them really deliver the same performance and ease of use. I believe it is worth pushing your budget just a little bit to accommodate this purchase. It is worth every penny.

Winchester Super X4

5. Beretta A300 Outlander

If you don’t own a shotgun, you cannot go wrong with the A300 as your starter. The A300 is a budget variant of the Beretta 391. Very little is changed from the 391 and the A300 is probably the cheapest model in the synthetic version. It comes with spacers that let you tweak the stock length and the gas system is surprisingly reliable. On top of that, it can work with all loads without any adjustment.

Beretta A300 Outlander

6. CZ Drake

At a glance, you might be thinking that the retailer put the wrong price tag on this shotgun. No over-under shotguns should be this cheap, but the CZ Drake is. It is affordable and does the job well. This break-action features two chokes and a nice and compact balance without burning through your wallet.

You have a couple of gauge options such as 12, 20, 28, and .410 bore. There is no fancy wood or sophisticated engravings, but it works just fine. You get a hard case and five choke tubes with your purchase. Also, the extractors push empty shells instead of spitting them out like ejectors.

CZ Drake

7. Weatherby SA-08

Most cheap gas semiautos are a pain to work with, but the SA-08 is an exception. Slim and lightweight, this Turkish gas shotgun works like a charm. Many people have bought this and none of them have any complaints so far. The design might be a bit outdated and you have to change out the pistons depending on the loads, but the SA-08 is reliable nonetheless. This 12-gauge shotgun might pack a bit of punch when you shoot it because it is so light, but many hunters do not mind a bit of extra recoil at that price point.

Weatherby SA-08

8. Stoeger M3000

If you are looking for an inertia semi auto shotgun but cannot use an A5 or a Benelli, go for the Stoeger M3000. Stoeger works under Benelli, so that is saying something about the quality of their products. The price you pay for a lower price tag comes in the form of a fit and finish. It is not as refined as a Benelli, but the M3000 is lightweight and features those slim lines you can find in a Benelli. The action is reliable even in harsh conditions.

Stoeger M3000

9. Remington 870 Express

The Remington 870 was an incredibly popular shotgun. It was so successful that Remington wanted it to be even more accessible to the general public. So, they released the budget Express variant in 1987. The difference is that it has a planer finish and a hardwood stock.

The 870 Express features a steel receiver and twin action bars to keep the stroke smooth. You can get it in either hardwood or synthetic and in 3-inch 12- or 20-gauge, although you might find some .410 in stock as well. And that is it. No bells and whistles and the finish will get rusty fairly quickly, so you might want to perform maintenance regularly. However, the inside is solid and reliable.

Remington 870 Express

10. Mossberg Maverick 88

The Maverick 88 is basically the Mossberg 500, except cheaper. The biggest difference between the two is that the 88 has a cross-bolt safety whereas the 500 has a top safety. This is probably the cheapest pump-action shotgun you can find on the market. You get a lock, barrel, stock, a choke tube, and a middle bead with your purchase. This 12-gauge shotgun weighs only about 7 pounds as most of the build is made of plastic. If you just want a no-nonsense shotgun that does the job at a low price, this is it.

And there you have it, folks. I should also mention that you can try to look for used guns if you are short on budget. Of course, it will not be shiny and brand new, and maybe you will find a couple of dings here and there, but you are getting a great deal for a used gun.

Mossberg Maverick 88

But you still need to be careful since you do not really know what the gun went through. Only buy from reliable gun dealers. If you make any purchase online, make sure that the seller is reputable. Also, see if they offer an inspection period and whether it involves test firing. Check for any flaws or modifications. Maybe even take it to a gunsmith to have it looked at. They can spot any problems that might make you regret your purchase.

Another thing worth considering is the gun’s resale value. Yes, that time may come eventually. One reason why you are buying a budget gun is that you need one right now but lack the capital. Sooner or later, tggr you will have more money to spend and might be eyeing a more expensive model. Letting your old gun sit and rot in a shed is a terrible fate for any gun. Plus, you might as well squeeze a bit more value out of them by reselling them. I would not say that this should be a major consideration, but it is still something to keep in mind.

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