If you’re looking for a break-action shotgun with European refinement that combines the latest technology in recoil management with a durable, lightweight design, then look no further than the Benelli 828U over/under.

The Benelli 828U is at home as much in the duck blind as it is in the upland.

The Benelli 828U is at home as much in the duck blind as it is in the upland.

For years the Benelli Super Black Eagle, and SBE II have been the gold standard for waterfowl guns. And now, the first double-barrel shotgun “worthy” of the Benelli name, the 828U is a likewise rugged shotgun suitable for the muddiest timber hunts and thorniest upland shoots drawn in lines that will raise eyebrows even at the clays range.

Think of it as the shotgun equivalent of a BMW M series. It’s not about engraving and deep rich wood, it’s about form meeting function for a sportsman where failure is not an option.

The Progressive Comfort recoil pad delivers manageable recoil even with 3-inch duck loads.

The Progressive Comfort recoil pad delivers manageable recoil even with 3-inch duck loads.

The 828U comes in a black anodized or engraved nickel plated version, with either 28-inch or 26-inch barrels. The shotgun incorporates Benelli’s “Progressive Comfort” recoil reduction system, has a QuadraFit buttstock for precise adjustments and brings a new steel locking system for the action that eliminates the wear and tear on the hinge that traditionally causes failures in over/unders.

The steel locking system makes for a stronger, safer, lighter over-under that maintains good balance.

The steel locking system makes for a stronger, safer, lighter over-under that maintains good balance.

During our limited field test on a duck hunt in western Oklahoma, the Benelli 828U performed well — which is to say the gun shot where we pointed it, even if the shooter didn’t connect on many ducks. The shotgun is light, easy to swing and tamped down the recoil just fine. It’s also just cool to look at, with a Grand Prix-esque feel that contrasts with many duck guns’ NASCAR utilitarianism. The Benelli 828U is a work gun, and it will surely find a place with shooters who want a do-all iron that sparks a conversation in the blind or at the club house.

The black anodized Benelli 828U comes in at an MSRP of $2,499, the nickel-plated model comes in at $2,999.

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