Gray’s Best Awards 2016

Acrylic painting of camper

SHOOTING: Blaser F3 Vantage Standard Over-and-Under Shotgun

Blaser F3 Vantage Standard Over-and-Under ShotgunThe Blaser F3 shotgun is addictive: Use one for a while, and it’s difficult to go back to anything else. Fortunately, with Blaser’s system of interchangeable components—barrels, barrel sets, and buttstocks—one shotgun fits virtually all. Now, however, Blaser has introduced a system that qualifies as a whole new gun. The Vantage is designed to offer identical weight, balance, and handling qualities with any of four different barrel sets, in the four gauges used for skeet shooting. The Vantage’s unique rib design—which it describes as a mid-height—also gives the shooter exactly the same rib picture, regardless of gauge. Each gun–barrel combination is adjustable for balance through Blaser’s system of movable weights, both in the barrels and in the buttstock. The Vantage comes standard with a straight, field-type stock, but can also use a fully adjustable trap-style Monte Carlo. With the growing trend to specialized sporting-clays events for the smaller gauges, the Vantage fits into the modern shotgun world as no other gun does. It is also a nice field gun, for those who like a 12-gauge for pheasant, a 28 for quail, and so on. Practice with one gauge constitutes practice with all. This has been a goal of shotgun makers ever since skeet was introduced in the 1920s, and some have come close to accomplishing it. It’s difficult to imagine a gun coming any closer than the Blaser F3 Vantage, which is our GRAY’S BEST shotgun for 2016.