Prodded, perhaps, by a poor economy, big-name gunmakers are finally offering no-frills base models of their top-of-the-line shotguns for those who want to buy a popular brand but have $1,000 or less to spend.
You can easily drop over $1,800 on a semiautomatic, but you surely aren’t paying for hand checkering when you buy a shotgun with a plastic stock. Mostly you are paying for new technology and the years of R&D that went into it. You also pay for extras you may not want or need: camo finishes, recoil-reducing stocks, fiber-optic beads, hard-plastic cases. It’s like buying a new car and having no choice but to pony up for the LX version with leather seats and a sunroof when all you want is the base model to get you around.