British gunmaker W.W. Greener first marketed 28-gauge shotguns back in the 1880s and they were exceedingly popular in Europe for taking small, nimble game such as quail, pheasant, and rabbit. While over on this side of the pond the smaller .410 bore filled this role while larger 20-, 16-, 12-, and 10-gauge shells took care of everything else, that doesn’t mean the 28 didn’t catch on at least a little bit.
With its “square” load because of the balance between its hull payload vs bore diameter, it proved magic when it came to busting clays of all sorts and continues to do so, hitting accurately and reliably out to all practical shotgun ranges while having a soft recoil. Often called “the thinking man’s 20-gauge,” the 28 has become even more popular in recent years, especially when using non-traditional (i.e., not lead shot) loads.
With that in mind, it isn’t surprising that Beretta this month announced a new 28-gauge model of their A400 Upland series of over-and-unders. Of course, they are $1,800, but we are talking Beretta and over/unders here, so you knew this wasn’t a topic for the poors.