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2022 Shotgun Of The Year: Smith & Wesson M&P12

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Now in their 20th year, the Golden Bullseye Awards are chosen annually to recognize the firearm industry’s best new offerings. Here is this year’s winner as selected by the editors of “The World’s Oldest And Largest Firearm Authority.”

Screen capture bifold magazine article text image of bullpup smith and wesson shotgun pump-action 12 gauge award winner

Bullpups aren’t for everyone, so it was somewhat surprising when Smith & Wesson revealed that the M&P12—the first shotgun manufactured in-house by the company in nearly 150 years—would employ this configuration. But as Young discussed in “Proof Of Concept: S&W’s M&P12 Bullpup,” defensive scatterguns, in general, are a good fit for the bullpup concept as they “benefit from the bullpup’s advantages while simultaneously mitigating its shortcomings.” He also found that the M&P12, in particular, was an example of how to design one well.

Despite measuring only 27¾” long, the pump-action M&P12 makes use of a full 19″ barrel and offers an immense 15-round topped-off capacity when using common 2¾” shotshells, thanks to its dual tubular magazines. Its fully bilateral controls, coupled with downward ejection, also allow all shooters, regardless of their hand/eye dominance, to use the shotgun equally well. And a top-mounted Picatinny rail and numerous M-Lok slots provide for customization. Young ultimately concluded that S&W’s M&P12 was “reliable, versatile, simple to use, handy to maneuver and easy to accessorize,” making it our choice for Shotgun Of The Year. smith-wesson.com

About the Golden Bullseye Award:
The Golden Bullseye Awards were created two decades ago to recognize quality, innovation and value within the firearm industry, with the editors of the NRA Publications Division convening annually to nominate and select the standout performers from the previous year’s crop of new products. The discussions can get animated at times—as each year there are always more new guns, ammunition, optics and accessories worthy of accolade than we could possibly call out—but consensus eventually results in winners being selected, with the passionate back and forth serving as evidence of the firearm industry’s health and innovative spirit.


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