What’s the best auto-loading shotgun: inertia or gas?

System selection

The pros and cons of gas vs. inertia auto-loading shotguns

Benelli’s inertia SBE (left), and Beretta’s gas A400

Semi-autos are the shotgun of choice for today’s waterfowlers, and they’re also becoming increasingly popular among upland hunters. There are two primary families of auto-loading shotguns, differentiated by their operating systems—gas and inertia. Each has its inherent benefits, and the differences can have an impact on how the shotgun functions and handles. You should consider these distinctions when deciding which type is best suited to you and your hunting preferences.

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