Best O/U Scatter Gun under $1,000?

One of the most common questions I receive as a professional gun writer/ reviewer for the NRA is: “What’s the best inexpensive over/under shotgun?”

Plenty of folks want an over/under for skeet and clay games where these guns dominate in popularity. Others just want a do-all shotgun that looks a little classier than a camo-dipped 870 pump, but they don’t have $3,000 for a Beretta Silver Pigeon or Browning Citori. Turns out, most people who ask me this question are expecting to pay less than a grand. After all, they can get a sub-inch rifle, an AR-15 or a top-end handgun for less than $700. So they’re often surprised–and sometimes even slightly offended–when I recommend they consider saving their beans until they can at least get into the $1,500 range. Most sub-$1,000 over/unders I’ve fired (with the possible exception of a few recent CZ models) do not hold up as the shooter progresses. Although at first glance many of them look ok, they feel rough, handle like a 2×4 and their mass-produced aluminum alloy parts tend to wear like a lawnmower belt. In sum, they’re just plain cheap.

But in 2020 I walked into an Academy store (an excellent sporting goods chain in the southern U.S.) and saw a darn-good-looking over/under shotgun on the rack for $699. So I asked to hold it, because I was as skeptical as a scientist at a magic show. I was surprised at the Yildiz’s initial feel, features and small details such as checkering and wood-to-metal fit. But I’ve had my heart broken before, so months later I asked to test it. What follows is a review of one model, the steel-receiver SPZ ME Sporting HPS, and an answer: What’s the best over/under shotgun for less than $1,000. Hell, this one is less than $700!

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.