Stoeger Longfowler

posted on November 4, 2014

Stoeger’s Longfowler is an old-school side-by-side shotgun whose new owner isn’t going to shed any tears if it gets beat around a boat, blasted with salt water or even temporarily dropped into a muddy marsh. Nostalgic, perhaps, but describing the Longfowler as anything but utilitarian is like calling Boom Boom Mancini beautiful.

Stoeger is owned by Beretta Holdings but operated by Benelli USA out of its Accokeek, Md., offices. Known for reliable, price point autoloading and over-under shotguns, the company saw room for a working man’s side-by-side; a throwback to utilitarian fowling guns reminiscent of white-capped and duck-cotton days past, when a bag of ducks meant good fun and food for the family.

To achieve its sub-$500 price, Stoeger sourced its Longfowler 12- and 20-ga. guns from Brazil, as indicated by the “E.Z. Amantino” etched into each receiver. Located in Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, E.Z. Amantino is a 59-year-old gunmaker that markets its own guns and also produces products for international arms sellers. Employing 270 workers, it makes about 6,000 shotguns per month, many of which are shipped to Stoeger Industries.

The 12-ga., 7-lb., 8-oz. Longfowler is essentially a modified version of its Uplander Supreme shotgun. Modifications include a single trigger rather than double, 30" barrels, extended choke tubes and a dull matte, corrosion-resistant finish rather than bluing. Mechanically it’s identical.

Its classic box-lock receiver is investment-cast, finished by CNC-machine and then hand-fitted to the barrel unit. The action is cocked by leverage applied to the cocking arms via the Anson-style fore-end anchor as the gun is broken open to load. Within the action, mechanical-style trigger sears connect to a single, non-selective, investment cast trigger that fires the right barrel first. The trigger pulls measured 6 lbs., 4 ozs. and 9 lbs., 11 ozs. for the right and left barrels, respectively. They are prevented from firing by an automatic tang safety, measuring 1" in length. It is ridged and serrated for purchase even while wearing gloves on extreme weather “duck days.”

Knurling is present on the extended, screw-in choke tubes supplied with the gun.The Longfowler’s extractor is pushed to the rear by a steel rod that runs through a channel bored under the lumps; it has no ejectors.

The shotgun’s barrels are attached to the receiver by a monobloc system common to many side-by-sides. Dual lumps forged integrally to the 3" chambers feature underlugs that give the Longfowler robust strength to handle magnum loads, as does the fore-lug’s hook that rotates on the receiver’s 1/4" trunnion. A 2"-long, spring-less steel rod runs through a channel bored under the lumps to push the extractor from the chamber face as the action is opened. The Longfowler has no ejectors, so spent shells must be manually plucked from their chambers and discarded. But because litterers are rightly looked down upon these days, modern waterfowler-conservationists won’t mind that. Tests with multiple plastic-hulled shells from different makers resulted in no empties that were overly difficult to remove.

The Longfowler features 30" barrels made of SAE 1045 steels that are threaded to accept choke tubes. The gun comes with modified and improved cylinder tubes that extend 0.80" beyond the barrel ends and are knurled for easy hand-removal. A 3/8"-wide serrated rib rides in the seam atop the barrels and is studded by a single brass bead a half-inch from its termination. It provides ample sight plane, which side-by-side shooters generally prefer. Underneath, a vented barrel separator is brazed onto the barrels to lend rigidity. A lump brazed aft of it provides the stud onto which the fore-end is attached.

Measuring a full 2½" wide, the A-grade walnut beavertail fore-end certainly lends as much grip area as it does credence to its name. It is removed via a spring-loaded Deely and Edge latch that is pulled rearward by a fingertip.

Matching the wood on its fore-end, the Longfowler’s buttstock is a beefy piece of lumber featuring an open semi-pistol grip, shallow, laser-applied 18-line-per-inch checkering and a 3/4" black rubber buttpad. This is a thankful departure from thin plastic or skeleton buttplates of yesteryear, what with today’s heavy waterfowl loads. The buttstock’s dimensions are standard one-size-fits-all, owning a 14½" length of pull and standard drop-at-comb measurement of 11/2". Whatever the reason, shooting a limit of ducks provided multiple testers with rosy cheekbones where the buttstock left its mark. On the positive side, the gun’s robust barrels lend the piece a weight-forward balance that for most waterfowlers (as opposed to upland point shooters) is desirable. Without a doubt, once a shooter begins to swing the Longfowler, the gun flows through the target zone smoothly.

Sure, stock-to-metal fit leaves something to be desired, but this is to be expected on a side-by-side workhorse costing less than $500. With price and five-year warranty factored, the test gun’s only real negative is that at 40 yds., both barrels patterned slightly low and to the right of the point of aim. Our sister publication, American Hunter, however, reported no such point-of-aim/point-of-impact disparity. A lead engineer from the Amantino factory, Rolf Muzzel Paul, assured us that guns are tested for barrel regulation before they leavethe factory.

What is clear is that all reviewers found the Longfowler to be tough-as-nails, reliable and readily capable of downing ducks and geese at long range through a range of less-than-ideal conditions. In the end, that’s what matters.


LLE Leadweb
LLE Leadweb

The L42A1: A Sniper Rifle To Remember

For most of the 20th century, Lee-Enfield rifles were the backbone of the British army. The last British service Lee was the L42A1 sniping rifle. Built on the World War II No.4(T), the reliable and accurate L42A1 was retired in the early 1990s.

The Armed Citizen® July 30, 2021

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

NRA Gun of the Week: Uberti USA 1873 Single-Action Cattleman New Model

On this week’s “Gun of the Week” video preview, American Rifleman staff take to the range for a closer look at Uberti USA’s special edition "Teddy" revolver, a replica of Colt's New Model 1873 SAA. 

Kentucky Rifle Raffle to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Contemporary Longrifle Association

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Contemporary Longrifle Association, Judson Brenman and sons have made a masterpiece contemporary Kentucky Longrifle for a raffle held by the organization for the occasion.

The ArmaLite Story

The history of ArmaLite is long and tortured, filled with marvelous innovation and crushingly bad timing. Yet, now it looks like its day has finally dawned.

The Immortal Winchester Model 94: From the 19th Into The 21st Century

Since its invention at the end of the 19th century, the Winchester Model 1894 lever-action rifle design has become an iconic American firearm that is still produced and celebrated to this day.


Subscribe to the NRA American Rifleman newsletter