Stevens Model 555 Over/Under 12 Gauge Shotgun

By Randy Wakeman

Stevens 555 12 Gauge Shotgun.
Photo by Randy Wakeman.

A July 31, 2014 press release from Savage Arms announced the new, entry-level, Stevens Model 555 O/U shotguns, stating:

"Stevens, by Savage Arms, has introduced a fast-handling, stylish over-and-under shotgun that carries a price tag below $700. The all-new 555 is as suited for hunting as for breaking clays.

Stevens kept weight to a minimum while maximizing strength and rigidity by incorporating a steel insert within the shotgun's lightweight, scaled-to-gauge aluminum receiver. The 555 also features a Turkish walnut stock and forend, shell extractors, a manual tang safety, chrome-lined barrels and a single, selective mechanical trigger. The five interchangeable choke tubes included let shooters tailor the 555 to any shooting need.

Stevens offers the 555 in 12 and 20 gauge models. The 6 pound 12 gauge has 28 inch barrels, a 14-3/8 inch length of pull, 44-7/8 inch overall length and a 2-1/8 inch drop at the comb. The 20 gauge model features 26 inch barrels, a 14-3/8 inch length of pull, 42-7/8 inch overall length and a 2-1/4 inch drop at the comb. It weighs 5-1/2 pounds."

Part No. / Description / 2015 MSRP

  • 8232 22165 / Stevens 555 12-gauge, 3-inch chamber / $692
  • 8232 22166 / Stevens 555 20-gauge, 3-inch chamber / $692

While the market for utilitarian over/under shotguns is undeniable, as evidenced by the sales of the Mossberg Silver Reserve, the satisfaction of actually owning one is dubious. The Turkish made Stevens 555 O/U is much too light for a 12 gauge with three inch chambers, weighing in at only one ounce over six pounds on my digital scale.

For the money, it isn't a bad looking gun, just plain in appearance. The traditionally shaped, pistol grip stock is standard grade Turkish walnut with four panel cut checkering and a matte finish. There is no recoil pad, just a thin rubber butt plate.

The carbon steel, chrome lined barrels are finished in a matte black with the aluminum receiver's finish approximately matching. There is a ventilated rib with a brass bead front sight. The supplied choke tubes mount flush with the end of the barrel.

The 555 is built on a conventional box lock action. The mechanical, non-adjustable, single selective trigger is surprisingly light, breaking at just under four pounds after noticeable take-up per my Lyman electronic pull gauge. The plain extractors elevate both fired and unfired shells when the gun is opened, but do not eject fired hulls. The manual tang safety works smoothly.

As you would imagine, the gun kicks like a mule, as would be expected from any six pound, fixed breech, 12 gauge shotgun. It is no clays gun, to be sure, but tolerable shooting 1180 fps MV, one ounce loads.

I took the first few shots at clays myself and the Stevens broke them just fine. The gun is noticeably muzzle heavy, as you might expect with an aluminum alloy receiver.

Unfortunately, I then asked my eighty-six year old father if he's like to try a shot or two. The reason it was unfortunate is that on Dad's first shot, the gun doubled, simultaneously discharging both barrels. It was loud, of course, and Dad had the benefit of throwing two ounces of lead out of a six pound gun--taking a few steps backward as a result. It is a good thing we were not shooting three inch magnum shells at the time!

As supplied, the single trigger on the Stevens 555 cannot be trusted. Perhaps this one just slipped through the cracks, but no one would be happy with a "give 'em both barrels" (from time to time) O/U shotgun with a single trigger. Unfortunately, double triggers are not an option. Thus, back to Savage Arms goes the Stevens 555, without remorse.

Note: A full review of the Stevens 555 12 gauge by the Guns and Shooting Online staff can be found on the Product Reviews page.

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Copyright 2015 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.