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The K-20 Victoria in 28 gauge by Krieghoff is an icon of luxury hunting lifestyle for the discerning female wing shooter. The excitement of a cackling pheasant or a flushing covey of doves is a beautiful match for the performance and engineering of this elegant shotgun. 

A few years ago, Krieghoff arrived at the conclusion that women wing shooters wanted shotguns that fit – just like female clay shooters. They took it a step further and departed from their classic K-80 with its full-figured grandeur and created the K-20 Victoria. 

The Victoria line is actually a veritable wardrobe of shotguns for the female shooter and hunter, offering frames, barrel lengths and gauges to mix and match to fit your specific needs, wants and applications. The Victoria shotguns are foundationally rooted in the premise coined by Krieghoff founder Ludwig Krieghoff: “You shoot with the barrel – you hit with the stock.”

The Krieghoff K-20 Victoria (bottom) compared to the Krieghoff K-80 Victoria. Andrea Bogard

Krieghoff K-80 Victoria vs K-20 Victoria

A note here about the Victoria line. The Victorias are essentially broken down into two categories – the K-80 and K-20. Here are a few key components that make up this ensemble. 

The K-80 is the flagship model for which Krieghoff is known. Its impeccable engineering, classic performance and outstanding craftsmanship are synonymous with the legacy associated with the Krieghoff name. 

The K-80 was reintroduced in the Victoria line. True to the concept of creating a wardrobe of shotguns for the female shooter, no shrinking, pinking or offensive flowering took place. If you want flowers on your K-80 Victoria, you can absolutely get them, but those assumptive accents aren’t added simply because it’s a “women’s gun.”

The K-80 Victoria is a full 12-gauge frame but possesses the unique Victoria stock characteristics mentioned above. It is available in 12, 20 and 28 gauge, but all with the same larger scale frame. The barrel lengths available are 28, 30, 32 and 34 inches with an 8 mm tapered rib.

The K-20 is built on a 20-gauge receiver and is available in 20 and 28 gauge with 30- and 32-inch barrel options only.

After shooting or hunting with every configuration in the Victoria line, I elected to review the K-20 Victoria in 28 gauge with 32-inch barrels.

See It

  • Action: K-80 O/U boxlock action
  • Chamber: 28 gauge, 3 inch (20 gauge also available)
  • Barrels: 30-inch or 32-inch barrels; 7mm tapered rib, soldered with side ribs
  • Stock: Right- or left-handed “Victoria” stock with adjustable comb, palm swell and “Victoria” fore-end. Both featuring the proprietary Victoria checkering design
  • Weight: 7 pounds 14 ounces (overall approximate weight – this may vary slightly based on wood)
  • Trigger: Single selective mechanical trigger – approximately 3 ¾ pounds
  • Chokes: Available in fixed choke configuration (M/IM) or with Krieghoff thin-wall chokes 
  • Weights: Can be fitted with weights under the fore-end, adding up to 4.2 ounces, or within the butt stock, adding up to 4.4 ounces there. 
  • Customization: Wood grade, stock dimensions, action finish, metal embellishment, adjustable butt plate, and other features can be customized upon request
  • Made in Germany
  • Price: Starting at $14,195 with fixed chokes, $15,095 with screw-in chokes
The stock on the Krieghoff K-20 Victoria adjusts for comb height. Andrea Bogard

Loads Tested in the Review

  • ¾ oz reloads (No. 8s)
  • Factory ¾ oz target loads (No. 7.5s) 
  • 2 ¾-inch high brass pheasant loads (No. 5s) 
  • 3-inch ¾ oz Black Cloud (No. 4s)

Review Highlights

  • Handles nimbly despite the long barrels
  • Stocked to fit female shooters
  • Exhibits excellent craftsmanship and performance
hunter with pheasant
The author is all smiles after hunting with the K-20 Victoria. Andrea Bogard

How the Krieghoff K-20 Victoria is Tailored for Women

When Krieghoff decided to create a women’s shotgun, they started with the stock. They realized that adjustability at that user interface was key to fitting the female shooter and hunter.

They began with a shortened overall length of pull (14 inches) and a highly adjustable comb with both lateral and elevation shifts available. The next steps were a slenderized grip, tightened grip radius, appropriate pitch and cast and scaled fore-end. All of this was designed to accommodate the generally smaller hands and unique structure of a woman. This is the essence of the “Victoria” stock.

The stock itself boasts the more linear Victoria laser-cut checkering pattern, lending an aesthetic “swoop” from trigger to the sporter style grip, complete with dominant hand specific palm swell. The fore-end is the Parcours style construction which gives the gun the appearance of sleek elegance with no protrusions characteristic of a Schnabel style. The fore-end is removed from the barrels by manipulating a recessed engraved metal lever forward of the main checkering pattern.

The wood is a Turkish walnut available in six different grades. The finish is a durable epoxy blend that not only preserves and protects the wood but accentuates the luxurious figure and character beneath.

Krieghoff K-20 Victoria action with pheasant feather
The engraving on the K-20 Victoria is cut by machine then finished by hand. Andrea Bogard

Krieghoff K-20 Victoria Engraving

Many manufacturers have adopted a “shrink it and pink it” mentality when it comes to both construction and adornment of their female-centric offerings. There seems to be an unspoken assumption that women like pink on their hunting attire and flowers on their guns.

Krieghoff made no such assumption. The K-20 Victoria (as well as the entire Victoria line) is available with any of the luxury engraving options offered on any of their firearms. The Victoria line does come in its own unique checkering pattern, however, as mentioned above. 

The model I reviewed had a heavy relief cut vine-like design on a nickel receiver. It was both elegant and classic in appearance while not overtly feminine. The engraving on the Krieghoff K-20 Victoria is machine cut and then finished by hand.

Operating the K-20 Victoria

The receiver locking system is a top latch locking cover mechanism that slides forward when the gun is closed and marries up to the barrel flats. It is smooth, moves silently, but closes with an audible “click” of assurance.

The K-20 Victoria in 28 gauge has a single selective mechanical trigger. The barrel selector is located inside the trigger guard, forward of the adjustable position trigger. To shoot the bottom barrel first, push to the left when behind the gun. To fire the top barrel, push the selector to the right.

The barrel selector is located within the trigger guard in front of the trigger.

The manual safety is located rear of the top lever on the receiver. It has the traditional Krieghoff “push-button” design. To place on fire, depress the button and push the safety forward. The safety can be made inoperative by removing the stock and adjusting an internal screw while holding the safety externally in the “forward” or “fire” position.

The barrels are 32 inches of well-balanced magic. They are side soldered and topped with a tapered 7mm rib with a mid and end bead. They are finished with standard fixed chokes, but available with a screw-in choke option. The model under review was choked Mod/IMod. I did not pattern this shotgun due to the sheer variety of ammunition I was planning on putting through it. However, neither barrel struggled to make terminal impacts on pheasants at 40-plus yards with a variety of situationally appropriate ammunition.

The K-20 Victoria is equipped with ejectors held in place by a ball/spring mechanism. In the unit tested, the ejectors were crisp, effective, and well-timed. 

Hunter with Krieghoff K-20 Victoria pheasant hunting
The author with a brace of roosters taken with the 28-gauge K-20 Victoria. Andrea Bogard

Krieghoff K-20 Victoria in the Field

I am a huge sub gauge fan. If presented with a choice between a 12 gauge and any variety of sub gauge, I’ll most always go the non-12 gauge route. When I learned that the K-20 Victoria came in 28 gauge, I was more than a little excited! For me, the 28 gauge has something special. While the K-80 Victoria is available in 28 gauge, it does not possess the lithe, nimble action for which I was looking.

The Krieghoff K-20 Victoria in 28 gauge is designed as a field gun. I admit I had my doubts when I saw the available barrel lengths. The shortest option was 30 inches. Being a Northern Michigan grouse/woodcock hunter, I was somewhat skeptical of bird hunting with a shotgun of these proportions. 

To test the Victorias, I journeyed to South Dakota in search of roosters and answers to such pressing questions as “can you successfully and comfortably hunt pheasants for days with a 32-inch barreled sub gauge?” 

And then there was that moment. Those first few steps across a golden field. The first breath of a beautiful Mid-western wind. The first excited rush of an eager flusher through the corn. The first cackle as a rooster breaks from dried sorghum. And the first shot resulting in a satisfying weight of a bird in the bag. That’s where my skepticism ended.

After that, I began to see the K-20 Victoria in 28 gauge through different eyes. It bucked the norms of what I expected from a “hunting gun.” It was bold, but elegant. Graceful, yet effective. Quick, yet controlled. In short, all that a luxury hunting shotgun should be. 

Krieghoff K-20 Victoria being shot during a bird hunt
Despite the 32-inch barrels on the K-20 Victoria, the author found the gun to be a nimble swinger on birds. Andrea Bogard

Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to any choice, guns included. The Krieghoff Victoria in 28 gauge is no exception. Intended purpose and practical application can blur the lines between pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Outstanding quality and engineering
  • Tight tolerances
  • Smooth operation (open, close, controls)
  • Chambered for up to 3-inch shells in 28 gauge – Krieghoff was one of the first over-under manufacturers to take this step
  • Elegant aesthetics
  • Easily adjusted to fit the female shooter (comb/eye alignment)
  • Intuitive weight distribution
  • Superb balance
  • Well established client support for any necessary fitting, repairs, rejuvenation, or maintenance

Cons:

  • The shortest barrel length available is 30-inches
  • Krieghoff shotguns, including this model, require periodic re-tuning and fitting by Krieghoff to keep them within original spec. According to factory recommendation, that would be every 15,000 to 20,000 rounds or every 2 to 3 years
  • The Krieghoff K-20 Victoria in 28 gauge with 32-inch barrels starts around $14,000 with the average unit sold just under $20,000
Krieghoff K-20 Victoria in a corn field
The Krieghoff K-20 Victoria is right at home in pheasant cover. Andrea Bogard

Read Next: 7 Great 28 gauges for Upland Hunting

Final Thoughts on the Krieghoff K-20 Victoria

The Victoria shotguns from Krieghoff are an outstanding choice for the woman seeking victory afield with a luxury shotgun in hand. The beauty of the guns are only exceeded by their quality, balance and engineering. And, as any bird hunter will attest, you can’t put a price on those days afield where everything just comes together. With the fit, balance and beauty of the K-20 Victoria, those days might just happen a little more frequently.

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