There is no better time to explore a new duck hunting shotgun than before the season gets here. You will have plenty of time to get comfortable and familiar with it before duck season gets here, and plenty of time to review all of the different options out on the market today. In the world of duck hunting and duck hunting accessories, there is nothing more important than your hunting shotgun!
While there are plenty of great duck guns that could be used for duck hunting, not all of them are created equal. Waterfowl hunting is hard on shotguns, and only the toughest and most durable guns will be considered the best choices. The best shotgun for hunting will rely on a few deciding factors, like what you are looking for in a duck hunting shotguns, specs, features, and budget. So what are some of the best duck hunting guns? Let’s take a look so you can find the perfect duck gun before this season!
The Remington 1187 is an autoloading shotgun that combines plenty of speed, reliability, and smoothness to give you a great hunting shotgun that you can use in any situation. It has a great overall quality for its price tag and is an absolute workhorse when it comes to a waterfowl shotgun. It is available in both 12 and 20 gauge and has a 4+1 capacity. The 1187 is widely considered the best autoloading shotgun on the market.
The receiver is made of solid steel, and the self-cleaning gas system helps to reduce recoil significantly. This gives this gun a lot of versatility, and while it makes a great waterfowl gun, it could even be used for things like home defense or whitetail deer hunting. Remington makes some great shotguns, and this one is without a doubt one of them. It’s another one of those voted best duck hunting shotguns by our fans.
The Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 is considered a complete redesign of the Super Black Eagle platform according to Benelli. Whether or not it is better than its predecessors is up to personal opinion, but there is no arguing that this shotgun was designed for duck hunting from the ground up. From its excellent ergonomics to its unmatched function and reliability, the SBE3 gives you the ability to find the perfect match for what you need. Options on stocks, finishes, barrel lengths, and grips really give you the feeling that you are using one of the best shotguns in the world, and to many people, you are! Even the stock on the gun had a complete redesign, incorporating a vertical shock-absorbing system to reduce recoil even further. Both the bolt and safety were made oversized, making them much easier to use when shooting in cold weather or with gloves on making it one of our best hunting shotguns.
The Benelli Super Black Eagle 2 is the original 3 ½ semi-auto shotgun, and its popularity and performance speak for themselves. While Benelli does make other firearms, they are most well known for their excellent and high-quality shotguns. This shotgun singlehandedly set the standard for semi-auto hunting shotguns due to its excellent design, versatility, and high-end quality.
This shotgun also helped bring Benelli’s incredible Inertia driven operating system to the public spotlight, showing the world of its intuitive and forward-thinking design. Coming in 12 gauge with a 3+1 capacity, it usually comes in a matte black weather-resistant coating to give it even more durability. Barrel lengths can be either 26 or 28 inches and the gun is available in both left and right-handed configurations. For hunters looking for a true “do it all” shotgun, this is one to definitely take a look at!
The Remington 870 is perhaps one of the most popular shotgun platforms in the world, and this special edition makes a few upgrades to give it the perfect dependability and characteristics for being the ultimate duck hunting gun. Not only can it easily cycle any size of rounds, but the camo finish helps you stay hidden while waterfowl hunting.
The pump action gives you the dependability you can come to expect from a Remington 870, and the overall finish of the gun helps you to blend in with your surroundings much better.
Add in the comfortable recoil pad and the versatility that you can come to expect from an 870, and you have one of the most reliable and functional duck hunting shotguns in the world and possibly the best 12 gauge pump shotgun period.
Stoeger makes some excellent firearms, and the Stoeger M3500 features an inertia driven operating system to create a dependable, smooth shooting waterfowl hunting gun. The ventilated and stepped rib gives you a great sight picture, and the fiber optic sight gives you plenty of brightness to see your target no matter the conditions. This shotgun is also drilled and tapped in case you want to add an optic as well to increase your accuracy even more. It also comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, giving you peace of mind if something should go wrong with the shotgun that it is covered.
But with a Stoeger shotgun, you will probably not need it as this gun is a workhorse and will not let you down. An overall simple and basic design and look, this semi-auto shotgun has a 4 round capacity and comes with a shim kit to help customize it to its shooter.
Beretta specifically designed the A350 to be the perfect semi-auto waterfowl gun. It is gas-operated with a compensated exhaust valve that allows this shotgun to cycle a large variety of different ammunition.
You can easily see Beretta’s attention to detail with this gun, all the way from the barrel to the stock. The synthetic stock comes equipped with an adjustable shim system that gives you the ability to customize the gun to you, ensuring that you have a shotgun that fits perfectly, points just right, and moves fluidly while shooting. The entire gun is coated in Realtree Max-5 camo to give a hunter maximum concealability while hunting, blending in perfectly with any natural brush. It also features a reversible safety and has a 4 round shell capacity. Beretta is making waves with their shotguns, and the A350 Xtrema is helping to do it. This gun is great for anyone looking for a dedicated semi-auto duck rig at a great price.
For hunters on more of a budget, a great option to look into is the Yildiz 12 Gauge Auto shotgun. This company is relatively unknown, but they offer some great hunting guns at some very good prices.
Founded in 1992, this Turkish company has plenty of experience in producing great hunting guns. This shotgun is available in a few different configurations and is everything you could ask for in a semi-auto duck hunting gun. It features a manual safety, a basic front bead sight, and has a capacity of 4+1. Although this is a relatively unknown brand of shotguns, many hunters who use this duck hunting gun are extremely happy with it and have loved its durability and functionality. It has a very sleek and simple design and overall is a very clean and beautiful looking shotgun. If you want an autoloader for waterfowl hunting but don’t want to break the bank, take a look into some Yildiz shotguns and you may be surprised at what you find! While they may still be relatively unknown in the hunting community, it won’t be long until word gets out about their quality firearms.
Another great offering from Beretta, the A400 comes in a wide variety of different camo patterns and is marketed as the world’s softest shooting waterfowl hunting gun ever designed. Beretta has done this by incorporating some of the technology they developed for competition shooting into a waterfowl hunting design, giving us the A400 platform. This shotgun features a step rib with a mid-bead, an ergonomic and well-designed stock, and Beretta’s reliable semi-auto action.
In addition to the actual internals working towards an almost 70% reduction in felt recoil, the butt pad on the stock has been engineered to minimize any other movement or recoil that might come through to your shoulder. Combine all of these small details together and you get a gun that seems to stand out among the rest for waterfowl shotguns. If recoil is a considering factor for your waterfowl gun, this is definitely one shotgun that you will want to check out!
The Winchester Super X4 is the next step in the evolution of Winchester’s waterfowl hunting shotguns and builds upon the popular SX3. This gun is designed to be the ultimate hunting firearm and comes in an all-black, matte finish to prevent any glares from spooking animals. All of the controls on the gun are much larger and easier to use than before, especially when using the gun in cold weather or with gloves on. A complete redesign of the grip also helps in this aspect, giving a hunter more control and comfort when shooting. A vent rib and fiber optic sight allow for precise shooting, and this gun is even available in 20 gauge in addition to the usual 12 gauge. It is also available in a different chamber and barrel lengths, giving you the ability to pick the best fit for you and your needs.
Mossberg shotguns are some of the most reliable shotguns on the market, and the 835 pump action continuous to help Mossberg keep this reputation. This waterfowl hunting shotgun is very reliable, and the 3 ½ chamber can easily cycle any shell you put into it. This gives it a ton of versatility no matter what kind of waterfowl hunting you might be doing. The ported barrel helps to drastically reduce the felt recoil and also works to minimize any barrel rise while shooting, especially when using large magnum loads. All of these small details help the 835 to be a great duck hunting gun, and its basic design is based on the famous Mossberg 500, well known for its durability and reliability. The top-mounted safety is easy to reach and use with either hand, and the simple design allows a hunter to easily field strip and clean the gun on the go. Finished off with a solid recoil pad and dual bead sight, the Mossberg 835 has set a high bar when it comes to pump-action waterfowl hunting shotguns.
The Beretta A300 is a gas-operated, semi-auto shotgun that is one of the most popular and affordable duck hunting guns in the world. With a 3 inch chamber, this gun comes with Beretta’s attention to detail and unquestionable reliability, which is great when you are in rough or nasty conditions. This gun helped to set the bar and bring light to Beretta’s line of hunting shotguns and has seen use all over the world. It is particularly popular because of its ability to customize the stock by using spacers that you can take out or insert between the action and the grip. This, in addition to a reversible safety, makes this gun extremely versatile and gives hunters the ability to set it up to fit their needs perfectly. The A300 is very light and comes in at around 7.5 pounds. At a great price and an even better value, it is easy to see why this gun is so popular. While Beretta has since released newer models building upon the success of the A300, this gun is still one of the best possible duck hunting shotguns in the world.
For waterfowl hunters, there are so many different options out on the market today that making a decision can sometimes be a challenge. There are many amazing companies out there, all producing what they perceive to be the best duck hunting guns in the world. Ultimately the best duck hunting shotgun will come down to things like personal preference and budget, but hopefully, now you have an idea of some of the best guns for duck hunting that you can try out.
The members our the Duck Hunting Fanatics crew have spoken on their favorite guns. If you’d like some additional opinions on the who, what, when of the best duck hunting shotguns, then visit our friends over at the Firearm Blog and you’ll find plenty more discussions.
What gauge shotgun is best for duck hunting?
What gauge shotgun is best for duck hunting?
Within reasonable range, the 20-gauge can be a good waterfowl gun, particularly with some of the premium nontoxic pellets such as Bismuth, Federal Tungsten Iron, Kent Impact, and Remington Hevi-Shot. With steel pellets, the 20-gauge is more range-restricted, but with a beginner, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
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|SPECIES||IDEAL RANGE||SHOT SIZE|
|Small Ducks||15-40 yds||4, 5, 6|
|Large Ducks||10-40 yds||BB,1, 2, 3|
|Geese||10-45 yds||T, BBB, BB|
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