There are pessimists in all walks of life, yet Iâ€™m still taken aback by how many are encountered among our ranks. After all, this is arguably the best time to be a duck hunter in many years. Duck populations are at record highs. Season lengths and bag limits are generous. Steel shotshells finally work. And our gunsâ€”at every conceivable price pointâ€”are in some ways better than ever before.
You can buy a duck gun with a couple daysâ€™ pay or one thatâ€™s equivalent to a monthly mortgage statement. Most are well-made, reliable andâ€”for different reasonsâ€”worth the investment. Here are a few of the best duck guns at every price point.
It may not have all the recoil-dampeners that a Super Black Eagle II sports, but in a heavy jacket while shooting at ducks, Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™ve ever felt much of a difference. I also find the M3000 to be a rather attractive gun given its price range, perhaps more so than its hump-backed cousin. This is arguably the best semi-auto bargain on the market.
Price: $529 (black synthetic), 599 (camo dipped)
I found the gun to handle nicely, with a slightly forward point of balance. Given itâ€™s a light gun without a whole lot of recoil-dampening frills, Iâ€™d opt for the 28-inch barrel to bump weight up to 7 ÂĽ pounds. Included chokes are IC, M and F.
The latest addition to the line, the Super X3 Waterfowl Hunter, features special duck gun touches like a 3 Â˝-inch chamber, a Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades dip, and a hard-chrome finish on the chamber and bore to prevent scoring from steel shot.
Also included with the purchase is a set of Rob Roberts Custom Triple Threat Choke tubes, and each gun is test-fired before shipping to ensure an ideal pattern. An oversized bolt-handle for reloading with cold, gloved hands adds a final, nice touch. This is the gun I will once again ask my wife to buy me for Christmas, but Iâ€™m not holding my breath.
Its features are both innovative and practical, including the recoil-dampening â€śKick-Offâ€ť system, which incorporates a hydraulic dampener into the stock. The gun resists corrosion, itâ€™s backbored with steel shot in mind and it has a strong â€śSteeliumâ€ť barrel. I also believe it to be a very sharp looking gun. In fact, particularly when paired with Goreâ€™s Optifade camo, it is perhaps the most beautiful duck gun currently sold.
Itâ€™s fully adjustable for pull, drop and cast; â€śSpeed Loadâ€ť plus allows shells to be loaded/unloaded without working the bolt; the barrel is backbored and includes a lengthened forcing cone; and true to its heritage the gun has an A5-style magazine cut-off switch. One of my favorite aspects of the gun is its slim, tapered forend. To me, a shotgun just seems to point more naturally when it places my forward handâ€™s index finger close to the barrel.
Price: $1,470 or 1,600 (dipped)