July 26, 2017
The selection of new waterfowl shotguns for 2017 runs the full spectrum from Turkish bargains to pricey Italian autoloaders. Those in search of a new waterfowl shotgun for women will be pleased to find some new additions and left-handed shooters will find a broader selection, too. Shotguns that are reliable, able to stand up to all conditions, shoot different loads and, above all, those you can shoot well with are all characteristics of a great waterfowl shotgun you should look for. So, pull up your boots, wade in and find your gun.
Benelli SBE III
One of the most iconic auto-loaders to ever come out of Italy has been lightened, sleeked up and decked out. The ComforTech stock has more cushion, the magazine loading port is easier to stoke, recoil is reduced...but the best are the large bolt handle fumble-proof safety — even with gloves — and the bolt release is outward angled to make slamming the first round home slicker.
$1,999 | benelliusa.com
Beretta A400 Lite
The 20-gauge is bad medicine for ducks. The KickOff Plus stock tames recoil, and the proprietary steelium barrel with its OptimaChoke HP tubes will put a devastating pattern on birds. The new digital GunPod2 in the pistol grip tracks how many rounds have gone thru the gun, miles walked and more.
$1,700 | berettausa.com
Breda B3 5SM
New on the block? Hardly. Breda has been making shotguns in Italy for over 90 years, and the B3 5SM will handle 2¾- to 3 ½-inch shells with extensive barrel lengths from 24 to 30 inches with stepped ribs. A big bolt handle and release makes loading easy with gloves and they come in several Kryptek camos, plus all-black and all-green.
$1,499 | bredausa.com
Browning Wicked Wing Maxus
Driven by Browning's refined PowerDrive gas system for better reliability, this monster of the marsh has a sweet Burnt Bronze Cerakote receiver that is nearly Kryptonite-proof. It'll shoot everything from light loads to 3½-inchers, and your aim will be right on with the extra-smooth and light trigger.
$1,870 | browning.com
CZ Swamp Magnum
We wrecked the Arkansas snows with this beast. This 12-gauge O/U will handle 3½-inch magnums. The safety clicks on each time the gun is opened for extra security in the blind. The camo stock and barrels keep it hidden from honkers, and ejectors toss the empties for fast reloads. CZ's extended chokes put your pattern on-target.
$1,029 | cz-usa.com
Fabarm XLR5 Waterfowl
Shells will zip thru the XLR5 (in right- or left-hand models) with its Pulse Piston gas system. Over-sized controls stop fumbles for the bolt handle, bolt release, safety, and the gorilla-sized trigger guard is made for gloved shooting. The Tribore HP barrels ensure killer patterns with the included chokes.
$1,695 | fabarmusa.com
Choose between 12- or 20-gauge, righty or lefty to fit your groove. The chrome-lined barrels shrug off rust and screw-in chokes give you the right pattern for timber or open water. Barrels come in 26- or 28-inch lengths topped with a vent rib and fiber-optic red-bar sight. The recoil pad softens the inertia-driven action.
$949 | franchiusa.com
Mossberg 930 Hunting Field
A damned fine shotgun for a bargain, the matte-blue barrel and action join a synthetic stock for all climates. The 26-inch vent-rib barrel will put you on-target to wallop fat late-season greenheads. Comes with a set of shims to fit the stock to you and a set of Accu-Set chokes for clays to turkeys
$822 | mossberg.com
Cycle light loads or heavy 3-inch doses thanks to the VersaPort system. Pro-Bore chokes can be swapped out for birds in the decoys or stretching beyond the edge of the floaters. Easy to clean, you'll find this gun rarely if ever fails to cycle in frigid conditions. The gun has a great feel to it, and its light recoil keeps you on target shot after shot.
$995 (start) | remington.com
We still love pumps and always take them on the road, because they just don't fail. Made in Turkey, its 26- or 28-inch barrels come with screw-in chokes and a stepped rib normally found on pricier guns. The synthetic stock and forend add to the P3500's durability. Included shims adjust for a never-miss fit.
$449 | stOegerindustries.com
Syren XLR5 Waterfowl
Made for women's higher cheek bones and curves, Syren guns have shorter, higher stocks with more pitch and cast and tighter pistol grips to fit smaller hands. The XLR5 uses Fabarms' Pulse-Piston gas system that will shoot 2¾- and 3-inch shells, and the super-tough action and barrel are proofed to 1,630 BAR (23,634 psi).
$1,750; $1,925 (LH) | syrenusa.com
TriStar Viper Max
One of the best autos for the money you'll find, the two-piston gas system allows shooting light target loads. Switch the pistons for heavier loads on honkers and greenheads. Comes with four Beretta-style Optima-Plus chokes, and the stock has over-molded rubber grips on the stock and forend for a firm hold.
$730 | tristararms.com
Weatherby Orion 1
For you double-gunners, nothing beats a fast-handling over/under. One of our favorite early-season guns, this is a great option for doves and teal. We've used it for morning mallard hunts and afternoon chukar death marches too! Chromed bores, 3" chambers, auto ejectors...this 12-gauge will go anywhere.
$1,099 | weatherby.com
The Super X1 legend continues with SX4. The ergonomic stock with non-slip grips has a great feel — we actually doubled on wood ducks the first time shooting this gun. A Back-Bored barrel keeps patterns even and deadly with large shot. To keep you shooting, the bolt handle and release are extra-large, and the drop-out trigger group lets you keep everything squeaky clean.
$1,070 | winchesterguns.com
Class up your duck blind. Known for thumping .50-cal. rifles, Barrett has a line of racy Italian double guns called the Sovereign. Reliable boxlocks, the two high grades, Albany and Beltrami (pictured), have engraved sideplates. All come with ejectors for fast reloads, and sleek Prince-of-Wales-style grips.
$2,200 — $5,700 | barrettsovereign.com