September 02, 2022
DON'T MISS Episode 35 - 2022 Giant Gear Issue Series - Waterfowl Shotguns with Browning
Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 Shotgun
Waterfowl hunting and Benelli go hand-in-hand — many waterfowlers believe you can't have one without the other. For 2022, Benelli has added Cerakote and new camo combinations to its 28-inch barrel shotguns with 12- and 20-gauge 3-inch chambers. Flooded timber hunters should give the new Tungsten/GORE Optifade Waterfowl Timber combo a serious look. At the same time, those that roam grasslands and swamps may prefer the Patriot Brown Cerakote and Gore Optifade Marsh pattern. The SBE 3 continues to lead by example, and with its proven Inertia Driven System, recoil-absorbing Comfort Tech 3 stock, drop and cast shim kit, and the list goes on, it can't be ignored.
$1,900 | benelliusa.com
Stoeger Industries M3500 Snow Goose Shotgun
When the time comes when you can use electronic calls and spring skies turn white, you need a shooter with an extended magazine. Enter Stoeger's M3500 Snow Goose. Creating this shotgun allowed Stoeger engineers to marry the M3500 Waterfowl Special shotgun with the 922R-compliant magazine of the Freedom Series to give snow goose chasers a 10 +1 load capacity. Loading and unloading are made easy via the oversized bolt handle, and a unique machined beveled loading port ensures easy feed into the magazine. Of course, we can't forget the shotgun's Inertia-Driven action, which is primarily in the receiver to guarantee a more excellent center of balance and fluid swing.
$930 | stoegerindustries.com
Franchi Affinity 3 Cerakote Shotgun
For 2022, Franchi has opted to give its Affinity faithful a new option. Dubbed the Affinity 3 Cerakote, the combination Cerakote and camo pattern have been extended to the 3-inch-chambered Affinity family. Twelve gauge fans can choose between barrel lengths of 26 and 28 inches and camo patterns of Mossy Oak Bottomland/Patriot Brown Cerakote and Realtree Max 5/Midnight Bronze Cerakote. Those that prefer a 20-gauge can go with a 26-inch barrel, and camo options are the same. Franchi Precision Cones promise improved shot patterns, and shooters will appreciate the sleek profile, slim fore-end, and upgraded fiber-optic sights. The sizeable loading port married with a Sure Cycle bolt makes loading and cycling a breeze.
$1,100 | franchiusa.com
Mossberg 940 Pro Waterfowl Shotgun
One of my favorite shotgun manufacturers, mainly because no effort is wasted on frills, Mossberg's 940 Pro Waterfowl is sure to become a tried-and-true autoloader. The gunmaker knows how hard waterfowl hunters are on their gear, and the self-draining stock was a brilliant addition. A Cerakote finish on all metal surfaces ups protection from the elements, and the gas system is durable and allows for up to 1,500 rounds between cleanings. The charging handle is oversized for gloved fingers, and an enlarged and beveled loading port was added to ensure ease of loading. This 12-gauge is chambered for 3-inch shotshells and has a barrel length of 28 inches.
$1,100 | mossberg.com
Browning Maxus II Wicked Wing Vintage Tan Shotgun
I spent my 2022 goose season sending bismuth and tungsten at monster Canada geese from Browning's Maxus II Wicked Wing Vintage Tan. I love it, and I'll be sending Browning a check to make it part of my arsenal. The new SoftFlex Cheekpiece and 1-1/2-inch thick Inflex Recoil Pad increase comfort and reduce recoil to ensure second and third follow-up shots are on the money. Of course, the Power Drive Gas System is super sweet and spits spent shotshells far, even in frigid conditions. The Lightning Trigger has great lock time. The gun feels amazing when shouldered, and is one of the softest kicking shotguns ever. An improved trigger guard, and Goose Band Invector-Plus choke tubes are among many new touches. Barrel lengths of 26 and 28 inches are available, and the shotgun is chambered for 2 3/4-, 3-, and 3 1/2-inch shotshells.
$2,100 | browning.com
Retay Masai Mara Cerakote Shotgun
Offered in 20- and 12-gauge options in 26- and 28-inch barrels, Retay's Masai Mara Cerakote is becoming a kingpin in the waterfowl world and the brand is blazing a trail with barrel design. The Inertia Piston with Inertia Plus Rotating Bolt is butter. The 8mm flat hunting style rib fitted with a single bead TruGlo fiber optic red sight promotes great accuracy and solid follow-up shots. This shooter is branded with a 7.4-pound weight rating, and the stock features an adjustable Fit Plate and Shim System. Those who shouldered the Masai Mara cheer the sculpted Microcell Polyurethane recoil pad and dub it an ultra-reliable shooter. The shotgun comes with five MaraPro Chokes.
$1,500-$1,600 | retayusa.com
Retay Gordion Extra Black Shotgun
A budget-friendly auto-loader, Retay's Gordion accepts 2 3/4- and 3-inch shotshells and is available in 12-gauge 26- and 28-inch barrel options. The Gordion showcases many of the same features as Retay's flagship models, which is nice. A youth hunter I take afield often wreaks havoc on ducks and geese with this Inertia Piston with Inertia Plus Rotating Bolt shooter. The safety is a Cross Bolt Push Bolt Interceptor system, and the oh-so-smooth trigger is an automatic anti-repeater. The Gordion weighs 6.8 pounds and comes with five interchangeable MaraPro Chokes.
$800 | retayusa.com
CZ 612 Magnum Waterfowl Shotgun
Pump-action shotguns don't get much love anymore, but this one should. CZ's 612 Magnum Waterfowl is as durable as they come and hits a price point that doesn't require anti-anxiety meds. CZ dubs it as a goose-killer, but it will work well for any waterfowl pursuit. The shotgun sports a 3 1/2-inch chamber and is fitted with a 28-inch vented-rib barrel. I applaud the extended choke design, and the shotgun comes with five. Overall length is a tick under 49 inches, and weight is 6.8 pounds. Whether you're a sage veteran or a new hunter, this synthetic stock and forearm shooter won't let you down even when Mother Nature is at her worst.
$470 | cz-usa.com
Savage Renegauge Prairie Shotgun
Built for the goose pit where dry pieces of grain find their way into every nook and cranny and those ultra-slimy duck blinds, Savage's Renegauge Prairie is just what the Waterfowl Doctor ordered. Savage's patented D.R.I.V. (Dual Regulating Inline Valve) gas system pulls excess gas before the bolt goes into action. This design equals flawless ejection, less felt recoil, and rapid cycling. Less recoil and quick cycling means dead-on follow-up shots so that you can pull more doubles and triples. Designed to fit most any shooter via its customizable length-of-pull and comb height, the drop at the heel can also be tailored to ensure proper fit. Offered in 12-gauge only, the Renegauge Prairie handles shotshell lengths up to 3 inches and has a stylish finish that includes a TruTimber Prairie Camo forend and stock.
$1,600 | savagearms.com
Fabarm XLR Chesapeake Shotgun
A sleek and sexy gas-operated shooter, Fabarm's XLR Chesapeake heeds the waterfowl call. This gas-operated 12-gauge comes in barrel lengths of 28- and 30-inches, and the shotgun lets you reach out and touch distant wings. The 6mm vented-rib barrel is topped with a longer high-viz sight bead that works as well on bright sunny days as it does when snow falls. The look is brilliant—Cerakote Midnight Bronze protective finish on all metal parts—composite stock and forearm with soft-touch finish. Overall length is 48.25 inches, and the shooter has a fighting weight of 6 pounds 14 ounces. Another notable feature is the trio of Inner HP Flush fitting choke tubes and a single extended choke finished in Cerakote.
$1,200-$2,200 | fabarmusa.com
Winchester SX4 Universal Hunter Shotgun
A new-for-2022 gas-operated autoloading wonder, Winchester has added another marvel to its tried-and-true SX4 lineup. Branded the SX4 Universal Hunter, this shotgun was made to be a duck and goose destroyer but is equally effective on doves, pheasants, quail, and turkey. The synthetic stock boasts improved ergonomics, a rounded pistol grip, and textured gripping surfaces to promote fit and feel no matter the weather. Shot patterns are dense and even, regardless of the choke being used, thanks to Back-Bored technology — an innovation that provides optimum payload delivery. A TruGlo Long Bead fiber-optic sight graces the gun offered in lengths of 24-, 26-, and -28 inch barrels. Quadra-Vent Ports vent excess gasses for cleaner, smoother operation. The SX4 Universal Hunter is available in 12- and 20-gauge models.
$1,100 | winchesterguns.com
TriStar Viper G2 Shotgun
They call themselves the "value expert," but TriStar is doing a bang-up job of giving waterfowlers a great value and providing them with a shotgun that will last for seasons to come. We like the full Viper line, but the G2 Camo is mighty hard to ignore. A reliable gas-operated semi-auto, the bolt remains open after the last round is fired, and this 3-inch shotshell shooter will handle light target loads and heavy waterfowl loads, making it perfect for off-season practice sessions. The soft-touch feel is wonderful, and you’ll appreciate the chrome-lined chamber and barrel. Waterfowlers can choose between .410, 20- and 12-gauge options, and barrel length and overall weight vary based on the G2 you feel is right for you.
$700-$740 | tristararms.com
Akkar Altay 212 Maxi-Mag Shotgun
This one's for you, waterfowler. The Altay 212 Maxi-Mag from Akkar is fitted with a 30-inch barrel topped with a bead sight. The entire shotgun is cloaked in Realtree Max-5, and the gun comes with five easily interchangeable chokes. Engineered for waterfowl, the Altay 212 handles loads up to 3 1/2 inches, and weighs just a tick over 7 pounds.
Call for Price | akkar.com.tr
Impala Plus FieldCT-5 Shotgun
WF staff have shot the Imala for a year now, and these guns run. Cloaked in Realtree Timber and fitted with a raised-comb stock and 28-inch barrel, Impala's Plus Field Realtree Timber Synthetic is an excellent waterfowl wrecker. An economical semi-auto featuring Impala's proven Kinetic Reaction System, duck and goose busters can bank on flawless performance no matter the weather conditions. The synthetic design boosts durability, and this 12-gauge comes with five choke tubes and will handle shotshells up to 3 inches.
$580 | impalaplusshotguns.com
Weatherby 18i Waterfowler Shotgun
My son has been toting an 18i for the past two waterfowl seasons. He takes good care of it, yes, but he also beats the hell out of it. He wouldn't trade this shooter for anything. Built on the manufacturer's tried-and-true Inertia System, the 18i guarantees reliable cycling and sports a weight that feels great when shouldered. Weatherby knows action can get crazy when hunting fowl and therefore designed the shotgun to handle high-volume shooting. The single-piece receiver is precision machined from billet aluminum, and the soft-touch area on the cheek rest is a nice touch, as is the aggressive texture on the palm and foregrip. The full-length ventilated top rib is fitted with LPA fiber sights, which promote low light accuracy, and the shotgun fires 3 ½-inch loads with ease.
$1,250 | weatherby.com
Beretta A300 Ultima Max-5 Shotgun
Soft-kicking, good-looking, lightweight, superb handling and reliability…yup, it’s a Beretta. The new A300 Ultima Max5 is the latest in the A300 series and available in both 12 and 20 gauge configurations with all new standard features and updated aesthetics that bring modern touches like a oversized bolt release and bolt handle to this bird-slayer. Maintaining the base operating system of the A300 series, the new Ultima line features enhanced user interfaces and available Kickoff recoil reduction technology (dual hydraulic dampeners!) that make this a formidable gun in this class, with technologies probably never seen at this price point. A soft touch comb is a nice touch. Also in Mossy Oak Bottomland, so you’re gonna need two.
$950 | beretta.com