Hottest Waterfowl and Duck Hunting Shotguns for 2016
- December 21, 2016
- By Brian Lovett
Summer wants to hang on, but the calendar doesn’t lie: Winter is on the way. Specifically, duck season is coming, and savvy fowlers are already preparing.
Of course, the No. 1 item on the list of every duck and goose hunter is a high-performance shotgun decked out in Realtree camo to conceal it from wary birds. Here’s a look at some of the hottest camo waterfowl shotguns for 2016.
Benelli Silver Anniversary Black Eagle II: The legendary Black Eagle has been a favorite of hardcore waterfowlers for years. The 25th-anniversary edition of the SBEII has a 28-inch barrel and chambers shells up to 3.5 inches. It features an elongated front sight, an oversized bolt handle and bolt release, and a corrosion-resistant brushed-nickel bolt. Available in Realtree Max-5, it comes with three extended choke tubes and two flush chokes. Benelliusa.com
Beretta A350 Xtrema: Beretta’s latest state-of-the-art auto-loader uses the company’s proven gas-operating system with a self-cleaning piston and cross-tube magazine, making the shotgun ultra-reliable with 2.75- to 3.5-inch loads. The nonstick Micro Core recoil pad reduces recoil, and the gun’s 28-inch barrel is cold-hammer-forged from Steelium. It uses the Optima HP choke system and is available in Max-5. Beretta.com
Weatherby Element Waterfowler Max-5: This high-tech semi-auto comes in 12- or 20-gauge, with 26- or 28-inch barrel options. It features Weatherby’s Integral Multi-Choke System, and comes with four tubes, including a Long Range Steel choke. The gun has a Griptonite stock with pistol-grip and forend inserts, plus drop and cast adjustments. It uses an inertia-operated action, and has a chrome-lined bore, vented top rib and fiber-optic front bead. Weatherby.com
Franchi Affinity: Versatile, lightweight and perfectly balanced — those words describe many Franchi shotguns, including the Affinity semi-auto. The gun, available in 12- or 20-gauge models, features a slim forend, and Franchi says it “gives you the confidence to make shots you may never have attempted before.” Chambered for 2.75- or 3-inch shells, the Affinity is available in Max-5. Franchiusa.com
Browning Maxus Realtree Max-5: This limited-availability semi-auto shotgun has a Max-5 finish applied with Browning’s Dura-Touch Armor Coating, an ultra-comfortable finish that feels warm and allows a solid gripping surface even when wet. The Maxus has a Lightning Trigger, Speed-Lock Forearm and Power Drive Gas System. It cycles a wide range of loads up to 3.5-inch magnums. The gun, available in 12-gauge, has a 26-inch barrel and weighs 7 pounds. Browning.com
Remington Versa Max Realtree AP HD Camo: The revolutionary Versa Max has been proven afield and during endurance tests with thousands of rounds, cycling 12-gauge loads with incredible consistency. Featuring the Versa Port operating system — which uses a rotating bolt head, self-cleaning pistons and a multi-port gas system — the gun reliably spits out 2.75- to 3.5-inch hulls and reduces recoil to that of a 20-gauge. The Versa Max has a synthetic stock and forend with overmolded grips, plus an enlarged trigger guard opening and larger safety for easier use with gloves. Remington.com
Winchester SX3 Waterfowl Hunter: This limited-availability gun — a 2016 SHOT Show special — features a gas-operated active valve system, an Inflex technology recoil pad and a chrome-plated chamber and bore. Available in 20-gauge for 3-inch shells or 12-gauge for 3- and 3.5-inch shells, its composite stock, vent-rib barrel and aluminum-alloy receiver come with a Max-5 finish. It has three Invector-Plus choke tubes. Winchesterguns.com
CZ USA 612 Magnum Waterfowl: Built for the goose blind, this 3.5-inch-chambered pump-action 12-gauge has a 28-inch barrel and is hydro-dipped in Realtree Max-4 camo. The 612 Magnum Waterfowl comes with five extended black choke tubes and weighs just 6.8 pounds. Cz-usa.com
Syren XLR5 Waterfowler: Syren makes guns for the modern huntress, so this high-tech auto-loader is perfect for ladies. The gun’s stock is designed to fit women better than standard men’s or youth models. Plus, the shotgun weighs just 7 pounds, 1 ounce, allowing for smooth, easy handling in the field. The recoil-reducing gas-operating system, featuring the XLR5 Pulse Piston, bleeds off pressure as the gun cycles, taking the punishment out of waterfowl ammo. Chambered for 3-inch shells and featuring a 28-inch barrel, the XLR5 Waterfowler comes in a soft-touch finish Max-5 coating. Syrenusa.com