HUNTING

Best Duck Hunting Gun: Top 8 Duck Hunting Shotgun Reviews

Duck hunting guns review
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

Duck hunting requires you to have special gear and equipment. One of the most special gears that you must have to be successful is the best duck hunting gun. You should always consider the fact that you cannot shoot ducks while they are sitting. It is usually recommended to shoot them while they are flying.

Guns for hunting ducks

There is no better firearm for shooting waterfowls when flying than a shotgun. The list of product reviews discussed in this article should help you compare design and performance of different guns, and get ideas for the best duck hunting gun you can purchase.

Most Important Features

Legal Requirements

There are some legal requirements that you must observe in accordance with the law. Hunting ducks is allowed to take place only in the selected parts. You are not allowed to be carrying a loaded gun outside blind or permitted hunting parts not unless you are chasing after an injured duck.

You are not allowed to have in possession more than fifteen shells a day. You are only supposed to use approved nontoxic shots while in the hunting grounds. You are only allowed to take ducks on the allowed hunting area as stated by the law.

Action

The choice of action for your waterfowl hunting shotgun is normally a personal predilection. A good number of duck hunters can use the various action types.

Duck hunting

You may be more than capable of switching between action types, such as bolt-action or semi-automatic, but you have to recognize strengths as well as the limitations of each action. The most popular actions in the market include semi-automatics, pump action, over-and-under, and side-by-side.

Gauge/ Bore

Unlike rifles, shotguns have smooth bores. They use cartridges, which are made up of solid projectiles referred to as pellets. The shotgun bore diameter is normally identified as gauge instead of caliber. The gauge is equivalent to the number of pellets that each has the same diameter as the interior of the barrel, weighing one pound.

This simply means that a small-gauge piece has a larger barrel diameter than a large-gauge piece. A 20-gauge gun has a smaller diameter when compared to a 12-gauge shotgun. The most recommended gauge for hunting ducks is usually 12-gauge.

Design Features

Knowing which gauge and action are convenient is not enough. You have to make sure the design features will offer you quality performance. The two most important parts of the design are the barrels and the chokes. The choice you make as far as the barrel and choke are concerned is usually personal.

Beretta a400 for duck hunting

If you wish to follow through after shooting, then you should choose a 28-inch barrel. However, if you are an intuitive shooter, you can go for a 26-inch barrel and below. Choose guns with chokes that work for you. Always choose a shotgun with a synthetic stock. This kind of stock offers the best grip regardless of whether it’s wet or dry.

Top 8 Duck Hunting Shotgun Reviews

Remington Model 870

Remington Model 870

Weight: 7 lbs.

Barrel Length: 28 inches

Design Features: 12 gauge; 4 mag capacity; light contour vent rib rem choke barrel type; twin bead sights; high polish blued receiver finish; 48.5-inch overall length; 14.25-inch length of pull; 1.5-inch drop (comb); & 2.5-inch drop (hell).

Best Use: Duck Hunting & Waterfowl Hunting

Description: Remington model 870 has solid steel tough receiver that is highly dependable and durable. The latest model 870 is smoother and more reliable compared to the original model. This is actually the role model of most resourceful shotguns.

The 28-inch barrel length is just what you need to successfully hunt down different types of ducks. The solid steel receiver design offers enduring strength. The pump slides along with silky indemnity on 2 twin action bars.

By design, the following features make model 870 an ideal gun for hunting ducks: twin sights, light contour vent rib rem choke barrel, and high polish blued receiver finish. The twin bead sights will provide you with a clear view of your target. The gun’s colorful appearance will always attract you towards it; in fact, you will always pick it over other models.

Generally, this gun has reliable features, natural point qualities, and immaculate balance. All these combined have made it one of the record-breaking pieces in the market.

Related: Remington 870 is also available in the following gauge/bore: 20-gauge, 28-gauge, and .410-gauge.

Winchester Model 12

Winchester Model 12

Weight: 7 lbs. 7 oz.

Barrel Length: 26-inch, 28-inch & 30-inch (interchangeable)

Design Features: 12 gauge; Hand-fitted steel internal parts (machined); cross bolt safety; black walnut stock; 6-shot tubular magazine; standard choke options; polished & blued steel metal finish; tubular magazine capacity of 6; and American black walnut stock.

Best Use:  Duck Hunting

Description: Winchester model 12 is an exceptional waterfowl hunting gun that is worth your money. This masterpiece has won the hearts of many, including hunters, soldiers, and survivalists. The design is simply amazing.

To begin with, it has a tubular magazine with a capacity of 6 shots. The magazine is fed via the lower opening towards the chamber. You can reduce the capacity to 2 shells by using the supplied plug. It has heavy duty internal parts (machined steel) that are hand fitted.

The black walnut stock is well-designed to offer you the perfect grip when aiming. The structure of model 12 has been modified over the years since the first version was released in 1912. It is highly versatile as far as the barrel length is concerned.

It is compatible with 30-inch, 28-inch, and 26-inch barrel lengths. The stock and pistol grip are made of American black walnut. You will be surprised by what this gun can do for you when hunting waterfowls.

Related: Winchester Model 12 is also available in the following gauge/bore: .410, 42, 20, 16, and 12.   

Browning Auto-5

Browning Auto-5

Weight: 9 lbs.

Barrel Length: 28 inches

Design Features: 12 gauge; semi-automatic; tubular magazine (5/5); iron front sight; 12 rounds per minute; 50 inches overall length; self-loading; inertia operated action type; & aluminum alloy receiver.

Best Use: Duck Hunting

Description: Browning Auto-5 is a semi-automatic shotgun that is very resourceful for hunting waterfowls. The shells of this piece are stockpiled in a tubular magazine situated under the barrel. The Auto 5 is faster when compared to other models, such as the Benelli. It uses a pair of contrasting hooks to reset the first half of the trigger return stroke.

Engineered as a waterfowl gun, A 5 has a dipped concealed finish. This kind of finish is necessary, not for decoration purposes, but for protecting the gun against corrosion. Its magazine cap and butt stock are fitted with sling swivel studs, which you can use to carry the gun.

It weighs only 9 lbs. because of the synthetic stock and fore-end. To load A 5, you have to feed shells into the lowermost of the action. At the bottom of the action, the shells are hard-pressed into the tubular magazine. A good number of A-5s are installed with removable plugs, restricting loading to three shells.

You can make your Browning A-5 more versatile and reliable by changing the barrel. You should know that A 5 barrels are interchangeable, as long as they are of the same model and gauge.

Benelli Super Black Eagle II

Benelli Super Black Eagle II

Weight: 7.3 lbs.

Barrel Length: 28 inches

Design Features: 12 gauge; black synthetic, ComforTech finish/stock; flush crio chokes & wrench; bolt-lock lever; drilled & tapped receiver; rotating bolt head; removable trigger assembly; ergonomic trigger guard & safety;  standard hard gun case; shim kit; vented recoil pad; mid-bead & red bar front sight.

Best Use: Duck Hunting

Description: Benelli Super Black Eagle II is a uniquely designed semi-automatic waterfowl hunting gun. It is the leading figure as far as semi-automatic performance, versatility, and styling are concerned. This shotgun provides you with crio barrel & choke tubes; left hand configurations; unparalleled versatility; ComforTech recoil reduction system; and unswerving inertia-driven mechanism.

With this piece, you get a benchmark of reliability. The inertia-driven mechanism ensures that the shotgun is adjustment free, reliable, and clean. You get 48% less recoil because of the ComforTech technology. ComforTech is the inventive recoil reduction system that transformed gun technology.

Duck hunting environments are usually wet; therefore, having a gun with a secure grip is paramount. Benelli Super Black Eagle II uses AirTouch tech to provide you with a strong grip that you can hold in dry as well as wet conditions. You will certainly love the uniform patterns. The barrel and choke are cryogenically treated in order to increase pattern density.

In addition to the standard features, this piece offers you optional features, which include: gun sock, ComforTech gel recoil pads, ComforTech gel comb insert, crio extended special purpose choke, extended crio choke – black matte, and rifled slug barrel. This masterpiece is highly adjustable. It comes with a shim kit, which you can use to adjust drop and cast-off, especially when you observe that the drop is higher than you expected.

Beretta Xtrema 2

Beretta Xtrema 2

Weight: 7lbs. 2 oz.

Barrel Length: 28 inches

Design Features: 12 gauge; gas operated semi-auto; anodized aluminum receiver; 4.5 pounds, single stage trigger pull; cylinder, modified improved cylinder, and full optima-bore choke tubes;

Best Use: Duck Hunting

Description: Beretta Xtrema 2 is the most popular Beretta shotgun. This is a true American, gas-operated, semi-automatic gun for the money. This piece is defined by the following features: 12-gauge; gas operated semi-auto; anodized aluminum receiver; 4.5 pounds, single stage trigger pull; cylinder, modified improved cylinder, and full optima-bore choke tubes.

As much as this duck shooter can cycle 1-ounce load, its intended purpose is even greater. To be precise, this is a field shooter that offers you accuracy when locking on your target. It is fitted with a synthetic stock, which is highly resourceful when holding the gun into position.

It has a tapered rectangular stud ejector. Unlike most shotguns in the market, Beretta Xtrema is equipped with a rust resistant coating, both in the interior and exterior metal parts of the gun. The stock is fitted with rubberized inserts, allowing you to use the gun both in wet and dry conditions. The recoil is kept in check by the butt-mounted kick-off mechanism. The interior barrel bore and some internal parts are chromed.

The exterior design is well-made; all the external parts have a matte finish, which effectively minimizes glare. All gas gears are engineered from stainless steel, providing you with smooth operation as well as easy cleaning.

Benelli Vinci

Benelli Vinci

Weight: 6.9 lbs.

Barrel Length: 28 inches

Design Features: 12-gauge; 3+1 tubular magazine feed mechanism; inertia operated; fast, low recoil; modular design; and ComforTech + recoil reduction system.

Best Use: Duck Hunting

Description: This is a well-made masterpiece for serious duck hunters. The versatility and resourcefulness of this gun are based on the technology it uses. A feature unique to this model by Benelli is the inertia operated action, along with its 3-piece structure. To begin with, the receiver is coupled to the barrel.

The stock clamps everything together; while the magazine, trigger pack, and fore grip are all confined in a single module. The action comprises of all the major gears found in M2 or Super Black Eagle II. The major difference between this unique model and the other ones is the location of the bolt return spring.

As far as Benelli Vinci is concerned, the bolt return spring is situated within the receiver as well as in line with the barrel. Unlike the previous versions of inertia guns, this new inertia masterpiece has the stock as a distinct component from the receiver, and it’s incredibly shorter.

This is what you should bring along when hunting ducks because of its fit and finish. The chrome in the interior of the barrel has a unique mirror finish. In fact, you will hardly see any tool markings on the interior parts. When you pull the gun out of the box for the first time, you will observe that the synthetic stock is smooth as well as free of burs.

Winchester SX3

Winchester SX3

Weight: 7 lbs.

Barrel Length: 26 inches

Design Features: 12-gauge; 3.5-inch chamber; gas operated; 4 rounds capacity; brass bead front sights; satin finish; invector-plus choke tube system.

Best Use: Duck Hunting

Description: The Winchester super X3 weighs 7 pounds when unloaded. Therefore, this is just what you need when hunting waterfowls. The weight makes it ultraportable. Its overall length of 47 inches, and barrel length of 26 inches, makes this gun appear larger and convenient for a serious duck hunter. The new SX3 features an adjustable comb.

The adjustable comb improves your pointing, shouldering, and precision shooting. It is equipped with a uniquely made bolt handle, bolt release button, along with magazine cap.

A feature unique to SX3 is the composite sporting carbon fiber. This carbon fiber does reinforce all the features of duck hunting. You should not be worried about this gun getting damaged after some serious shooting, because of the carbon fiber dipped finish.

Winchester SX3 is beyond any reasonable doubt the most robust, durable, and reliable shotgun for hunting ducks. You should never expect this piece to give up not unless you do so. The gun has proven its durability because it has released five thousand rounds without any possible malfunction in a field test.

The forearm and stock are fitted with contours that improve its camouflage. The forearm and slender stock do not only enhance the feeling, but also the performance.

Winchester SX3 will help you hunt ducks in any weather condition. You should always consider this shotgun before any other gun because of the following: the weight is significantly reduced by the lightweight recoil spring system, and alloy magazine tube; and the self-modifying active valve that offers you top-notch performance. Generally, Winchester SX3 is what you need for any camping trip you make besides duck hunting.

Mossberg 835

Mossberg 835

Weight: 7.25 lbs.

Barrel Length: 28 inches

Design Features: 12-gauge; 14.5-inch length of pull; 6 rounds capacity; choke; matte blue finish; dual bead sights; synthetic stock; and integral scope base.

Best Use: Duck Hunting

Description: Mossberg 835 is the most resourceful and versatile pump action gun for shooting waterfowls. The most unique feature of this amazing shotgun is the presence of 3 separate combos that are integrated with interchangeable barrels. It has a holding capacity of six rounds, which is more than enough for duck hunting.

This piece has a convenient length of pull, which is at 14.5 inches. However, you should consider a shorter length of pull if you are a small-bodied person. It has lightweight stock and barrel; therefore, it weighs only 7.25 pounds, making it lightweight and ultraportable.

In Conclusion

Success when hunting ducks does entirely depend on preparation and the type of gear/equipment you carry. The best weapon for shooting ducks is a shotgun, but as you have read there are different types of models in the market. You can easily pick a model that will work for you if you take into consideration all the important features discussed in this publication.

Hunting for ducks

You need to be comfortable with the action, the gauge, and the design features. In addition, remember to carry effective pellets. Most popular and experienced hunters recommend steel over lead pellets. Do you think we have missed any great duck hunting guns? If so, please inform us in comments.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn Harrison
Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

  • Gustavo Woltmann

    Benelli Nova is my best pick. For it’s price, it’s probably the best shotgun. Even if you have a small hand, you will not have problems using it. It is also a great gun to use in hunting turkey because it will add a tighter choke. And the most wonderful part is that it can handle 3.5″ shells.

    • Shawn Harrison

      The 3.5″ shell is definitely the clincher on this shotgun. It is also reliable a well as within the price range of many hunters. It is also great with about small to medium size games.

  • Daniel Hardwick

    In my humble opinion, the Remington 870 is quite possibly the best all-around shotgun on the market. It performs well in almost every situation, whether you’re using it to hunt ducks or for home defense and in every environment, I’ve personally shot mine in the heat, snow, and everything in between.

    I’ve never had an issue with rust, though I am meticulous when it comes to cleaning after every use and I’m yet to encounter any quality control or manufacturer issues, even after 5 years of owning one.

    • Shawn Harrison

      Great to hear you found your pick! Remington 870 really is an all around shotgun and I agree, I have not encountered any issue or heard from my immediate friends who uses it. Rust in itself can eat any guns IF owner is not responsible enough to thoroughly clean it.

  • Robert Wolfe

    The Model 12 mentioned in the article is a favorite among gun collectors. They were widely used by the U.S. military from WWI to the beginning of the Vietnam War. One of its coolest features that was not mentioned in your write up is it’s ability to slam fire. They were built without a trigger disconnect, so if you keep the trigger down, it will fire every time you pump the action. This would make it great for dove hunting, too.

    • Shawn Harrison

      Thank you Robert for the additional insight! You are right too about it good for dove hunting as there is no need to pull the trigger and just aim. This is one quick rifle and definitely a great one to have during hunting.

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