Blog / The Best Shotguns for Waterfowl Hunting: A Buyer’s Guide

By Connor Thomas
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Share On:

Waterfowl hunting demands precision, reliability, and the right equipment. Among the most crucial tools a waterfowl hunter can invest in is a dependable shotgun. Choosing the best shotgun for waterfowl hunting involves considering factors like gauge, action type, and specific features designed to excel in wet and often challenging hunting conditions.

Gauge Selection

When selecting a shotgun for waterfowl, the most common gauges used are 12 gauge and 20 gauge. The 12 gauge is favored for its versatility and power, making it suitable for a wide range of waterfowl species and hunting conditions. The 20 gauge, while lighter, is preferred by some hunters for its reduced recoil and adequate performance with proper shot selection.

Action Types

Shotguns generally come in three main action types: pump-action, semi-automatic, and over-and-under (double-barrel). Each type has its advantages:

Pump-action shotguns are known for their reliability and simplicity, making them popular among hunters who appreciate their robustness in adverse conditions.

Semi-automatic shotguns offer rapid follow-up shots and reduced recoil, ideal for hunters targeting fast-moving waterfowl.

Over-and-under shotguns provide precision and typically have interchangeable chokes, allowing hunters to adapt to different shooting distances.

Key Features

Key features to look for in a waterfowl shotgun include:

Water-resistant finishes to protect against moisture and rust.

Extended choke tubes for improved shot pattern and range adjustment.

Synthetic stocks that withstand wet conditions without swelling or warping.

Fiber-optic or high-visibility sights for quick target acquisition in low-light conditions.

Recommended Shotguns

Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus

A versatile semi-automatic shotgun known for its reliability and low recoil.

Benelli Super Black Eagle 3

Renowned for its inertia-driven system, which enhances reliability and reduces maintenance needs.

Browning BPS

A durable pump-action shotgun with bottom ejection, ideal for left-handed shooters.

Remington 870 Express Super Magnum

A budget-friendly pump-action shotgun known for its ruggedness and versatility.

Choosing the best shotgun for waterfowl hunting involves assessing your preferences for gauge, action type, and specific features that enhance performance in wet environments. Whether you opt for the rapid follow-up of a semi-automatic or the reliability of a pump-action, selecting a shotgun tailored to your needs will significantly improve your hunting experience.

For more information on waterfowl hunting and to explore a variety of hunting outfitters across America, visit Find A Hunt. Our platform connects hunters with top-rated guides and outfitters, ensuring memorable hunting experiences nationwide.

Remember, the right shotgun is not just a tool—it’s a partner in your waterfowl hunting adventures. Happy hunting!

Ready to plan your next waterfowl hunting trip? Explore hunting outfitters listed on Find A Hunt across America here.