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Thread: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2012
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    Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    I’ve never hunted any birds besides grouse, but would like to start hunting ducks and geese. What should I be looking for in a gun? Are there questions I should answer for myself that would dictate what would best suit my intentions?

    I like to think I’m fairly knowledgable about (and own) most types of guns that you can buy in Canada, but hunting shotguns are something I’ve never really thought about. Thanks.
    Last edited by langfordbc; 10-28-2022 at 07:05 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    3" chamber with interchangeable chokes, and weighing in the 7-8 lb range with a 28" barrel is a pretty good start. I like pump-action guns for the reliability. One that takes down for easy cleaning is also recommended.

  4. #3
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    Re: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    Browning's Field Pump Shotgun is supposed to be pretty good. I've used it and it worked well. I'd say 870 Wingmaster because I've had one for over 40 years but mine is a 1976 version. Not sure what the new ones are like.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    http://www.huntingbc.ca/forum/showth...terfowl-season
    A fine waterfowl Shotgun here! This fellow is a stand up guy as well. I've done many successful deals with him. Deal with confidence! Moosin
    "A good day hunting is mud on your truck or blood on your hands"

    “Some people go to church and think about hunting……………others go hunting and think about God!”

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  6. #5
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    May 2022
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    Re: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    I have a Benelli Nova pump action,
    28" barrel,
    2¾, 3 & 3½" cartridges,
    I think if you want to hunt geese you should get the magnums.
    It's nothing special but it works.
    I'd maybe like a Benelli autoloader, but I don't hunt birds as much as I used to.

  7. #6
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    Re: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    Everyone has their preference on shotgun actions, chamber length, and chokes.

    The pros of a semi auto: seamless follow up shots never coming off target, less felt recoil with a gas action. Handles 3 1/2 shells like there were 2 3/4 shells.

    cons: semi auto’s tend to be more expensive, take longer to clean. The odd jam causing you to miss an opprtunity.

    Pump shotgun pro’s: reliable action. That’s the only pro I can think of.

    Cons: beats the shoulder off you after repeated 3 inch and 3 1/2 shells waterfowl hunting.

    What’s the difference between a 3 inch 1 1/8 oz and 3 1/2 inch 1 3/8 shell doing 1550fps? The 3 1/2 in shell gives you 1/4 oz of pellets more, or roughly another 18 steel BB per shot. That could make the difference between a hit or a miss or a dead bird or a cripple never to be found. If you’re pass shooting you’re definitely better off with a 3 1/2 chamber if your main goal is to target the greater Canada’s.

    nothing wrong with a 3 inch chamber, lots of people have them and do extremely well with them. I just like the extra vesatility in a 3 1/2 inch chamber. You can shoot 2 3/4, 3 inch, and 3 1/2 inch all out of the same gun. In theory you could load all 3 sizes starting with the 2 3/4 as your first shot 3 inch as your second and 3 1/2 inch as your third.

    I’ve used a semi auto for ducks going on close to 30 years and in that time may have had a dozen outings that my gun has jammed and most times it was caused by laziness on my part for not cleaning it enough. We are hunting waterfowl, not face to face with a grizzly or ther once in a lifetime buck or bull. The odd jam outways the reliability argument with owning a pump.

    As for chokes I use a factory made medium in my 12 gauge semi auto, it’s been in there since 2008 and hasn’t come out since. The gun loves 3 inch #3’s 1550 fps for ducks and 3 1/2 inch 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 BB 1550 fps for geese.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    All of my shotguns are 30 years old or older, even the SKB semi I purchased new in the mid 1980's. For a couple years now a well used, previously owned vintage Browning A5 has been getting the job done with waterfowl. A few weeks ago I scored my 1st ever Canada geese at Oyama Lake. I'm a bit concerned putting steel shot through the old girl, but FN built these tough back in the day.... With the right load, reasonable range & full choke barrel a 2 3/4 chambered shottie is just fine for geese.


    Last year at another favourite lake, this one up in the Monashee mountains. 3 Gadwalls brought down with 1 shot of the A5.
    Last edited by mike31154; 10-29-2022 at 03:45 PM.

  9. #8
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    Nov 2012
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    Re: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    Do you semi shooters have a preference for gas vs. intertia?

  10. #9
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    Re: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    I believe the inertia guns are less likely to Jam and most now have a spring system in the butt stock to lessen the felt recoil. They are probably the most expensive as well.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Considerations for a waterfowl shotgun?

    My SKB is gas operated & I have 2 vintage Browning A5's that are recoil operated. Not sure of the difference between recoil and inertia if any. All should have less felt recoil than a pump or double barrel gun. The SKB needs to have the gas ports cleaned from time to time, the A5's have a friction ring arrangement under the fore stock to adjust for different loads. The entire barrel moves back to load the next round. They all operate pretty slick & I've encountered few issues with feeding & ejecting over the years. The spring follower in the magazine tube of the SKB got stuck a while ago turning it into a single shot as I couldn't feed rounds into it. I got an aftermarket replacement & it's good now. All are easy to disassemble.

    SKB. Nice light gun with threaded barrel for a full range of chokes.


    The A5's. Upper one is full choke barrel, lower is now cylinder bore after I had the faulty variable choke cut off. There's a new version of the A5 out now but it doesn't work the same way, it's an 'inertia' system similar to Benelli. Nice gun but pricey.
    Last edited by mike31154; 10-29-2022 at 06:07 PM.

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