Waterfowl hunting requires specific gear, and the shotgun you carry to the pit, blind, or boat may be the most important piece. There are a lot of elements to consider when selecting a new shotgun. New high-speed steel shot shells really dish out the recoil, especially in 3 1/2″ magnum. Waterfowlers know that weather conditions are typically inclement, which challenges the ability of any shotgun to perform consistently. Camouflage may be important to some. A longer barrel comes standard, both to maximize powder burn and to raise the report above fellow shooters. Before you make a purchase this season, read Ducks Unlimited’s roundup of a dozen new models showcasing the latest in shooting technology.

1-beretta[1]1. Beretta Xplor A400 Action Counts Shots and More: Beretta recently announced the debut of the A400 Xplor Action, a semiautomatic shotgun now available in both 12- and 20-gauge designs. The Action is the first semiauto field shotgun to be equipped with an electronic device that counts fired shots. The GunPod component, which is housed in the pistol grip cap, performs other functions as well. These shotguns are lightweight and feature Beretta’s Kick-Off recoil reducer, which uses two hydraulic dampeners. The receiver is copper-tinted. Chambered for 3-inch shotshells, the Action 12-gauge is available with a 26-, 28-, or 30-inch barrel. The 20-gauge model also has a 24-inch barrel option. berettausa.com

2-browning[1]2. New Browning A5 Handles 3 1/2-inch Shells: Waterfowlers may well have seen this coming. Hot on the heels of last year’s introduction of the new A5, Browning is now offering a magnum version of this popular autoloader chambered for 3 1/2-inch loads. The only shotgun to come with a 100,000-round or five-year warranty, the A5 now offers gunners an increased payload. This gun has all the standard features of Browning’s redesigned A5—the humpback receiver, extra-long forcing cone, Invector-DS choke tube system, and Inflex II recoil pad…


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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.