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Thread: RFI: So...My 15 y/o nephew wants to start waterfowling

  1. #1
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    RFI: So...My 15 y/o nephew wants to start waterfowling

    As the title says, the lad wishes to do some water fowling in the PA/DE/MD areas. He just completed his first deer season with a bow. Bagged a button buck cleanly at 40 yards. Now he wants to learn the sport of water fowling. He has a buddy who lives on a farm with ponds and will be learning there with his buddy and the buddy's father. Because I am the cool uncle with gun knowledge, his dad has been asking about what to get. My wing shooting chops are dated and limited to upland hunting. An old single 16g and later a Wingmaster 12g were what I used. My first choices for him would be a Benelli Nova for a pump gun or a Beretta A300 or A400 for SA. I am thinking these vs cheaper options so this can be a life long user for him.

    My job has Novas for LL purposes and they are really nice guns. My appreciation for the A300/A400 comes from using a 1301T and handling the others.

    Am I on the right path or should I be looking at other brands/models?
    "Knowledge is good." Emil Faber, date unknown.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter NPV's Avatar
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    Going on my first duck hunt next week with some borrowed equipment. Following along for the same answers as the OP. Being a 1301T x2 owner the A300/A400 are appealing.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2014
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    Alabama
    Jason - You are on the right track with all of the aforementioned shotguns. Duck hunters can be pretty dogmatic about shotgun choices, but most good quality shotguns will do the job. That said, duck hunting can be tough on equipment considering the cold, wet, and often muddy environment. You want a 3Ē chamber for sure; 3 1/2Ē is nice, but unless there is a steady schedule of goose hunting on the books, 3Ē is just fine. Pump vs. Semi? Well, the semiís are nice for being a little softer to shoot - which can matter on high volume days. Pumps allow me to miss slower though. Seriously, with a semi (I have) a tendency to crack the third shot a little too quick whereas a pump makes me slow down for just a millisecond and think a little more about what I am doing. I am a fan of gas guns over recoil-operated systems like Benelli. The recoil guns do very little in the way of mitigating recoil. One more argument for a semi for a beginner is that they can concentrate a little more on lead/shooting and think less about weapon manipulation. This can be a big deal if you are mostly pass shooting in tight areas. I exclusively hunt wood ducks and they generally are not going to decoy. The window to get the gun mounted and steel on target can be very abbreviated. In more traditional duck hunting where you can see them coming for a long way off and they put the landing gear down for the dekes, well, shotgun choice becomes a little less critical in those scenarios.

    If toggling between shotguns for defensive and sporting use, it makes a lot of sense to have the same controls on each. I get a lot more reps in the duck blind over the course of a season than I do on the range.

    I donít know any of that helped, but I wish your nephew well in his endeavors.
    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
    No one is coming. It is up to us.

  4. #4
    Cz 1012. There are plenty of other solid options but this is my recomendation for a lightweight, camo, quality waterfowl gun. Stoeger m3000 and Beretta a400 are good options at a little lower and higher price points but the CZ is a solid choice.
    Skinner Precision LLC official Account
    07 Manufacturer specializing in Competition Rifles

  5. #5
    Iíd go with the Benelli Supernova. Itís the same as the Nova, but with a Comfortech stock. Itís similar to having a limbsaver built in. Heíll appreciate it if shooting 3 inch or 3.5 in mags.

    As others have said, waterfowling is brutal on equipment. The Supernova/Nova coat the receiver in plastic to reduce corrosion. Itís also a gun that will last a lifetime. Theyíre well proven guns.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Powder Potentate Borderland's Avatar
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    Feb 2019
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    49th Parallel
    Lots of waterfowl hunters around here. Most of them seem to prefer Benelli autoloaders. Very expensive but you asked for a good, not cheap.

    I never liked hunting with a pump although I did for years with an 870 Wingmaster. I bought it when I didn't have a lot of money and made it work.

    I would recommend an autoloader, synthetic stock, and 3.5" chamber for anything you buy. Autoloaders reduce the recoil and make it easier for follow up shots.

    Here's some more to chew on.

    https://www.fieldandstream.com/outdo...agle-3-review/

    Good luck in your search.
    In the P-F basket of deplorables.

  7. #7
    Although I am definitely not an expert, I've hunted with some serious duck hunters. They mostly shoot Benelli semiautomatics. One of them has a cleaning regimen that consists of hosing his Benelli down and spraying it with WD-40. It makes me wince, but the shotgun still functions fine.

    Anyway, here are a few things I have learned about duck hunting that may help you.

    • Buy bismuth shells. Kent makes some good ones. In my experience, steel tends to cripple them and not hit them as hard as bismuth. They're really expensive, but they kill ducks.
    • Use 2.75" or 3" shells for ducks. They work fine. 3.5" have a significant amount of recoil, especially for a teenager, and may start bad habits.
    • Do some practicing at a local sporting clays range to see a variety of presentations.


    Duck hunting is really enjoyable, especially if you have some good company in the blind. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter
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    Apr 2015
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    PA
    Thanks for the input everyone! Based on the responses here and what was available I went with a Beretta A300 Ultima. Got a smoking hot deal and it is basically a "bird version" of my 1301t. The only thing missing is the compass in the stock...
    "Knowledge is good." Emil Faber, date unknown.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Chewbacca10 View Post
    Although I am definitely not an expert, I've hunted with some serious duck hunters. They mostly shoot Benelli semiautomatics. One of them has a cleaning regimen that consists of hosing his Benelli down and spraying it with WD-40. It makes me wince, but the shotgun still functions fine.

    Anyway, here are a few things I have learned about duck hunting that may help you.

    • Buy bismuth shells. Kent makes some good ones. In my experience, steel tends to cripple them and not hit them as hard as bismuth. They're really expensive, but they kill ducks.
    • Use 2.75" or 3" shells for ducks. They work fine. 3.5" have a significant amount of recoil, especially for a teenager, and may start bad habits.
    • Do some practicing at a local sporting clays range to see a variety of presentations.


    Duck hunting is really enjoyable, especially if you have some good company in the blind. Good luck.
    Is 3Ē even necessary? Iíve never been duck hunting, but I didnít think theyíd be that hard to kill.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Alabama
    Mitch - They actually can be pretty hard to kill ( especially with friggin STEEL shot!). Ducks are unbelieveably tough. But it is also about, they can be hard to *hit*. I want as many pellets in the air as I can get.
    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
    No one is coming. It is up to us.

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