In what seems to be a quiet year for new waterfowl shotguns, there were still a few new scatterguns unveiled by firearms manufacturers during the 40th edition of the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
After several days of combing the aisles looking for new waterfowl hunting gear, here are a few of the new 2018 shotguns discovered by OSG writer Lynn Burkhead that duck and goose hunters will find of interest
Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 Left-Handed Shotgun
As noted in 2017 when Benelli introduced the new Super Black Eagle 3, it's quite difficult to improve on a gun that many consider to be the most iconic waterfowl shotgun of all time.
But that's exactly what engineers at Benelli did with the SBE3, a gun that has won rave reviews since its introduction with such things as an oversized-bolt handle, an oversized-bolt release, an oversized safety and an enlarged-loading port.
Add in the company's third-generation ComfortTech stock, a soft butt pad and the Combtech cheek pad and this inertia-driven semi-auto scattergun reduces the energetic thump of high-brass non-toxic waterfowl loads in 2 ¾-, 3- and 3 ½-inch shells.
How can Benelli improve on its new classic, the SBE3, in 2018? Simple — the Italian gunmaker is now offering the SBE3 in left-handed versions, making the shooting experience that the shotgun offers a more universal one.
Contact: Benelli; 800-264-4962
Beretta 691 Vittoria Field Over/Under Shotgun
It's hard for one of the world's premiere gunmakers to top the legendary products that they've brought to market in the past, but Beretta has taken a step in that direction with the introduction of the 691 Vittoria Field, the first range of shotguns designed by the Italian gun-maker for women.
With a semi-Monte Carlo stock optimized for women, the cold hammer-forged Stellium Barrels and the versatile Optima HP Chokes help make the gun a top-end scattergun choice on the trap range, when busting a round of sporting clays, or targeting ducks up and down the flyways.
Add in the Nistan finish to keep duck blind corrosion at bay, along with classic styling and the elegant looks that Beretta shotguns are known for â€“ including superb engravings and beautiful 2.5 oiled wood â€“ and this is a shotgun that female wingshooters will love using in waterfowl blinds all over North America.
Browning Wicked Wings A5
Built around the classic humpback looks of John Browning's original Auto-5 autoloader design, the Wicked Wings A5 in 2018 brings back the company's Kinematic Drive System, a soft-shooting and fast cycling design that helps Browning offer a 100,000 shotshell round or five-year guarantee on the high-performance shotgun line.
Add in the Wicked Wing's Cerakote Burnt Bronze camo finish, Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades Camo on the shotgun's stock and forearm, and the new Browning Goose Band Extended Invector-DS Choke Tube system and there's much to like about this waterfowling autoloader in 2018.
Contact: Browning; 800-333-3288
Fox A Grade Side-by-Side by Savage
As bamboo fly rods are to fly fishermen and recurves and long bows are to bowhunters, the new Fox A Grade series side-by-side shotgun by Savage Arms gives 2018 waterfowlers a modern-shotgun with throwback classic good looks.
In fact, the Fox A Grade side-by-side shotgun by Savage harkens back to the days of legendary outdoor writer and waterfowl hunting enthusiast Nash Buckingham, well known for using his famous side-by-side scattergun dubbed Bo Whoop to take limits of ducks and geese in eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and in western Tennessee near his Memphis home.
With a century of shotgun building excellence behind them, the Fox A Grade side-by-side handles gracefully, points naturally and hits hard with top-end components, superb craftsmanship, and elegant style that is missing from many of today's modern scatterguns.
Available in 26 or 28-inch 12 and 20-gauge models, these box-lock side-by-sides feature exquisitely checkered American black walnut stocks, splinter fore-ends, and a bone and charcoal case color-finished receiver.
With double triggers and interchangeable choke tubes (improved cylinder, modified, and full choke), waterfowlers can reliably shoot today's high energy non-toxic loads at ducks and geese migrating down the four North American flyways with no fear of damaging a timeless looking and classic handling side-by-side shotgun.
Even as the ghosts of Buckingham and others whisper across the waterfowling ages into the gathering modern-day northerly wind.
Contact: Savage Arms; 800-370-0708
Franchi 16-Gauge SL Over/Under
While this stylish stack-barrel shotgun might be an upland game bird shooter's dream in the woods for ruffed grouse and woodcock, the new 16-gauge offering from Franchi will also do double-duty on nearby ducks too.
With a AA-Grade satin walnut stock and forearm, this light 5.8-pound Franchi SL Over/Under is a fast handler that comes with improved, modified, and full chokes.
With automatic ejectors, a barrel selector situated on the top-tang safety, and a 28-inch barrel length, the Franchi SL Over/Under 12-gauge became an "Instant Classic" a few years ago. Now offered in a time-honored 16-gauge model, this Franchi over/under is a superb blend of old and new, something that should be a big hit with upland game and waterfowl hunters who like shooting an over/under shotgun.barrel selector is incorporated into the upper tang safety.
Mossberg 930 All Purpose Field Shotgun in Bottomland Camo
Long one of the nation's leading innovators in the shotgun making world, Mossberg has another 12-gauge winner this year with the company's well-known Model 930 All Purpose Shotgun now available in a Field Model complete with Mossy Oak's famed Bottomland Camo pattern.
With its three-inch chamber capabilities, a set of Accu chokes, and a 26-inch ventilated rib barrel, the 7.75-pound 930 model shotgun with a stylish throwback Bottomland dipped camo finish on the barrel and synthetic stock should be another solid performer from Mossberg this next fall in duck blinds and flooded timber all over the continent.
Contact: Mossberg; 800-243-9700
Mossberg SA-20 Youth Bantam All Purpose Field Shotgun
Waterfowling is a great way to share some quality time with your kids and grandkids, but high-brass duck and goose loads can be punishing to their young shoulders.
What to do? Consider buying a Mossberg SA-20 Youth Bantam All Purpose Field Shotgun, that's what.
The new for 2018 offering from the longtime American shotgun maker allows for three-inch shells to be used in a 40.75-inch long package that comes with a 24-inch long ventilated rib barrel and a five-piece choke tube set.
Better yet, this 20-gauge walnut stock Bantam model is a semi-automatic gas operated shotgun, one that will reliably cycle shotshell loads while helping to tame over-the-top magnum recoil.
Lightweight and easy handling, the SA-20 Youth Bantam All Purpose Field Shotgun from Mossberg should produce good shooting for greenheads and plenty of smiles served back at camp around the dinner table.
Contact: Mossberg; 800-243-9700
Winchester SX4 Universal Hunter Shotgun
At SHOT Show 2018, the long run of innovation that started 152 years ago by Oliver Winchester continued in the Winchester Repeating Arms booth.
That includes this year's upgraded Universal Hunter version of Winchester's Super X4 shotgun, a semi-autoloading shotgun that brings a dipped coating of Mossy Oak's Break-Up Country camo pattern, perfect for the waterfowler wanting to blend into a marsh, flooded timber, a stubble field, or a willow-tree blind alongside a windswept reservoir.
Add in the SX4's vented rib, a TRUGLO fiber optic bead, a chrome plated chamber and bore, and Winchester's Active Valve gas operation system and this autoloader shotgun will tame the most powerful non-toxic shotshell loads while delivering consistent patterns downrange at greenheads and Canada honkers.
With a non-slip textured grip, improved ergonomics, and a rounded pistol grip, this Universal Hunter scattergun should likely be a smooth handler in the field. Add in INVECTOR-PLUS Choke Tubes, a larger bolt handle and bolt release button, length of pull spacers, and an INFLEX Technology Recoil Pad, and the 2018 version of the SX4 Universal Hunter is a can't miss winner in the duck blind and goose fields of North America's four flyways!
Contact: Winchester; 800-333-3288