There are a variety of game birds for wingshooters to pursue. The sport also encompasses a wide range of conditions, each of which calls for differing ranges and shot-size requirements. It’s hard to make one shotgun and load do it all.
The quick-handling gun that’s so effective for upland birds like quail, woodcock, grouse, snipe and others is a poor choice for a duck or goose blind, where magnum loads of steel or tungsten/polymer nontoxic shot are not only the most effective, but are required by game laws. Much like golfers, a shooter needs a few different “clubs” in his or her bag. Here are some effective choices for different applications.
CZ-USA 612 Wildfowl Magnum
This inexpensive 12-gauge pump features a synthetic
stock with a camouflaged finish, interchangeable choke tubes, a 26-inch barrel, and weighs in at a quick-handling 6 4/5 pounds. Chambered for 3 ½-inch shells, it’s rated for
all nontoxic waterfowl loads.
Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag Waterfowl
This 12-gauge pump has a 28-inch barrel, a full range of interchangeable choke tubes and barrels, is rated for all nontoxic shot, and is chambered for 3 ½-inch shells. It tips the scales at 7 ¾ pounds and the barrel is ported to reduce muzzle rise.
Remington Versa Max Waterfowl
This gas-operated semiauto is Remington’s newest, and handles 12-gauge shells from 2 ¾- to 3 ½-inch lengths. The stock is easy to fit to a shooter’s dimensions. The waterfowl version comes with four extended choke tubes for its 28-inch barrel, and a synthetic stock with a camo finish.
Winchester Super X3 Waterfowl Hunter
Available in 12 gauge (with 3- or 3 ½-inch chamber) and
20 gauge (3-inch chamber), this gas-operated semiauto features a camouflaged synthetic stock with textured gripping surfaces, barrels in 26 or 28 inches, and accepts various interchangeable choke tubes.
This modestly priced side-by-side double is available in
12 and 20 gauge with 26-inch barrels and a traditional double-trigger system. It features five interchangeable choke tubes, straight English buttstock, and is chambered for 3-inch shells. It can handle any upland chores.
This over/under is available in 12 or 20 gauge with 28-inch barrels and five interchangeable choke tubes. Chambered for 3-inch shells, it’s a stylish upland O/U that won’t break the bank.
This gas-operated 20-gauge comes with a 28-inch barrel (with a set of 5 choke tubes included) and a synthetic black stock and is chambered for 3-inch shells. Weighing 6 pounds, it’s light to carry and quick to handle but has the power to handle all upland game birds.
Weatherby SA-08 28 Gauge Deluxe
This gas-operated semiauto 28-gauge weighs in at 5 ½ pounds and is available with a 26- or 28-inch barrel that includes three interchangeable choke tubes (IC, Mod, Full). A joy to carry afield, it’s ideal for smaller upland species like quail, woodcock, or ruffed grouse.
An inertia-operated 12-gauge semiauto chambered for 3-inch shells and also handles 2 ¾-inch loads as light as 7/8 ounce; 5 interchangeable choke tubes, inter-changeable fiber optic front beads, and an advanced recoil reduction system make this 6 1/2-pound gun capable of virtually anything.
Browning BPS Hunter
This pump-action shotgun is available in 12, 16, 20, and 28 gauge, as well as .410. The 16 and 28 gauges feature a 2 ¾-inch chamber, while the others take 3-inch shells. All have interchangeable choke tubes and can be tuned for just about any wingshooting task.
Remington 11-87 Sportsman Series
This gas-operated semiauto is available in 12 or 20 gauge. It features a black synthetic stock and 26- or 28-inch barrels, with some accessory interchangeable barrels available. Threaded for interchangeable choke tubes, it can handle anything from waterfowl to quail.
Weatherby SA-08 Synthetic
This gas-operated semiauto is available in 12 or 20 gauge with either 26- or 28-inch barrels. Both are chambered for 3-inch shells and are supplied with interchangeable choke tubes in IC, Mod, and Full.
Winchester SXP 12 Gauge 3-Inch Field Compact
This 12-gauge pump is built with a shorter (13-inch) length of pull to properly fit younger and smaller-framed shooters. Available in barrel lengths of 24, 26, or 28 inches, it can handle 2 ¾-inch and 3-inch loads. The interchangeable choke tube system makes it a versatile and affordable wingshooting tool.