It’s easy (and fun) to cruise the Internet and visit stores looking for the perfect hunting gun. But with all the models available now, looking is one thing; deciding what gun to buy is totally different. Outdoor Life‘s Curtis Niedermier offers seven features to consider when looking for the best waterfowl gun.

waterfowlgunintro Photo by Lee Thomas KJOS

Durable Action: The most reliable action for foul-weather waterfowl hunting is still the simple pump. With slide guns—like the Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag Waterfowl, the Remington 870 Express, or the CZ 612 Wildfowl Magnum—there’s really not a whole lot that can go wrong, plus they’re easy to load and unload in nasty weather. That said, modern autoloaders are worlds ahead of what was showing up in duck blinds in your father’s time. The new recoil-operated Browning A5 comes with a 100,000-round guarantee, and the inertia-operated Benelli Super Black Eagle is well known for its reliability. The Versa Max uses a unique gas port system that bleeds off more gas for lighter loads, so the action cycles with any style shotshell.

What’s the number-one feature to look for in a quality waterfowl gun?

Photos: Bill Saunders Calls and Gear (top); Lee Thomas KJOS (above)

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Shannon Rikard
Shannon Rikard is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for conservation and wedding and portrait photography. The Archery Trade Association and National Wild Turkey Federation have published her work. A self-professed word geek, she enjoys Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, and finding a dynamite synonym to illustrate any point. After starting her career in public relations with a national conservation organization, she ventured out on her own with Copper Door Studios.