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Best waterfowl gun?


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That's in the eyes of the beholder.  I started with a mossberg 500.  But as time went on I built dedicated guns for just about everything.   I have a stoeger 3500 and p350 and a Beretta extreme a400 plus.and  Both take a beating and have operated flawlessly in extreme cold

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, nmc02 said:

Many prefer the benelli super black eagle

Agree Nick!

Super Superior.

Deadly 3/12 "with the right chokes and loads

I have no experience with ducks but personally witnessed my buddy drop a deer in its tracks at 80 yards .000

https://www.guntalk.com/post/benelli-sbe3-year-end-review

Edited by hunterbob1

“In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.” -Theodore Roosevelt

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Get what fits you best and feels best in your hands. I hunt and kill more ducks than 99% of guys here and I shoot a pump. I’ve shot SBEs and everything else. But I feel most comfortable with my BPS and I shoot better with it than anything else. As long as you spend over $600 on a pump and $900 on an auto loader the chances of you having a reliable one are basically the same. Honestly no reason to spend $3k on a waterfowl gun especially if you’re going to hunt salt water

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I looked into this a couple years ago before I settled on my  Franchi Affinity 3.5. My thoughts...

First, asking what's the best waterfowl gun is like asking "blonde, redhead, or brunette?" - it's all subjective and person-relative :)

The Benelli SBE seems to be one at the top of most people's lists. Actually, that was going to be my #1 choice until I actually handled one (I was in a gun store in DE and they had some used guns on the floor you can pick up and handle - such a different experience shopping in America compared to New Jersey). Anyway, I actually didn't like the feel of the SBE. Even the safety I wasn't crazy about. The point is, handle the guns and see if they feel good to you, you might be surprised. The SBE is a very expensive gun, and I didn't want to spend that kind of money for a gun in which I wasn't crazy about its feel.

Second, consider what you want -- gas vs. inertia. I had (still do) a Beretta A300 - a gas gun. It got dirty inside and you have to keep them clean to keep them working good. I didn't have many problems with it, but I was also constantly cleaning it to make sure I didn't have problems. For that reason, I looked at only inertia guns the last time I went looking for a waterfowl gun (plus, I just wanted a gun with a  different system) . Yeah, they will get dirty, but they won't be as finicky when they do, as compared to gas guns from what I hear. There's pros-and-cons to both - so, consider which one you want. That will narrow down the field. (e.g. Benelli SBE and Franchi Affinity are inertia, the Beretta  A300 / A400 are gas). (or do what Bubblehead does - get a pump. Probably have less failures with a pump compared to any auto-loader!)

My dad has a Beretta A400 and it seems like every time he goes out and shoots that thing, he has a problem. I keep telling him to send it in to get looked at but he never does. I even went over his house recently and said, "We're super-cleaning this gun" (I looked and it had gunk in it that he doesn't clean out - it could be he doesn't clean it good enough). Anyway... I don't know if it's a bad A400, if it's a common-theme with A400s, or he just doesn't clean it good - but for the price he paid for that gun, I would be PO'ed if it was my gun. He's constantly getting FTE. Take all that for what it's worth.

In the end, I got a Franchi Affinity 3.5 - a mid-level gun (not too expensive, not too cheap). I like it. It isn't perfect, but I've come to the conclusion no gun is perfect. I did buy an oversize after-market safety and flipped it for left-handedness (that was an easy DIY job) -- that's another thing to consider, if you are left-handed, is the safety reversible or can you order a left-handed model? And I actually did have a problem with my Franchi - I sent it in and they replaced some parts and it now works very good. Whatever they did, I think they fixed the problem. In case you want to see an example of the kind of problem I was having (happened more than once), this happened in the field while I was crow hunting - I got my phone out and took a video.  Read the video description for full details of what was happening. I think they replaced a spring and another part or two - haven't had this problem again.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bubblehead said:

Get what fits you best and feels best in your hands. I hunt and kill more ducks than 99% of guys here and I shoot a pump. I’ve shot SBEs and everything else. But I feel most comfortable with my BPS and I shoot better with it than anything else. As long as you spend over $600 on a pump and $900 on an auto loader the chances of you having a reliable one are basically the same. Honestly no reason to spend $3k on a waterfowl gun especially if you’re going to hunt salt water

600 and 900 are not necessary.   Mossberg 500 will get it done just fine.  And stoegers are great guns.  Ugly but work fine

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4 hours ago, mazzgolf said:

I looked into this a couple years ago before I settled on my  Franchi Affinity 3.5. My thoughts...

First, asking what's the best waterfowl gun is like asking "blonde, redhead, or brunette?" - it's all subjective and person-relative :)

The Benelli SBE seems to be one at the top of most people's lists. Actually, that was going to be my #1 choice until I actually handled one (I was in a gun store in DE and they had some used guns on the floor you can pick up and handle - such a different experience shopping in America compared to New Jersey). Anyway, I actually didn't like the feel of the SBE. Even the safety I wasn't crazy about. The point is, handle the guns and see if they feel good to you, you might be surprised. The SBE is a very expensive gun, and I didn't want to spend that kind of money for a gun in which I wasn't crazy about its feel.

Second, consider what you want -- gas vs. inertia. I had (still do) a Beretta A300 - a gas gun. It got dirty inside and you have to keep them clean to keep them working good. I didn't have many problems with it, but I was also constantly cleaning it to make sure I didn't have problems. For that reason, I looked at only inertia guns the last time I went looking for a waterfowl gun (plus, I just wanted a gun with a  different system) . Yeah, they will get dirty, but they won't be as finicky when they do, as compared to gas guns from what I hear. There's pros-and-cons to both - so, consider which one you want. That will narrow down the field. (e.g. Benelli SBE and Franchi Affinity are inertia, the Beretta  A300 / A400 are gas). (or do what Bubblehead does - get a pump. Probably have less failures with a pump compared to any auto-loader!)

My dad has a Beretta A400 and it seems like every time he goes out and shoots that thing, he has a problem. I keep telling him to send it in to get looked at but he never does. I even went over his house recently and said, "We're super-cleaning this gun" (I looked and it had gunk in it that he doesn't clean out - it could be he doesn't clean it good enough). Anyway... I don't know if it's a bad A400, if it's a common-theme with A400s, or he just doesn't clean it good - but for the price he paid for that gun, I would be PO'ed if it was my gun. He's constantly getting FTE. Take all that for what it's worth.

In the end, I got a Franchi Affinity 3.5 - a mid-level gun (not too expensive, not too cheap). I like it. It isn't perfect, but I've come to the conclusion no gun is perfect. I did buy an oversize after-market safety and flipped it for left-handedness (that was an easy DIY job) -- that's another thing to consider, if you are left-handed, is the safety reversible or can you order a left-handed model? And I actually did have a problem with my Franchi - I sent it in and they replaced some parts and it now works very good. Whatever they did, I think they fixed the problem. In case you want to see an example of the kind of problem I was having (happened more than once), this happened in the field while I was crow hunting - I got my phone out and took a video.  Read the video description for full details of what was happening. I think they replaced a spring and another part or two - haven't had this problem again.

 

 

Strip the a400 down and get the grease out of it

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