Experienced waterfowl hunters know the importance of using the correct firearm when out looking for duck and geese. But, what if you are new to the sport and are not sure which gun is best? We know exactly what you should be looking for! Here are a few important tips to consider when shopping for your next waterfowl rifle.
Consider the Comfort and Feel of the Firearm
When it comes to getting off a good shot, comfort plays a bigger part than you realize. Try using a firearm with a too-short or too-long stock and your shots will go whizzing in every direction but the course you intended. Getting a clear shot at your waterfowl target depends a great deal on feeling comfortable behind the trigger and having a stock length that keeps your shot straight.
The standard 14-inch stock is made for the average hunter who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall. If you are a larger sized hunter, you may want to add a thicker recoil pad to get the perfect feel when shooting. Smaller sized hunting enthusiasts (like women and youth) usually have more luck with a stock that is about an inch shorter. Keep in mind, waterfowl hunting is usually best during inclement weather so you will likely be wearing thick clothing. With that in mind choosing a proper stock length is essential.
Which Gauge is Best?
When it comes to hunting waterfowl, never underestimate the importance of choosing the right shotgun gauge. Most waterfowl hunters prefer the standard 12-gauge shotgun for hunting ducks and flying geese. Beginner hunters (especially younger kids and teens), may find a 20-gauge rifle easier to handle while they learn.
While some hunters prefer a 10-gauge rifle, keep in mind that the recoil on one of these models can be rough. And, while a 16-gauge rifle may have been the one used more often when lead was the most used shot, it is impractical these days due to the high cost and difficulty of finding adequate ammunition.
Chamber Length Matters
Does chamber length have much of an impact when it comes to hunting waterfowl? Most experienced hunters say yes. When it comes to choosing the most efficient chamber length, the standard 3-inch often works best. Why? Because it offers the best shot capacity and a broader range of shot sizes. For long distance shooting many waterfowlers prefer the 12ga 3 ½” chamber. This large shell really packs a payload for bringing down geese at long ranges.
Consider Barrel Length Too
Swing and balance are two key factors when it comes to shooting accuracy and enhanced versatility when shooting waterfowl. That is why hunters going after geese, ducks and other waterfowl like to use a 28-inch barrel; it provides the most comfortable feel and better accuracy.
It’s Time for Action
Which is best: a single or double barrel variation? Most waterfowl enthusiasts agree that the semi-auto shotgun is best for duck and goose hunting. The semi-auto gives you the ability to shoot and reload quickly. They come in many gauges, lengths, and camo patterns to fit your needs.
Choosing a shotgun ready for waterfowl hunting doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. Whether you are brand new to the sport or have been hunting for years, let the experts at Norton Sporting Goods help you find the perfect firearm for your needs. Stop in today to get all of the gear you need for the upcoming hunting season.