New Waterfowling Ammo for 2016

Find ammunition that's right for you

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Photo © BillKonway.com

There are multiple ammunition options for waterfowlers these days and as manufacturing processes evolve, non­toxic ammunition continues to improve. Finding the right load for your gun and hunting style is a matter of trial and error. Here's a rundown of the most recent additions to the waterfowling ammunition lineup for 2016.

Winchester Offers Special Commemorative King Buck Shells

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Winchester is offering special commemorative steel waterfowl cartridges. Each box features Maynard Reece's classic duck stamp illustration of King Buck, the legendary two-time field-trial champion Labrador retriever owned by John M. Olin, former president of the Winchester-Western Arms Company. An image of the iconic Lab also graces each individual shell. These 12-gauge, 3-inch, 1 1/4-ounce loads of 2s are rated at 1,400 fps. As a proud partner of Ducks Unlimited, Winchester helps support DU's conservation efforts. http://www.winchester.com

Remington Stays Up to Speed on Steel Shotshells

Remington is still the shotshell speed champ, with its HyperSonic Steel loads hitting 1,700 fps. The company also sells a bargain-priced steel cartridge, Sportsman Hi-Speed Steel, which reaches speeds of up to 1,400 fps in 12-gauge loads. Then there's the Nitro-Steel line, which pushes zinc-plated pellets as fast as 1,500 fps. Remington's extensive Nitro-Steel collection ranges from 3-inch 20-gauge through 3 1/2-inch 10-gauge loads. There are even 2 3/4-inch shells for the 16-gauge. Shot sizes include 4s, 3s, 2s, 1s, BBs, BBBs, and Ts. http://www.remington.com

Browning Goes the Distance with New Waterfowl Loads

Browning recently teamed up with Winchester to produce a new line of ammo under Browning's iconic brand. In addition to centerfire rifle, handgun, and rimfire cartridges, Browning is offering steel shotshells for waterfowlers. The new BXD (Browning Extra Distance) Waterfowl cartridges include aerodynamic stabilized wads and plated-steel shot that travels as fast as 1,500 fps. The new shells are available in 3- and 3-1/2-inch 12-gauge loads and 3-inch 20-gauge cartridges. Pellet sizes are 4, 2, and BB. The big question is: Will Browning make a waterfowl load for its new 16-gauge A5? http://www.browningammo.com

Federal Premium Black Cloud Gets Up Close and Personal

There's another Black Cloud on the horizon, but this one has a silver lining. Federal has created a close-range waterfowl load designed to provide more open patterns for duck gunners hunting in tight spots, such as flooded timber. Featuring Flitestopper cutting-edge steel and Flitecontrol wad technology, Black Cloud Close Range shells are available in 12-gauge, 3-inch, 1 1/4-ounce loads of 2s, 3s, and 4s, as well as 20-gauge, 3-inch, 1-ounce loads of 2s and 4s. http://www.federalpremium.com

Kent Brings Back Bismuth Waterfowl Shells

Bismuth is back at Kent. The company advertises a new proprietary manufacturing technique that reportedly produces nontoxic Bismuth pellets with "superior integrity and ballistic capability," meaning they're nicely rounded and shatter resistant. Best of all, Kent Bismuth Premium Shotshells are offered not only in the usual 12-gauge and 20-gauge cartridges, but also in 16- and 28-gauge shells. Velocities vary from 1,200 to 1,450 fps, depending on the gauge and shell length. The 3-inch, 12-gauge load is fastest. Shot sizes include 4s, 5s, and 6s. http://www.kentgamebore.com

Hevi-Shot Catches Up to Teal

Hevi-Shot has added a size 5 shot option to its Hevi-Teal loads, which are designed specifically for teal hunting. These 12-gauge loads feature all-steel pellets traveling at a teal-catching velocity of 1,500 fps. Hevi-Teal is available in 2 3/4-inch, 1 1/8-ounce and 3-inch, 1 1/4-ounce payloads. The size 6 option comes in 2 3/4-inch and 3-inch shell. http://www.hevishot.com

Rio BlueSteel Offers Wide Selection of Waterfowl Loads

Rio Ammunition, which is headquartered in Spain but has a manufacturing facility in Texas, produces 500 million shotshells annually. Not surprisingly, its high-velocity BlueSteel loads are quite popular with waterfowlers. BlueSteel is available in everything from 2 3/4-inch 20-gauge to 3 1/2-inch 12-gauge shells. Shot sizes run from 6s to BBBs, and velocities range from 1,300 to 1,550 fps. http://www.rioammunition.com

Italian Ammunition Company Offers Magnum Steel Loads

Baschieri & Pellagri, an Italian-based ammunition manufacturer, has been a key player in the European sporting community since 1885. The company is now branching out into the American waterfowling ammunition market with the B&P Magnum Steel and Super Magnum Steel loads. B&P Magnum Steel is available in 20-gauge, 2 3/4-inch loads of 3s, 4s, and 5s rated at 1,350 fps, while 12-gauge, 2 3/4-inch and 3-inch loads are being offered in BBBs, BBs, 2s, 3s, 4s, and 6s with speeds ranging from 1,450 to 1,550 fps. B&P Super Magnum Steel is available in 12-gauge, 3 1/2-inch loads of BBBs, BBs, 2s, 3s, and 4s rated at 1,550 fps. http://www.baschieri-pellagri.com