New Guns & Gear for 2014

Check out this year's selection of the latest shotguns, ammo, and accessories for waterfowlers

By Ron Spomer and Chris Jennings

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Waterfowling Guns

1. Benelli Launches New Ethos Shotgun 
Shotguns are starting to be named like cars. But don't let Benelli's 12-gauge Ethos fool you. Inside its sleek, racy exterior are innovative features that make this inertia- driven autoloader smoother shooting than its predecessors. Loading and chambering have been improved. Buttons and controls are easier to reach and operate. The rotating bolt head locks into place with just a flick of your finger against the bolt handle. Inside the stock is a unique rubber recoil reducer that works like multiple leaf springs to absorb shock. Length of pull can be adjusted via interchangeable gel-based butt pads. Cast and drop adjust with shims. Available with 26- or 28-inch barrels chambered for 3-inch shells, the Ethos comes with five choke tubes, an aluminum receiver, ventilated rib, and fiber-optic front sight.

2. Remington Offers New Versa Max Waterfowl Pro 
New this year from Remington is the Waterfowl Pro version of its impressive Versa Max autoloader. Dressed in a protective coat of Mossy Oak's Shadow Grass Blades camouflage, this 12-gauge sports both a safety switch and a large bolt handle that are easy to feel and operate. Teflon plating on internal components keeps corrosion at bay, and extended Pro Bore choke tubes are easy to grip and change. Like previous models, this one handles 2 3/4- to 3 1/2-inch shells interchangeably. A unique buttstock attachment plate and interchangeable recoil pads and combs allow you to customize gun fit. As a proud partner of Ducks Unlimited, Remington helps support DU's conservation efforts.

3. Ruger's Classic Red Label Over/Under Returns 
Shooters who appreciate the balance and solid feel of a classic over/under will rejoice at the return of a new and improved Ruger Red Label. This redesigned 12-gauge takes advantage of modern manufacturing techniques that have refined the mechanism, moved the center of gravity for a livelier feel, and reduced felt recoil. Blued, hammer-forged 28-inch chrome- molybdenum steel barrels are now back-bored with 2-inch-long forcing cones. Five interchangeable chokes come with the gun, and a single mechanical trigger sets everything in motion.

4. Mossberg Rolls Out Duck Commander Signature Series 
Duck Commander series shotguns include Mossberg's familiar pumps and autoloaders in a broad array of configurations covering 11 models. Each includes Realtree Max-5 camouflage and TruGlo sights. Models are offered with 3- or 3 1/2-inch chambers and 26- or 28-inch barrels. The 930 autoloader and 500 pump gun Duck Commander Signature models sport a repeating flying duck pattern on the receiver, plus special logos on the receiver and magazine cap.

5. Franchi Affinity 12-Gauge a Good Fit for Youth 
Youth guns don't have to come only in 20-gauge. Franchi has added a 12-gauge model to its Affinity Compact line of autoloading guns. The Affinity Compact 12 weighs about 6 1/3 pounds and features an inertia-driven system that reduces felt recoil. Length-of-pull spacers allow you to adjust the stock to fit shooters of different ages and statures. This gun features a 26-inch steel barrel and is available in black, Realtree APG, and Realtree Max-5 finishes. Improved-cylinder and modified chokes come standard; additional chokes are available as options.

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6. Cabela's Offers Affordable, Quality Double Gun 
The good old days return with this new side-by-side shotgun from Cabela's. Remarkably low-priced for a double gun of this quality, the Dickinson Arms side-by-side comes with ejectors and double or single triggers in 12-, 16-, and 20-gauge models. The 12 and 20 have 3-inch chambers, 28-inch chrome-lined barrels, and a raised center rib. The gun's splinter forearm and straight-grip stock may not be ideal for heavy magnum loads, but should make for quicker gun handling on decoying ducks, particularly fast-flying teal.

7. Browning A5 Available in 3 1/2-Inch Magnum 
Announced last year, Browning's new A5 humpback autoloader with 3 1/2-inch chambers is now available nationwide. This 12-gauge magnum version of the A5 comes with 26-, 28-, or 30-inch barrels and includes a ventilated rib, a Vector Pro lengthened forcing cone, and three Invector-DS choke tubes. The gun is available in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades or Break-Up Infinity camo and includes Dura-Touch Armor coating for that anti-slip, slightly tacky feel that really enhances handling. The buttstock can be adjusted for cast, drop, and length of pull. An oversized bolt handle is easy to find and grasp.

8. Winchester Designs Compact SX3 Autoloader 
Winchester's Super X3 series of autoloaders use an Active Valve System to bleed just the right amount of gas pressure for soft but effective cycling of everything fromlight target loads to heavy magnum goose loads. This year smaller-framed shooters should find a comfortable fit with the SX3 Field Compact. With its satin oil finished walnut stock and matte black receiver, the gun looks classy without being flashy. A 13-inch length-of-pull stock coupled with a 24-inch barrel makes this gun perfectly balanced for smaller women and youngsters. A ventilated rib and three Invector chokes are standard.

9. Girls Hunt 2 with New Weatherby 20-Gauge 
Long famous for magnum rifles, Weatherby also builds a strong line of pump and autoloading shotguns. While the SA-08 Waterfowler 3.0 in 12-gauge is the gun for the macho crowd, the new SA-08 GH2 (Girls Hunt 2) in 20-gauge with a 12 1/2-inch length of pull and 24-inch barrel is tailored for smaller-framed shooters. Light and lively at 5 3/4 pounds, the Girls Hunt 2 is easy for women and young shooters to swing into action. The 3-inch chamber accommodates the best of today's 20-gauge waterfowl loads. Each gun comes with sling swivel studs, a ventilated rib, and three choke tubes.

10. Youth May Flock to Stoeger M3020 
Youth guns are all the rage this year. More power to them! Cool guns like Stoeger's M3020 autoloader make waterfowling more attractive to young people. Though it's not marketed as a youth gun, this lightweight 20-gauge features an inertia-driven system that tames recoil nicely. This gun is available with 26- or 28-inch barrels chambered for 3-inch shotshells. Stock options include black synthetic, Realtree APG, or Realtree Max-5 camo finishes.

11. 28-Gauge Joins Beretta A400 Xplor Action Team 
Beretta recently added a 28-gauge option to its line of A400 Xplor Action semiautomatic shotguns. The Xplor Action 28 is lightweight and features Beretta's Kick-Off recoil reducer, which uses two hydraulic dampeners. The receiver is bronze finished. Chambered for 2 3/4-inch shotshells, the Action 28-gauge is available only with 28-inch barrels. Other features include a walnut stock and forearm, ventilated rib, and fiber-optic front sight.

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1. Kent TealSteel Now Available in New Shot Size 
When Kent presented its new TealSteel loads last season, the reception by teal hunters was so positive that the company decided to expand the product line to include loads of steel 6s as well as 5s, which were available in limited markets last year. TealSteel Waterfowl is a 12-gauge, 3-inch shotshell that pushes a 1 1/4-ounce load of steel shot at 1,350 fps. Consistent patterns with plenty of pellets make this ammo a good choice for intercepting these zippy little puddle ducks. 

2. New Hevi-Steel Loads Are Lighter on the Wallet 
Hevi-Shot has long been on the cutting edge of nontoxic ammunition development. Last year the company unveiled its Speed Ball loads. Named for their unique design, these shells feature a ball at the base of the wad, which accelerates pellets without raising chamber pressures. This year Hevi-Shot has added affordably priced Hevi-Steel loads to its roster. The 12-gauge, 2 3/4- and 3-inch shells are available in loads of BBBs, BBs, 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s. The 20-gauge, 3-inch loads come with 1-ounce payloads of 1s, 2s, and 3s.

3. Rio Brings Back Bismuth Ammo
Bismuth shot is back, thanks to Rio Ammunition. Headquartered in Spain, the company also maintains a manufacturing plant in Tennessee, where a wide variety of shells are produced. Rio's new bismuth options include 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, and 7s in 2 3/4- and 3-inch 12-gauge cartridges, and 3s, 4s, 5s, and 6s in 2 3/4-inch 20-gauge cartridges. The 12-gauge loads rate from 1,350 to 1,400 fps, while the 20-gauge loads rate at 1,250 fps.

4. Winchester Expands Hunting and Target Loads 
Winchester recently added to its selection of Blind Side ammo. The unique hex-shaped shot with the Diamond Cut Wad is now available in a 12-gauge, 3 1/2-inch cartridge that carries 1 3/8 ounces of steel 5s at velocities of 1,675 fps. Also new is a 12-gauge, 3-inch shell with 1 1/8 ounces of BBs traveling at the same velocity. Finally, 20-gauge shooters now have the option of a 3-inch load with 1 1/16 ounces of 3s and 6s propelled at 1,475 fps. 

For shooting practice, you might want to consider Winchester's unique AA TrAAcker shells. These are essentially Winchester's famous AA target shells with a new wad that traps enough pellets to provide mass that helps the wad stay with the pellets well downrange. This allows you to see where the shot goes, which can help improve your shooting. As a proud partner of Ducks Unlimited, Winchester helps support DU's conservation efforts.

5. TruLock Unveils Waterfowl Chokes 
Trulock recently added a Waterfowl Hunting Pack to its wide assortment of aftermarket choke tubes. These 12-gauge stainless steel chokes are safe to use with all nontoxic shot and are available in a variety of designs for different shotgun models. The Trulock website will help you find the right chokes for your particular gun.

6. Refuge Gun Case Is Built for Waterfowlers 
Alps Outdoorz has added a new floating gun case to its line of outdoor gear. The Refuge case is made with a durable 600-denier polyester outer shell and a polyester-lined interior. A fold-over Velcro closure is designed to prevent your gun from slipping out of this high-density foam case. This product is available in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades camouflage and measures 55 inches long.

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1. Float Spinning-Wing Decoys in Deep Water 
How do you set up spinning-wing decoys in deep or rough water? Floatstand has answered this question with a unique design that allows spinning-wing decoys to actually float on the water. This system comes with four floating Flambeau Storm Front mallards—two drakes and two hens—and can be deployed with a wide variety of spinning-wing decoys.

2. Real Mama Jama Creates Ripple Effect 
Mojo Outdoors has taken its traditional Mojo spinning-wing decoy, placed it on a floating base, and added a propulsion pump that stirs up the water. The result is the new Mama Jama, which generates motion in multiple ways to lure passing ducks within shooting range. 

3. Higdon Launches New Battleship Pintails 
At 21 inches in length, Higdon's new Battleship pintail decoys are made to get noticed. These magnum floating decoys feature one-piece construction and a weighted keel. They're big enough to grab the attention of high-flying ducks yet also highly detailed for up-close inspection. Six-pack sets include four drakes and two hens.

4. Flambeau Premieres Flocked Head Mallard Decoy 
Flambeau Outdoors has expanded its classic Storm Front mallard line with the addition of the Flocked Head Mallard floating decoy. This premium decoy features Flambeau's unique Uvision paint scheme and weighted keel. The flocking adds realism to help lure wary ducks into your spread.

5. Greenhead Gear Offers Pro-Grade Canvasbacks 
Canvasbacks are the latest addition to Greenhead Gear's Pro-Grade series. Realism and durability are the signatures of these full-body decoys, which come in six-pack sets containing an assortment of drakes and hens in a variety of body postures. All Greenhead Gear decoys are officially licensed by Ducks Unlimited, and your purchase of these products helps support DU's conservation efforts.

6. DOA Issues Rogue Series Canada Goose Decoys 
Fooling Canada geese isn't a simple task. DOA's new Rogue Series Fullbody Canada Goose decoys were designed to add more realism to your spread. These durable, one-piece decoys have double-flocked heads and tails to make them stand out in a field spread. They're sold in six-packs consisting of three feeders, two relaxed actives, and one sentry.

7. New Decoy Weights Help Eliminate Tangled Lines 
Blackwing Advancements' new Duck Egg Weights are designed to keep decoy lines wrapped tightly so they don't tangle. They accomplish this with a unique looped bungee cord system that allows you to attach the weight to the decoy's keel, head, or tail while keeping tension on the line.

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Waterfowling Calls & Accessories

1. Innovation Comes to Classic Yentzen Call 
Sure-Shot Game Calls brings a new feel to a classic duck call. The Yentzen One features a machined CNC composite body, an upgraded SureQuack reed system, and a unique Screw-Lock System. Waterfowlers who began calling with the original Yentzen decades ago will enjoy the familiarity of this call while appreciating its upgraded volume and tone capabilities.

2. Flextone Doubles Down on New Supernatural Duck Call 
Flextone Game Calls is offering single-reed and double-reed versions of its new Supernatural duck call. Both calls feature a polycarbonate barrel and a soft-touch body finished in AP Realtree camouflage. The double-reed Supernatural produces medium volume, but provides significant back pressure for soft, subtle calling. The single-reed call offers increased volume for blowing highballs and hard comeback calls.

3. Turn Divers with Haydel's New DC-14 
The Haydel family continues to market duck calls for waterfowlers who hunt multiple species. Haydel's new DC-14 Diver Call is a prime example. The call was designed to imitate the sounds of a variety of diving ducks, including scaup, redheads, ringnecks, and canvasbacks. The DC-14 features a removable plug in the exhaust barrel for increased volume.

1. Banded Arc Welded Back Pack Carries the Load 
The Arc Welded Back Pack, by Banded, features a durable 900-denier armor-coated exterior designed to keep your gear clean, dry, and protected from the whims of Mother Nature. This backpack offers 1,680 cubic inches of storage space enclosed in a 100 percent waterproof outer shell.

2. Hard Core Designs Waterfowling Wader Bag 
New this year from Hard Core is a Deluxe Wader Bag built specifically with the duck hunter in mind. This bag features a 5 mm neoprene mat that is stored in a zippered pocket in the bottom of the bag. Step on the mat and slip off your boots. No muss, no fuss. This mesh bag is airline-approved and includes a storage pocket.

3. Take a Long Walk with Drake's Swamp Sole Backpack 
Walk-in hunters will appreciate the Swamp Sole Backpack's hard bottom, which was designed to protect gear from water and mud. Among this backpack's custom compartments are two large storage pouches, shell loops, and a padded pocket for sunglasses. Available in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades, Mossy Oak Shadow Branch, and Realtree Max-5 camouflage patterns.

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Waders & Apparel

1. Manufacturing Technology Leads Lacrosse's Wader Redesign 
The trend in neoprene wader design has been to make them more durable, lightweight, and comfortable at the same time. Lacrosse has managed to do this with its new AeroTuff neoprene waders, which feature a unique 7 mm polyurethane-injected mold around the sock to create an insulating shell that keeps your feet warm. These waders are available in Realtree MAX-5 camouflage.

2. RedZone Breathable Insulated Waders Feature Bib Fit 
Banded's new RedZone waders combine a breathable design with insulated bibs to keep you dry and warm in the coldest hunting conditions. The waders incorporate two technologies—a Super Hydrophobic Evaporative Development System (SHEDS) and a Heat Absorbing Retention System (HARS)—in a Realtree Max-4 camo package that is heat retaining as well as waterproof and wind resistant. The boots feature 1,200-gram Thinsulate insulation and the knees and seat are reinforced with 900-denier protection.

3. L.L. Bean Offers Superseam Waders 
L.L. Bean's new seamless breathable Waterfowl Waders with Superseam Technology, an adhesive process that replaces traditional sewn seams to produce a tougher and more leakproof wader. The Kennebec's breathable outer layer is paired with 1,200-gram insulated rubber boots.

4. Drake Announces Next Generation of Breathable Waders 
Drake Waterfowl's popular early-season waders have been updated. The new EST Eqwader Wading System 2.0 is built with a three-layer breathable fabric that is durable and yet lightweight for greater comfort and mobility. Upgrades include higher sides for deeper wading and 1,000-gram Thinsulate insulated boots. These versatile waders are available in Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades, Mossy Oak Shadow Branch, and Realtree Max-5 camouflage patterns.

5. Sitka's Boreal Bib Pant Is Geared for Cold Weather 
Sitka Gear rounds out its line of extreme-weather waterfowl gear with the Boreal Bib Pant, which offers hunters another layer of high-tech protection from the elements. The pants feature a Gore-Tex laminate shell and PrimaLoft down blend insulation to keep you warm without a lot of bulk and layers. The Boreal Bib is available in Gore Optifade Concealment Waterfowl Camouflage. 

6. RedHead Extreme Elements Jacket Targets Bad Weather 
Bass Pro Shops' RedHead brand had snow, mud, and rain in mind when it designed the Extreme Elements Waterfowl Jacket. This newest addition to RedHead's line of waterfowl wear features the company's Bone-Dry waterproof and breathable membrane, which seals out water while letting perspiration escape to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. The Extreme Elements jacket includes 150-gram Thermolite insulation in the body and 120-gram in the sleeves, a three-panel hood, and numerous pockets.

7. Stealth Waterfowl Jacket Features Wetsuit Technology 
After producing wetsuits for the past 50 years, Stormr has turned its attention to the needs of waterfowlers. The company's new all-neoprene Stealth waterfowl jacket is built with glued, stitched, and thermal-taped seams to keep out cold and wet weather. The jacket includes a fleece-lined interior, a two-way hood, and plenty of pockets for carrying shells and other gear. 

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