New Guns & Gear 2009

Select picks from among the hottest new waterfowling equipment on the market

By Gary Koehler

Below you will find new shotgun technology, updates for your decoy spread, waders that don't leak, hard-hitting duck loads, sweet-sounding calls, and a host of other great new waterfowling products.

Waterfowl Guns

1. Remington’s M887 Nitro Mag Encased in Armor

Inspired by the venerable 870, Remington’s new M887 Nitro Mag pump-action shotgun has an intriguing look. Encased in what Remington calls ArmorLokt coating, the receiver and barrel are impervious to rust. The 12-gauge, 3 1/2-inch M887 features a solid steel receiver, an ergonomically contoured stock and forend, a 28-inch barrel, a Hi-Viz front sight, and a SuperCell recoil pad. The M887 is available in black or Advantage Max-4 HD camouflage.

2. Browning Maxus Incorporates New Technologies

Browning is heralding its new Maxus autoloader as a breakthrough shotgun thanks to a number of technological improvements. The Maxus is engineered to deliver up to 18 percent less felt recoil, 44 percent less muzzle jump, 19 percent faster bolt speed, and 24 percent faster lock time than its competitors. The Maxus will be available in 12-gauge 3- and 3 1/2-inch chambers and will feature a composite stock and forearm. The average weight is less than 7 pounds, and the Maxus is available in black or Mossy Oak Duck Blind camouflage.

3. Beretta’s Xtrema2 Built for the Field

Beretta’s Xtrema2 is a waterfowler’s gun, plain and simple. The company advises that only 1 1/8-ounce or heavier shotshells should be fired in it. The Xtrema2 black synthetic model this year features the Kick-Off recoil reduction system. The Xtrema2, which has a 3 1/2-inch chamber and comes with five Optima-Bore choke tubes, is also available in Advantage Max-4 and Realtree Hardwoods camouflage finishes.

4. Benelli Vinci Makes Its Debut

The Benelli Vinci made its grand entrance this spring. The modular design provides an intriguing look, and this new in-line inertia-driven 12-gauge autoloader features the ComforTech Plus recoil reduction system, a removable magazine tube, and an ergonomic trigger and trigger guard. The Vinci weighs slightly less than 7 pounds, is easy to clean, and comes with a fitted gun case. The Vinci is available with a 3-inch chamber only and comes in black synthetic, Realtree APG, or Max-4 HD camouflage.

5. Weatherby Autoloader Goes Synthetic

Weatherby has extended its semi-automatic shotgun line with the addition of a synthetic version featuring an injection-molded stock. Available in both 20- and 12-gauge with 3-inch chambers, the SA-08 Synthetic features a dual valve system that allows the shooter to adjust for different loads. This Turkish-made autoloader comes with integral screw-in choke tubes and is available with a 26- or 28-inch barrel.

6. Cortona’s Ugly Gun Really a Beauty

Cortona is calling its camouflaged over/under the Ugly Gun. In reality, this shotgun is the company’s Grande model factory-adorned in the buyer’s choice of tan or green camouflage. The Ugly Gun is available in either 20- or 12-gauge designs with 3-inch chambers and features a ventilated rib, a fiber optic sight, chrome barrels, extended forcing cones, and a pistol grip.

7. TriStar Introduces Hunter Mag Over/Under

New to the camouflaged over/under scene this year is TriStar’s Hunter Mag Camo in 12-gauge. The Hunter Mag is chambered for 3 1/2-inch shells and features chrome-lined steel barrels, steel mono-block barrel construction, a fiber optic front sight, self-adjusting lock bolts, and five choke tubes. With 28-inch barrels, the Hunter Mag weighs slightly less than 7 1/2 pounds.




Federal Premium’s Black Cloud Offers New Loads Federal Premium’s Black Cloud shotshells are now available in 20- and 10-gauge loads featuring the Flitecontrol wad. The 20-gauge selection includes 3-inch, 1-ounce loads of 2s and 4s (1,350 fps). The 10-gauge shotshells come in 3 1/2-inch, 1 5/8-ounce loads of 2s and BBs (1,375 fps). Federal also makes Premium Ultra-Shok Steel and Ultra-Shok High Density nontoxic waterfowl loads, and sale of these products helps support Ducks Unlimited’s Grasslands for Tomorrow Initiative.


Gamebore Silver Steel Features Bio-Wad Components Kent-Gamebore has introduced the first environmentally friendly shot wad—the degradable Bio-Wad, which begins to break down shortly after firing. Silver Steel shotshells featuring the new Bio-Wad are available in 12-gauge, 2 3/4-inch, 1-ounce loads of 5s, 6s, and 7s, as well as 3-inch, 1 1/8-ounce loads of 4s, 5s, or 6s.


Environ-Metal Goes Hevi-Metal This Year Environ-Metal, which first brought waterfowlers Hevi-Shot, has added a new line of waterfowl loads called Hevi-Metal. Featuring the company’s new pattern density technology, these shotshells contain a weight-balanced mixture of both steel and Hevi-Shot pellets. Hevi-Metal ammunition will be available in 25-count boxes in 12-gauge, 3-inch, 1 1/4-ounce loads of 2s, 3s, BBs, and BBBs (1,450 fps) and 3 1/2-inch, 1 1/2-ounce loads of 2s, 3s, BBs, and BBBs (1,400 fps).


Pinnacle Adds AeroSteel Waterfowl Loads Pinnacle Ammunition Company, which helped bring Bismuth shotshells back to market in recent years, now also produces steel shot loads in its AeroSteel lineup. These waterproof nontoxic shotshells are available in 12-gauge, 3-inch, 1 1/4-ounce loads of 4s, 2s, and BBs (1,400 fps).

Waterfowl Gear

Duck Calls

1. Haydel’s Introduces New-Look Canada Goose Call

Haydel’s calls the newest entry in its extensive game call line the Carbon Honker. This short-reed Canada goose call has a blue custom fiber finish that makes it stand out from the crowd.

2. Echo Single-Reed Gets It Done

Echo’s Prime Meat single-reed duck call is built for the field. This call produces volume but also performs well at the low end. Defending two-time World Live Duck Calling Champion Kent Cullum, who has 52 contest titles to his credit, uses this call in the woods.

3. Cutt Down Whistle Provides Versatility

Waterfowlers looking for a do-it-all whistle may want to check out the DUo Whistle from Cutt Down Game Calls. This whistle can be used to imitate pintails, wigeon, teal, wood ducks, and mallard drakes. Upland gunners can use the DUo while hunting quail. DUo features a tuning hole and is available in rosewood and a unique buffalo horn design.


1. Greenhead Gear Releases New Pro-Grade Styles

The wow factor does not begin and end with the number of new decoys Greenhead Gear is introducing this year. But at 32 and counting, the Pro-Grade flock continues to grow. Thank world champion carvers Dick Rhode and Rick Johannsen for the prototypes. Each species features several unique body styles and head positions. The Pro-Grade mallards, for example, have 12 different attitudes, from rester to surface skimmer. All feature non-detachable Dura-Keels. Pro-Grade Canada goose shells also include three body styles and head positions. Greenhead Gear decoys are official licensed products of Ducks Unlimited, and sale of these decoys helps support DU’s conservation efforts.

2. Rig’em Right Decoy Bag Features Fresh Look

Hunters looking for versatility in a decoy bag may want to check out Rig’em Right’s new DP3 model. This bag holds 36 standard decoys in the open position, which is handy for use in a trailer or boat, and 18 decoys when closed, for walk-in hunts. The DP3 features a floating bottom and semi-rigid frame.

3. Final Approach Adds Pintail, Wood Duck Decoys

Renowned contemporary carver Marty Hanson created the prototypes for Final Approach’s new pintail and wood duck decoys. These durable decoys feature custom paint schemes and heavy-duty bodies. The company has also introduced a new hand warmer available in Advantage Max-4 and Mossy Oak Duck Blind camouflage patterns. The hand warmer lining is made of Berber fleece.

4. U-Vision Flambeau Decoy Flock Growing

Flambeau, which put a new spin on decoy paint schemes a couple of years ago, continues to expand its   U-Vision line. A wide variety of species is now available featuring paint that coincides with the vision spectrum of waterfowl. The Flambeau Masters Series decoys were designed by master carver Roger Desjardins. Brand new in this series are snow and white-fronted goose floaters.



1. Bayou Meto Shotgun Sling Comes With Quik Attach Duck Strap

Combine a duck strap with a gun sling and you are left with free hands, which is a good thing when hiking to a hunting spot. Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear’s Bayou Meto sling/strap is made of neoprene with sharkskin no-slip backing. The strap, which features a side-release buckle, can be left on the sling or stowed in a pocket or bag.

2. Bushnell’s BackTrack May Be Simplest GPS Unit

Waterfowlers who struggle with multi- functional GPS units may want to check out Bushnell’s BackTrack, which may be the simplest device of its kind on the market. Hunters can store and locate three locations using the latest digital technology. Featuring a high-sensitivity SIRF Star III GPS receiver and self-calibrating digital compass, the BackTrack is also compact, weather resistant, and available in five colors.

3. Motorola Talkabout Features 35-mile Range

Transmission range is no problem for Motorola’s new MR355R two-way radio. Dressed in Realtree AP HD, this radio is functional up to 35 miles with access to eight built-in repeater channels. The MR355R is equipped with a power-boost feature, a silent VibraCall function, seven NOAA weather channels, and an LED flashlight.

4. Super Tac Flashlight Provides Long-Range Illumination

Streamlight has gone long-range with its Super Tac flashlight. Powered by two lithium batteries, the Super Tac provides a powerful targeting light beam. Made of anodized machined aluminum, this flashlight resists moisture and operates with remote switches.



1. Columbia’s Super Wader Widgeon Jacket

Columbia’s Super Wader Widgeon Parka is, as one would think, short in length to allow for wading in waist-deep water. Omni-Tech provides a waterproof outer shell for this layering system, which also includes an interchangeable liner that allows you to stay comfortable in all conditions.

2. Hodgman Offers DU Wader Designs

The Ducks Unlimited line of high-quality neoprene waterfowling waders and hip boots is now available from Hodgman. Waterfowlers can choose between 3.5 mm and 5 mm weights, and the line includes men’s, women’s, youth, and stout models available in Advantage Max-4, Mossy Oak Break-Up, and Mossy Oak Shadow Grass.

3. Browning X-Trafit Waterfowl Glove

Browning is excited about its new waterfowling glove featuring Gore-Tex X-Trafit technology. These waterproof, windproof, and breathable gloves feature articulated fingers and allow for complete dexterity and a sure grip.

4. QuikCamo Combines Cap, Facemask

Caps and facemasks are popular with waterfowlers everywhere. So why not put them together? That’s just what QuikCamo decided to do—combine a cap with a drop-down facemask that will help hide gunners from birds’ prying eyes. These cap/mask combos are available in three different models and seven camouflage patterns.

5. Drake Goes Old School

Those who yearn for the good old days—as in the traditional brown camouflage pattern—can thank Drake for answering the call. The company’s Old School collection is a limited-time apparel and accessories offering. Among the many products featuring this look are the early-season waterproof shirt, midseason fleece-lined jacket, cap, and late-season bibs.

6. Scout a Perfect Match for Field Gunners

Waterfowlers who hunt in dry fields will want to check out Wolverine’s new Scout boot, which is waterproof and insulated with 400-gram Thinsulate. The boot’s rubber lug outsole provides flexibility. The Scout is available in Mossy Oak Breakup II mini print and Maxi brown.