Waterfowling firearms are constantly being modifed to improve performance under extreme conditions. Check out these new firearms for 2012-2013 waterfowl season.
Browning's New A5s Are Guaranteed to Please
The venerable Auto-5 is back, but don't be confused by the unmistakable humpback receiver—this is not your grandpa's shotgun. Browning has rebuilt the A5 from the inside out. The company is so sure that the new bells and whistles are mistake proof that it is offering a five-year (or up to 100,000 rounds) guarantee. Start with the Kinematic Drive System, which captures the recoil energy and converts it into mechanical motion to operate the action. All cartridges, from light trap to heavy waterfowl loads, are guaranteed to cycle without a hitch. Back-bored to reduce felt recoil and maximize pellet velocity, the A5 is available in 12-gauge only, with 26-, 28-, and 30-inch barrels. Weight ranges from 6 pounds 11 ounces to 6 pounds 15 ounces. The A5 Hunter features a gloss-finish walnut stock and forearm. The A5 Stalker is available with Dura-Touch Armor coating on the stock and forearm and your choice of black, Mossy Oak Duck Blind, and Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity finishes. Accessories include three Invector choke tubes with either model.
But that's not all that's new from Browning this year. Those in the market for an over/under should take a look at the 725 Citori, available in 12-gauge with either 26- or 28-inch barrels. browning.com
Winchester Expands Its Super X3 Waterfowl Series
Upgrades abound in the Winchester shotgun line, not the least of which is the Super X3 Waterfowl Hunter, available in 12- and 20-gauge models. Its tough exterior features Mossy Oak Duck Blind camouflage finish and a synthetic stock with textured gripping surfaces. This shotgun also comes with a back-bored barrel, Invector-Plus choke tube system, and Truglo fiber-optic front site. A drop-out trigger system allows for easy disassembly and cleaning. The SX3 Waterfowl Hunter is available with either a 3- or 3 1/2-inch chamber. Also new is the SX3 Universal Hunter semiautomatic, which is available in 12- and 20-gauge models. This all-purpose autloader comes with Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity finish, an ambidextrous safety, cast and drop shims, length-of-pull spacers, and a drilled and tapped receiver that will accommodate a scope.
If that's not enough, check out Winchester's Super X Pump, which is now available with a 3 1/2-inch chamber. The Waterfowl Hunter model features Mossy Oak Duck Blind camo; the Black Shadow model has a matte black synthetic finish. Both have a crossbolt safety, hard chrome chamber and bore, and Inflex technology recoil pad. winchesterguns.com
Franchi USA Has an Affinity for Lightweight Guns
Franchi USA this year trots out its brand-spanking-new Affinity autoloader, available in both 12- and 20-gauge models with either 26- or 28-inch barrels. The Affinity features an inertia-driven action and is chambered for 3-inch shotshells. The recoil spring encircles the magazine tube (located in front of the receiver), which keeps recoil in line with the shooter and helps reduce muzzle climb. The 12-gauge with the 28-inch barrel weighs in at only 6.9 pounds, while the 20-gauge with a 26-inch barrel checks in at a slender 5.8 pounds. Barrels come with a raised-vent rib, red fiber-optic sight, and interchangeable choke tubes in full, modified, and improved-cylinder. The synthetic stock is available in black, Realtree MAX-4, or Realtree APG.
Those looking for another 20-gauge option should check out the Franchi 48AL in its Deluxe Prince-of-Wales version. This autoloader comes with an aluminum receiver, chrome-lined barrel, and three screw-in choke tubes. franchiusa.com
Benelli SBE II Offers Enhanced Performance
Benelli fans will quickly warm to the Super Black Eagle II Performance Shop Waterfowl Edition (SBE II). Lengthy name aside, the SBE II comes with a host of impressive enhancements, including a set of Rob Roberts Custom Triple Threat choke tubes. These chokes tubes are built to deliver optimal patterns at short-, medium-, and long-range waterfowl hunting distances. The inertia-driven Waterfowl Edition also features a large bolt-cocking handle in combination with a longer and wider bolt release lever that makes this autoloader easier to handle while wearing gloves. Fitted with a ComforTech stock and HI VIZ Comp front sight (complete with a variety of colored fiber-optic inserts), the SBE II also comes with a paracord survival sling. Available in 12-gauge only with a 28-inch barrel and a synthetic stock finished in Realtree MAX-4 camouflage, the SBE II weights in at 7.3 pounds. benelliusa.com
Mossberg FLEX System Features Interchangeable Parts
Mossberg has introduced a hybrid concept—the FLEX system—which allows shooters to modify their firearm with interchangeable parts for specific applications. The gun's central component is the Mossberg 500/590 pump-action shotgun frame. The options abound from there. Three locking mechanisms for attaching the stock, recoil pad, and forearm are the key components. Synthetic parts can be snapped into place without the use of pliers, wrenches, or other tools. FLEX shotguns are available in All-Purpose, Hunting, and Tactical configurations. Swap out a stock and barrel typically used for waterfowl hunting with tactical components, for example, and your duck gun becomes a home-defense piece. Multiple finish options are also available, including Realtree MAX-4 camouflage. mossberg.com
Beretta A400 Xtreme Unico is Built Extra Tough
Capable of shooting everything from 2 3/4- to 3 1/2-inch loads, Beretta's A400 Xtreme Unico KO is built for the waterfowl hunter. Among the highlights is Aqua Technology, a corrosion-proof finish applied to all external and internal metallic parts, which provides protection from rain, sleet, and snow. The A400 cycles quickly, thanks to Beretta's Blink gas-operated system, which features a rotating bolt head and new feeding system. Recoil and muzzle rise are reduced via Beretta's Kick-Off Mega system and Micro-core recoil pad. Optima-Bore HP choke tubes and Steelium barrel technology help ensure consistent ballistic performance. A new forearm cap called B-Lok simplifies assembly and disassembly. The A400 is available in black, Realtree MAX-4, or the new Optifade Marsh camouflage pattern. berettausa.com
Remington 870 Express Compact Fits Women and Youth
True, pink camouflage is not for everyone. But for wives, daughters, aunts, grandmas, and others who may find it appealing, Remington has the field covered with its Model 870 Express Compact Camo shotgun.
Remington has, in fact, expanded its compact shotgun line with 20-gauge designs chambered for 2 3/4- and 3-inch shotshells. Why compact? Everyone—particularly women, youths, and others of smaller stature—may not want or need a heavy, bulky gun. Compact shotguns are built for both comfort and performance, which often go hand in hand. These shotguns are equipped with Remington's Adjustable Length of Pull Kit, so the shotgun can grow as youngsters do. SuperCell recoil pads and RemChoke barrels are standard equipment. The Remington Model 870 Express Compact is available with wood, black, and, yes, pink Realtree Hardwooods HD camouflage stocks and forearms. remington.com
Legacy Sports Escorts Get Heavy-Duty Upgrades
The Legacy Escort Extreme and Escort Extreme Max 12-gauge shotguns have been upgraded for heavy-duty waterfowl gunning. The Extreme Max features a 3 1/2-inch chamber, while the Extreme has a 3-inch chamber.
Its smart-valve gas system will reliably cycle all sizes of shotshells. New features include Hi-Viz MagniSight, a magnetic sight capable of enhanced viewing under low light conditions, and nonslip pads on the forearm and grip. Barrels run 28 inches long and are chrome lined. A 20-gauge youth model is also available with a 22-inch barrel chambered for 3-inch shotshells. These guns are available in Realtree Max-4 HD and Realtree APHD camouflage. legacysports.com
New Stevens 320 Field Grade Pump is Economical Choice
Budget-minded waterfowlers looking for a new duck gun should take a look at the Stevens 320 Field Grade Pump shotgun. The 320 is available in 12-gauge models chambered for 2 3/4- or 3-inch shotshells. These black synthetic shotguns are bottom loading and come with a standard 28-inch barrel, vent rib, and rotary bolt. Included in the package is a modified choke tube. savagearms.com