2019 New Guns & Gear: Waterfowling Loads

By Phil Bourjaily and Chris Jennings

[1] Winchester Xpert Snow Goose

Xpert Snow Goose makes use of Winchester’s diamond cut wads, which hold the payload together a short distance beyond the muzzle to tighten patterns. The gray hulls are designed to be less conspicuous around the blind. Available in 3- and 3 1/2-inch 12-gauge in BB or duplex loads of 1 and 2 shot. winchester.com

[2] Kent Fasteel 2.0

Already a favorite among budget-minded waterfowlers, Kent Fasteel now features zinc-plated shot and nickel-plated heads for corrosion resistance. Additionally, the wads and powders have been reengineered for improved performance. Fasteel 2.0 comes in 2 3/4-, 3-, and 3 1/2-inch 12-gauge loads and 3-inch 20-gauge loads. kentcartridge.com

[3] Remington Peters Steel

Remington goes retro with the new Peters Premier Blue steel lineup that packages modern shotshells in old-style boxes. Remington bought Peters Cartridge Company in 1934 and for decades after, hunters and target shooters recognized Remington-Peters shotshells by their blue hulls. The blue hulls are back, but now they have a water-tight crimp and sealed primer. Loaded with round steel shot, they are available in 3-inch 12-gauge 1 1/4-ounce loads. remington.com

[4] Apex Ammunition Premium Waterfowl (PW 3)

Mississippi-based Apex Ammunition made a splash in 2018 with several new nontoxic options for waterfowlers. The company is now offering a Premium Waterfowl Series line, featuring 3-inch, 12-gauge loads of zinc-plated steel BBs, 2s, or 4s, which are blended with Tungsten Super Shot 9s for improved performance at longer ranges. apexmunition.com/

[5] Boss Bismuth Shotshells

A new boutique ammo maker out of Bridgman, Michigan, Boss Shotshells produces its own bismuth pellets and sells direct to consumers to keep prices low. This year Boss has begun copper-plating bismuth pellets to improve patterns and reduce feather draw. Initial loads are offered in 12- and 20-gauge, with 16-gauge, 28-gauge, and .410 loads to follow. bossshotshells.com

[6] Federal BlackCloud TSS (Duplex)

Federal boosts the performance of its Black Cloud ammo by mixing the ringed Flite-stopper pellets with Tungsten Super Shot in its Flitecontrol wad. The result is a devastating load at a much lower price than 100 percent TSS. Available in 3-inch 1 1/4-ounce blended loads of steel 3 and TSS 9 shot or steel BB and TSS 7 shot. federalpremium.com

[7] Backridge ITX 

Backridge Ammunition is a new company specializing in factory-loaded ITX shot, a tungsten-based pellet safe for older guns that was previously available only to reloaders. ITX comes in two varieties: ITX-10, which is almost as dense as lead, and ITX-13, which is denser than lead and is available in waterfowl and turkey loads. backridgeammunition.com