Ammo Edit Thumbnail.jpg

As technological advances continue to shape waterfowling ammunition, manufacturers are releasing new products every year. The new ammunition for 2023 is no exception. Find the perfect shotgun load for your style of hunting.

1. Apex Mossy Oak Shadowgrass Habitat Blend

APEX Tungston.jpg

The latest offering from Apex is a limited-edition Mossy Oak Shadowgrass Habitat Blend, decorated with Mossy Oak’s newest waterfowl pattern. These loads combine steel 3 shot with dense TSS 8 shot, and the steel pellets are zinc-plated for rust resistance. The shells have a muzzle velocity of 1,400 fps.

2. Baschieri & Pellagri Dual Steel and Dual Bismuth


The Italian company Baschieri & Pellagri gives hunters two more choices in mixed-shot shells. Their Dual Steel load combines steel with plated steel pellets. The Dual Bismuth loads mix two different sizes of bismuth pellets. Both are loaded into B&P’s biodegradable Green Core Wad, which is tough enough to protect barrels from larger steel shot and still degrades completely in the environment.

3. Boss Warchief


Buffered with ground organic material to protect the pellets and loaded with round copper-plated bismuth shot, Boss’s Warchief ammo produces patterns that are eight percent tighter than unbuffered Boss ammo, according to company tests. Warchief loads are currently available in 2 3/4-inch 12-gauge, and 3-inch 12- and 28-gauge loads are slated to join the lineup soon.

4. Browning Wicked Wing XD

Browning Wicked Wing.jpg

Loaded with premium, plated, round steel shot, Wicked Wing XD ammo features an aerodynamic, stabilized wad that produces tight long-range patterns and works in all choke systems. It’s available in 3-inch 12- and 20-gauge loads and 3 1/2-inch 12-gauge loads.

5. Federal Black Cloud 28-Gauge

Federal BlackCloud.jpg

Federal has scaled down its popular Black Cloud loads for hunters shooting 3-inch 28-gauge shotguns at ducks over decoys. Featuring tight-patterning Flitecontrol wads and 1,400-fps 3/4-ounce payloads that combine round pellets with ridged Flitestopper pellets, these small-bore Black Cloud loads are an affordable alternative to tungsten-iron ammo.

6. Federal Hevi Bismuth

Federal Bismuth.jpg

Combining the tight-patterning Flitecontrol Flex wad with bismuth shot, these high-performance loads offer hunters another hard-hitting nontoxic alternative. This ammo is available in 2 3/4-inch and 3-inch 12-gauge loads and in 3-inch 20-gauge loads.

7. Hevi-Shot Hevi-XII

HeviShot HeviXII.jpg

The original Hevi-Shot pellets are back. With a higher density than lead at 12 grams/cubic centimeter (g/cc) versus lead’s 11.2 g/cc, they hit hard and pattern well. This year’s offerings include 3-inch 12-, 20-, and 28-gauge loads.

8. Hevi-Metal Extreme

Hevi Metal Xtreme X.jpg

Hevi-Metal, Hevi-Shot’s original duplex load, is back as Hevi-Metal Xtreme. The shells still contain a mix of 30 percent Hevi-Shot tungsten pellets and 70 percent larger steel pellets, and now they are paired with Federal’s FliteControl Flex wad, which tightens and improves patterns.

9. Kent Cartridge Fasteel+

Kent DUEL.jpg

Kent has added duplex loads to its proven Fasteel ammo to create the new Fasteel+ line. According to Kent’s testing, layering larger pellets over smaller pellets allows the small shot to draft behind the bigger shot, producing tight patterns and helping the small shot retain velocity. These loads will be available in 3-inch 12- and 3-inch 20-gauge options.

10. Remington Premier Bismuth

Remington Bismuth.jpg

Remington continues to offer its Premier Bismuth in all gauges from 3-inch 12-gauge to 3-inch .410, plus 2 3/4-inch loads for 12-, 20-, and 28-gauges. Making use of Hevi-Bismuth shot engineered by sister company Hevi-Shot, Remington loads the shells to velocities of 1,400 fps in 12- and 20-gauge; 1,200 fps in 28-gauge; and 1,200 fps in .410.

11. Winchester Xpert DU 85th Anniversary

Winchester DUEL.jpg

Last year, Winchester introduced special boxes of Xpert shotshells in recognition of Ducks Unlimited’s 85th anniversary and the longtime partnership between DU and Winchester. The boxes feature a mallard drake on the front and the famous image of John Olin’s retriever King Buck from the 1959 federal duck stamp on the back. Inside each box are 25 Winchester Xpert 3-inch 12-gauge steel loads containing 1 1/4 ounces of 2 shot.

12. Winchester E-Tech

Winchester ETech.jpg

E-Tech ammo contains a biopolymer wad that degrades naturally. The initial offerings include 2 3/4-inch 12-gauge loads of lead 7 1/2 shot or 1 ounce of steel 6 shot. Suitable for target shooting, dove hunting, and possibly teal, E-Tech will sell for about a dollar more than comparable traditional loads.


Check out more of 2023 New Guns and Gear: