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Choosing a Shotgun for Duck and Waterfowl Hunting

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Andy Schroeder, president of South Central Steel (SCS) in Harpersville, enjoys hunting. Hunters like SCS president Andy Schroeder need to have a good sense of what firearm to choose when going hunting.

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Choosing a Shotgun for Duck and Waterfowl Hunting

  1. 1. Choosing a Shotgun for Duck and Waterfowl Hunting Andy Schroeder
  2. 2. Introduction Andy Schroeder, president of South Central Steel (SCS) in Harpersville, enjoys hunting. Hunters like SCS president Andy Schroeder need to have a good sense of what firearm to choose when going hunting. While older hunters often used the same shotgun for all hunting, specialty firearms have become more common in recent years, with shotguns designed specifically for shooting specific types of game coming into vogue. For waterfowl hunters, these criteria are often quite narrow. Waterfowl hunters should choose a shotgun designed to handle steel shot. Steel shot became mandatory in wetlands during the mid- 1980s, so a gun used for a lot of waterfowl hunting must be able to handle the consistent use of steel.
  3. 3. Hunting Steel shot delivers less force than lead, so to make up for this, pellets must be larger. This in turn necessitates larger shells. Most waterfowl hunting guns, thus, should use 3-inch or longer shells. The 12 gauge or 10 gauge shotgun performs quite well, with the smaller shells of higher gauges typically under- performing or having few options available. Finally, the gun should have some weight to it in order to disperse the recoil of waterfowl loads. If recoil proves too intense, increasing the gun weight by adding weight to the barrel, just beyond the forearm, as well as to the stock, can mitigate the issue.

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