Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

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Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby McManusClan5 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:16 pm

Hey all,

Quick question for the seaduckers. I've been looking at the Benelli SBE II (had one briefly last season, but was defective - long story, but got two not so great days out of it. Was bad enough that I was able to return for a refund, if you can imagine…) or the Beretta a400 extreme. Both feel "right" when I mount and swing them, and the Benelli was deadly when it actually fired.

I currently shoot a Beretta White Wing 12g OU and love the gun (and got the kids a Beretta 20g semi to share last year - another great gun). Have hunted the OU in lots of nasty environments, but I'm concerned that a lot of salt exposure (cuz I WILL be out a lot this year!) won't be good for it, even if I stay on top of cleaning (wood stock, blued barrels etc. - nice but not as "hardy" as the fully camo-ed up jobs). That, and I like the idea of 3.5 and a third shot for some of those tough mothers on the salt and late winter geese… Not critical, but nice.

Thoughts on which? I know, as my kids would say, "First world problems," but the Better Half is pretty understanding, and I don't go crazy (this will be my second gun in over 8 years!). Happy Birthday & Merry Christmas all in one! :banana:

I hope this isn't one of those polarizing questions! Thoughts appreciated.

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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby Mike M. » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:51 pm

I wouldn't worry about the salt too much. If you'd like to get a gun specifically for sea ducks by all means go for it. Personally, I'd just use O/U if that's what you generally hunt with.

Sorry to be the party pooper. :beer:
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby SMSovis » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:23 am

Buy an SBE II. I have never heard a bad thing about then until I just saw what you posted. What exactly happened with the gun? I have owned Remingtons, Berettas, Brownings etc and bought an SBE II a couple years ago and will never go back. I rarely shoot 3.5" shells but its nice to be able to.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby dmurano » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:18 am

I like benellis M2 it's the 3" version have not seen the need to shot 3 1/2's.
If you shoot from a boat autos are great but not many make it thru the day. if ya shoot from a beach spot .
I would go for a pump. A factory cameo finishs. holds up well in the salt just keep the enternals lubed.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby mawtrfowler » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:37 am

I've been shooting a Vinci for the last 3 seasons and I love it. It has a very smooth action, good finish and its deadly in my hands
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby PghDuckHunter » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:43 am

I know shotgun choice is extremely variable and personal, but I cant say enough about my SBEII. I have just beat the hell out of it and it has never failed to shoot. I slipped in a marsh, submerged it in mud to the forearm stock, pulled it out, wiped off the outside and it fired no problem. When I pulled it apart to clean it, the mud in the trigger mechanism and the bolt were ridiculous, I had to soak it all to get it clean. You could use it as a boat oar and it would fire up no problem. IMHO, Its a great shotgun. Plus to me it just swings better than anything else. I cant imagine the huge forearm stock of some shotguns....
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby McManusClan5 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:15 pm

mawtrfowler wrote:I've been shooting a Vinci for the last 3 seasons and I love it. It has a very smooth action, good finish and its deadly in my hands


Where'd you get those hands? They on sale anywhere? :wink:

Thanks all. I do like the OU, and will probably stick with that for ponds and rivers (and it's why I'm taking my time deciding on which to add).

When I shot the SBEII, I did really like the way it swung, and it felt soft (wrt kick) for a cannon (late season goose and seaduck rounds). So, I really liked it in terms of how it shot - kind of important. When it fired, I made great shots... for me.

But, it just wouldn't cycle most times, and it sometimes wouldn't chamber a shell from the magazine or, and this was annoying, release the bolt when you hit the bolt release button (and it would sometimes just let go - had to watch my fingers for sure when I was loading)... Not really sure why, but it was a problem out in the field.

Took it home and cleaned/oiled it, thinking that would help (maybe the release was sticking, etc.) Went the next day and it did the same - all bloody day. Took it back and got the stink eye from the folks in the shop - until they tried and had the same problems. They actually let me return it for credit - solid and unusual move on their part and very considerate. No impacts/accidents/issues between purchase and firing the first round (did everything by the book, as that's one pricey gun), but it just never worked right.

Could be operator error, I know, but they had the same issues when I came back a couple days later, as did the guys in the field with me (recognizing that I could, again, be the weak link I asked them to try - same result).

So, since I like my Beretta OU and the kids' 20ga is sweet, I was thinking a400 vs. SBEII. I did really like the SBEII, but I'm "gun shy" (sorry for that one) about being fooled twice. From everyone I talk to (or here), though, sounds like I got the only gun that had an issue - so maybe it is just me! :lol3: I do hear a lot more about the SBEII than the a400, although what I hear about each is positive.

Thanks for the input (and sorry for the long post, but I wanted to answer the question about why - and I type wicked fast!). And I do need a gun that is tough enough to double as an oar (seriously, that's one of my criteria). Will let y'all know... much obliged.

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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby PghDuckHunter » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:40 pm

I think the cycling issues are fairly common for SBEIIs out of the box. Especially under light loads. I have heard it takes a number of shells to get the inertia drive broken in. Mine had a cycling problem for the first 20 shells and hasnt had one since.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby Bunker » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:16 pm

I just bought an A400 after shooting a Urika 391 for the last 4 seasons. I love my 391 and am a big fan of the Beretta line but now having the capability to shoot any load any size any time without spring changing or adjusting was a big selling point for me. As for my review of the A400 two thumbs up and if I had more than two they'd be up too! Please keep in mind though that I bought it last Friday and hunted it Saturday(the closing of the Maine southern zone). I've squeezed the trigger twice, but did drop 4 teal in the process so it has a bright future!


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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby jpothof » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:43 pm

I've been using an A400 for the last two season. I know it doesn't have the track record of the SBEII but it has been 100% reliable for me with everything from light trap loads to 3 1/2 inch goose loads. Clean up is really a breeze and the recoil reduction technology in this gun really works well

I was down to the SBEII and the A400 Xtreme and the A400 just came up better and swung better for me.

Good news is that they are both awesome and you can't make a bad choice here.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby james1981 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:10 pm

I thought a lot of the guys down on the Cape shoot OU for sea ducks, I hear the salt is terrible for any guns not made of stainless steel or alluminum but the OUs you can break down and hose off and then keep shooting, Faster than a semi... and can choke two barrels differently. I kinda like the idea.

I am a diehard pump gun fan, I think if I went to a semi I would spend more money on shells per season.

I have a 535 mossberg and it has already been swimming this year, took off barrel, emptied water our of reciever and barrel, put it back on and was able to fire at the next round of ducks, I am not sure if you could do that with a semi.

Bennelli Nova;s are a hell of a gun also.

My 2 cents.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby JTR » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:11 pm

For sea ducks, I'm shooting a Mossberg 835. The thing is nearly indestructible and I have no concerns with it getting soaked in the boat with the dog shaking out over it and what not. If you can swing it, I'd get a gun that is going to be bullet proof for sea ducks and shoot your nice guns at the puddle ducks. If you are hunting out of a boat, I think you will find out sooner rather than later that it is tough to keep things dry and salt free in the heat of the moment. Not having to worry about drenching your $1500 gun in the salt is one less concern that you will have out there.

If you are worrying about speed - once you are used to the pump, you won't even notice a difference in speed.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby Professor_Leakey » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:25 pm

ive been shooting my mossberg 835, that i bought from bunker's dad, at everything, and in all conditions, salty and sweet, for the past 4 years, without a single issue. For the $200 i spent it has been well worth it. i guess i still want to pay my dues with a big heavy pump gun before i drop big bucks on (or with) anything else.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby MIKE J. » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:42 pm

I have used pump guns for sea ducks over the last 35 years with no problems. I have even dropped one to the bottom in the Sakonnet River and was able to retrieve it at low tide a few days later. Rinsed it off and a little WD it was good to go. Last year I finally upgraded to The Browning Maxus and wonder why I waited so long for a semi auto. The biggest difference is the amount of recoil felt. The last few seasons I noticed I would headaches after a few shots with 3" loads. Like JTR stated, Anyone that is comfortable with a pump gun can rip 3 shots very fast. No matter which gun you choose you will have to accept the fact that it will be subjected to a harsh environment when waterfowling. Take the time to keep it clean and lubricated and it will be killing ducks for a long time to come.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby JTR » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:57 pm

Mike can probably attest to this as well - the Benelli Nova is a hell of a good gun for sea ducking, and in my opinion any duck hunting. At around $450 new, the thing is tough to beat. My only complaint would be that the camo dip on the gun isn't too durable, but that has no affect on the functionality of the gun. I'm a fan of keeping things simple. Autoloaders are fantastic - until something breaks. Pumps have a lot less moving parts, so if something breaks, it is pretty easy to figure out how to fix it.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby native brookie » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:24 pm

Beretta 390 was just over $500 at Walmart last time I checked. Semi auto, flawless for me for 5+ years; plastic stock.

Best of the inexpensive semi's, IMHO.
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Re: Shotgun choice for salt duck/goose

Postby McManusClan5 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:45 am

Update.

Went with the a400 with kickoff. Noticeable (as in really noticeable) difference in felt recoil and muzzle rise compared to the 12g OU. Actually felt less with a 3.5" than a 3" in the OU (all else same), so my cheek and increasingly older shoulder were happy with that, and getting back on the bird for a second shot felt much quicker/smoother.

Swing is initially a bit slower than the OU, but feels a little heavier and has better "swing through" because of it, for me. Should help me to shoot them in the lips (or at least not shoot them in the butt!). :wink:

I'll still shoot my grandfather-in-law's 870 in 2 3/4" early season on smaller ducks and the OU for some pond/river hunts and upland, but I'm diggin' the new shooting iron's performance. Can't wait to get on the salt!

Anyway, thanks all for the thoughts and suggestions. Very helpful and much appreciated. :thumbsup:

Off to scout for tomorrow!

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