Essentials for Serious Waterfowlers: Choose the Right Shotgun

Waterfowler Ben Cole with his Remington Versa Max shotgun

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Being a successful waterfowl hunter begins with choosing the right gun. A quality, reliable shotgun that won’t fail when you need it is crucial when chasing the elusive waterfowl grand slam, as I am. The slam is comprised of forty one species ducks from all across the United States. Each of these hunts poses its own extreme environmental challenges, whether it’s the frigid salt waters of New England or the blistering heat and humidity of a Louisiana swamp.

I’ve hunted ducks and geese for two decades now using a variety of makes and models of shotguns. But I think I’ve finally found my go-to scattergun; the Remington Versa Max.

Remington's Versa Max Shotgun is reliable, soft-shooting and affordable.

No matter the conditions, your gun has to work flawlessly when that species you’ve been chasing finally presents itself and the American-made Remington Versa Max is in a league of its own. Its ergonomic design and innovative industry-leading Versaport gas system make it tough, reliable and easy to maintain. All at an affordable price point.

Remington's HyperSonic Steel is just the thing to down some of America's most demanding waterfowl species

Pairing it with a box or two of Remington HyperSonic Steel shells makes for an almost unbeatable, deadly combination.

Massachusetts is the most brutal place I’ve ever hunted. It features plummeting temperatures, snow and high, slicing winds. The scenery is breathtaking, but hunting there isn’t for the faint of heart. That’s where you have to go to find Common Eiders, a fascinating breed.

They’re beautiful and one of the largest ducks in the United States. But they fly deceptively fast for their size. There are many ways to hunt these birds; layout boats, rock outcroppings, and even on beaches. These can be challenging, corrosive conditions for a shotgun and missing a once-in-a-lifetime bird because your gun malfunctions is more than frustrating.

The Versa Max’s Versaport gas system reliably cycles loads from 2 3/4 to 3 1/2 inches while reducing felt recoil. It’s a phenomenal design that lets you use one gun on all types of birds — from quail to snow geese — and shoot it comfortably. High felt recoil increases fatigue and reduces the accuracy of your second and third shots. The Versa Max gas system effectively manages that.

Hunting snow geese during conservation season is a prime example of the benefits of that reduced recoil. During one of those hunts, hunters can easily shoot through a case or more of shells, which is very physically demanding. Over the years there have been many instances where my shoulder would be bruised blue after a weekend of shooting geese. Putting several boxes of shells through the Versa Max demonstrated just how impressive the Versaport system is. No bruising or discomfort makes firing hundreds of rounds enjoyable. And means I take home more birds.

Ben Cole bags a Northern Pintail on his way to achieving the Waterfowl Grand Slam

Chasing the waterfowl grand slam is physically demanding enough without stiff recoil and a spotty-performing smoothbore. Settling for a sub-par shotgun, just to get by, can be a costly mistake in the harsh environments where these 41 species are found.

In the Versa Max, Remington has engineered one of the most dependable and advanced shotguns on the market…while pricing it so it’s accessible to the average hunter. I can rely on it to perform, without fail, in the extreme environments necessary to achieve the waterfowl grand slam.

Benjamin Cole is an avid waterfowl hunter and writer based in Alabama. To date, he’s bagged all seven species of geese and 28 of the ducks in his pursuit of the 41-species waterfowl grand slam. 

comments

  1. avatar Sert says:

    “Choose the right gun”? You didn’t provide us with any choices. The title of your article should read “Buy a Remington Versa Max.”

    I stopped reading midway to check if this was a sponsored post. It wasn’t but it sure sounded like one.

    1. avatar DaveR says:

      Nah. If it was really a plug for Remington they would also have been sure to throw in an advert for Remington shotgun shells…

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Auto loader? Benelli. Browning. Beretta.

    1. avatar RonKarenga says:

      Sneaking up on birds to Blast them with shotguns is obviously not a sport… for whatever reason this is the type of animal abuse that hits me the most viscerally… Id like to see a Hitchcockian slaughter

      Oh hi jwm, didnt see you there, youre such a small man, have you asked for some moral courage this holiday season despite your having been so naughty?

      If you confirm it was the Vietnamese people you helped slaughter to try to take away their country I might send you the gift of a scholarly treatment of the US invasion and occupation of Vietnam, perhaps Marilyn Youngs nuanced survey… anyway have a Joyous Kwanza and a happy new year

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        Your ignorance is showing …again. You don’t have right to opinion on stuff you know nothing about. No, your FEELZ don’t matter.
        Since you are too lazy to educate yourself, let me give you some hints: You don’t sneak up on birds to blast them. You wait for them to fly close by and THEN you blast them. You also don’t blast the birds sitting on water, on ground or in a tree. Now that would not be sporting. You are welcome.
        And Merry Christmas to you too!

      2. avatar jwm says:

        Moral courage? You wouldn’t know it if it bit you on the ass. You’ve done exactly nothing to correct what you see as the wrongs done by America to the world. Nothing.

        Your communist buddies invaded 3 countries. Laos, Cambodia and South Viet Nam. Murdered untold tens of thousands of people who wouldn’t knuckle under to them. Those are your heroes.

        Moral courage? You’ve never had any.

        1. avatar NoMoralCourageTwoYearOld says:

          jwm did wrong but in his “mind” everyone else is to blame…

          “Everything we did in those faraway lands, good or bad, we did in the name of folks like ehren, rob and comrade more dead soldiers. We did it in their names and under their orders. The American military is under the leadership of the American pols and people.

          We did nothing without their approval beforehand. And if they did not approve then they should have had the moral courage to try to stop what they thought was wrong. Refuse to pay your taxes. Renounce your citizenship and move to another country.

          Until they have taken actual steps to remedy what they see as wrong they do not have the right to judge others.

          My service was over 4 decades ago and I’m still proud of the men I served alongside.”

        2. avatar jwm says:

          What wrong did I do? What right have you done. Lying about me cause you can doesn’t make you right. Just a moral coward.

          Even thru an anonymous web site you lack the moral courage to name one act, one, that you’ve done to correct the ‘issues’ you perceive. You cheer on the communists that murdered untold thousands but you claim the moral high ground.

          You are behaving as a coward. And a 2 yo would be mature compared to you.

  3. avatar BLoving says:

    My only shotty is a 1950s vintage 20 gauge side-by-side. Any clay that isn’t flying straight at me or away from me is getting away.
    Am I doing it right?
    🤠

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Sure. Why not.

    2. avatar Johnny108 says:

      No. The best place to shoot clays is on the ground, after they landed.
      Much easier!

  4. avatar skoon says:

    Screw remington and their shit company. Save a few more bucks and get a benelli super black eagle

  5. avatar Quasimofo says:

    “In the Versa Max, Remington has engineered one of the most dependable and advanced shotguns on the market…”

    The only engineering Team Green did was figuring out where to put the Remington branding onto a Benelli M4…

  6. avatar Matt says:

    Was this an ad?
    At least it wasn’t a suppressor story.
    Done with ttag.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Thanx for dropping in, we’ll see ya Monday. 🤠

  7. avatar Johnny108 says:

    Always wanted a short barreled Remington 1100, but,
    I probably read too much W.E.B. Griffin

  8. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Well I’ve been looking for this shotgun, and now they made it.I lost my 870 and was wanting cheaper short barreled auto…….. Well now that’s ironic? OK to call a shotgun an auto, but not a rifle. … . I’ve been stuck out here in this cabin since before Thanksgiving, I’m out.of coffee andd been eating a lot of beans. I really don’t think I need a gun, or get to close to fires.( Resupply tomorrow)

  9. avatar Accur81 says:

    That was a painful Remington add. My choice is the Benelli Super Black Eagle II.

  10. avatar Jeff says:

    The Versamax shown is a heavy clunky gun with an “affordable price point” of $1664. Compare to the commenters’ SBE3, which is about a pound lighter, has NO gas system, and costs about $1900. And holds more ammo for days when you’re not hunting migratory birds.

  11. avatar adverse5 says:

    I went duck hunting exactly once, I couldn’t throw the dog high enough.

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