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3 Top Shotguns For Dove Hunting

Heath Wood

One of the only times I recall my grandmother scolding me was when I was 12 years old on the opening day of dove season. 

My grandparents lived next door to us throughout my childhood. When opening morning arrived, I was outside at first light, ready to hunt doves. Sitting a mere 40 yards from the end of my grandparent's driveway, close to the area where my grandmother fed pretty birds that brought her enjoyment throughout the day, a problem arose. I should not have been surprised when my grandmother became unhappy with me after I unloaded my shotgun on her doves as they made their way to their usual feeding area. I never hunted near my grandparents’ home again. Instead, I would spend several days of the season in a wheat field or other open area, shooting doves with my friends and family.

dove hunting

DOVE HUNTING ETIQUETTE 

The first day of September has always been my unofficial start to hunting season. As the years have gone by, I have never lost the enjoyment of sitting close by to my buddies on the edge of a field as we hunt. The stories we share and the memories made are the kinds that last forever. Even though dove hunting is a sport that hunters can relax and have fun with, the desire to become a better hunter and shooter is still taken seriously. 

Dove hunters prefer not to be shown up by their fellow shooters while trying to keep up with fast-moving targets. One way to polish their technique and shooting performance is by improving the quality of the shotgun. To be a better dove hunter, one must choose a shotgun that meets their specific needs. 

Mossy Oak Store hunting gear

The ideal firearm has a smooth recoil, making repetitive shots easier on the shoulder. The gun needs to be lightweight so that the hunter can swing fast on rapid-flying birds without being worn out at the end of the day. The action must be a smooth pump or a semi-automatic to achieve multiple shots as more than one dove flies through or to make a triumphant follow-up shot after missing the target on the first attempt. The ideal dove hunting gun must also have a matte finish or feature a good camouflage pattern to remain hidden as birds fly into close range. Below are three choices of shotguns that dove hunters are sure to enjoy.

Mossberg - 500 20-gauge Field/Deer Combo

 

Mossberg 500 20 gauge

The Mossberg 500 Field/Deer Combo is a shotgun for the all-around hunter. This combo is a pump-action shotgun with two interchangeable barrels. A 24-inch fully rifled barrel for slug hunting big game such as deer and a 26-inch vent rib barrel with interchangeable choke tubes makes it an excellent choice for hunting doves.

The Mossberg 500 Field/Deer Combo is available in a 20-gauge, which is preferred amongst most dove hunters. This affordable yet highly adaptable pump-action shotgun performs excellent when a large amount of shooting is required—weighing in at 7 pounds, hunters can swing on fast-moving birds. The only negative is that the hunter is vulnerable to filling their daily bird limit faster.

  • Gauge: 20
  • Action Type: Pump-Action
  • Chamber Size: 3”
  • Barrel Type: Vent Rib
  • Barrel Length: 26”
  • Barrel Finish: Mossy Oak Break-Up Country
  • Choke: Accu-Set 
  • Capacity: 5+1
  • Weight: 7 lbs

Franchi - Affinity 3 Mossy Oak Bottomland

franchi affinity

Many bird hunters praise the Affinity series of shotguns from Franchi because of their accuracy and handling. For serious dove hunters, the need for a lightweight, easy-handling shotgun is a must for success. The Franchi Affinity 3, 20-gauge in Mossy Oak Bottomland meets all those needs. At only 6 pounds, the Affinity 3 provides the fast-moving performance dove hunters demand. The TSA recoil pad is a revolutionary design proven to reduce recoil by up to 50%, making an all-day hunt more enjoyable. An adjustable Omni stock fit lets every hunter adjust the tailor and drop, making the gun fit their specific size, creating a more effective shooter.

  • Gauge: 20
  • Action Type: Semi-Automatic
  • Chamber Size: 2-3/4”- 3”
  • Barrel Length: 26”
  • Barrel Finish: Mossy Oak Bottomland
  • Choke: Imp Cyl, Mod, Full
  • Capacity: 4+1
  • Weight: 6 lbs

Benelli - Super Black Eagle 3 

Benelli super black eagle 3

Hunters who want to gain the attention of others due to their shooting abilities should show up at the next dove hunt, holding the Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 20-gauge featured in Mossy Oak Bottomland.

With nearly ten years in development, the Super Black Eagle 3 is a true performance shotgun for the most serious dove hunters. The SBE3 weighs the lightest of the three highlighted shotguns. Weighing only 5.8 lbs., it allows the maneuverability to make the shot faster than fellow hunters. One of the highlights of the SBE3 is Benelli’s Inertia-Driven System. The clean-burning Inertia-Driven System requires no adjustments and cycles consistently, even when using light field loads as when dove hunting. 

The Super Black Eagle 3 also features Comfort Tech 3, a design that splits the stock diagonally and utilizes shock-absorbing chevrons, essentially turning the entire stock into a giant recoil pad. 

  • Gauge: 20
  • Action Type: Semi-Automatic
  • Chamber Size: 2-3/4”- 3”
  • Barrel Length:26”
  • Finish: Mossy Oak Bottomland
  • Choke: Imp Cyl, Mod
  • Capacity: 3+1
  • Weight: 5.8lbs

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