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Best Ammo For Duck Hunting (2023 Update)

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If you’re looking for the best ammo for duck hunting, there are several factors to consider before making a purchase. Firstly, it's crucial to choose the appropriate shot size and gauge for the shotgun you’ll be using. Secondly, you'll need to think about the type of ducks you’ll be hunting and their size, as well as the location and terrain of the hunting ground. Lastly, you need to consider your own skill level and preference in terms of recoil and price.

Before making a purchase, duck hunters should take into consideration the factors mentioned above to help them choose the best ammo. Shotgun shells come in different gauges and shot sizes, and the wrong combination can ruin your hunt. It's essential to choose the correct gauge and length since they affect the amount of recoil felt and shot velocity. Another key consideration is choosing the shot size based on the size of the ducks targeted. It's important to note that shot sizes also vary depending on your hunting preference, and regulations differ from state to state.

Are you tired of missing your targets while out duck hunting? Perhaps you’re looking to improve your successful hunt rate, and the answer might lie in your ammo. To achieve accuracy and precision while out duck hunting, selecting the right ammo can make all the difference. The right ammo will ensure that the target is hit with force, reducing chances of wounding the bird or missing altogether. Therefore, when choosing ammo for duck hunting, make sure to take everything into consideration and get the best possible results.

10 Best Ammo For Duck Hunting

# Product Image Product Name Product Notes Check Price

Ideal for duck hunters who need a portable blind and backpack to carry their gear while hunting from a stump.


Ideal for hunters and shooters to carry and easily access shotgun shells of 12 or 16 gauge size.


Ideal for marsh duck hunters who need a convenient shell holder with 24 loops for easy access.


Ideal for outdoor activities and hunting, featuring an adjustable belt with a storage pocket and camo pattern.


Ideal for hunting waterfowl with a 12 gauge shotgun that has Browning Invector Plus or Winchester SX3, SX4 chokes.


Ideal for outdoor waterfowl hunting, keeping hands warm with insulated hand muff in Realtree Max-5 camo design.


Ideal for hunting, fishing or any activity that requires waterproof protection and insulated boots in cold weather conditions.


The product is ideal for carrying hunting gear and accessories while remaining camouflaged in the outdoors.


Ideal for outdoor activities, hunting, and hiking due to its waterproof feature and dual function as a backpack and fanny pack.


It is ideal for outdoor activities such as hunting, hiking, camping, and fishing in rainy weather.

Ideal for duck hunters who need a portable blind and backpack to carry their gear while hunting from a stump.

Ideal for hunters and shooters to carry and easily access shotgun shells of 12 or 16 gauge size.

Ideal for marsh duck hunters who need a convenient shell holder with 24 loops for easy access.

Ideal for outdoor activities and hunting, featuring an adjustable belt with a storage pocket and camo pattern.

Ideal for hunting waterfowl with a 12 gauge shotgun that has Browning Invector Plus or Winchester SX3, SX4 chokes.

Ideal for outdoor waterfowl hunting, keeping hands warm with insulated hand muff in Realtree Max-5 camo design.

Ideal for hunting, fishing or any activity that requires waterproof protection and insulated boots in cold weather conditions.

The product is ideal for carrying hunting gear and accessories while remaining camouflaged in the outdoors.

Ideal for outdoor activities, hunting, and hiking due to its waterproof feature and dual function as a backpack and fanny pack.

It is ideal for outdoor activities such as hunting, hiking, camping, and fishing in rainy weather.

1. Rig'em Right Waterfowl Stump Jumper Duck Hunting Blind Backpack One Size

The Stump Jump Backpack is the ideal companion for waterfowlers seeking an organized and compact pack to bring to the blind. This backpack keeps your gear secure, easily accessible, and well-organized, ensuring you have everything you need at your fingertips.

Equipped with several features, the Stump Jump Backpack is designed to meet the needs of avid hunters. The backpack features a quick access ammo pocket, a sunglasses pocket, clear internal pockets, and outer pockets designed to hold a thermos or drink bottle. These pockets provide ample space to store your essential gear, ensuring you're prepared for long days in the field.

Designed with comfort in mind, the backpack features multi-layered padded shoulder straps and back support, which reduce the strain on your shoulders and back. Additionally, the backpack has a unique cut-out handle located at the top, which allows for easy grabbing or hanging on a peg.

The Stump Jump Backpack is camouflaged with the legendary Mossy Oak Bottomland Camo, which provides excellent outline-breaking ability, helping hunters blend into dark hardwoods, flooded timber, and treestand environments. This design ensures that you remain concealed and undetected in the field.

Rig'Em Right is a brand that produces the most well-designed and well-built products, tested and trusted by the most heavily seasoned waterfowlers on the planet. The Stump Jump Backpack is no exception, consistently dominating the category for sales and performance. With this backpack, you can rest assured that you're getting a high-quality product that will last you for years to come.

2. Bronzedog Waterproof Ammo Holder: Hunting Essential.

The Shotshell Bandolier is a versatile and practical accessory that every hunting enthusiast must have. Its total length is 54 inches, with a width of 3 inches, making it suitable for waist sizes ranging from 37 to 51 inches. Additionally, it can also be worn as a crossbody shell holder or over a hunting jacket for added convenience.

Available in three different colors, Green Oak Camo, Brown Cane Camo, and Black Oak Camo, the Shotshell Case is both stylish and functional. The Hunting Belt Holder comes equipped with 12 rounds for 12 (16) Ga, while the two close-style pouches can accommodate up to 16 cartridges each, providing ample storage space for your ammunition.

Made of high-quality waterproof Nylon material, the Shell Holder is designed to be comfortable and durable, ensuring that your hunting shells are kept safe and secure. The heavy-duty metal hardware used in its construction adds to its durability, making it a reliable and long-lasting investment.

The Shotshell Bandolier comes with a belt that can be adjusted to fit snugly and securely around your waist, providing maximum comfort and support during your hunting expeditions. So, whether you're a seasoned hunter or a novice, the Shotshell Bandolier is an essential accessory that you can't afford to miss.

3. Max-5 Camo Wader Shell Clip: 24 Loops

Introducing the STEADY:8 Fans Hunting Shotgun Shell Holder – the perfect accessory for any hunter. With its strong swivel clips, this holder allows for easy and steady attachment to waders or belts, ensuring that your ammunition is always within reach.

Featuring a big storage capacity, this shell bag has 24 shell loops and a large pocket that can accommodate a shotgun shell case, hunting whistle, fishing lure, and other essential items. You can rest assured that your hunting gear is safe and secure with this durable shell holder, made of warm, flexible, and water-resistant neoprene material. It also has excellent insulation properties, keeping your ammunition dry and ready for use.

The popular Realtree Max-5 Camo design of this hunting shell bag adds to its appeal, making it a stylish and practical choice for any hunter. Whether you're out in the field or at the range, this shell holder is sure to enhance your hunting experience.

This Shotshell Holder is easy to put on and take off from your hunting waders, making it a convenient companion for quick ammunition changes. It is a great partner for any hunter who values convenience, durability, and style.

4. Dynogoods Shell Belt – Adjustable Belt, Zipper Storage Pocket, Camo

Introducing the ultimate solution for avid hunters and shooting enthusiasts – the 25 Shotshell Capacity Waist Belt with Dual Zipper Storage Pocket. With a capacity of 25 shotshells, this waist belt is designed to cater to the needs of hunters who require a reliable and convenient way to carry their ammunition.

The waist belt is adjustable and fits most waist sizes, ranging from 28 inches to 52 inches. This ensures that the belt can be worn comfortably by a wide range of individuals, irrespective of their waist size. The adjustable feature also allows for a customized fit, making it easy to wear for extended periods without any discomfort.

The waist belt comes with a full-length dual zipper storage pocket that is perfect for storing choke tubes and other small items. The dual zipper design ensures that the contents of the pocket remain secure, and the full-length feature allows for easy access to the items stored inside.

Made from high-quality materials, this waist belt is built to last. It is durable, sturdy, and can withstand the rigors of regular use in outdoor environments. The waist belt is also designed to be lightweight, ensuring that it does not add unnecessary weight to your gear.

5. Patternmaster 12ga Browning Invector Plus/winchester Sx3, Sx4 Code Black Duck

The Code Black Duck is a highly versatile tube that is suitable for hunting in various terrains and game types. Its patented design and construction make it stand out from the rest. The patented stud ring design significantly shortens the shot string, allowing for a more effective hit on your target. The tube's versatility is attributed to its construction, which is made from American-made, titanium-infused 17-4 aircraft quality stainless steel and heat-treated to provide the best performance.

This tube is perfect for hunters who prefer simplicity but do not want to compromise on efficiency. Whether you are hunting in the Arkansas timber, Eastern Shore Geese, Georgia Dove Field, or Missouri Longbeard, the Code Black Duck is the perfect tool for the job. The tube is designed to provide a tighter pattern similar to a “Full” when using 2 ¾”-3” shells and “Improved Modified” when using 3 ½” shells. The effective distance varies based on the load and pellet size, but experienced hunters can expect clean kills at distances that others would consider lucky.

The Code Black Duck's superior construction and patented design make it one of the most versatile tubes on the market. Its ability to deliver a lethal shot with the entire load at once is a testament to its excellence. The construction also ensures that the tube is long-lasting and performs optimally, giving hunters value for their money.

6. Max-5 Camo Insulated Hand Muff For Hunting

The Hunting Gear Tactical Hand Muff is the perfect accessory for outdoor enthusiasts who want to stay warm and comfortable during cold weather. It features an exterior zippered pocket that allows you to pack small items while keeping your hands warm. The front of the muff has 8 elastic shell pockets, making it easy to use your hands without exposing them to the cold.

This Men's Shelly Realtree Max-5 Camo Hand Muff is lined with 80 grams of 3M Thinsulate Insulation, providing superior warmth and protection from the cold. The cuffs are fleece-lined, adding an extra layer of comfort and protection. It's the ideal accessory for carrying small items safely while keeping your hands warm in cold winter weather.

Constructed with a woven polyester shell and lined with canteen short fur fleece, the Duck Commander x Hot Shot Shelly Hand Muff offers ultimate comfort and protection. The Realtree Max-5 camo pattern blends seamlessly into your hunting surroundings, providing realistic elements to match your environment and erase your form from waterfowl, deer, ducks, and turkeys.

The Shelly Laminated Hand Muff is a great tactical item for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hunting, shooting, and fishing. The Realtree Max-5 design camouflages into your hunting surroundings and seasons. It's available in medium, large, and extra-large sizes, ensuring a perfect fit for everyone. Stay warm and comfortable in cold conditions with this essential hunting gear accessory.

7. Hisea Neoprene Camo Chest Waders For Men

When it comes to outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, or any water-related sports, having the right gear is crucial for both comfort and safety. The Neolife Chest Waders are a reliable option for those who seek warmth, durability, and protection from water intrusion.

Crafted from 4.5mm neoprene laminated to nylon jersey and stretch liner, these waders are not only incredibly warm but also flexible, allowing for comfortable movement. The material stands up to harsh outdoor conditions, ensuring long-lasting use. The waders trap and hold body heat, shielding the wearer from the chill of the water.

One of the most important features of any wader is its ability to keep water out. The Neolife Chest Waders are designed with armor weld double-stitched and visible bonded & taped seams, wider than the average wader seams on the market. The exclusive Water Intrusion Resistance processing enhances the waterproofing capability, preventing water and dirt from penetrating the waders.

Comfort is also a priority with these waders. The neoprene suspenders are adjustable for a customized fit, and the quick-release buckles make it easy to take them on and off. The waders also feature 8 shell holders on the front of the hand-warmer pocket, making it convenient to store ammunition or fishing gear.

The insulated rubber boots are another standout feature of the Neolife Chest Waders. The boots are extra solid and durable, lined with 600-gram 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation to block out the cold. The cleated soles provide excellent traction, ensuring a stable grip on slippery surfaces.

8. Rig'em Right Shell Shocker Blind Bag-Xl, Realtree Max 7

Introducing a highly functional and versatile backpack that caters to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. This backpack is designed with numerous compartments that provide ample space for storage, ensuring that you can carry all your essentials with ease.

One of the standout features of this backpack is the built-in hard sunglasses case that offers superior protection to your sunglasses and ensures that they are easily accessible. Additionally, the backpack features a water bottle or energy drink pocket that allows you to stay hydrated while you're on the go.

It also includes a cell phone pocket that is equipped with rainproof zippers, ensuring that your phone remains dry even in wet weather conditions. The backpack also features an internal ammo compartment that is perfect for storing ammunition, making it an ideal choice for hunting enthusiasts.

Moreover, the backpack boasts clear internal pockets that provide additional storage space for miscellaneous items. These pockets are not only convenient but also ensure that you can easily locate your items when you need them.

In terms of design, this backpack is made from high-quality materials that are both durable and lightweight. Additionally, it is designed to be comfortable to wear, with adjustable straps that allow you to customize the fit to your liking.

9. Auscamotek Camo Hunting Backpack And Fanny Pack Waterproof

Introducing the perfect hunting accessory, the Camouflage Hunting Backpack. Made from 100% brushed polyester fabric, coated with a PVC water-resistant material, this backpack is sure to keep all your hunting gear safe and dry. Measuring 19x12x8 inches, it provides ample space for all your hunting essentials.

The backpack is designed with natural tree and leaf printing, providing maximum camouflage during your hunting trips. The printing is random, featuring different parts of wetland dry grass reed, making it more realistic and effective in blending with your surroundings.

In addition to its camouflage design, the backpack features a large front pocket and two side water bottle pockets for storing your camo netting, ghillie suit, and other hunting accessories. You can easily access your gear when you need it, making it a practical and convenient option for hunters.

The backpack also comes with adjustable padded shoulder straps, ensuring total comfort while carrying it around. The chest belt provides a better fit and helps distribute the weight evenly, making it easier to carry heavy loads.

Please note that this product is not suitable for children under 12 years old.

10. Auscamotek Waterproof Camo Poncho For Outdoor Adventures

The US Military Multi-function Poncho is an outstanding piece of equipment that is made from lightweight, durable, and water-resistant material. The poncho can be used for various purposes such as a hunting blind, emergency shelter, tent tarp, ground sheet, or picnic blanket, making it an essential item for outdoor enthusiasts.

The poncho comes with a large space hood that is big enough to wear a golf cap or trucker hat for broad sight view, allowing you to see your surroundings with ease. The poncho's design is big and loose, making it a one-size-fits-all option for both men and women. This design also enables you to keep yourself and your backpack dry, ensuring that you can continue your adventure without any interruptions.

The poncho is made from ripstop material that has been coated with PU, making it resistant to water and other elements. It is incredibly lightweight, allowing you to fold it into a compact size and put it into the camouflage pouch that comes with it. The pouch can then be tucked into a daypack, making it easy to carry around and convenient to use whenever you need it.

Best Ammo For Duck Hunting FAQs

Are there any non-toxic alternatives to steel shot for duck hunting?

Yes, there are non-toxic alternatives to steel shot for duck hunting. In fact, the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting has been banned since 1991 due to its toxic effects on both wildlife and human health. Steel shot has been the most commonly used alternative but there are other options available such as bismuth, tungsten, and other alloys. These non-toxic shot types have similar densities to lead which make them effective substitutes for steel shot. Bismuth shot is a popular alternative as it is non-toxic, softer than steel, and has similar ballistic characteristics to lead. Tungsten shot is another non-toxic option that is much denser than both lead and steel, making it effective for longer-range shots. Other alloys such as Hevi-Shot and Kent's Tungsten Matrix are also available in the market. It is important to use non-toxic shot for the safety of both wildlife and humans and to comply with hunting regulations.

Are there any special regulations or restrictions on duck hunting ammunition?

Yes, there are special regulations and restrictions on duck hunting ammunition. The Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, also known as the Duck Stamp Act, regulates the hunting of migratory birds, including ducks, in the United States. Under this act, non-toxic shot is required for hunting ducks and other waterfowl in all areas of the country.

The use of lead shot for hunting waterfowl has been prohibited since 1991 due to concerns about the impact of lead on the environment and the health of wildlife. Instead, hunters must use non-toxic shot made of materials such as steel, bismuth, tungsten, or other approved materials.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sets specific guidelines for the composition of non-toxic shot, including size and weight restrictions, to ensure that it is effective for hunting while minimizing the risk of harm to birds and other wildlife.

It is important for duck hunters to be aware of these regulations and to use only approved non-toxic shot to avoid legal and environmental consequences.

How do weather conditions impact the choice of ammunition for duck hunting?

Weather conditions can have a significant impact on the choice of ammunition for duck hunting. For example, if the weather is windy, hunters may opt for heavier shot to ensure that they can reach the ducks. Similarly, if the weather is rainy or foggy, hunters may choose to use a larger shot size to increase their chances of hitting a duck. Additionally, if the weather is particularly cold, hunters may want to use a shot that is less likely to deform or break apart upon impact, as this can affect the effectiveness of the ammunition. Overall, the choice of ammunition for duck hunting will depend on a variety of factors, including the weather conditions, the type of ducks being hunted, and the preferences of the individual hunter. It is important for hunters to consider all of these factors when selecting ammunition to ensure that they have the best possible chances of success.

How does the weight and velocity of ammunition affect duck hunting success?

The weight and velocity of ammunition can have a significant impact on duck hunting success. When it comes to weight, heavier ammunition can provide better penetration and knockdown power, making it easier to take down ducks with fewer shots. However, heavier ammunition can also lead to increased recoil, which can affect accuracy and make follow-up shots more difficult.

In terms of velocity, faster ammunition can help compensate for mistakes in lead and improve your chances of hitting a moving target. However, high-velocity ammunition can also increase the chance of over-penetration, which can be dangerous in certain hunting environments.

Ultimately, the best ammunition for duck hunting depends on a variety of factors, including the type of ducks you’re hunting, the environment you’re hunting in, and your personal preferences. It’s important to experiment with different types of ammunition and find what works best for you in different situations. Additionally, it’s always important to prioritize safety and ensure that you’re using ammunition that is appropriate for your specific firearm.

Is it safe to use lead shot for duck hunting?

No, it is not safe to use lead shot for duck hunting. Lead is a toxic metal and when lead shot is used, it can contaminate the environment and harm wildlife, including ducks and other waterfowl. In fact, the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting has been banned in the United States since 1991 due to its harmful effects on the environment and wildlife. Instead, hunters are required to use non-toxic shot, such as steel, bismuth, or tungsten, to minimize the impact on the environment and protect wildlife. It is important for hunters to follow these regulations and take responsibility for their impact on the environment, as well as to promote sustainable hunting practices. By using non-toxic shot, hunters can enjoy their sport while also helping to protect the environment and wildlife for future generations.

Should I use steel or lead shot for duck hunting?

The decision to use steel or lead shot for duck hunting is an important one, as it can affect both your hunting success and the environment. While lead shot has traditionally been used for duck hunting, it has been banned in many areas due to its toxic effects on the environment and wildlife. Steel shot, on the other hand, is non-toxic and has become the standard for waterfowl hunting.

When selecting the type of shot to use, it is important to consider the regulations in your area, as well as the type of gun you will be using. Many modern guns are designed specifically for steel shot, while older guns may not be capable of handling the harder steel shot and could be damaged.

Ultimately, the choice between steel and lead shot comes down to personal preference and the specific hunting conditions. Steel shot is a more environmentally friendly option and is widely available, while lead shot may offer better performance in certain situations. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option and make an informed decision based on your individual needs and circumstances.

What brand of ammunition is best for duck hunting?

When it comes to duck hunting, selecting the right ammunition is crucial for a successful hunt. There are numerous brands of ammunition available in the market, but the best one for you will depend on your personal preference, hunting location, and hunting style.

Some of the popular ammunition brands for duck hunting include Remington, Winchester, Federal, and Kent. These brands offer a variety of ammunition options, including steel and lead shot, and different sizes of shot. Steel shot ammunition is commonly used for duck hunting, as it is non-toxic and meets federal regulations for waterfowl hunting.

However, it is important to note that not all ammunition types and brands work well in all hunting scenarios. Factors such as the distance of your shots, the size of the ducks you are hunting, and the weather conditions can all affect the performance of your ammunition. Therefore, it is recommended to test different brands and types of ammunition before your hunting trip to determine the best fit for your specific needs.

What is the best shot size for duck hunting?

The best shot size for duck hunting depends on various factors such as the species of ducks, hunting conditions, and personal preferences. Generally, #2 or #3 steel shot is recommended for most duck species as they provide a good balance between pellet count and size. However, for larger species like mallards and geese, larger shot sizes such as #1 or BB may be more effective. On the other hand, for smaller ducks like teal, #4 or #5 steel shot can be more appropriate. It's important to note that shot size is not the only factor to consider for successful duck hunting. Factors like choke selection, shot placement, and shooting skill also play a critical role in determining the effectiveness of a shot. Therefore, it's recommended to experiment with different shot sizes and consult with experienced hunters to find the most suitable shot size for your hunting needs.

What is the ideal gauge size for duck hunting ammunition?

The ideal gauge size for duck hunting ammunition depends on various factors. The most commonly used gauge sizes for duck hunting are 12 gauge and 20 gauge. The 12 gauge is the most popular choice for duck hunting because it offers a larger shot capacity and more power, making it ideal for shooting at greater distances. However, the 20 gauge is also a good option for duck hunting, especially for those who prefer a lighter and more compact shotgun.

In terms of the ideal shot size for duck hunting, it is generally recommended to use shot sizes between #2 and #4. These sizes provide enough power to take down ducks, while also minimizing the risk of over-penetrating and harming the environment.

It is important to note that the choice of gauge size and shot size ultimately depends on personal preference, hunting conditions, and local regulations. It is recommended to consult with a professional or experienced duck hunter to determine the best ammunition for your specific needs.

What is the maximum effective range for duck hunting ammunition?

The maximum effective range for duck hunting ammunition can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of gun, the choke of the barrel, and the specific load being used. Generally speaking, most duck hunters prefer to use ammunition that is effective at ranges of up to 40 yards. This allows for a good balance between stopping power and accuracy, while also ensuring that the shot remains concentrated within a relatively small area. However, it's important to note that effective range can be influenced by a variety of other factors as well, such as weather conditions, the skill level of the shooter, and the behavior of the ducks themselves. Ultimately, the best way to determine the maximum effective range for your specific setup is to spend time practicing and experimenting with different loads and distances in a controlled environment.

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