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beretta 391 magazine plug

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by absolute0, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. absolute0

    absolute0 Well-Known Member

    After using my newly acquired Beretta 391 for Minnesota's innagural dove season, I thought to myself, "Hey, I should remove the mag plug to increase ammo capacity for the rest of the grouse season".....no problemo, right?

    I open the manual to see how to go about doing this, and am shocked to see the notation concerning removal of the magazine plug :

    manual: "to be done by a certified gun smith"

    me: :scrutiny: aaaaaaah, come again?

    manual: "to be done by a certified gun smith"

    I was dumbfounded. I own about a dozen other shotguns and the mag plug removal process is usually a 2 minute, no tools required proposition. Does anyone have any further insight on this? If the procedure was outlined in the manual, I'd probably have a go at it but I couldn't find more detailed info in the manual.

  2. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Well-Known Member

    I just leave my plug in the 391 all the time, so I'll have to take a look when I get a chance.

    However, I just have to ask "When do you get more than 3 shots at a grouse?". I'm usually lucky to get off one. By then, it's either dead or behind so much cover my only chance is to find it again and reflush it.
  3. absolute0

    absolute0 Well-Known Member

    No, no no...Grouse (plural) not Grouse (singular)

    You've got a point there Trapper. All kidding aside, I can honestly say I've never taken 4 shots in one engagement with even the most hostile and determined enemy grouse. :eek:

    Be that as it may, I was taken aback by such a lack of design forthought on what is an otherwise delightful little 20 guage auto
  4. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Well-Known Member

    Wow! I'd love to see more than one grouse at a time. Usually, I walk around for a few hours behind my semi-worthless dog, and every once in a while, I hear something take off and fly away from me. Since I'm ostensibly grouse hunting, I assume that it's a grouse, and am suckered into staying in the woods even longer. After a day's worth of such events, I retire to the vehicle with maybe a bird in hand... so that I can drink cold coffee on the way home and think of ways to regale my wife with stories of "almosts".

    I do enjoy every minute of it, though. :D :D

    In any event, I just pulled my 391 apart. I think I see how to do it, but I'm not sure I would want to. First, make sure it's unloaded and field-strip it. Remove the gas piston and then look at the end of the mag tube. Just below the junction of the tube and the "thin portion" is a small detent ball. Push it in (I used a toothpick), and you can unscrew the "thin portion". Watch out, as the mag tube spring keeps some fair tension on things.

    Once you get the end off the mag tube, the limit plug is just a small-diameter metal bar, which appears held in place by a star nut of some sort. I would assume that with sufficient leverage, you could pull the bar from the star nut. I did not go this far, as I'm unsure if it would damage the nut, or if it would be too difficult to replace the plug once removed. (NOTE: Don't get mad at me if you mess up your gun. :))

    Now, it looks to me like it would theoretically be possible to remove the factory limit plug and replace it with a shorter piece of plastic or wooden dowel. I would ask a smith first to see if there would be any problem with the function after making such a change.

    Since I use this gun entirely for clays and waterfowl, it's not an issue and I don't plan to go any further. However, I do hope that this helps.
  5. JNewell

    JNewell Well-Known Member

    Just another reason I like the 390s better than the 391s! :D
  6. absolute0

    absolute0 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Trapper!

    Since this is to be my designated dove gun first and formost, I think maybe I'll just let sleeping dogs lie and leave the danged thing alone.

    Future generations of Minnesota Grouse thank you for your persuasive argument ;)

  7. absolute0

    absolute0 Well-Known Member

    A used 390 is what I was lookin' for

    when I bought the 391, but used 20 guage 390's are a pretty rare item in these parts. I actually ended up getting a screamin' good deal on my new 391 at Reeds Sporting goods up in Walker, MN
  8. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Well-Known Member

    absolute0 - Here's a related story about lots of shells, from sometime last year (I think... my memory is getting as bad as my hearing).

    Anyway, I normally hunt with plugs in place, just because it's too much trouble to remove them and I'd rather be caught with one in the tube, than with one missing. So, after admiring Browning A-5s for a while, I finally picked up a 16ga and thought I'd break it in on ringnecks.

    I was hunting with a friend who has a good dog, and with my semi-useless housepet/makeshift-hunting-dog. When we got out of the Jeep and loaded up, I realized I could fit 5 shells in there... so I did. After a very short time, we put up a bird, and I dropped it with one shot. So far, so good. We spent the next couple hours moving through some thick cover and not finding anything. However, there was a small section of field with a marshy pond adjacent to the one we were in.

    We went in and started a loop around the pond, when the good dog got real birdy. He was running this way and that, nose skimming the ground, making sounds like a pig as he inhaled all the scent. My dog was merrily running in circles somewhere behind us, and looked to be enjoying the field mice.

    Finally, I look behind us, and my dog is running flat-out away from us. I spun around and saw a big rooster take to the air in front of his nose. By the time there was enough distance between the dog and the bird, it was probably a 35 or 40 yard shot. I swung and pulled the trigger. The bird moved a bit, but kept flying. I then, much to my shame, threw up the proverbial "Wall of Lead", emptying the gun in the general direction of the bird.

    Of course, the bird pumped its wings a couple more times, locked them and glided out of sight beyond a small ridge. Fortunately, we found the bird quite dead about 15 minutes later. I swore that I would never shoot like that again.

    However, to be wholly truthful, I took up duck hunting this year, and I had a couple similar experiences, except with only 3 shots.

    I swear that I shoot better at game when I use a pump. Autos and two-barrel guns are too easy to send one bad shot right after another. Pumps almost force me to make distinct shots. I've got a buddy who ALWAYS fires twice. He uses an O/U, and if he pulls the trigger once, he'll pull it again. It's not unusual for him to hit hard with the first barrel, and then hit the bird again on it's way down. He uses a Remington 7400 for deer-hunting, and does pretty much the same thing there.

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