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Help with Do-It-All Semi-Auto Selection

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by dirt_j00, Oct 12, 2012.

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  1. dirt_j00

    dirt_j00 Member

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    Hi all:

    I'm looking for a good-to-higher end autoloader that is designed to shoot light target loads, all the way up to 3.5" turkey loads. Will be used for dove, duck, turkey, and clays (non-competitive). Camo finish is a must. Prefer a 26" barrel for all around use (right?).

    Right now I'm considering the following:

    - Winchester Super X3
    - Benelli SBE II
    - Beretta Xtrema2 (preferably with KO)

    The Beretta A400 KO looks like the bees-knees, but think it may be out of the price range.

    Please give me your informed/first-hand opinions on these. Also, am I overlooking any comparable models?

    (FWIW: I was considering a Mossberg 935 originally, but they do not cycle the lighter loads reliably. Also, I have a nice 1100 that I love already but want interchangeable chokes and something I don't mind using/abusing.)

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. tacxted

    tacxted Member

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  3. DaleCooper51

    DaleCooper51 Member

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    I had a versamax and it would reliably cycle 3/4 oz at 1200 fps loads. I ran about 8k rounds through mine while I had it. Recoil is light and I loved the way it shot. Unfortunately, I had a number of issues with mine, and sold it off after repair. If you decide to get one, I would buy new as they come with a 2 year warranty. Also make sure that you send it in to Remington for the free inspection and tune up.

    You cannot use Rem Chokes in the Versa Max. The VM takes ProBore choke tubes. They are not interchangable.

    Out of the ones listed, if primarily a hunting gun, I would grab the Benelli. If clays is the main focus, I would go with either of the gas guns. I would get them all in hand and shoot them if you can. See which you like the best.
     
  4. jlineman

    jlineman Member

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    IMOA 1187 supermag. 1/2 the price and will still make everything from light 2 3/4 to heavy 3 1/2 go bang. good luck
     
  5. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I own the A400 Xplor Unico (the green receiver field gun) - it is my wife's sporting gun since it only weighs 7#1oz (postal scale weighed). This gun handles my 3/4oz 12 gauge reloads and is capable of shooting 3.5" goose loads - not that mine will ever even see 1-1/8 heavy target loads
    These can be had for about $1400, which, last time I checked, was less than any Benelli. The Kick Off system works as advertised; the gun is easy to clean, and it is soft shooting and reliable

    I haven't fired ANY other semi - gas or inertia - that could handle 3/4oz reloads in 12 gauge
     
  6. rule303

    rule303 Member

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    Any of the 3 you listed should be great guns. Try to get your hands on them to test fire them if you can. I know several guys who shoot SBE2's that are somewhat finicky with lighter loads. I would avoid the Remington Versamax due to QC issues, and the 1187 Supermags don't hold up well if you plan on shooting a lot of 3.5" shells. For me it would come down between the Beretta and SX3.
     
  7. JSNAPS

    JSNAPS Member

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    do you prefer gas or inertia? I prefer inertia to gas but YMMV
     
  8. JC98

    JC98 Member

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    All of those are great choices! Pick whatever shoulders better for you. I had my heart set on a SBE 2 but after shouldering it and an SX3 I ended up with the SX3. Zero issues after about 600 rounds through it. I have shot everything from light target loads to 3.5 black clouds with no cycling issues. Just got done cleaning it actually. Was going to try to see how many round it would take before I ran into cycling problems but my OCD with clean guns wouldn't allow it.
     
  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    600? That's IT?....geez, my wife's A400 I have used once per week has over 3500 - and I don't consider that as even being broken in
     
  10. DBpharm29

    DBpharm29 Member

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    Like was said you should decide if you want gas or inertia. Inertia recoils more and the sbeII has trouble cycling light loads and especially low brass from what I have seen of my buddies and what he has told me. Seems you are looking for less recoil though from your you wanting kickoff statement so you may want to go gas... I just picked up an extrema 2 without kickoff and absolutely love it! It is lightest recoiling 12ga ive ever shot for sure. I can't even imagine what recoil would be like with the kickoff should be like none I would think. I can't speak for the sx3 as I have not shot one but have picked some up and none shouldered as well as the extrema for me.
     
  11. JAshley73

    JAshley73 Member

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    I'll say this about the guns you mentioned. When I was gun shopping, I noticed that the SX3 fit drastically different than the Beretta's, Benelli's, and Remington's. Perhaps the synthetic stock SX3's with their shims can be adjusted to fit a little differently, but the wood stock versions don't come with shims, so keep that in mind.
     
  12. JC98

    JC98 Member

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    Oneounceload- I have only had it for a month! Dang and I thought I was doing good! Hard to find time to go out and shoot much.
     
  13. BP44

    BP44 Member

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    I would consider myself a very avid waterfowl hunter and as such I chose the benelli SBEII. I have several thousand heavy loads and twice as many value pack 2 3/4" clay loads.:) if I was into shooting trap with my buddies every week I would get a gas gun, but I'm more into shooting a dirty wet gun in freezing conditions.

    If it's a working gun I would suggest a benelli, on the other hand if your into shooting skeet and run several hundred shells per trip I would opt for the beretta.
     
  14. dirt_j00

    dirt_j00 Member

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    All: thanks for the info, and please keep it coming. Will try to answer some questions posed:

    I'm leaning toward gas right now. I've read up on the inertia systems and not sure if its right for me. I'm not recoil adverse, but the lesser recoil of the gas with 3.5" loads is appealing.

    This is more of an all around gun. Not waterfowl specific. Plan on this being my go-to dove and turkey gun. Will probaby spend more time busting clays than anything else, so running lighter loads is def. of interest to me.

    The SX3 is looking the most appealing right now. I believe it is the cheapest of the 3, and a diff. piston can be bought for $80 for the lightest loads. The manual says it can run 1 1/8 oz loads out of the box.

    JC98 and BP44 : can you specify what oz light loads you've been cycling reliably?
     
  15. JC98

    JC98 Member

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    1 ounce Winchester number 9's shooting around 1100 fps are the lightest loads I have found so far. They were labeled light recoil or something like that. Sent 2 boxes down range with zero problems. I did not change the piston either. I bought a box of almost every light load I could find to see if there was anything the gun wouldn't cycle....have not found a shell it didn't eat yet.

    If it shoulders well for you I would definitely recommend.

    I was looking for an all purpose 12 when I bought this one as well. I duck hunt about 10-15 times a year. Haven't used it out in freezing crap weather yet but I am hoping it performs flawlessly.

    I also shot some 3/4 ounce reloads that the guy used Cheerios in to fill the blank space...limited experience there but all of them cycled as well.
     
  16. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    You will find that you will rarely shoot 3.5" shell and certainly won't ever need them. I'd personally suggest a 3" gun. They will be less expensive and more reliable with the 2 3/4" shells which you will use 99.99% of the time anyway.

    It comes down to which system you prefer. The gas system on the Beretta is heavier, more complex and will offer slightly less felt recoil. Imporant if you shoot a lot in competition.

    The Benelli ineria system is less complex, lighter, and will have slightly more recoil. In my experience either system is very reliable, but the inertia system will continue to work longer with a dirty neglected gun. The Benelli is my choice for a gun used primarily for hunting.

    I agree with your choice of 26" as an all around length. Especially on a Benelli. The way they are made the overall length is a touch longer and a 26" barrrel balances like a longer barrel on some other makes.

    My personal preference would be the Benelli M-2. But if you really must have 3.5" capability then the SBE. Nothing at all wrong with the Beretta and it might be the perfect gun for you. Just that the Benelli suits my needs better.

    I'd only suggest the 11-87 if you are on a really tight budget and cannot afford better. I've had several over the years. Not a bad gun, but not in the same league as the others. Cannot say much about the Winchester. I hear good things about them, but never owned or shot one.
     
  17. vaherder

    vaherder Member

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    Forgot one

    Browning Maxus. Will handle everything reliabely. Friend of mine borrowed my Maxus for geese and he said it cycled his 3.5" loads no problems. It handles 7/8oz loads etc for sporting clays with no issues. I take the maxus over anything made by Remington. We know have a few other Maxi to include a couple nice Sportings with really nice furniture.
     
  18. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Start skipping lunch and dinner, let the wife mow the lawn....c'mon! Get creative!........:D
     
  19. clang

    clang Member

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    With all the great non-toxic shot shot choices out there, there really isn't any need for a 3.5" gun. Save yourself a ton of money and get a good 3" gun. You can spend as little as $500 on a Beretta AL390 or AL3901 and have a great do anything gun. And Beretta isn't the only great 3" gun out there (I just happen to be fond of them).
     
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