Looking for a New Semi-Auto Shotgun

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by jbsavage, Dec 4, 2013.

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  1. jbsavage

    jbsavage Member

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    I'm currently looking for a new semi-auto shotgun. The shotgun will be used for for upland style hunting, the occasional turkey, but it will primarily be shooting sporting clays. I wanted to get opinions before purchasing. The 2 guns that I have been looking at are the Beretta A300 outlander and the Remington 11-87. Also, I would prefer for the gun to have a wooden stock.

    I am looking primarily at new guns, but I'm not opposed to buying used. My budget is 600-800. I am also open to other suggestions as well.
     
  2. GP Henry

    GP Henry Member

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    I am looking for the same thing, semi-auto 20 gauge. Right now the Winchester SX3 is at the top of my list, but time will tell.
     
  3. jbsavage

    jbsavage Member

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    I looked at the Winchester SX3, I'm could not find actual pricing on them only MSRP which was way over the budget.
     
  4. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    jbsavage, if you're also going after turkey, I would go after the Remington 11/87 in 12ga., as you wanted a wood stock. I know you'll be able to stay within your price range and they are a beautiful gun with their walnut stocks, and bright blue metal finish.
     
  5. jdh

    jdh Member

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    Of the two you mentioned I would choose the 11-87.
     
  6. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    Frankly, I've become a huge Benelli fan over the last decade or so. So much so, that I've sold off most of my other semiautos - Beretta and Remington and Winchester and Browning included. If I wanted a light upland semiauto with wood furniture, I'd start and end with the Benelli Montefeltro. It's a bit pricier than the Outlander and 11-87, but is much lighter than either and handles MUCH better to me. The Outlander is bulky but not as heavy as the Remington, while the 11-87 (to me) is a pig and has way too much forward weight to be useful walking around in the field.

    One thing to keep in mind - I believe that the Outlander comes with stock shims and I know that the Benelli does, but AFAIK the 11-87 does not provide any stock fitment capabilities as shipped. That's a big deal to me - nothing sucks more than dropping a fair bit of change on a shotgun and finding out that you can't shoot it as well as you'd expect due to fitment issues.
     
  7. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Another one that is a little pricier but also worth the look is the A400 Xplr Unico from Beretta - weighs right at 7 pounds, can handle everything from 3/4oz reloads to 3-1/2" uber goose/turkey loads. To get closer to your budget, though, would mean finding a used one; new they run about $1400
     
  8. jbsavage

    jbsavage Member

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    I am kind of shying away from the Benelli's after the issues that I have been having with my Stoeger 2000.

    The A400 XPLR Unico is an absolutely beautiful gun but may still be out of my price range used & since the model is only couple years old it may will limit the option on the used market. I may be able to find a decent deal on a AL391 Urika (previous model).

    The A300 Outlander does come with the shim kit to try to further dial in the fit. The wood on the the A300 does look much better than the 11-87

    The fit & finish on the brand new 11-87's are not what they used to be. The Field Grade 11-87's come with a matte finish on the barrel & receiver (looks similar to a parkariezed finish). While the wooden stocks on the Field grade 11-87 look ok, the 11-87 premier (which unfortunately Remington no longer makes), is absolutely gorgeous & I have no idea how rare the 11-87 premier is.
     
  9. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    Fair enough, but that's kind of like saying that you're avoiding looking at a BMW motorcycle because you had issues with a Ural. They're not made by the same company in the same manufacturing plant using the same parts, but yes - they both share a common design ancestry. The Stoeger 2000 is a Turkish-made copy of the Benelli design, and I would suggest that the design is NOT the weak aspect of that shotgun. ;)
     
  10. SC Shooter

    SC Shooter Member

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    I recently acquired a Browning A5 12 ga Light with a modified choke and really enjoy it. I have used it at the trap range, and it tracks well and hits the clay. Based on my skill sets, I give the gun more credit than me. Mine was used, but in great shape and very reasonably priced.
     
  11. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    I haven't seen the new Remington 11/87, I'll bet when that other company bought them out, the quality went way south. Too bad, I really liked Remington, as I now own several from the '70s.
     
  12. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Actually the newer Remingtons I have seen, including Expresses, seem to have a smoother finish than those of years past. But, it is also my opinion that all of the internet hoohah over bad Remington quality mostly stems from people who are mad that an Express is not a Wingmaster.
     
  13. Old Unc'

    Old Unc' Member

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    20 gauge Franchi Affinity built by Benelli of Italy. Pretty much the same gun as the Benelli M2, only $400 less...

    DSC_0005.png
     
  14. MagnunJoe

    MagnunJoe Member

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    I have a Beretta A300 Outlander that shoots great trap and skeet.paid about $700 OTD 4 her.
     
  15. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    I have an 11-87 Premiere (1993 manufacture) and my brother has a Beretta A300 Outlander (2013 manufacture).

    I can tell you both are excellent shotguns. My bother's A300 had a few malfunctions until it broke in, but runs great now. In 20 years of shooting, I don't recall ever having a malfunction with my 11-87. Both come up and swing well, and the sighting planes of both are very different to me, but both are good. Weight is similar. His A300 has synthetic furniture and an aluminum receiver. While my 11-87 has a steel receiver and walnut, the Light Contour barrel (which Remington stupidly discontinued) means the whole package is pretty similar in weight to the A300.

    One thing I absolutely HATE about the A300 is that it is very easy to jam a shell beneath the shell lifter if you don't insert it far enough into the mag tube to hear/feel a "click." My brother called Beretta about this and they refer to it as a "feature", but I find it to be a design flaw that can give you an headache in the field if you fail to fully insert a shell. If you do jam one beneath the lifter, the only way to remove it is with a pointy stick or something similar.

    11-87 Pros:
    -much less recoil than A300
    -bolt release location - I love the function of releasing the bolt as you load the mag tube
    -prettier (at least in the case of the blued 11-87 Premier with LC barrel).
    -reliable.
    -better trigger (A300 is still pretty good).
    -easier to install plug in mag tube

    11-87 Cons:
    -safety location.
    -no stock adjustability.
    -a bit tougher to clean (not too bad though)


    A300 Pros:
    -slim forearm.
    -reliable (after break-in)
    -little easier to clean.
    -better safety location (with a nice fat crossbolt safety button).
    -black oxide finish is probably more durable in the long run than the blued finish of my 11-87.
    -comes with spacers to adjust the length of pull and angle of the stock.

    A300 Cons:
    -noticeably sharper recoil.
    -very stiff and somewhat awkwardly located bolt release.
    -have to push a tiny, sharp button to lock the bolt back.
    -more difficult to install plug in mag tube (you have to drive out a pin and there is a tiny clip that could be easily lost).
    -very easy to jam a shell beneath the shell lifter if you don't insert it far enough into the mag tube to hear a "click".


    Ultimately, while they are both great shotguns, I still like my 11-87 better than an A300, mostly because of the lighter recoil and the much more foolproof loading. Of course, my 11-87 was built long before Cerberus took over, and the fit and finish is noticeably better than newer Remingtons. The A300 has a lot going for it though - just not my choice.
     
  16. jbsavage

    jbsavage Member

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    The 11-87 Premiere is a beautiful shotgun. Not sure why Remington stopped manufacturing it. Thank you for the comparison between the 11-87 and the A300.

    The dilemma that I'm running into is that I keep going back & forth on what type of shotgun do I want functional or functional & pretty. Brand new Beretta A300 & Remington 11-87 Field both with wood stocks are extremely functional & give excellent reliability but lack some the refinement of more expensive guns (Yes, I know that they are made to fit a price point).

    Shopping used guns, like the Beretta AL391 Urika, Browning Silver Hunter, would allow me to get reliability & some refinement. These (especially the Browning IMO) have that little extra refinement that makes it something I would be proud to hand down to my kid/grandchild one day.

    I guess I have some thinking to do... Any opinions are appreciated!
     
  17. Fastcast

    Fastcast Member

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    Have you considered a Beretta 390? You could probably pick up a (VG to EC condition) used one for around $5-600

    The 390 can have the semi-hump back receiver, gold trigger, decorative scroll work on the receiver, two tone bolt/carrier and receiver, a pistol grip cap, metal band on the receiver end of the forend, metal trigger guard & forend cap and made in Italy.

    All this adds to the look of refinement you are wanting. Not quite as slim though as a 391 or A300 but IMO the classier looking gun and arguably the engineering simplicity of 390's gas system adds to its durability/reliability over the others.

    Beretta is notorious for fixing "refining" things that aren't broken.....It's the Italian way! :scrutiny:
     
  18. jbsavage

    jbsavage Member

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    LOL!!! That's awesome!

    What are some of the differences between the 390 vs. 391? What makes the 390 more desirable than the 391?
     
  19. lynntelk

    lynntelk Member

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    Try looking for a 391 20 gauge. I have several and have used them for many years without an issue.
     
  20. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    Because Cerberus/Freedom Group deemed it more profitable to produce less-refined firearms that require less time and manpower to manufacture and finish.
     
  21. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    The 11-87 seems to fit most people really well, Which gun points where you want when you mount it and fits you right. I like a little lighter gun for upland and heavier for targets and heavy loads like turkey loads. Either gun is a very good. Best to stick with name brands for quality and future parts. I tried a couple cheap copy guns and they functioned fine but Some were odd fitting, some could not be repaired as they are no longer imported or out of business and nothing in production fits. Good luck.
     
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