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View Full Version : Need relatively soft recoiling ultra reliable semi-auto.


checkmyswag
June 11, 2012, 06:57 PM
In my youth I had a mossberg 590 I liked a lot. Between now and then I separated my shoulder. It never bothers me and I consider it healed up. However after recently shooting an 870 about 20 rounds I am looking for a softer recoiling semi-auto.

Benelli m1/2/4 for $1000-$1500
Remington 1100/1187 for $800
Mossberg 930 SPX for $600

I need it to feed and shoot low brass birdshot all the way through low recoil and regular buckshot/slugs reliably and be as low maintenance as possible.

Yes I am asking a lot.

oneounceload
June 11, 2012, 07:09 PM
Beretta A400 Xplor Unico will handle 3/4oz 12 gauge reloads through the 3.5" uber goose loads. Get the Kick Off system.

Their target guns add a pound of weight and do not do 3.5" ammo, but will recoil even less

Drummer101
June 11, 2012, 07:16 PM
My 3901 is pretty soft (if you get a different pad)

The Benelli M2 is inertia and does not do as much to mitigate the recoil as a gas gun (like the M4 or Beretta). But it is cleaner and easier to take apart (I never had any issues with this, still is less than 15 minutes to clean).

The 1100 wont like doing a wide variety of loads while the 11-87 seems pretty good at this (from what I have read).

jmr40
June 11, 2012, 08:15 PM
My personal favorite is the Benelli, but it will have the most recoil. It is far lighter than the others and the inertia operating system does not soften recoil.

The 11-87 will be the heaviest and with it's gas operation will be the softest shooting.

A Beretta will be a bit lighter than the Remington, but with it's gas system will be pretty easy on the shoulder and is a better all around gun than the Remington. It is priced about the same as the Benelli, maybe a little less.

The Mossberg gets some good reviews online, but I've not found that to always be a reliable indicator of performance with many other guns. My past experience with previous Mossberg shotguns, especially autoloaders leaves a huge question mark with me. While they may function well enough, they are not in the same category with the others.

Slugo
June 11, 2012, 10:11 PM
Beretta 3901, very simple...

Virginian-in-LA
June 12, 2012, 05:52 AM
In your youth? The 590 ain't that old anyway !
For 2-3/4" only, get an 1100. Back in the 60s they ran everything else off the skeet ranges and mostly out of the fields too, and it wasn't because they didn't work. A 2-3/4" 1100 will shoot just about any 2-3/4" load with possible issues only with the super mouse fart stuff, and if you find anything that recoils less I will be surprised. An 11-87 will likely be MORE problematic with light loads than an 1100.

checkmyswag
June 12, 2012, 07:11 AM
Ha. Right. Youth is a relative term.

I'm happy enough with the 870 but would prefer something else eventually.

rbernie
June 12, 2012, 07:49 AM
The Beretta 390/3901 are very soft shooting and reliable. The 3901 can be had NIB for less than six Franklins from many big box stores, and all it needs is a proper recoil pad to be a superb all-around gun...

AllenJ
June 12, 2012, 08:54 AM
Browning Maxus. Yea, I know it was not on your list but you may wish to take a look at it. I picked on up last year and it has cycled every round I have fed it, from Federal 1 1/8 oz low brass to Remington 3.5" without fail. It is a very light gun and has very low recoil.

BigJimP
June 12, 2012, 10:28 AM
I like the Benelli - because it shoots way cleaner than any gas gun ...so if maintainance is the issue / then go with a Benelli. For recoil - if you go Benelli - then go with a synthetic stock / and the comfort tech system in it...to reduce the recoil. The model I prefer is the Super Sport in a 12ga or 20ga.

The gas guns that will give you the most for your money ...are Beretta or Browning/Winchester. All of their models are proven / and solid guns.

Any fixed breech gun ...like a pump will give you at least 20% more recoil - for the same shell - than any of the semi-autos. To help reduce recoil - in a 12ga - go with a 1oz shell around 1200 fps...

zippy13
June 12, 2012, 10:39 AM
get an 1100. Back in the 60s they ran everything else off the skeet ranges and mostly out of the fields too, and it wasn't because they didn't work.
And, 25-years later they were run off the Skeet fields by the new Beretta softer shooting autos. Remington stopped making the 1100-Skeet some years ago.

jmortimer
June 12, 2012, 10:43 AM
Maxus is the best option.

Grant D
June 12, 2012, 11:01 AM
I would suggest the 1100 they have a softer recoil, and can be found used for around $500.00

Scorch
June 12, 2012, 11:21 AM
The Browning Maxus and Browning Gold have the softest recoil of any semi-auto on the market. Benellis are super reliable, but have more felt recoil.

Remington 1100s are cheap, but the light weight really lets you feel the recoil on heavier loads. If a Remington is in your to-buy list, make it an 11-87, a little more reliable with lighter loads.

jmr40
June 12, 2012, 12:11 PM
Remington 1100s are cheap, but the light weight really lets you feel the recoil on heavier loads. If a Remington is in your to-buy list, make it an 11-87, a little more reliable with lighter loads.

1100's can be found cheap, but at 8+ lbs the 1100 and 11-87 are the heaviest of all autoloders and weigh the same, if set up with comparable barrels etc.

They are the same gun. The 1100 is set up for any 2 3/4" shell and is very reliable with them. The 11-87's only difference is a gas metering system that allows it also function with 3" shells, 3.5" if you get the 11-87 supermag. The 11-87 is more reliable with heavier loads, but it's gas metering system struggles with anything lighter than 1 1/8 oz loads. The 1100 is the better gun for the lighter loads since it does not have to function over such a wide range of power levels. To a degree this is true of all guns designed to shoot both 2 3/4" and heavy 3" shells. None of them are as reliable with very light loads.

Both guns were good guns in their day, and as good as ever, but have been left behind by newer and better designs.

Dave McC
June 12, 2012, 02:32 PM
Both Beretta and Remington, among others, make soft shooting semis. I've had a A400 Xtreme for T&E this past year, and it's one soft shooter.

I've also shot 1100s and 11-87s and liked them also.

checkmyswag
June 12, 2012, 03:48 PM
Very few comments here about the guns I listed. Not complaining. It's telling of your experience.

The remington 1100 looks pretty good.

I do need to ask...not many comments on the benelli m4...over rated? Over priced?

oneounceload
June 12, 2012, 03:59 PM
benelli m4...over rated?

There ya go...;)

BigJimP
June 12, 2012, 04:27 PM
No the Benelli M-4 isn't over rated / or over priced in my mind ...if you want a tactical shotgun ...( I don't --- but if I did ...it would be at the top of my list ). In my area they're selling for about $ 1,800 I think. The M-4 is a gas gun / not the typical inertia system that Benelli uses in all of their other guns...but its reliable ( and tactical ).

But an M-4 is sure a heck of a long ways from a Remington 1100 or 11-87 .../ its an apples to oranges thing to me ...comparing a Benelli M-4 to even the Benelli M-2 ( in most of its configurations ) ... let alone the Rem 1100's or the 11-87...so maybe I don't understand what you want a shotgun to do.

Even in clay targets and bird hunting....I don't use just one gun / or one configuration ...so to me:

a. For Trap - I want an O/U with 32" barrels at around 10 lbs(like a Browning Citori XT Trap in a 12ga ).
b. for Sporting Clays or Skeet or bird hunting ..I want an O/U with 30" barrels around 8 1/2lbs. Like a Browning Citori XS Skeet model in 12ga, 20ga --- or maybe in a 28ga or .410. Maybe I would supplement that O/U with a semi-auto in a 30" barrel around 7 1/2 to 8 lbs...in either a 12ga or a 20ga (like a Benelli Super Sport model ).
c. for Tactical or a fighting shotgun ...I'd go with the Benelli M-4...12ga

The Remington 1100 is old technology ...its proven ...but there are way better options today in my opinion in gas guns. Many of the older Rem 1100's are fixed chokes ( not as versatile as changeable screw in chokes ) ...and many of them were built with 2 3/4" chambers... and if you want to go "tactical" you may want a gun chambered in 3" ... I'm not that big a Remington fan ....but like Zippy said above ...Rem 1100's and 11-87's got run off the skeet and sporting clays fields big time ...by Beretta gas guns in the last 12 or 15 yrs...

TheKlawMan
June 12, 2012, 04:42 PM
like Zippy said above ...Rem 1100's and 11-87's got run off the skeet and sporting clays fields big time

If I could only draw. I picture some 1110's and 11-87's with arms and legs being chased off the fields by some nasty Berettas screaming Italian taunts.

zippy13
June 12, 2012, 05:56 PM
TKM, my friend, that's exactly the way I remember it. It was at the state championships, after the evening shoot-offs and well into the cocktail hour. At least that's what I remember, but it was a while ago. :)

Virginian-in-LA
June 12, 2012, 07:29 PM
The Italian guns became fashionable right after they won that politically motivated military pistol "competition" as I recall, and started the huge advertising push, and the gun writers of course started fawning over them, as they do anything new. The Remington haters can say whatever they like, but I have been quite satisfied with Remingtons for 49 years, and I have either owned or at least shot ALL of the others as well. I am not saying Beretta hasn't built some nice guns, I just prefer mine. I do not like the Benellis, or any "inertia" action, although they ought to win the marketing academy award. Please explain to me how any of them can reduce recoil purely by the design of the action - and sans the two piece stocks and such - when they require the receiver to move rapidly to the rear to initiate the action.

Backwoodsboy
June 13, 2012, 07:58 AM
Of the shotguns you have listed I have experience with the rem and mossy. Of the two I prefer the 930 which is why I sold my rem last year. The mossberg 930 handles well, swings well and was lighter and still reduced the amount of felt recoil greatly compared to any pump. The rem was just two heavy to carry the long distances I usually go to hunt.

My vote is for the Mossy

jmortimer
June 13, 2012, 08:03 AM
For the $$$ the 930 is the best deal and as reliable as it gets. But the Maxus is the softest recoil and fastest shooting.

BigJimP
June 13, 2012, 01:00 PM
Virginian....

I don't think the Benelli's with the wood stocks ( so they have no comfort tech system in them )...reduce the recoil more than a gas gun / they recoil less than a fixed breech gun like a pump or an O/U ....but not a typical gas gun.

But the Benelli's with the synthetic stocks ...that have the comfort tech system in the stocks...are softer recoiling that their wood stocked guns...how much / hard to tell, but I think its significant.

But I think its a compromise ...a gas gun requires more maintenance...an inertia gun shoots a lot cleaner because that gas isn't cycling thru the action...an Inertia gun with a comfort tech or some other kind of recoil reduction system is a solid gun.

Virginian-in-LA
June 13, 2012, 07:41 PM
I don't disagree with you Jim, but I go wild when people start saying the inertia action does ANYTHING to reduce recoil. The whole works - sans the rear of the bolt - recoils together to the rear with a locked action as the first step in cycling, ergo zero recoil reduction is possible. To add to it, they are light. The stocks and gizmos do work, but I can't stand to have a gun moving with more than one motion. That killed the long recoil for me, too.
Beretta builds some good guns, but jeez they would explode if they didn't come out with a new and improved model every two or three years, and some of the improvements weren't. I'm still miffed over the switch to the wondernine just to placate NATO, and then they weren't real thrilled because Beretta and not FN won and built a factory in the States to pour salt in the wound.

jmr40
June 13, 2012, 08:09 PM
I don't claim to know "how", but my 7 lb Benelli M-1's certainly have less felt recoil than my 7.5 lb fixed breach 870's. And these are the older M-1's without the benefit of of the comfortech stock and recoil pad.

Do they recoil more than my older 8.5 lb gas operated 11-87? Yes, but that is a fair compromise for a 1.5 lb lighter gun that has proven to make a higher percentage of hits for me. It does have a "tiny" bit more recoil than a gas gun, but significanlty less than any fixed breach gun of the same weight.

When you also consider the far simpler design and better reliability I'm sold on the Benelli's. I've owned Remingtons and Berettas as well as a try with the Mossbeerg 9200. The 9200 was a joke and why I'm hesitant to recommend the newer 930. The Beretta was a fine gun, but I just like the Benelli so much better. If I shot 10,000 rounds a year in competition I'd take the small recoil reduction of the Beretta, but with the amount of shooting I do recoil is simply not an issue. The Remington is not a bad gun, but has some features just do not like.

oneounceload
June 14, 2012, 04:05 PM
The Italian guns became fashionable right after they won that politically motivated military pistol "competition" as I recall, and started the huge advertising push, and the gun writers of course started fawning over them, as they do anything new. The Remington haters can say whatever they like, but I have been quite satisfied with Remingtons for 49 years, and I have either owned or at least shot ALL of the others as well. I am not saying Beretta hasn't built some nice guns, I just prefer mine. I do not like the Benellis, or any "inertia" action, although they ought to win the marketing academy award. Please explain to me how any of them can reduce recoil purely by the design of the action - and sans the two piece stocks and such - when they require the receiver to move rapidly to the rear to initiate the action.

Actually, the Berettas have been around for about 500 years. In more recent times, their 30X series of gas guns beat the pants off the 1100 - that was about 50 years or so ago, then came the 39X series, and now the A400 series.

Benellis do NOT have less recoil, being an inertia (or blowback design), that isn't happening - but they are reliable with the proper ammo and easy to clean - something the duck hunters seem to love. You do not see them in any serious target competitions

Virginian-in-LA
June 14, 2012, 07:12 PM
Beretta as a company has been around for a long time, but their autoloaders didn't start showing up over here in any quantity at all until the 80s. I know because I was selling guns back then. I agree they make good guns, but I have never found one yet to make me give up my 1100s. The only things they had going for them then (and now actually, except for the stock adjustments) was that they were lighter with the aluminum receiver, and they will go longer between needed cleanings, and they spent millions on advertising. The gun writers fawned all over them, as they seem to be wont to do all too often, and they were brand new from a reputable company, and they were good, and there was little good competition from anyone except Remington and Franchi. Both of them got criticized for being "not new and totally redesigned" or some such, which you still hear, and the Franchi was recoil operated, which puts a lot of people, me included, off. The Auto 5 was already wounded and dying from the 1100 onslaught, and Browning was having a lot of indecision where they wanted to go with their semis, or at least that's what it seemed like, and Winchester was in total decline.
I say again, I am not saying the Berettas are not good guns, but they are not the be all end all for everyone, everywhere, every time.
I clean my guns whenever I use them, and I have never shot any of my 1100s so much in an outing that I had any issues. No, I haven't been and probably never will go to South America. If I do I will likely shoot a loaner Beretta, but not a Benelli.

checkmyswag
June 14, 2012, 09:38 PM
Will the REM 1100 handle light loads as well as buckshot/slugs? How about low recoil buckshot and slugs?

zippy13
June 14, 2012, 10:36 PM
Will the REM 1100 handle light loads as well as buckshot/slugs? How about low recoil buckshot and slugs?
It depends of the barrel(s) you're using. Different barrels have different vent areas, and different vent areas accommodate different loads. One of the advantages of the more modern auto-loaders is their ability to digest a wider range of loads.

Virginian-in-LA
June 15, 2012, 06:02 AM
A standard 2-3/4" Model 1100 will eat any normal 2-3/4" factory load. I have seen some of them have issues with some mouse fart handloads, but that's the only caveat.

checkmyswag
June 15, 2012, 09:00 AM
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=283653891

Would I be good to go with ^this^ then?

Backwoodsboy
June 15, 2012, 09:35 AM
Thatwould be a god fit except depending on what your going to use it for the 18" barrel would def hold you back in almost all situations but HD. The price of a longer new barrel can cost upwards of 300 dollars depending on where you get it.

Virginian-in-LA
June 15, 2012, 07:48 PM
Well, I would bet THAT gun will have issues with light loads. Once you get down below 22-23" they get real finicky from what I have seen. I believe the factory tactical models have larger gas ports, but I don't remember for sure, but I have seen two have issues with light loads.
What are you wanting the gun for exactly, did you say? Sorry if I missed it.

checkmyswag
June 15, 2012, 08:36 PM
As much as I like the idea of a semi-auto shotgun...I want it to reliably feed everything (I know that's a lot) so I'll stick with the pump for now. Maybe get a semi-auto down the road. Thanks all.

rbernie
June 15, 2012, 08:49 PM
My 12ga Beretta 390 will cycle my 3/4oz 1200fps and 7/8oz 1100fps loads with one hundred percent reliability, just as it does with heavy loads. It's the first semi that I've ever owned that truly has been flawless with every possible load that I've tried.

LSnSC
June 15, 2012, 09:11 PM
That tactical 1100 will reliably cycle standard 2.75 loads IF you do some minor modifications to the gas ports. I prefer the 22" version with the standard stock.

FWIW there are several vendors on Gunbroker selling used Beretta 1200 FP's. They were the fore runner of the Benelli inertia guns and the best of the bunch IMO. If you want a boringly reliable semi auto self defense gun, that is it. Every one Ive ever handled worked flawlessly and digested everything you put in it. The bores and bolts are chrome lined and easily maintained. The majority of parts are intechangable with the Benelli M1 and there are still a ton of parts on the market.

Creek Henry
June 16, 2012, 09:32 PM
if you are just using birdshot mostly, go 20ga. I'm putting a Limbsaver on my 20 O/U just to reduce an already mild recoil, but if you recoil shy and not a duck hunter, why get a 12?

RoscoeC
June 18, 2012, 04:52 PM
My 12ga Beretta 390 will cycle my 3/4oz 1200fps and 7/8oz 1100fps loads with one hundred percent reliability, just as it does with heavy loads. It's the first semi that I've ever owned that truly has been flawless with every possible load that I've tried.

I own 2 390's and this has been exactly my experience. I had one hang fire on one of my 390 in many thousands of rounds. I remember when it happened, I pulled the trigger, got a click, and thought, well I guess I finally got my first failure. Then as I began to lower the gun from my shoulder...BANG! Only time either gun has had any issue of any kind and it turned out to be an ammo issue. FYI, I traded in an 11-87 for one of the 390's because of persistent failure to feed issues.

Al Den
June 19, 2012, 06:55 PM
The 930 (SPX configuration anyway) has a varied reputation with assorted loads and reliability it seems to me.

I do love the Benelli inertia system and if reliability is paramount, that's where I'd go.

oneounceload
June 19, 2012, 08:18 PM
As folks can see - those shooting Berettas have zero issues, those shooting 1100's need to make tweaks to ensure reliability