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.
Last edited by Virginian-in-LA; June 14, 2012 at 08:28 PM.