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Old March 12, 2014, 01:26 PM   #1
kevdrums
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want the a400 xcel to work

I'm in the market for a sporting clays shotgun. I owned a Benelli Cordoba, then sold it to free up funds for house expenses, and now I'm ready to purchase another shotgun. I've had my eye on the Beretta a400 Xcel, and have shouldered them side by side with the Benelli.
When I shoulder a regular a400 Xcel, it is not cast enough so the mid bead and front bead are not in line. When I shoulder the Benelli, perfect. I have since been able to shoulder an a400 Xcel parallel, and while the beads are now in line, there appears to be about a half inch between the mid bead and the front bead vertically.
I shouldered the Maxus as well to make sure Benelli wasn't the only one that fit, and it fit nicely as well. So why do the Berettas not fit? Has anyone else had this issue? My guess is the stock on the a400 Xcel is thicker than other guns, making the cast an issue, as the Parallel gets thinner as the comb rises making it more like other stocks. I was hoping the raised rib would compensate for the raised comb on the Parallel making that one work, but no such luck.
I liked my Cordoba and will buy it again if need be, but I would like to give the a400 Xcel a chance if I hear that the shims can modify it enough to work. Has anyone had experience with these guns and had the same issues as myself? Any other sporting clays guns to look into? I have my FFL so I have the luxury of having the ability to sell what I don't like and try out different guns, but don't keep a stock so I can't just order one of each. Any help and advice is appreciated!
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Old March 12, 2014, 02:04 PM   #2
Bake
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I've shot both (older models), and I'm not a real fan of shims. When you change one thing, then you need to change something else. I try to find a shotgun that fits from day one. Good luck...
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Old March 13, 2014, 09:08 AM   #3
CockNBama
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I have some reservations about shims, too, because I'm trying to adjust my Maxus and it is very hard to get one change right without causing a problem elsewhere.

On the other hand, the changes are easy to make. When I learn to discipline myself and to be both patient and persistent, I'm probably going to have a gun that is comfortable to shoot a lot. It already kills more clays than any of my other guns.

And the beretta has a different approach to changing cast than the Browning, by changing the relationship of the stock bolt to the stock. This wedging is in concert with the shim at the front of the stock. That may be a superior approach.

Last edited by CockNBama; March 13, 2014 at 06:58 PM.
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Old March 14, 2014, 07:31 AM   #4
kevdrums
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Thanks for the replies! What problems were caused by using shims? would the shims even make a big enough difference if I'm looking at a half inch between the mid and front beads? I guess I'm at the point that I just let the a400 Xcel go, and go back the Benelli.
My biggest unbelief is that I can't find anywhere online with anyone else mentioning these problems. I would think that if I had these big of issues with the a400, and the Maxus and Benelli fit perfectly, then something has to be inherently different in the way Beretta sets up their guns out of the factory. It's hard to believe that there isn't someone who tries the Beretta and says this is perfect, then tries then Maxus and Benelli and thinks, "what the heck is wrong with these," and vice versa.
It has to be an absolute difference, and one that all shooters would notice, especially for how big the "get a shotgun that fits you" mantra is pushed. If the shims are for perfecting, not making large differences, then the beretta shooters must have a different build than benelli and browning shooters, or any other shotgun brand I've held actually.
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Old March 14, 2014, 07:50 AM   #5
CockNBama
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I can't generalize too much about shim problems, but my problem has been using more shim than I needed, and causing my gun to hurt during recoil, when it previously had been very comfortable to shoot. Shims will move the stock, and obviously more than I expected.

The alignment of beads may be a red herring, to some extent. If you have a consistent, repeatable gun mount, then you can start to demand that figure 8 sight picture, but only then. Then, to actually fire the gun, you have to start ignoring the beads unless you're able to calculate lead and sustain it.

For many people, gun fit means making it fit correctly, not finding the one that fits. If you're the archetypal body size and shape, you are lucky. If not, you and I are both wandering in the darkness of gun fit purgatory.
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