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Old October 26, 2008, 08:57 PM   #1
Glenner
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Light RELIABLE 12Ga. Auto, which one?

I just discovered sporting clays, that is great fun!!!
I'd like to have a real light auto loader in 12 Ga., BUT, I want one that will shoot the 7 1/2 , 2 3/4'' shells, you know the inexpensive stuff that you get at K-Mart or Dick's Sporting Goods.

I know an over under is better in many ways, but I don't think I'll be reloading and I like the low recoil aspect of the auto.

THANKS ! ! !
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Old October 27, 2008, 10:30 AM   #2
ebutler462
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I fear that the semi that you want is a gas gun. Quality gas guns are not light. A recoil operated semi such as the Franchi 48 is light but it has a bit of recoil. A Remington and most other standard brand gas guns are as heavy or nearly so as an O/U.

Light guns = more felt recoil. Heavy guns = Lesser felt recoil.

The gas guns spread the recoil in 3 different stages so that you don't get hit hard all at once. Thus they don't turn your shoulder into hamburger after a hard day at the range.

Remington, Benelli, Browning, Winchester, and Beretta + a few others make good reliable gas semis. If you are on a tight budget, look at your local Walmart for a Beretta. Less than $600 and havea good reputation. If your are not on a budget, the whole world of gas semis is wide open to you.
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Old October 27, 2008, 11:14 AM   #3
Glenner
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I can deal with a little recoil, I suspect any of the autos won't be too bad.
The gas guns scare me a bit. My buddies got a Browning gas gun that jams plenty...............
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Old October 27, 2008, 12:18 PM   #4
Superposed
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At 60 years old I have owned and shot quite a few shotguns. Sporting clays is generally not associated with a "light" shotgun due to weight reducing recoil and weight (in the right place) translating to a smoother swing. I am a recreational sporting clays/skeet/trap shooter who hunts birds (doves and waterfowl). I bought a Browning Gold Fusion when they first came out. I thoroughly cleaned the gun (barrel, inside action, recoil spring in stock, etc.) BEFORE firing the shotgun getting out all packing grease. I then had the forcing cone ahead of the chamber lengthened and have subsequently put an aftermarket recoil pad (Limbsaver) on the gun. The felt recoil is remarkably low in a lightweight gun using Wal-Mart 100 packs of Federal 1 1/8 oz. shotgun shells. I hunted doves ten straight days using this load in this gun in September, killed nine limits, little felt recoil and no bruising. The Fusion is no longer made by Browning but I am sure there is a Browning Silver that would fit the bill.

Has your friend cleaned his gun inside (including spring in stock) and out thoroughly?
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Old October 27, 2008, 12:34 PM   #5
ebutler462
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Since you don't care for gas guns, try a Franchi 48. It is a very old design that has proven very reliable since 1948. It is very light, even in 12 gauge. BTW, they quit making the 12 gauge due to the inertia driven guns being the current fad and not enough 12 gauges were being sold to justify their continued manufacture. However, excellent used 48s can be had for less than $500. It is the number one gun in my collection that I will never part with.

Most of the inertia driven guns are extremely expensive and just aren't worth the extra cost. IMO, no semi is worth $1000. A good gun can be found that is much less expensive and just as reliable. You are really just buying a name. I have a couple of inertia driven guns so I know of what I speak. I bought over a 5 year period two of the Stoeger 2000s at a price of around $400 each. They are clones of their higher priced cousins and have given me faultless service. They are made by Stoeger SA of Istanbul and have the same basic action as the big dollar brands without the bells and whistles. One of the New Model 2000s may be what you need to try. The new models have higher vent ribs and are made with CNC tooling for precision. They need a bit of break-in but after the initial break-in, they seem to go on and on forever and need very little cleaning. They are actually easier to clean since the recoil spring is around the magazine tube instead of in the stock.

If you need adjusting shims, the 2000 is not for you. The Franchi I-12 is a good choice. It has the same action as the 2000, but has a prettier exterior and has a shim kit. It cost twice as much as the 2000, around $800.

I have never had a FTF or FTC with the 2000s. They cycle anything you feed them. The manual suggests nothing less than 1 1/8 oz but I shoot 7/8 oz regularly with no problem.

There are higher priced guns but nothing, IMHO, compares with the Franchi 48. It is light, reliable, and is good for just about any shooting need. when our church has its annual clay shooting day and feed, I alternate between the 48 and the 2000. They both go bang every time and if I do my part, the clay bird dies.
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Old October 27, 2008, 01:09 PM   #6
cpd670
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Benelli M2 would be a good choice. The inertia driven system is very reliable. I have never had a problem with my M1. The M2 offers some advantages in lessening recoil than other shotguns and is a heck of a lot lighter than gas systems.
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Old October 27, 2008, 02:03 PM   #7
BigJimP
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I've owned a number of gas guns ( Browning, Remington ) - but my semi-auto of choice is Benelli - with the comfort tech system in it. IMO - it cycles faster than the gas guns - and it shoots a lot cleaner than any of the gas guns - it also doesn't have the exhaust gases coming back into your eyes like a gas gun does.

They are more money than the gas guns / but they're worth it in my view. For sporting clays, skeet, some field shooting - the Benelli Super Sport is my choice - but in my area its retailing for about $ 1750 right now.

I think a Benelli is worth a look / if you don't want to spend that much - then any of the gas guns are about the same. Your buddy's gun jamming is probably because he isn't cleaning it every time he gets home from the range. Gas guns need regular maintenance, in my opinion - and I prefer to run them slightly on the "wet" side - cleaning and lubing them every time ( but I treat the Benelli the same way ) / I use Break Free for lube.
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Old October 27, 2008, 09:14 PM   #8
Glenner
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Is the Franchi 48 a light gun???????????
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Old October 28, 2008, 08:14 AM   #9
ebutler462
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Glenner, you can tote it all day and never know you've got anything in your hand. Yes, it is light, but with a Limbsaver, it is the ultimate upland gun. You can pay more but you won't get a better gun anywhere. You can buy good used 48s for less than $500. There is no need to buy any other upland gun unless you want to buy an ego enchancing brand.
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Old October 28, 2008, 09:14 AM   #10
The Gunny
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No ego, just a great gun

The Browning Silver Hunter: Description: • Receiver - Aluminum alloy, Semi-humpback design, Silver finish • Barrel - Lightweight profile, Ventilated rib • Action - Gas-operated autoloader, 3" and 3 1/2" chamber models, Active Valve reliably cycles a wide range of loads • Stock - Satin finish walnut stock and forearm • Features - Three Invector-Plus™ choke tubes


This is the best cycling lightweight shotgun I have had the pleasure to operate. I shoot skeet, trap, wobble, etc... I also work part time at a gun shop/firing range so I have seen and shot a lot of shotguns. I bought the micro version of this shotgun for my son. The 26" .12ga is only 7lbs. The micro 26" .20ga is only 6lbs.
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Old October 28, 2008, 10:00 AM   #11
jaguarxk120
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Yes the Franchi AL48 is a light gun. Some people have trouble with shooting it, as they hold a shotgun lightly, not shouldering firmly.

Because it is recoil operated, lightly held gun will jam, and not cycle properly.

Not the fault of the gun, but the shooter.
Have one shoots great, don't have to clean up after a gas piston mess.

Tom F.
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Old October 30, 2008, 12:13 AM   #12
guntotin_fool
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If your shooting sporting clays, why do you want a light gun? Most of the people who are serious into CLays have those little pull cart things like you used to rent at the Golf Course to carry your bag. The ones I see have a seat, a storage bin and a gun rack, you really only seem to hold your gun for a couple of minutes at a time.....




The above from GunCaddy.com




From shooting stars inc.
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Old October 30, 2008, 09:51 AM   #13
ebutler462
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Let me clarify just one little, but important matter about shotguns. Everyone needs two shotguns. One for hunting where walking is part of the sport. This needs to be a light gun that won't wear you out. The other should be a heavier gun to absorb the recoil after a day of shooting clays. It is also great for still hunting or hunting in a blind with heavy loads.

For shooters on a budget, I recommend a Franchi 48 for uplands and a gas gun similar to the Remington 1100 or 11-87 for clays and waterfowl. Both of these guns can be bought used in excellent condition for half what a Benelli costs. Benellis are good guns but grossly overpriced.

I have never given more than $500 for a gun of any description. That is my limit on any gun. Shop around a bit and haggle with the gun shop. You can buy 5 or 6 good used guns for the price of one Benellis.

There is nothing wrong with a Benelli. I'm glad that some of our members can spend that kind of money for one gun. They are a gem. I can't afford them so I shop the used racks and pick the best and haggle the price. I paid $250 for a 95%+ Franchi 48 and $325 for a 90%+ Remington 11-87. I have a SKB 900 that I paid $150 for that was in like new condition. It was during the off-season (February through May) when demand is down for guns and the shops need to move the inventory.

The only new guns that I've ever bought, if I'm remembering correctly, is a couple of Stoeger 2000s for my sons. They are a mid weight gun. The boys have shot the crap out of these guns with no problems. They costed around $400 each. The other 30 or so guns in my two safes are used guns in pristine condition except for a few bumps and scrapes from using them.

For sporting clays, a lot of members like the Walmart Beretta 390. It runs a bit over $500 so that leaves it out of my price range. I think it is $539 at my local Walmart. The gas piston holds up better than the 391 according to posts that I have read. Might be worth a look. Walmart can order you one if they don't have it in stock.
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Old October 30, 2008, 12:28 PM   #14
bluebelton
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+1 on the stoeger 2000 recommendation. As was said, after initial break in, they function flawlessly. I can't remember ever having a single jam after break in. I've since shot a few thousands rounds, most of which was the cheap bulk packs from walmart). You start to feel your shoulder after a hundred or so rounds though.
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Old October 30, 2008, 02:15 PM   #15
ebutler462
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Put a #10008 Limbsaver on that 2000 and you'll think it is a 410. It really tames the recoil for around $30.
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Old November 1, 2008, 09:48 PM   #16
jaymag
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browning A-5

old and asways goes bang.I have a old begem model that was haned down to me.Nothing but good reveiws online.It is 12ga 2 3/4 camber and takes down anything.Even for clays it would be fun.
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