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Old June 11, 2010, 11:10 AM   #26
jgcoastie
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Sorry for the massive pic above... Pulled it from Google...

Another option (with a price point around that of the Benelli and a new 1100) would be the Browning Silver Shotgun line...

Browning Silver, Mossy Oak Duck Blind

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Old June 11, 2010, 11:33 AM   #27
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Well, based on 30+ years of shooting, and over 2 decades of being a gun fixer, I probably have a little different opinion from most about what makes for the best semi-auto shotgun. IMO, the best all around semi-auto shotgun ever is the Browning A5, dead relaible no matter what, and relatively hunter-proof. A very close second is the Benelli M2. Gas-operted shotguns like the Beretta, Browning Gold and Silver, Winchester SuperX2, Remington 100, 11-87, etc, all have issues with gas systems sooner or later. Not a huge issue, but they require parts and cleaning in order to remain in working order. Recoil operated guns, on the other hand (including Benelli's "Inertia Operated" system) can go and go and go and go and go with nary a hiccup. Costs more, but worth it.
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Old June 11, 2010, 11:39 AM   #28
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To Deerhunter and others .... in terms of a waterfowl and quail hunting gun ...there really is no "clear - best gun" out there. In my opinion, all you need is a gun chambered in 3" ( not 3 1/2" ) and in 12ga and you'll be fine.

Whether you hunt the swamps or rice fields doesn't matter either ...as long as you take care of a decent gun it will last you a lifetime easily ( even if you drop it in the swamp ...) ....:

There are the "gas operated guns" like Beretta, Remington, Browning, etc - and there are the "Inertia operated guns" like Benelli, Stoeger, etc. You will get more recoil from the Inertia operated guns than the gas guns, the Inertia guns will shoot cleaner than the gas guns (because that gas cycling back thru the action is dirty) but some gas systems seem to be cleaner than others. There are different finishes, synthetic, wood stocks, aluminum receivers, steel receivers ....

The "best gun" for each of us comes down to "Fit" - so it hits where you look. The drop at the comb, heel, length of pull are all critical. Some models and some mfg's have more adjustability than others - comb inserts, shims between receiver and stock, etc ...and some have very little adjustment. You can't tell if a gun "Fits" you by holding it in the store / you will have to take it to a pattern board / although, if you have a lot of experience, you can come close in a store. If you have a gun now - that shoots where you look / take the specs off it - and then go shopping. In a light gun / I like a 30" barrel .... but 28" is ok. A lighter gun / gets a little whippy - and it hurts the handling characteristics / but carrying a lighter gun in the field is easier than a heavy gun ...so its a compromise.

My choice is a Benelli Inertia gun. But out of a dozen or so Benelli models - I only like one / and its based on adjustability and Fit. I go with the "Super Sport model" - with the comfort Tech system in it that absorbs some of the recoil - but that model also has a gel comb insert and different pop in recoil pads. It also has a big price tag / of about $ 1875 around here new ... which scares a lot of buyers away - but it works for me because it has so much adjustability / and the Inertia system shoots real cleanly. It fires 2 3/4" and 3" shells down to 1200 fps without a problem / some inertia guns won't do that / some gas guns are finnicky on ammo too - especially the older technology. The super sport has a bright receiver / carbon fibre stock ( I just use elec tape on the receiver to dull it down for waterfowling ). But waterfowling isn't my primary use for it / for me its a "travel gun" where I can take one gun to do a little of everything .... Trap, Skeet, Sporting clays and quail or upland bird hunting primarily. I also use it as a training gun / because its very light 7.2 lbs with a 30" barrel in a 12ga / 6.2 lbs in a 20ga with a 28ga barrel .... so its a good gun for training young shooters / my grandkids, etc ...

In my opinion saying you should buy a Rem 1100, or an 11-87, or a Benelli M-2, or a Benelli Super Sport ...isn't really valid. Its not that the recommendations aren't a solid heart felt recommendation ...but they're based on what fits that person / not you ( or your budget ).

To pick a new gun / to OP, Deerhunter, etc .....know the stock dimensions that you need to fit you ( and you can't rely on retail stores to tell you what you need - most of them know little, if anything, about fit ), shoot as many guns as you can ( at local Skeet, Sporting clays shoots, etc ) - then make your choice.

We still don't know what the OP wants a semi-auto to do for him ?? If he wants tactical its different.../ if he wanted a competitive clay target gun its different ( the UGB that OneOunce mentioned is a very attractive gun - but around $4,000 ) / depends on his budget too ???
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Old June 11, 2010, 12:28 PM   #29
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I'm surprised we haven't heard from a lot more Cosmi owners.
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Old June 11, 2010, 04:46 PM   #30
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Deerhunter,

The Benelli M-4 is the tactical shotgun. The M-1 and newer M-2 are sporting guns.

For hunting I simply prefer the Benelli. I like the simplicity of the action, the fact that it is easy to clean and maintain, its lighter weight and the reliability.

I can find no real fault with the Beretta or the Remington 11-87, I've owned both. Both the Reimigton and Beretta will be heavier, especially the Remington, and are gas operated. They will have less recoil and would be better choices for someone who shoots a lot of clay's.

The lighter inertia operated Benelli will recoil a bit more, but in a gun I use primarily for hunting I can live with it. In fact it is more than a fair tradeoff for the much lighter weight.

The OP did ask for opinions. This is what I have found that works best for me.
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Old June 12, 2010, 03:10 AM   #31
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Ok, I haven't posted a serious response here, because I think the question is well... kind of a "could Batman beat Superman" type of thing.

However, I think xonglennao nailed it:
Quote:
Beretta 3901: A reintroduced Beretta 390 (now made in the USA), the best of the Beretta semi-autos since the A303 (the A304 is not generally available in this country). This is a great design, easily tuned by the addition of a Rich Cole Spring Kit. It is better thought out than the horrifically over-engineered 391 series that displaced the A390: purportedly to reduce "barrel vibration" that the 390 never had, with the addition of a multiple-piece (seven!) fore end cap.
I bought the Rich Cole spring kit, but haven't found a need for it. I actually have 2 390's. I have never had a failure of any kind through many thousands of rounds. One of these is synthetic stocked and is used pretty much for hunting only. It has been dunked in the mud, and generally abused in all the ways hunting guns get abused, but it still refuses to fail.

The assessment of the 391 is also dead on. It has many "solutions" to problems that never existed.

I am unfamiliar with the Browning Gold other than a friend owns one and really likes it.
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Old June 12, 2010, 11:46 AM   #32
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Quote:
Beretta 3901: A reintroduced Beretta 390 (now made in the USA), the best of the Beretta semi-autos since the A303 (the A304 is not generally available in this country). This is a great design, easily tuned by the addition of a Rich Cole Spring Kit. It is better thought out than the horrifically over-engineered 391 series that displaced the A390: purportedly to reduce "barrel vibration" that the 390 never had, with the addition of a multiple-piece (seven!) fore end cap.
I like the beretta, I just wish it came left handed

Last edited by Drummer101; June 12, 2010 at 02:11 PM.
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Old June 12, 2010, 12:55 PM   #33
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Quote:
I'm surprised we haven't heard from a lot more Cosmi owners
They're too busy running their businesses and making money to be here.....
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Old June 12, 2010, 04:20 PM   #34
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The best semi-automatic is the Beretta 391.
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Old June 13, 2010, 06:15 PM   #35
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I would rate the Beretta 390/391 as the best semiauto. Ive had or have them all, and for durability and shootability give me a Beretta. They kick less and cycle light loads better than the Benellis, and are more adjustable for fit and less mechanically complicated than the Remingtons and Brownings.
Ive put 1500 rds through my 391 without a cleaning, just to see if it would do it. It did. They will cycle anything you put in them. I shot two boxes of 7/8skeet reloads today without a hiccup. Im probably close to 750 rounds since my last serious cleaning.
I have a 390 that has spent season after season getting immersed in salt water hunting coastal ducks. After 10 years I finally had to put a sure cycle kit in it. Its still going strong.
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Old June 13, 2010, 06:49 PM   #36
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My only auto is a seldom used R-1100 Trap model with an extra shortened barrel for Skeet. If I were to replace it, I'd most likely go with a Beretta.
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Old June 13, 2010, 07:35 PM   #37
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Very subjective question. Probably whatever any particular poster has and shoots. Myself, I love my 30 year old Remington 1100 3" mag that looks like it did the day I took it out of the box!
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