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Old July 14, 2011, 07:57 AM   #1
rhinonewshooter
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Is a beretta 303A that much different from a 390?

I'm looking at used shotguns, and frankly want something with nice wood. Looking at gunbroker, i have seen a number of the 303s with decent looking wood an a few 390 DU versions.

I will likely shoot mostly skeet and trap, although I may hunt a bit. Can the 303A cycle the lighter range loads as well as the larger hunting loads like the 390, or should I stick to looking for a 390/391?
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Old July 14, 2011, 08:31 AM   #2
Slugo
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both are excellent guns and the 303 has taken on cult status. IMHO the 390/3901 is the best gas gun Beretta produced, hands down. I says this having owned a half dozen Beretta autoloaders...
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Old July 14, 2011, 10:34 AM   #3
BigJimP
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In general - the older the technology - the more finnicky the semi-autos will be on ammo / especially on lighter loads around 1150 fps.

I don't know the technical differences - in the variety of 300 series / there were 300's, 301's, ....etc .../ but I do know when the 390's and then the 391's came out - it was because there was a demand for a cleaner shooting gun that would cycle a bigger variety of lighter loads ( they'll all cycle loads over 1225 fps without a problem).

I think you're making a mistake - trying to buy a gun off the internet / you should instead focus on guns you can touch and feel locally - and inspect the wood that is important to you. Buying off the internet is a crapshoot ...and not that sites like gunbroker are bad guys / but there is no guarantee you will get a gun when you pay for it / they don't guarantee the sale in any way - or condition - etc. And every year - there are a number of buyers that buy a gun - and never get it. The sites are very hard to police for fraud.

Find a good local shop dealing in some used guns / or talk to the guys at your local club ...chances are a lot of guys have something in the back of their safe - that they'll let go for a fair price / but they aren't advertising it. Then as your interest in the games evolve - you can pick a long term gun that meets your needs. When it comes to Skeet and Trap ...99.9% of us, end up with O/U's that become our primary guns.
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Old July 14, 2011, 11:28 AM   #4
rhinonewshooter
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Good advice.

I feel like I'm in a chicken and egg situation. I want a gun to shoot, but I need to hang out at a shooting range to talk to the folks to get the gun I want to shoot.

Looks like I may be headed toward buying new
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Old July 14, 2011, 11:35 AM   #5
BigJimP
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A new gun is less of a crapshoot - at least usually ...and if you stay with the Beretta semi-autos / you'll be able to keep your cost "reasonable" ...and if you take care of it ...it'll hold its value reasonably well.

The 391 series - has 15 or more models ...and most retailers can walk you thru what they have ...let you check the stocks, etc .../ and I think you'll be ok.

The only other brand of gas gun I'd recommend is probably the Winchester/Browning...( same company these days ) - but not as popular in the semi-auto lineup as the Berettas. Benelli SuperSport is a nice gun / but new they're about $ 1,875 in my area - and I think you said that's out of your budget comfort zone ...but at least look at them... / then decide.
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Old July 14, 2011, 11:43 AM   #6
BigJimP
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Remember - buying a gun with some stock adjustability - with shims between the receiver and the stock ...would be a real smart choice / since at this point you have no idea what really "fits" you. Like I've said before ...gun stores know little - if anything - about "Fit" - and it really can't be done in a store with any degree of certainty.

Even my buddy - who has shot at least 1 Million "registered" skeet targets - picked up a new pump gun / with a Trap stock on it - thought it was close enough to shoot --- but at 30 yards --its 10" high for him. So its off to the shop - for an adjustable comb to be cut into it. Its just plain hard to tell ...

Last edited by BigJimP; July 14, 2011 at 02:35 PM.
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