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Old June 11, 2012, 06:57 PM   #1
checkmyswag
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Need relatively soft recoiling ultra reliable semi-auto.

In my youth I had a mossberg 590 I liked a lot. Between now and then I separated my shoulder. It never bothers me and I consider it healed up. However after recently shooting an 870 about 20 rounds I am looking for a softer recoiling semi-auto.

Benelli m1/2/4 for $1000-$1500
Remington 1100/1187 for $800
Mossberg 930 SPX for $600

I need it to feed and shoot low brass birdshot all the way through low recoil and regular buckshot/slugs reliably and be as low maintenance as possible.

Yes I am asking a lot.
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Old June 11, 2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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Beretta A400 Xplor Unico will handle 3/4oz 12 gauge reloads through the 3.5" uber goose loads. Get the Kick Off system.

Their target guns add a pound of weight and do not do 3.5" ammo, but will recoil even less
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Old June 11, 2012, 07:16 PM   #3
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My 3901 is pretty soft (if you get a different pad)

The Benelli M2 is inertia and does not do as much to mitigate the recoil as a gas gun (like the M4 or Beretta). But it is cleaner and easier to take apart (I never had any issues with this, still is less than 15 minutes to clean).

The 1100 wont like doing a wide variety of loads while the 11-87 seems pretty good at this (from what I have read).
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Old June 11, 2012, 08:15 PM   #4
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My personal favorite is the Benelli, but it will have the most recoil. It is far lighter than the others and the inertia operating system does not soften recoil.

The 11-87 will be the heaviest and with it's gas operation will be the softest shooting.

A Beretta will be a bit lighter than the Remington, but with it's gas system will be pretty easy on the shoulder and is a better all around gun than the Remington. It is priced about the same as the Benelli, maybe a little less.

The Mossberg gets some good reviews online, but I've not found that to always be a reliable indicator of performance with many other guns. My past experience with previous Mossberg shotguns, especially autoloaders leaves a huge question mark with me. While they may function well enough, they are not in the same category with the others.
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Old June 11, 2012, 10:11 PM   #5
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Beretta 3901, very simple...
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Old June 12, 2012, 05:52 AM   #6
Virginian-in-LA
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In your youth? The 590 ain't that old anyway !
For 2-3/4" only, get an 1100. Back in the 60s they ran everything else off the skeet ranges and mostly out of the fields too, and it wasn't because they didn't work. A 2-3/4" 1100 will shoot just about any 2-3/4" load with possible issues only with the super mouse fart stuff, and if you find anything that recoils less I will be surprised. An 11-87 will likely be MORE problematic with light loads than an 1100.
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Old June 12, 2012, 07:11 AM   #7
checkmyswag
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Ha. Right. Youth is a relative term.

I'm happy enough with the 870 but would prefer something else eventually.
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Old June 12, 2012, 07:49 AM   #8
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The Beretta 390/3901 are very soft shooting and reliable. The 3901 can be had NIB for less than six Franklins from many big box stores, and all it needs is a proper recoil pad to be a superb all-around gun...
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Old June 12, 2012, 08:54 AM   #9
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Browning Maxus. Yea, I know it was not on your list but you may wish to take a look at it. I picked on up last year and it has cycled every round I have fed it, from Federal 1 1/8 oz low brass to Remington 3.5" without fail. It is a very light gun and has very low recoil.
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Old June 12, 2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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I like the Benelli - because it shoots way cleaner than any gas gun ...so if maintainance is the issue / then go with a Benelli. For recoil - if you go Benelli - then go with a synthetic stock / and the comfort tech system in it...to reduce the recoil. The model I prefer is the Super Sport in a 12ga or 20ga.

The gas guns that will give you the most for your money ...are Beretta or Browning/Winchester. All of their models are proven / and solid guns.

Any fixed breech gun ...like a pump will give you at least 20% more recoil - for the same shell - than any of the semi-autos. To help reduce recoil - in a 12ga - go with a 1oz shell around 1200 fps...
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Old June 12, 2012, 10:39 AM   #11
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get an 1100. Back in the 60s they ran everything else off the skeet ranges and mostly out of the fields too, and it wasn't because they didn't work.
And, 25-years later they were run off the Skeet fields by the new Beretta softer shooting autos. Remington stopped making the 1100-Skeet some years ago.
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Old June 12, 2012, 10:43 AM   #12
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Maxus is the best option.
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Old June 12, 2012, 11:01 AM   #13
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I would suggest the 1100 they have a softer recoil, and can be found used for around $500.00
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Old June 12, 2012, 11:21 AM   #14
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The Browning Maxus and Browning Gold have the softest recoil of any semi-auto on the market. Benellis are super reliable, but have more felt recoil.

Remington 1100s are cheap, but the light weight really lets you feel the recoil on heavier loads. If a Remington is in your to-buy list, make it an 11-87, a little more reliable with lighter loads.
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Old June 12, 2012, 12:11 PM   #15
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Remington 1100s are cheap, but the light weight really lets you feel the recoil on heavier loads. If a Remington is in your to-buy list, make it an 11-87, a little more reliable with lighter loads.
1100's can be found cheap, but at 8+ lbs the 1100 and 11-87 are the heaviest of all autoloders and weigh the same, if set up with comparable barrels etc.

They are the same gun. The 1100 is set up for any 2 3/4" shell and is very reliable with them. The 11-87's only difference is a gas metering system that allows it also function with 3" shells, 3.5" if you get the 11-87 supermag. The 11-87 is more reliable with heavier loads, but it's gas metering system struggles with anything lighter than 1 1/8 oz loads. The 1100 is the better gun for the lighter loads since it does not have to function over such a wide range of power levels. To a degree this is true of all guns designed to shoot both 2 3/4" and heavy 3" shells. None of them are as reliable with very light loads.

Both guns were good guns in their day, and as good as ever, but have been left behind by newer and better designs.
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Old June 12, 2012, 02:32 PM   #16
Dave McC
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Both Beretta and Remington, among others, make soft shooting semis. I've had a A400 Xtreme for T&E this past year, and it's one soft shooter.

I've also shot 1100s and 11-87s and liked them also.
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Old June 12, 2012, 03:48 PM   #17
checkmyswag
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Very few comments here about the guns I listed. Not complaining. It's telling of your experience.

The remington 1100 looks pretty good.

I do need to ask...not many comments on the benelli m4...over rated? Over priced?
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Old June 12, 2012, 03:59 PM   #18
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benelli m4...over rated?
There ya go...
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Old June 12, 2012, 04:27 PM   #19
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No the Benelli M-4 isn't over rated / or over priced in my mind ...if you want a tactical shotgun ...( I don't --- but if I did ...it would be at the top of my list ). In my area they're selling for about $ 1,800 I think. The M-4 is a gas gun / not the typical inertia system that Benelli uses in all of their other guns...but its reliable ( and tactical ).

But an M-4 is sure a heck of a long ways from a Remington 1100 or 11-87 .../ its an apples to oranges thing to me ...comparing a Benelli M-4 to even the Benelli M-2 ( in most of its configurations ) ... let alone the Rem 1100's or the 11-87...so maybe I don't understand what you want a shotgun to do.

Even in clay targets and bird hunting....I don't use just one gun / or one configuration ...so to me:

a. For Trap - I want an O/U with 32" barrels at around 10 lbs(like a Browning Citori XT Trap in a 12ga ).
b. for Sporting Clays or Skeet or bird hunting ..I want an O/U with 30" barrels around 8 1/2lbs. Like a Browning Citori XS Skeet model in 12ga, 20ga --- or maybe in a 28ga or .410. Maybe I would supplement that O/U with a semi-auto in a 30" barrel around 7 1/2 to 8 lbs...in either a 12ga or a 20ga (like a Benelli Super Sport model ).
c. for Tactical or a fighting shotgun ...I'd go with the Benelli M-4...12ga

The Remington 1100 is old technology ...its proven ...but there are way better options today in my opinion in gas guns. Many of the older Rem 1100's are fixed chokes ( not as versatile as changeable screw in chokes ) ...and many of them were built with 2 3/4" chambers... and if you want to go "tactical" you may want a gun chambered in 3" ... I'm not that big a Remington fan ....but like Zippy said above ...Rem 1100's and 11-87's got run off the skeet and sporting clays fields big time ...by Beretta gas guns in the last 12 or 15 yrs...
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Old June 12, 2012, 04:42 PM   #20
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like Zippy said above ...Rem 1100's and 11-87's got run off the skeet and sporting clays fields big time
If I could only draw. I picture some 1110's and 11-87's with arms and legs being chased off the fields by some nasty Berettas screaming Italian taunts.
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Old June 12, 2012, 05:56 PM   #21
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TKM, my friend, that's exactly the way I remember it. It was at the state championships, after the evening shoot-offs and well into the cocktail hour. At least that's what I remember, but it was a while ago.
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Old June 12, 2012, 07:29 PM   #22
Virginian-in-LA
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The Italian guns became fashionable right after they won that politically motivated military pistol "competition" as I recall, and started the huge advertising push, and the gun writers of course started fawning over them, as they do anything new. The Remington haters can say whatever they like, but I have been quite satisfied with Remingtons for 49 years, and I have either owned or at least shot ALL of the others as well. I am not saying Beretta hasn't built some nice guns, I just prefer mine. I do not like the Benellis, or any "inertia" action, although they ought to win the marketing academy award. Please explain to me how any of them can reduce recoil purely by the design of the action - and sans the two piece stocks and such - when they require the receiver to move rapidly to the rear to initiate the action.
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Old June 13, 2012, 07:58 AM   #23
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Of the shotguns you have listed I have experience with the rem and mossy. Of the two I prefer the 930 which is why I sold my rem last year. The mossberg 930 handles well, swings well and was lighter and still reduced the amount of felt recoil greatly compared to any pump. The rem was just two heavy to carry the long distances I usually go to hunt.

My vote is for the Mossy
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Old June 13, 2012, 08:03 AM   #24
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For the $$$ the 930 is the best deal and as reliable as it gets. But the Maxus is the softest recoil and fastest shooting.
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Old June 13, 2012, 01:00 PM   #25
BigJimP
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Virginian....

I don't think the Benelli's with the wood stocks ( so they have no comfort tech system in them )...reduce the recoil more than a gas gun / they recoil less than a fixed breech gun like a pump or an O/U ....but not a typical gas gun.

But the Benelli's with the synthetic stocks ...that have the comfort tech system in the stocks...are softer recoiling that their wood stocked guns...how much / hard to tell, but I think its significant.

But I think its a compromise ...a gas gun requires more maintenance...an inertia gun shoots a lot cleaner because that gas isn't cycling thru the action...an Inertia gun with a comfort tech or some other kind of recoil reduction system is a solid gun.
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