View Full Version : Good semi-auto shotgun?

March 23, 2005, 11:47 PM
Hello...I am shopping for a good 12 gauge semi auto shotgun. I am looking for less recoil than the body-abusing Rem 870, 1100's. Shot an entry level Charles Daly today, and it wasn't too bad. Just for shooting clays...looking for accuracy and reasonable cost, but mostly something I can shot all day long without feeling it for a week. A friend suggested that I look for a "gas powered " model? aren't all semi autos gas powered? Not sure, I am a rifle guy. Any recommendations?

March 24, 2005, 05:32 AM
Most auto shotguns are gas operated but a fine exception to this is the Benelli.The newest version [ M2] has special recoil absorbing pads. Important for recoil is; a stock that fits you well.A recoil pad of the gel type like Benelli or some of the high tech rubbers.Use of target loads [standard or light]. Weight of gun .The newest gas autos, whether by Remington, Winchester or Beretta have been designed to minimize recoil.

March 24, 2005, 07:27 AM
Thanks Mete. I fired a Daley with a Rem Heavy Target Load in it, and it wasn't too bad.....Someone suggested a newer Browning, the Hunter series I think, with a gold trigger. Nice looking and feeling gun, but gone when I returned to the store... :(

March 24, 2005, 08:44 PM
last year, i bought a Verona SX-405 when i was looking for the same thing. its lightweight, but gas operated and i put a limbsaver recoil pad on and with light target loads, its a pussycat to shoot. 4 rounds of trap are no sweat at all. there are certainly better guns out there but for a total of $350 with the recoil pad and a fibre optic sight, i can't argue with the price and its been 100% reliable and as accurate as this novice can make it be.


March 24, 2005, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the response, I've been waiting since Mete for additional advice. I fired the 12 ga again and he's right, the gun has to fit, and you can shoot pretty much anything.

Is Verona the manufacturer? Because that's the price range I am in...also, have you found a tube (mag extender) for it. I'd like to put 8 shells in it, I'm lazy and hate to reload....just being honest.

March 26, 2005, 07:01 PM

Verona is the name they are sold under anyway. the gun is Italian designed and Turkish built by a company who's name i can't remember off the top of my head. check out one of the gun auction sites and you'll see plenty of them. i do not know of any mag extenders for it. they come in wood or synthietic, take up to 3 inch loads, have aluminum receivers, gas operated, come with 3 choke tubes and a wrench and are 5+1 capacity. i think they are good value for the money but they won't win any beauty contests for ya. i think i paid $319 for mine new with a 28 inch barrel. i put a magnetic fibre optic sight on it and a limbsaver and i love shooting it. i'm not all that great on the trap line and don't shoot very often so i didn't want to wrap up several thousand dollars in an on again off again hobby. it serves its purpose very well and would make a fine hunting gun too.


March 26, 2005, 10:48 PM
Thanks for the info, I will research the tube extender....I will shoot more frequently, 90% clay and skeet and trap....not sure of the differences, I've never hunted a skeet before... :D

ssems like a nice gun, I wish I could shoot it before purchase...

March 27, 2005, 09:04 AM
If you are going to be shooting trap, skeet, and sporting clays you don't need a magazine extension since you are limited to two rounds.

March 27, 2005, 09:17 AM
Check out the Beretta 391 and the Winchester SuperX2, they are the best autoloading shotguns on the market right now.

March 27, 2005, 10:48 AM
LOL body-abusing 1100, mine kicks about as bad as a .22. Have you ever shot an 1100? there great guns i would not trade my 30 year old 1100 for a new Charles Daly or wierd spanish or Turkish built shotgun. You can get on used 1100 for about 350 to 400 bucks and you kinds kids will get plenty of use about it. Just rember when you buying a new shotgun you get what you pay for.

March 27, 2005, 05:18 PM
Harrumph!!!There are no good autoloaders! :p

March 28, 2005, 06:41 AM
HSITH is 100% correct. If your going to be shooing clays with it, I would suggest the Beretta 391.
The 391 recoils like a powder puff, and is the most poular semi-auto on the Sporting Clays circuit for a very good reason.
Also if you hunt in Argentina, you already know that the 391 and a few Benellis rule the loaner racks. That is because the 391 can that the punishment of thousands of rounds and not fold like a cheap suit.

off topic.
With 1oz max FITASC rule ,and the trend toward lighter loads in SC you might also want to look at an O/U. K80 has his obvious favorite :) I prefer the 682.
Get it fitted, grease it and a quality an O/U will last a lifetime

March 28, 2005, 07:28 PM
All right Tokarev, settle down, I think we all know I'm a big sissy...truth be told, I have an old shoulder injury (repeated) that I have to nurse every now and then. I won't go for surgery, so one night I sleep wrong or in a weird position, and, well anyone who has had a shoulder injury knows the rest- three days of Tylenol with Codeine...

I actually have not fired an 1100 so I was going by someone else's recommendation. I will check them out....I would love a Beratta or X2, but I have that Italian disease, "myfunds'alow". It's ok, I'm Italian so I can say this kind of off-color stuff about myself.

But thanks for the advice, I will try to hunt around for a friend or acquaintance or has one of these///

March 29, 2005, 08:16 AM
Sorry sorry i did not know about the sholder thing, but no an 1100 being the heavest out of the group it does not kick bad. I am very 1100 biased incase you could not tell lol. The Berattas are a good gun but dont they have that anoying buttong to push to get the action to close?

March 29, 2005, 08:57 AM
All is forgiven....You know what, I may try an 1100 with all of the recoil reducers out there. Let me pick your brain.. you sound like you know this weaapon really well.

What is the highest cap mag ext tube I can put on an 1100, or the highest that you've heard of? If you're like me, you research something and know it inside and out( ie Ruger 10/22 that I am picking up on Friday, just can't figure out if a bull barrel addition will hinder my ability to find a good selection of inexpensive replacement thumbhole stocks).

I think I have held an 1100 at a nearby gun shop, but figured it was too much iron, but weight=less recoil, so I am going to hit the stored tomorrow. Know anything about the 1187?

Thanks for all the info, both previous and future :D

March 29, 2005, 02:18 PM
I just bought a Remington 11-87... Can't believe it hasn't been suggested for you post as I'd think it'd fit th bill perfectly.

I understand it is very similar to the 1100 - just a slightly beefed up, modernized version of the same functioning weapon! But don't take my word for that - I've never had an 1100 and am pretty new to my 11-87.

The 11-87 does at least seems top notch so far! :cool:

March 29, 2005, 07:19 PM
I have never really looked to hard for mag. ext. tubes but i have seen them around and the highest i have seen is 8rounds a quick serch on ebay got me this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=36258&item=7145722787&rd=1

The 11-87's are also good guns that i know of but have never shot one, I got my 1100 from my dad about 9 years ago and he got it from his dad, and the only thing i have done to it was put a modern barrel on it becaus it was made before screw in choke tubes were invented. I put about a case of shells through it a week sometimes more. "I live about a mile away from a skeet and sporting clays corse". I just recently bought a Ruger Red lable and i love it but it has spent more time in the safe becaus i can not put down the 1100 lol.

March 29, 2005, 09:47 PM
I've owned most of the autoloading shotguns available. The 1100 might just be the softest shooting autoloader out there. With a recoil reducer in the stock or just another pound of weight recoil would be negligable with most target loads.

I have an older 1100, from the early 70's. It says a lot about my opinion of the 1100 that I still own it and 20+ shotguns have gone down the road since I bought it. It is a good gun, mostly problem free but I still think the SuperX2 and the 391 are more durable and more reliable. The old 1100's and the SuperX1 are very good if not great shotguns but I think the golden age of autoloading shotguns is RIGHT NOW!!!

March 31, 2005, 10:40 AM

You mentioned that you were shooting the Remington Heavy Target Load. Perhaps this is contributing to your shoulder discomfort.

If I may make a suggestion, try the Winchester AA Xtra-Lite load. It provides 2.75 dram-equivalent of powder pushing a one-once load of No. 7.5, 8, or 9 shot, and generates a muzzle velocity of 1180 fps. I find this to be a very effective and comfortable load to shoot all day from the 16-yard line at Trap.

Hope this helps.

Good luck, and good shooting!

March 31, 2005, 02:58 PM
I can tell you this. I recently bought a Remington 11-87 with a fully rifled barrel and cantilever scope mount. I can shoot 3" mag sabot slugs through it ALL DAY LONG. I seriously cannot believe how "gently" this gun recoils even with a 3" shell.
By the way the difference between the 1100 and the 11-87 is chamber size, everything else is identical. The 1100 is only chambered for 2 3/4" shells. The 11-87 is chambered for 3" shells so you can shoot both 2 3/4" and 3" shells in it.
With a smoothbore, I would think your best choke for slugs would be modified.

March 31, 2005, 04:33 PM
The chamber's the only difference? Wow, I knew they were close, but that's news to me... Thanks for the info, BadF350!

(I was considering a 20 ga 1100 for the daughter - now I'm even more interested!)

March 31, 2005, 05:29 PM
The 1100 and 1187 are not the same, the gas system is very different. The 11-87 has the ability to vent excess gas pressure and the 1100 does not for one example. Several of the small parts in the guns were changed also to lower manufacturing costs. There isn't a lot that will interchange between the two but there are some parts.

March 31, 2005, 05:42 PM
Oh yeah I for got little details like that.
It's capable of venting the excess pressures due to the chamber lengths available. A 3" or 3 1/2" shell can produce very high pressures, much higher than necessary for cycling the action and could damage the gun. Basically it utilizes only the pressures it needs to cycle the rounds and anything beyond that needs to be vented.
I imagine this venting also helps further reduce the recoil of the bigger loads.

This is probably not necessary in the 1100 since it is only chambered for 2 3/4" shells that operate within a narrower range of gas pressures.

April 1, 2005, 03:06 AM
The venting system you talk of makes sense - it'd have to have something like that or the preasures would mount to the point something would have to give... :eek:

Guess I still need that 1100 so I can see a direct comparison... (See, still got my excuse to go out and get one! :D )

April 1, 2005, 05:23 AM
I am just curious what you find so punishing about either the Remington M870 or M1100? Every year my family has a Fourth of July shotgun shoot in which we go through a couple boxes of clays and an honest wheelbarrel of shells. Since my dad got his MEC he's been loading 1 1/8 oz of 7 1/2 to about 1300 fps(?) for this task and at any given time we probably have between 1000 to 1500 rounds of so of this sitting at my grandpa's.
I've owned a Remington M870 for about 4 years now and put an average of about 1500 rounds a year through it, mostly 2 3/4 inch small game loads, but also including 3 inch magnum goose, buckshot, and slug loads. I wouldn't ever suggest a steady diet of the latter as comfortable, but last year alone I put hundreds of rounds through my 870 during our family's shoot on my grandpa's place in the period of about an hour and a half. I was shooting so fast that the wood grip on my Wingmaster was getting warm and the barrel was so hot that I had to re-tighten my choke tube after every 3 to 5 rounds. My brother and I each had Wingmasters, my grandpa had his 1100, and my uncle brought his Benelli (which, for the record, gave a disappointing performance compared to the Remington, though that could be because it was the 18.5 inch barreled tactical model of the M1). My brother and I each put several tubes through the semis and they were noticebly more comfortable, but the majority of our shooting was done with our 870s. The four of us went through about 1500 rounds in under two hours, though my brother and I did most of the shooting as my dad, uncle, and grandpa all traded and cycled shotguns but my brother and I were pretty much always on the line. I never found the recoil to be a problem. Likewise, though I have much more limited experience with the 1100, what experience I do have tells me it has a problem with neither reliability nor recoil as both have been exceptional with my grandpa's.

Sorry to hear about your shoulder injury. I am not sure exactly how old my grandpa's 1100 is but he's had it for a while. It is a very easy shotgun to shoot. Also, my dad just picked up a 3 inch Model 1100 that he bought used but somehow hasn't managed to shoot in the four months or so sense he's bought it. It's the only one I've seen but apparently the 3 inch Model 1100 does exist. Good luck with your shoulder injury.

April 1, 2005, 11:00 AM
I am just curious what you find so punishing about either the Remington M870 or M1100?

Sorry to hear about your shoulder injury.

Good luck with your shoulder injury.

LOL, looks like you answered your own question in the same post. :D

Sorry bud, I couldn't resist pointing that out. :p

April 1, 2005, 12:40 PM
I too would say the Rem 1187 (I have the tactical 1187P model) is a good match for what you are looking for.


April 1, 2005, 06:22 PM
--You said you wanted to shoot clays--
If your going to be a weekend clays shooter and are out there to just go thru some shells with friends, then the 11-87 will be fine. If your planning on getting serious about it, then that's another story. To be honest, I have NEVER seen an 11-87 finish a single season. They do not hold up to the 700-1,000 rounds burned week after week just in practice, plus another 250 for Tournaments. They are not even seen in FITASC.
Before buying, I would suggest going to a range and renting what you are interested in.

April 2, 2005, 09:51 PM
BLKLABMAN, I think I am settling on an 1100-they have a few at a local gun shop for a reasonable price. If it does get serious, I would probably consider a Beretta or a nice Browning....something like that. I have been shooting the 12 ga Daly to build up some sort of resistance and conditioning, so far, so good. I may have to travel to rent some higher end stuff, or contact a club. But I work weekends, so that just screws everything up.

If only it would stop raining up here, I could get in some good practice. If the weather's good, gotta work late. If I'm out early, it's raining.

Also investing in a thrower for the clays...my arm is tired, and you can't shoot alone without some creative juggling.

I'll keep you posted- :D

April 4, 2005, 09:57 AM
All of the above posts are good solid info. I have owned or still own most every auto shotgun listed other than the Chas Daley. They all recoil about the same and it is sometimes difficult to actually tell the difference, especially if the stock fits. One nice thing about the Berreta is that they have stock shims that will allow yu to somewhat modify the stock fit to suit your body. I happen to have an older 390 and like it some better than the 391 so I am sticking with that model.
The 2 guns that I use most often is the Rem 1100 and the Berreta which I just happen to shoot better. If you are going to mostly shoot clay targets, buy or reload some 1 oz or 7/8 oz light target loads. You might even think of a 20 guage as they can hold almost the same shot load as the 12 guage and seem to recoil less. You won't go wrong with any of the guns mentioned above, just find the one you feel best with and carry on,,,, good luck

April 6, 2005, 08:51 PM
saiga 12g. i love this semi-auto shotgun

April 7, 2005, 02:34 AM
I am quite fond of my 11-87, and the recoil is very manageable. Its used for waterfowl, and even the loads I shoot for goose are very tolerable.