View Full Version : What's the Best All-around 12 Gauge Auto?

February 5, 2001, 08:06 PM
I'm looking for a good all-around 12 gauge autoloader. I'd like to be able to use it for any situation; hunting (deer, turkey, or ducks) as well as sporting clays (nothing formal, just plinking). I'd prefer it to have a black synthetic stock, matte finish, and at least a 26" barrel. Above all, though, I want something reliable that will go the distance. I've always had my eye on a Benelli, but I'm not sure if they are worth the price. Any suggestions?

George Hill
February 5, 2001, 09:48 PM
Remington 1100.

February 5, 2001, 10:54 PM
The best gun is the one that fits you and you feel comfortable with. Each has its benefits and drawbacks for specific purposes. The Benelli is a good gun in some circumstances because it is very simple, reliable and robust. It would be my choice in a duck blind and with shorter barrels is great for deer. The drawback with Benellis is the price and the recoil action tends to kick a little harder.

The Remington 1100 and 11-87 are softer shooting and have more accessories for modification, particularly for HD and deer hunting. The price is right and you won't have to worry about spare parts. One of these guns with two barrels would be my choice for all round use.

If clay targets are your primary sport with some hunting thrown in I'd grab a Beretta A391. Shoots just about any load and has the balance I like. It is possible to buy a shorter barrel but it's not possible to put a magazine extension on a 391 if that matters to you.

If asked to take one gun, I would go with the Remington but I'd rather have a Beretta for targets and birds and a Remington 870 for deer.

February 6, 2001, 12:08 AM
Ithaca for deer and personal defense...birds and the like I dont't know...

February 6, 2001, 12:26 PM
Sorry, didn't notice the "auto" thing...

I like short-recoil actions, but all considered I'd say a remington 1100, just carry a few extra o-rings with you...

February 6, 2001, 07:54 PM
My personal opinion is the Browning Auto-5 is the most realible auto ever made. For 28 years I hunted waterfowl, upland game and turkey with one and it never missed a beat.
My Lt. A-5 was 2/34" and this year I bought a Benelli Super Black Eagle. Great gun but I still miss the A-5. Sometimes I wish I'd looked for a NIB A-5 in 3" and forgot the 3.5" shell. Would of also been cheaper.

Concerning the kick of the Benilli's it like the A-5 are recoil operated and yes the do kick more BUT to be quite frank I never noticed the kick when hunting.


February 7, 2001, 06:36 PM
The Benelli M1 without a doubt is the best autoloader on the market. You pay a little more but for the quality, reliability, and function it's worth it. I've got the 24" barrel. 3" mags for turkey, 2 3/4" for pheasants, light 7/8 oz loads for rabbit, and for deer I shoot 3" sabots with a Rhino rifled choke tube and a dot sight on a saddle type receiver mount for 3" groups at 100yds. It's an awesome game getter. -- Kernel

February 7, 2001, 11:30 PM
I'm patial to the 1100/11-87 for "all-around" use. But like Romulus said, get a couple of extra "O" rings. I currently have a single shot 1100(haven't gotten around to getting new rings).

Cannon Cocker
February 8, 2001, 02:02 AM
Benelli's are very nice. For my money though I think I would go with the Remington 1100/11-87. I've owned two and have had no complaints.

February 8, 2001, 10:03 AM
As I've read here lots of times, one shotgun cannot do it all, and be good at all things, for trap, get a trap gun, for hunting, get a hunting gun, etc... you don't drive the family station wagon at the daytona 500, or go four wheelin with a Porsch 911....

now, reality being what it is, I have a Beretta A390 for clay games, and a rem 870 express 3" mag with two barrells for deer and ducks and nasty weather, etc, and an older sxs 12g 2&3/4 only for doves/pheasants, etc..... If I had to pick ONE, it would be the Rem 870 express with two barrells.

Good Luck.


Captain Bligh
February 11, 2001, 11:29 AM
Ditto, Browning A-5. It's the best gun I've ever owned, bar none. I've semi-retired mine now that Browning stopped making them. Largely I now shoot a Rem. 870 and it's a great gun but nothing will ever touch the Browning.

I think Browning showed idiocy in stopping the A-5s manufacture. It would be akin to the 1911 going out of production. It's right up there with Coke screwing with their formula. IMHO, of course.


February 12, 2001, 07:51 PM
Remington 11-87........ Heavy duty and tough as nails....

February 19, 2001, 11:35 AM
Benelli Super Black Eagle or a Browning Auto 5. Neither is suited for barrell mounted scopes but they are great "all around" shotguns.