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Old November 11, 2002, 11:10 PM   #1
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Which Semi 12? 11-87/Gold/SX2/390/?

If you were choosing an all-around/do-it-all shotgun and could have just one in this sub $1,000 range, which would it be?

Something else in mind that I haven't listed?

What would be the weakpoint of your choice?
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Old November 12, 2002, 07:47 AM   #2
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Lets see. I started with an 11-87 for this purpose. It was junk, never did get it to be reliable. Bought a Browning Gold Hunter 3.5". It was a good shotgun, and I shot it pretty well. I needed to knock the glare down, and could not paint the wood. I sold it and bought a SuperX2 3.5". There are not enough good words available for the X2. It is simply awesome. The Beretta is nice, but for less thana grand you are not getting 3.5" so it is not a do it all type in my mind. 3.5" capability for waterfowl and turkey sure is nice. The Benelli guys are going to pipe up I am sure, but I do not like the SBE, only marginally better than an 11-87 in my book.

I think the SuperX2 is the ultimate. Weak point would be accessories, not a lot out there yet.
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Old November 12, 2002, 11:13 AM   #3
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Ditto on HSMITH's comments.
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Old November 12, 2002, 12:00 PM   #4
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I've owned an 11-87 and a Beretta 390 and found both to be reliable guns. The only drawback for "serious" purposes with the 390 is the shell capacity which is limited to 3+1. I've not found the need yet for a 3-1/2" shell and live quite nicely with 2-3/4" for most purposes and rarely feel the need for even 3".

If I gave up my breaking guns and was limited to only one, I'd get a Beretta 391.

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Old November 12, 2002, 07:35 PM   #5
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I own 3 out of the 4. No gold.
The SX2 is a great outfit if you want the option of 3.5" shells. If not, why have the extra weight and expense.
The 390 is a great gun. mine was totally reliable until the last time I cleaned it. I still aint figgered out what I did but thats fodder for another thread. great for bird hunting and clay games.
11-87. I got one and it's OK but I wouldn't want it for my only SG.
If primary was home defense I wouldn't pick any of those 4 and would opt for a pump.
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Old November 13, 2002, 12:15 PM   #6
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My Super X2 is the 3" field grade version. If I were buying a new semi-auto 12 gauge right now it would be the Winchester Super X2 in the Sporting Clays version. It comes with two gas compensators: one for light 2 3/4" target loads and the other for heavy field loads up to and including 3" magnums.

I still haven't found any reason for me to have a 3 1/2" magnum gun.

BTW: The Super X2 has back bored barrel and uses the Browning Invector Plus screw-in choke system.

I've owned several Remington 1100s, a few 11-87s, and an 11-96. I own a 20ga. Browning Gold Classic. I've got to say that I prefer the Super X2 over all of the other 12ga. guns I've owned.
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Old November 13, 2002, 05:16 PM   #7
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I've been very happy with my 11-87, but have heard a ton of excellent reports on the Winchester X2. It's supposed to be just about the fastest cycling shotgun on the market despite what Benelli's advertising says.
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Old November 13, 2002, 05:22 PM   #8
Dave McC
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I've stayed out of this til now for a very simple reason. I've little or no experience with any of the current autos.

Still, I've heard a lot of stuff through the grapevine. Never have I heard a discouraging word about the X-2.

Heard little bad about the 391, and the Extrema I shot recently handled nicely despite all the drop in the stock.That of course, is corrected with the shim kit.

As for 3 1/2" shell capability,I remain quite unenthused. So do the goose guides I know.

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Old November 13, 2002, 07:36 PM   #9
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Ditto to the above statements regarding the Win SX2, I have one and in the 3.5" Chamber Configuration and I am extremely happy with it, nothing bad to say about the sg!

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Old November 14, 2002, 10:17 AM   #10
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All around?

When you say "all around" -- here's what I think of:

1. Hunting (birds and deer)
2. Defense
3. Competition

So I think you need to find a gun that has:

1. Options for multiple barrels (18.5" for defense, longer for hunting and competition)
2. Options for multiple sighting systems (GRs for defense, scopes for slugging deer, etc)
3. Barrels with removable choke tubes (open for defense, others for birds)
4. Ability to chamber multiple shell lengths (dunno if 3.5" is a pre-requisite, I don't hunt!)
5. Ability to take mag tube extensions (defense and competition)
6. Ability to accept/availability of the appropriate accessories (e.g. weaponlights for defense).

That's a tall order -- but I think the Remington 1100 and Benelli M1 Super 90 fit all the above. The others you mention fit most but not all.

Justin T. Huang
late of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
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Old November 14, 2002, 12:57 PM   #11
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There is a version of the SuperX2 that might meet your defense requirements. Check it out here:

Add a longer choked-tubed barrel and you'd be set.

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Old November 14, 2002, 08:41 PM   #12
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I still use a '74 SX1. Had chokes put in-original 28"(mod) bbl. At one time 10k rds per year. It is still my everything gun, and 2.75" chamber, geese didn't know that.

SX2 be my choice in 3", have used, not the same as my machined SX1, but very nice. Yea tried the 3" shells-ok Have no use for 3.5" personally. played with pattern board. Educational.

390 second pick.

word is old boy whom did the SX1, had a hand in the SX2 and Gold

Really tho--which one fits you--that's the one to get.
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Old November 14, 2002, 09:52 PM   #13
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discussion of optional barrels
a mossy or 870 combo is probably bargain priced if that is the only shotgun in the house but a "spare" barrel for a 390, SX2, and alot of others will cost more than a good used pump dedicated to home defense.
I see little use for extra barrels when you can have a weapon all setup and ready to go at no additional cost.
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Old November 14, 2002, 10:29 PM   #14
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I was faced with the same decision 2 months ago and went with the 3" SX2, its a great gun. Out of the box it shot AA lite trap loads and walmart cheapies perfectly. The high rib on the SX2 makes it easy to shoot and it breaks down in a simple manner for cleaning. I really doubt I'll live long enough to ever wear the gun out.
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Old November 14, 2002, 11:51 PM   #15
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What a great discussion, guys. Thanks for the input. To respond to one of the comments: I would like the option of using this gun for deer hunting, but it won't be a defense gun. So a few basic accessory barrels would do fine for me.

I'm a little surprised at the runaway support for the SX2, but it must be a great gun to get such uniformly wonderful reviews. The 'newness' factor is there - maybe these guns won't have there problems for a few years yet - but the early returns are impressive.

I wonder if Browning/USRAC has done itself in by producing a shotgun that is as good or better than the Gold series, at a signifcantly lower price.

I find it hard to believe that the SX2 would have engineering advantages/features that had not already been built into the Gold. Does that make sense?

I did have my hands on a Benelli Super 90 in 20 guage that a poster mentioned, and that is one slick little light handling gun. Wouldn't want to use it all day in the duck blind, but it would be a dream to carry.

Keep those comments coming!
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Old November 16, 2002, 10:41 PM   #16
Tom C.
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The Browning Gold and Winchester SX2 are the same gun with different finishes and feature sets.
The SX2 Practical looks good for combat competition.
I have a 60 yr. old Remington Model 11 that has been restored, with MMC apperature sights added with removable choke tubes. I have an extended mag for IPSC matches. It shoots slugs and shot very nicely. I am not ready to replace it.
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Old November 18, 2002, 04:15 PM   #17
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could anyone comment on the Remington 1100 in relation to this conversation? I'm looking into this same set of guns, but also have the option of an 1100.
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Old November 18, 2002, 05:52 PM   #18
Matthew Courtney
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The 1100 is a great gun. The only drawback is most do not handle 3 inch shells. The 11-87 not only handles 3 inch shells, but is designed to be more reliable with lighter loads. I have both and the only difficulties that I have encountered have been ammo related (Fiocchi). My brother has a 30 year old 1100 that my dad shot thousands of rounds through. The only difficulty experienced with that shotgun was a broken extractor in its 27th year. That's 27 years of serious duck hunting in south Louisiana. You do have to clean 'em every now and then.
I'd rather have my gun and not need it than need it and not have it.
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Old November 19, 2002, 06:08 AM   #19
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I have a Franchi 612 VS synthetic with 24'' barrel and internal chokes. A very good all purpose SG. Did I mention that (so far, knock on wood) it cycles ALL loads from light target ones to 3'' magnums?

Just my 0,02 (euros) Stay Safe
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Old November 19, 2002, 05:22 PM   #20
Len S
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I have a 11-87 it is a hunting gun. It never jams, never missfired and this is afte10 years in phesant fields, duckblinds and laying out in fields hunting geese. It has the original O-ring. The last time I was out for geese I got two came home cleaned it and dumped 8 soybeans out of the receiver. It works and is reliable.

Len S
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Old November 20, 2002, 12:16 PM   #21
Brian Newbill
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I have both the the 20 ga and 12 ga Benelli M1.

I haven't had a single missfire yet. Even with the cheap Wal-mart loads. So far, Remington, Winchester and Federal.

The 20 ga is a dream to carry and in anything other than a t-shirt not too bad to shoot, but if you are shooting alot of skeet in summer clothing it will make you a little sore.

The 12 ga is no problem at all.

I had a Browning Gold 3.5. Never used a single 3.5 in it during the 3 years I owned it. I like it, altough it was a little heavy compared to my Benelli's. My problem with it was it choked alot in cold weather. My friend had one that was worse than mine, his choked several times on him in the duck blind using 3 in Winchester steel shot. He traded his for another Gold, I traded mine on the Benelli and have never looked back.

As to the X2 it is basically the same design as the Gold. Most of the parts are interchangeable.

I don't believe that the X2 is the fastest cycling shotgun out there because I distinctly remember having to wait for the gun to cycle to take a second shot on my Gold.

I can't even tell the Benelli has fired it ejects so quick.
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