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Old October 12, 2008, 06:04 PM   #1
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Gas vs. Inertia shotgun decision.

I have been researching semi-auto shotguns in 12 guage for some duck hunting and am having a hard time deciding which one to go with. The three at the top of the list are the Browning Silver Stalker in a wood stock, Winchester Super x3 in composite stock or a Benelli M2 composite stock. 3 1/2" capability isn't a priority, but reliability, durability and soft shooting are a must. All three shotguns seem very well made and I don't really think one is above the rest in build quality.

I have found the three guns all fit very well, with maybe a nod to the Winchester. The winchester had a pretty cool armor coating to the composite stock. I think the Benelli has the better trigger. The Silver really seemed like it was a good gun with a good trigger and just decent all around.

In the past, I had a Super Black Eagle 1 that I never did get along with and sold it off. It wasn't very soft shooting and the stock really didn't seem to fit. It was well made and the new owner is happy, but it didn't work for me. I am hoping that the M2 with the comfort tech stock will really reduce the recoil and it does seem that the newer stock fits better. Benelli really is proud of their guns now though, the super black eagles have gone way up in price since I owned mine. Are they worth the premium?

One of my concerns is choosing between the inertia system and a gas system. I just don't want a gun that is going to knock the bejesus out of me all the time. Does the comfort tech stock really make that much of a difference? Will the gas guns have much better recoil than the benelli? Which one would you choose? Would you choose something different? Thanks.
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Old October 12, 2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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My favorite auto shotguns are the Benelli M-1, Beretta AL-390, and the Remington 11-87 in that order. If on a tight budget I would also include the Stoeger 2000. If you did not like the Super Black Eagle you will not like the M-2 so I would suggest a gas gun. I have no personal experience with the Winchester or Browning but have heard good things about the Winchester.

Any of the gas guns will be softer shooting than the Benelli, although the new stock will help. The Benelli gets the nod for me because it is so much lighter and suits the way I hunt. Most of my duck hunting involves walking long distances to get to beaver ponds. During turkey season I hunt on public land and it also involves walking up to 10 miles a day. If the heavier weight is not a factor to you I think any of the others would be a good choice.
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:40 PM   #3
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jmr is correct on all points +1

To summarize, in two words: gas gun
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:57 PM   #4
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jmr is correct on all points +1

To summarize, in two words: gas gun
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:38 PM   #5
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I shoot a Benelli Montefeltro mostly dove hunting. Before the Benelli, I had a Rem. 1100 which I since passed on to my son. I love the inertia recoil. It will shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger and I haven't had a fail to feed, fail to extract or a fail to fire ever (well over 2000 rounds). I must admit that I don't clean it as often as should either.
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Old October 13, 2008, 02:59 PM   #6
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I've owned several gas guns - Remington 1100's primarily - and test fired some of the newer models for the gas guns a few years ago - Beretta, Browning gold, etc. After doing all that - I bought the Benelli Super Sport with the comfort tech recoil system - and I would buy it again - even though in my area it retails for about $ 1750 - which is a premium over all of the gas guns.

Couple of things I found:

The gas guns shoot really dirty / and although I clean my guns after every trip - to keep the gas guns reliable in a tournament environement, I would clean them after every 100 rounds to make sure they will cycle. The Benelli inertia system shoots significantly cleaner than any of the gas guns - and its a lot faster to thoroughly clean ( take the trigger group, sliding bolt, etc ) and return to battery - but it just isn't very dirty even after 250 rounds - and even in a tournament environment shooting "dirty - throw away shells - like Rio, etc " I've never had it malfunction even in a day shooting 8 - 10 boxes.

We all wear glasses on the range - but I wear prescription lenses - and on all the gas guns, I noticed a lot of "blow by" behind my glasses and into my eyes. I just don't care for it. The inertia gun has no gasses blowing by my eyes.

How quick they cycle - its not scientific, by I find all of the gas guns make me hesitate just a fraction of a second before I can pull the trigger on the 2nd shell. I have a buddy that shoots an 1100 ( as his rain gun ) - and we both think the Remington 1100 is significantly slower to cycle than the Benelli super sport. We both keep our guns clean and well lubed - but in my opinion, the Benelli is faster on 2nd and 3rd shell.

Recoil - I think the Benelli gives about the same felt recoil as a gas gun. The comfort tech system does make a big difference. Without the comfort tech, I think the Benelli is maybe 20% more recoil than a gas gun.

Cycling a variety of shells / a mix of shells in the gun. The gas guns have gotten better at this - but traditionally they were a problem. Contrary to Benelli's literature, that says you need to shoot relatively hot shells, I have tested my Benelli on even 7/8 oz loads and as long as they are 1200 fps or faster ( around 3 dram ) they will cycle just fine.

My Benelli is the super sport, 12ga, 30" barrel. I like the extended chokes that came with the gun / I do find the Crio barrel, with their chokes is about one choke tighter than most of my Over Unders. Its a good versatile gun - I use it on bad weather days - or as a travel gun where I might want to shoot some skeet, do some hunting, etc and I only have to take one gun.

I'm not saying Beretta 391, Browning Gold, Reminton 1100's, etc. are bad guns - they aren't - they're just different.
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Old October 14, 2008, 12:12 AM   #7
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soft shooting are a must
Gas gun.
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Old October 14, 2008, 07:51 AM   #8
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I always learn something from your posts. Your posts are always well thought out, reasoned and thoughtful.

The reason I chimed in about the OP selecting a gas gun is because of his obvious point about softness of recoil.

I do like Benelli/Franchi guns and your points about the Super Sport are right on the mark.

I would like to have one but can't right now. I have two kids in college.
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Old October 15, 2008, 12:56 PM   #9
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Thanks, I appreciate it.

I understand family expenses ... I'm lucky, my kids are all grown .... grandkids aren't that expensive .... It's a nice luxury to be able to buy what I really want in terms of guns / and my wife is very tolerant - even though she really hates guns .... but you'll be there too when the kids are out on their own.

There isn't one right answer to most opinions on guns - and sometimes guys don't even know how to ask because they don't really have enough experience. But I also know I've spent a lot of money on guns over the years that just didn't perform like they should have, didn't fit right, etc. and if I had been able to find someone to counsel me at the time, it would have saved me many thousands of dollars on poor decisions.

I have a son in the Marine Corps - and he was telling me how well the Benelli M-4 was performing in the field ...... so I bought the Super Sport to see if it was really true on the civilian models as well. Then I had a clumsy cycling accident and fractured a shoulder blade - and I just couldn't shoot a 12ga
8 1/2 lb Browing Over Under for sporting clays week in and week out / the Benelli Super Sport helped me shoot, with some advil, while I was recovering that season - especially over a 2 or 3 day tournament - and still put out some heavy loads once in a while. I'm still not a semi-auto shotgun guy - but I do think the Benelli Comfort Tech system is pretty well engineered. In fact, I like it so much, I told my wife last year I needed to buy a 2nd one, for the grandkids, in 20 ga .....damned if she didn't say ok ... Good women are hard to find - get one, and hold onto her - even if she hates guns. Take care.
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