The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Dave McCracken Memorial Shotgun Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 1, 2011, 04:45 PM   #1
Join Date: July 9, 2008
Posts: 21
Autoloader shotgun dilemma

I'm in the market for an autoloader, and ordinarily I'd just look for a decent used Browning light 12. But I'm concerned that not being able to handle steel shot in the future will be an issue. But I'm hesitant to go with a Silver hunter due to the aluminum receiver, and gas op maintenance issues. I've also heard that Browning Gold has a steel receiver but should stick with a 3" chamber for reliability. The other option perhaps is just to not spend a bunch of money and buy a Mossberg 930.

Anyone have experience with an inertia driven 12 ga autoloader that will handle steel shot without messing up the choke, and has had no issues with reliability?
SKostas is offline  
Old June 1, 2011, 05:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,897

I have a pair of Benelli Super Sport models - one in 12ga and one in 20ga ...they're both 3" chambers - and can easily handle steel shot ( all you need is a Mod choke ) ....and most any gun will handle steel shot. Benelli makes a number of other models ...super black eagle, etc ..

But unless there is something I don't know about the Browning Silver series - and the Silver Hunter model has a 3" chamber and will handle steel shot with a Mod choke as well. What the receiver is made from is irrelevent...

Browning Silver is available in both 3" and 3 1/2" chambers ....but personally, I've never needed to do anything that a 3" chamber didn't handle just fine. There are a lot of magnum loads these days available in 3" shells.

Today's gas guns really aren't a big maintenance issue / although I prefer the Inertia guns'll find them a lot easier to maintain than old technology like the Rem 1100 or 11-87's or the older Beretta 390's ...not that they were terrible / but todays guns are better.

I prefer Brownings over most other guns / because they fit me - but the 3" chambered Browning Silver hunters in my area retail new for around $ 850 ...and its a lot of gun for the money. To answer your question about the Mossberg semi-auto, no I don't care for them ...but they may be fine.

The Browning Gold is no longer made in a 12ga ...its a 10ga gun only these days / although you may find some old inventory still out there on the 12ga versions.
BigJimP is offline  
Old June 1, 2011, 06:57 PM   #3
Join Date: July 9, 2008
Posts: 21
Thanks, Big Jim- but why do you say the receiver material is irrelevant? I clicked the link above but it didn't seem to clarify. Doesn't a forged steel receiver have a longer life than aluminum, all things being equal? Seems like manufacturers have been moving toward aluminum for price, as in what they did with the BAR's- only the Safari was last made with a steel receiver? And if I found an old gold, would it have a steel receiver?
SKostas is offline  
Old June 1, 2011, 07:55 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: April 12, 2010
Location: Lake Martin, AL
Posts: 2,880
I suspect you will find several good guns out there with aluminum receivers that will fail due to other issues long before the receiver shows any sign of failure. I also believe you will be able to use an aluminum receiver auto your entire life-time without having the receiver fail.

Although, if it makes you feel better then you should seek out what you want. It is akin to some folks liking all steel pistols vs. newer pistols with sythetic components.

I like wood furniture on my rifles and shotguns, but it does not mean rifles and guns with sythetic stocks are not just as good if not more durable.

Just my opinion.
lamarw is offline  
Old June 1, 2011, 08:29 PM   #5
the rifleer
Senior Member
Join Date: March 5, 2008
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 1,273
The steel receiver lasting longer than an aluminum receiver is bogus. You would have to shoot it like Tom Knapp for years for it to matter at all. I prefer an aluminum receiver, its lighter and works just as well.

Don't forget that they make fully automatic rifles with aluminum receivers
There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people.
the rifleer is offline  
Old June 2, 2011, 01:10 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: May 14, 2008
Posts: 108
Get one of the old Browning autoloaders with the AccuChoke on the end. They've screwed up the choke so you don't have to!
notamisfit6 is offline  
Old June 2, 2011, 12:01 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,897
About the only issue on alloy receivers vs steel - is they tend to scratch a little easier. With today's technology / its hard to make an argument that a steel receiver is stronger than an alloy / or that an alloy receiver won't last as long as a steel receiver. Shotguns are meant to be used ...but not abused either ../so I think you'll find it'll hold up pretty well.

But one issue - is weight. The heavier the gun / the less recoil you will get. Increasing the weight of a shotgun about 1 lb will reduce recoil around 20% ( depending on the load, etc ) ...but its a factor. Of course the heavier a gun is, the tougher it is to carry all day too its a trade off.

Browning silver - depending on model you might pick is around 7 1/2 lbs its heavy enough. In terms of swing characteristics ...really light guns, under 7 lbs especially, tend to be realy "whippy" vs "smooth swinging guns" each of us has a preference in terms of weight. I like my field guns around 8 or 8 1/2 lbs ...

I would certainly stay with a choice that has screw in changeable chokes...and all of the guns you're looking at, or new guns anyway, will have that. I think for around $ 800 - $900 the Browning silver gives you a lot of gun for the money / but if you find a Browning gold in a 12ga at a good price I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as well. I know a buddy of one of my son's found a new in box Browning gold 12ga a few months ago for around
$ 700 so there are still a few out there. I would also stay with a 28" barrel on most any semi-auto / unless it gets down to around 7 lbs ...then I tend to go for a 30" barrel on it, if its available.
BigJimP is offline  
Old June 2, 2011, 12:43 PM   #8
Junior member
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
Another gun to consider is the Beretta semi - either the 391 or the A400 series. The A400 Xplor has 3-1/2" chambers.
oneounceload is offline  
Old June 2, 2011, 01:26 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: April 15, 2009
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 573
Take a look at the Browning Maxus.

I bought one last year. I take it to the skeet range and shoot 2 3/4in #8s out of it..125 rounds each time I go. I can then take it out the next weekend and put 3in #2s through it for ducks and 3.5in BB for geese. It doesn't know the difference. Cycles great no matter what.

It is also real easy to break down and clean
My idea of fast food is a mallard.
-Ted Nugent
Deerhunter is offline  
Old June 2, 2011, 03:54 PM   #10
Join Date: July 9, 2008
Posts: 21
Thanks, everyone- I'll let you know how it turns out !
SKostas is offline  
Old June 2, 2011, 03:59 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,897
and no matter what ....have fun with the process !!!
BigJimP is offline  
Old June 2, 2011, 04:28 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: December 18, 2010
Location: South Central Pa
Posts: 692
Im kinda in the same spot and have narrowed it down to the SBEII and the Beretta 400 Xplor, not sure if you looked at either but for what I want Ive searched them all and these 2 appear the best
pabuckslayer08 is offline  
Old June 2, 2011, 05:23 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,897
just to be devils advocate ....but Best for what ....??

Remember picking a shotgun is about "Fit" it hits where you look !! What "Fits" me...may not "fit" you ... A knowledgeable gunsmith / once told me that most shotguns off the rack maybe 30% of the shooters that buy them !! ...and the stock dimensions for length of pull, drop at comb and drop at heel ...are not the same for all mfg's or even among all the models within one mfg's line of guns ....

After you're figured out "Fit" ....then its barrel length, chamber length, durability, finishes, etc ...

Benelli Super Black Eagle II and the Beretta Xplor are both fine guns ...but Best ?? ...I don't know / not for me anyway ...because neither of them fit me without major stock adjustments or changes.

Browning Maxus is a gun that Deerhunter mentioned above ...and there are several models...but its another semi-auto that Browning makes that is getting very good reviews ..../its another alloy receiver ...

sounds like I'm pimping for Browning - but I'm not .../ the only semi-autos I personally own are a pair of Benelli Super Sport models ( carbon fibre stocks, parallel combs ) one in 12ga and one in 20ga ...but for a new one in my area that's an $ 1,800 gun and not in the OP's budget .../ they've met my needs for a good durable backup sporting clays, hunting gun, travel gun, rain gun ...100% .

Last edited by BigJimP; June 2, 2011 at 05:31 PM.
BigJimP is offline  
Old June 5, 2011, 09:37 AM   #14
Join Date: July 9, 2008
Posts: 21
OK, I drooled for the prerequisite time at the Maxus sporting, with its high grade wood/finish, engraving, quick-release forearm for easier cleaning. Then I bought an old stock Gold SL Hunter 3" chamber 26" bbl NIB on Gunbroker for $699. It doesn't have the finish of the Maxus or even Silver- it looks like the receiver has decals on it. But then, I won't lose sleep if it gets some wear and tear or a scratch or two. And my two young boys will be needing shotguns as they get a bit older.

And, good thing I saw it before I found out they're selling Baikals here in the US again. But at least that should solve what would have likely been an O/U dilemma
SKostas is offline  
Old June 5, 2011, 04:27 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: June 16, 2005
Location: AZ
Posts: 2,808
The reason an aluminum receiver is mostly irrelevant is due to modern shotgun design. Most modern repeating shotguns are designed so that bolt locks directly to the barrel. This means that the receiver is really only a shell for the action, and only has to be strong enough not to deform under recoil.

Most shotguns should be able to fire steel shot as long as the choke is open enough.
kozak6 is offline  
Old June 5, 2011, 06:52 PM   #16
Junior member
Join Date: June 23, 2009
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 2,149
A possible problem with alloy receivers arises when attaching a sidesaddle to it. I have seen posts where Mossbergs were deformed by over tightening sidesaddle screws. I don't know if the receivers were alright once the tension on the screws was reduced. Whether this should be attributed to a design flaw in the Mossberg or to the idiot that overightened the screw is not for me to say.
TheKlawMan is offline  
Old June 7, 2011, 06:25 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: January 5, 2010
Posts: 514
The alloy reciever on the Silver will hold up just fine. My youngest shoots one for targets and hunting. Hes put several thousand rounds thru it without a hickup. The browning gas system is one of the easiest to maintain that Ive seen. The only complaint I have is the Silvers are a little light, but a Break O weight fixed that.
Big Jim the Super Sport stocks aren't carbon fiber, they're plastic with a carbon fiber dip.
LSnSC is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:24 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08268 seconds with 9 queries