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Old February 8, 2001, 11:00 AM   #1
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I am in the market for a semi-automatic tactical shotgun. I currently own a Winchester Defender pump. It would mainly be used for home defense. For a good part of my natural life I have lusted after a Benelli M1, but after reading a few threads on another forum about their inherent unreliability, I have questioned that lust. If you have a favorite, tell me which one it is and why you would trust your familie's life with it.
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Old February 8, 2001, 11:07 AM   #2
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Can't say as I have a favorite, but I will say that I didn't particularly like the Benelli M1. There's still a fair bit of recoil and I find the controls to be fiddly. If I'm going to go to an autoloader, I think I'll try the 1187, so as to reduce the recoil.

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Old February 8, 2001, 11:34 AM   #3
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11-87P for me

The 11-87 police with #4 buck is a great home defender. The Bennelli is inertia driven not gas like the 11-87P. Inertia translates to more recoil and the possibility of feeding problems similar to limp wristing a 1911. My vote is for the 11-87P!
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Old February 8, 2001, 12:48 PM   #4
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I've NEVER heard them called "inherently unreliable" before.

I've had one for 8 years, never a hiccup with anything from cheap full power birdshot to slugs and buck from virtually all ammo makers.

I had a sidesaddle on it for a year with no problems, but took it off in favor of a buttcuff for reliability concerns after it was mentioned (actually heavily stressed) in a class. 11-87P would be superior in this department because of its steel receiver, but I've learned to work with the cuff.

I've added a 9 volt surefire dedicated foreend, no problems there. I've heard it affects slug POI, but it didn't on mine.

I took off the pistol grip in favor of a conventional stock to permit smoother transitions to pistol, and found it easier to manipulate the safety.

Lastly, I've heard they are finicky about low powered loads, but I always shoot full power stuff. I saw Brownell's carries low powered spring fits, but that seems like a hassle.

After using my Bennelli for the 8 or so years, it is not, in any way using any criteria, unreliable.

As proof, it is my housegun, and I DO trust my family's life with it every day.
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Old February 8, 2001, 06:53 PM   #5
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OK, everybody get your torches lit!

My vote----the Mossy 9200a1 milspec. It eats EVERYTHING, and is cheaper than an 11-87 (although I lust after one of those!!). The Mossy is simple, reliable, and the safety is in a good location (top).

I have handled M1S90s that had problems cycling the reduced-recoil buck loads. Of course, that was with 14" barrels...

Last, I second the vote for #4Buck. Best buck load, but for HD, birdshot works just fine. I've seen the result of a shooting with #8birdshot at 7 yards....the ultimate weight loss program!!!!! ;D
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Old February 8, 2001, 07:25 PM   #6
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I'll ring in with George on the Jungle Gun(9200A1). It has less recoil than(the memory of) the Benelli I used to have. It is omnivorous, and relatively compact. My quibble is that it does NOT have a free carrier(lifter). This slows down the reloading, or slug-select procedure. But, neither of those operations would be needed in a CQ HD situation anyway.
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Old February 8, 2001, 07:42 PM   #7
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I have a Remington 11-87 SP and a Beretta 1201 FP that I shoot competitively. Neither weapon has been unreliable, although the Remington favors heavier loads because it is a gas operated gun. Several of my shooting partners have Benellis and H&K's also. If you are worried about reliability, stick with your Rem 870 or Moss 500/590 guns. That way, instead of pulling the bolt back, you can cycle the slide. Point is, if you have a jam, or misfire, you need to know how to clear it. Even factory ammo won't go bang sometimes....
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Old February 8, 2001, 09:01 PM   #8
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Jungle Gun

I have a Mossberg Jungle Gun (M-9200A1) and it is loaded with #4 buck with a screw in full choke tube.

Soldier of Fortune loved the gun and gave it an extremely favorable review.

The gun will feed anything and his built like a tank.
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Old February 9, 2001, 09:11 AM   #9
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I'll second the Benelli vote, although the Beretta 1201FP gets a close second.

Per reliability of the Benelli with light loads -- since 1998 when I bought my M1, I have used nothing BUT light loads (all 2.75" birdshot and reduced recoil loads). No hangups whatsoever, even with a Surefire 617F weighing her down.

I've never used the Mossberg 9200 so I won't opine as to that gun.

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Old February 9, 2001, 09:46 AM   #10
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Hey, I'm not saying that the M1 is unreliable but I am saying that inertia based designs can have some issues based on the technology. IMO gas is better. It's no coincidence that the M4, the future choice of the USMC, is gas regulated. Anything that can affect the inertia can affect cycling!

check out

and search for benelli. There's an interesting post about the benelli lifespan and side saddles and cycling.

looking for cover at this time....
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Old February 11, 2001, 02:28 PM   #11
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Nothing unreliable about my Benelli M1 S90 Field. It doubles as a house/grizzly defense gun. As a wilderness defense weapon exposed to weather extremes, I feel better about using a recoil-operated system than I would a gas-operated system. Recoil is only an issue at the range. The real whack is in the wallet when you buy one!
Good Shooting, CoyDog
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Old February 12, 2001, 12:25 AM   #12
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You can't argue with a happy customer, but I have seen enough Benellis that don't work well to make me sour on them. An unmentioned SWAT team I deal with even had a drill they practiced with their M1 S90s. Fire one shot and go for the sidearm. They figured that's all they could depend on with their Benellis. They have since gone to 870s and are very happy.

You pays your money and takes your chances, but if your life may depend on it, I would want to make sure that it's going to work when you need it.
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Old February 12, 2001, 03:25 PM   #13
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Here is my Jungle Gun

This is a lousy picture..

The gun will eat any ammo and is 100% reliable.

My Dad's Super 90 kicks like a horse and will choke on anything that isn't a maximum charge.

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Old February 12, 2001, 06:34 PM   #14
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I've shot a case of shotshells at a time with my Benelli M1 Tactical, and never had any cycling problems as long as I stay with loads 3dr 1 1/8oz or higher. As long as you use full (not reduced) power loads you won't have any problems. If you want to use reduced power loads, just get a lighter spring from Wolff.
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Old February 13, 2001, 12:21 AM   #15
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I just went trough a case of federal reduced tactical slugs, and all ejected perfectly, 1 oz. birdshot is also OK, I think you guys have different shotguns or something because that doesn't sound like any benelli I know of.
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Old February 13, 2001, 08:21 AM   #16
Al Thompson
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I've seen a couple of Benelli's that choked on the Wally World cheap stuff. None that had any problems with better quality loads.

FWIW, I think that the Benelli series is one of the best. I had two but sold both due to tactical considerations and my inability to retrain myself on their systems. Have no qualms about reccommending one for a dedicated HD SG.

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Old February 13, 2001, 11:19 AM   #17
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Once again, I will add my $0.02 and say that owning both a Benelli M3S90 and a Remington 11-87P, my choice is my 11-87P . I like them both and think they are both great SG's, I just choose my 11-87P over the Benelli which is over reated IMHO.

There was in interesting thread over ont he Tactical Forums about this where people with lots of differetn backgrounds talk about this same question. Take a look here:

An important thing to notice is not the quote about slamming the reciever against a door frame but the one about the Louis Awerbuck class. Much the same thing is mentioned in another SG thread over on the 1911 board:
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Old February 13, 2001, 12:45 PM   #18
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I own a Rem 11-87 and a Moss 9200. I use these for hunting, varmit control and target, not for home defense, I have a short barreled pump for that. Both autos have been through several hundred handloads of birdshot, buckshot and slugs. The remington has never, not once, jammed or failed to feed. The 9200 often fails to feed when the action gets dirty, which happens about every 150 rounds. I like the 9200 very much, it's just more sensitive than my 11-87. This may not be the case with the jungle gun 9200 though as there are a few internal differences. Whatever you buy shoot it a lot and learn it's sensitivities before you trust it as a HD gun.
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Old February 13, 2001, 09:21 PM   #19
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I had a 1201 FP which was a fine handling and good shooting gun. I sold it to my brother because I am left handed and I cannot operate right handed semi's properly (I did not want to leave a round in the chamber so the charging lever was clumsy for me)--so I happen to be going back to a pump--I cannot imagine a situation where I would have time to pick the gun up and not have time to rack the slide. Another consideration for a HD weapon is the likelyhood that you be roused to it out of a sound sleep--the last thing you need then is a complex order of arms. The Benneli's and Beretta's are Police guns made to be opertated by fully awake on duty people (at least that is the idea ) They are counter intuitive to operate. One other consideration is aimed rate of fire--a shotgun still should be aimed and the recoil from my 1201FP was enough that the aimed rate of fire was the same as a pump for me.
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Old February 14, 2001, 02:47 AM   #20
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I have a Benelli M3; no hiccups to report here.
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Old February 14, 2001, 07:17 AM   #21
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Bang for the buck?

you are not going to find a smoother, more reliable, ergonomic, lightweight, durable semi auto SG than the Beretta 1201.
it is built by the same hands that the benelli in built by using the same bolt.
chrome bolt and chamber, mag tube cap takedown, 870 type saftey, full lenghth mag tube, rifle or ghost ring sights (trinium fronts optional).
mine has never malfunctioned and I shoot hundreds of low recoil LEO slugs and buck shot.
price was $425
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Old February 14, 2001, 04:46 PM   #22
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Wow, $425 is a great price for a NIB Beretta 1201FP. Dealer cost is somewhere near $380 so you got a real steal. Buddy of mine got one for $459 NIB and I thought he did extremely well, seeing as normal price in my area is $550 and up.

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Old February 18, 2001, 08:42 PM   #23
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Has anyone experienced troubles with the M-9200A1 ?

Good post about the 870 being hte S&W Model 10 of Shotguns. They are good for what they are good for. Rugged, no maintainance, easy to use, easy to clear workhorse tools. But some of use want more
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Old February 18, 2001, 09:19 PM   #24
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There is a poster here who did have some trouble with his A1. Do a thread search for Jungle Gun, and you'll be able to find it.

As for me, I am now looking for another one, as I like it so much. That's the same plan I follow with my HGs, too. A back-up, if you will. My used 870 has some trouble feeding from the magazine, which I hope is a quick fix. And NO, I don't think it is representative of the 870s.
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Old February 19, 2001, 12:24 PM   #25
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A mild disagreement, Nimrod....

An 870 can be used for any game, target or protective function there is, and do the job assigned well. They last incredibly long times, many are on their 3rd generation of owner and will be usable for several generations more.

There may be shotguns out there that are different, but there's none that are more(G)...

Vic, ya wanna talk about those feeding probs? I'm no gunsmith, but maybe I can help...
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