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Old September 1, 2001, 01:41 AM   #1
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Does Beretta still make the 390?

I happened to see one at Wally-World today and (of course) they knew nothing about it. I couldn't find anything about it on Beretta's site, and was just curious what the differences are between the 390 and the newer Urika 391s.

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Old September 1, 2001, 07:25 AM   #2
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Location: NE Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,640

Here are some words of wisdom from the Technoid over at Shotgun report. He is somewhat of a nerd when it comes to Beretta Auto shotguns.

390 or 391?


i have been saving for a 391 urika with a synthetic stock to use for
water fowling for some time and am almost ready to buy. but i saw a
390 in the store for $529. should i buy the 390 and save the money or
wait and spend the extra for the 391?

brian golden, co

Dear Brian,

The short take: The 391 and 390 have slightly different feels, but
mechanically they are equally reliable. Pick the one that feels best
to you.

The long drawn out take: The 390 action has fewer parts and is easier
to clean. The 391 action (in the gas piston area) was designed for a
slimmer forend profile. This necessitated a smaller piston,
relocation of the gas ports and some other changes to the secondary
exhaust valve system. The 391 has been out for a while and all
reports show that it will be just as reliable as the 390.

The 390 has a different shaped stock and forend than the 391. Just
pick the one that feels best. Both are shim adjustable.

The 391s that I have seen are a bit lighter than the 390s of similar
model, but not all that much. The 391 has two extra recoil buffers
built into it, one in the rear of the receiver behind the bolt and
the other inside the forend nut. I never felt that they made the
slightest difference in the recoil feel.

This latter reducer inside the 391 forend nut has been causing some
problems when moisture gets inside and it rusts up, freezing the nut
onto the shaft. Keep the threaded shaft well greased and don't keep
snugging the nut up as you shoot the gun. It doesn't need it and
won't come loose. Just keep it lubed and you'll never have problems.

Personally, I like the feel of the 391 just a little better as I have
always preferred "long and light". Just as many people like to stay
with the 390 for its slightly extra "gravitas", to use a PC word.

Still, a 390 for $529 is a great deal if (big IF) it is the
configuration you want and you aren't settling for something just
because of it's price. A new 391 will cost at least $200 more. That's
a big difference. But it's not enough of a difference to make it
worth buying something that doesn't feel quite right. You'll keep
this gun for a long time. Don't let price be the sole deciding

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

It is my understanding that the 391 has replaced the 390 and the 390 is no longer being made. I could be wrong on this but that is the inpression I have from reading reviews of the 391.

Geoff Ross
I am no longer a member of this forum. Bye!
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Old September 1, 2001, 08:32 AM   #3
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Join Date: April 4, 1999
Location: Mesa Arizona
Posts: 327
I have a Wal Mart Beretta

It lacks several features of the 391 that I feel are noncritical...

Magazine cutout to allow removing shells without cycling through the chamber.


Shims for the stock, but they can be ordered for $10. Mine fits great out of the box.

It does need a recoil pad.

Mine has been flawless from the getgo. I was looking for the bargain Remington 1100s, couldn't find any, and managed to get WalMart to sell me the display Beretta for $450.

It also comes with 3 choke tubes (IC, M, F) which also made the price comparable to the Remington which only came with one, although some are finding 3 in there green box as well.
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Old September 5, 2001, 02:57 PM   #4
Will Beararms
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Location: North Texas
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I just took delivery on an Advantage Camo AL 390 with the 24" barrel new in the box. I like it so well I am buying the matte black version for posterity's sake. A dealer in my area had the camos for $539.00 + tax and the matte blacks for $516.00 + tax. He has sold all of the camos and has a few of the Blacks left. FWIW, it's B&S Guns of Mesquite, TX.

I have been dove hunting with it and have found recoil is zero with low brass Remington #8's. It, to my dismay, is extremely quite even with the 24" barrel. The 24" barrel is killer for quick swinging on the fly. I can't wait to get it into the flooded timber of Arkansas for a real test on a January Duck hunt.

The thing I like about the Beretta Gas-Operated autos is that they have no working parts in the stock like a Benelli. Said parts invaribly rust causing jams when they are drug through the water while hunting flooded timber in chest waders.
"Without a rifle you are nothing, worthless, you are waiting for death, any minute, any second."
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Old September 5, 2001, 03:39 PM   #5
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Umm, Will...

You may want to take a closer look at the stock of your 390. There is a recoil spring in there that is compressed by the connecting rod when the bolt goes back. It will require periodic maintenance.

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Old September 5, 2001, 11:03 PM   #6
Will Beararms
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Join Date: October 12, 1999
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,834
You are correct Bud1. I may leave that Beretta in the boat when I am gathering decoys in the Ouachita River bottoms.

FWIW, I have an Uncle named bud operating a guide service in S. Texas.
"Without a rifle you are nothing, worthless, you are waiting for death, any minute, any second."
-- Aron Bielski
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