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 Post subject: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 11:14 pm 
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As most of you that read these forums know I am a HUGE fan of the Mossberg 930. When I was at the NWTF convention in Nashville in ’07 the people at the Mossberg booth hinted that there was a 20GA autoloader in the works. I was hopeful, as were a lot of others, that it would be a scaled down 20GA version of the venerable 930. In November, I was lucky enough to see one at one of the distributors here in CT, I was quick to let everyone know that it wasn’t a “920”, but a Mossberg International SA-20. There was, of course, some initial disappointment that Mossberg didn’t make one of their own, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited for some reviews, I waited, and waited, and waited some more….

I have only heard of one person that bought a 28” barreled SA-20 and he was happy with it, but a sample size of one, doesn’t make for a reliable basis for judgement.

Fast forward to March, turkey season is approaching and my son needs a 20GA autoloader (I have a 20GA super bantam model 500 for him, but the light weight of the gun is a disadvantage in terms of recoil). I begin my search, the 20GA Beretta 391 looks really nice, but I can’t justify spending $800+ on a “kid’s gun”. My dealer has had a lot of issues with the Charles Daly semi’s (more 12GA than 20GA, but still…). We were just about settled on a Remington 1100, but, new ones were expensive and used ones are almost impossible to find…

During my search I saw that Mossberg (International) was showing a “Bantam” model of the SA-20, it has a 24" barrel and a 13" LOP, I looked for more reviews and couldn’t find any, so I figured I’d “take one for the team”. I went down and talked with my dealer, he said they weren’t listed in his catalog yet, but he’d see what he could do… I give him some money and 30 days later I get a call from him that it has arrived.

I picked it up and initial impressions are very good!!. The gun is packaged with the barrel off and the overall packaging is really nice, actually better that my 930’s…

The gun comes with 3 drop spacers and 1 spacer for cast, it also comes with 5 choke tubes (the 930 only comes with 3), the choke tubes are packaged in a nice choke tube case with a very nice choke wrench.

The gun is made by www.armsan.com in Turkey, from what I gather they make guns for other makers, too (the Smith & Wesson guns look extremely similar). It is supposedly a copy of a Beretta A30x series, I don’t know Berettas well enough to tell which model, if there’s any Beretta gurus that want to figure it out let me know….

Here are the initial pics, my son and I will be taking it to the range tomorrow, more reviews to follow….

If anyone wants to know something to specific, let me know…

Smitty
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Higher Res photos are in the PHOTO section...

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 5:28 am 
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Thanks for the post/report.Looks pretty good,in the pics I could not tell where the safty is located.
ps....still intrested in trying clays


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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 7:11 am 
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The safety is a traditional cross-bolt safety, just behind the trigger.

Smitty

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 7:38 am 
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Thanks for the review smitty i am really looking forward to see how this one shoots for you. I saw my first one yesterday at a sporting clays field. He was shooing 7/8 federals without a problem. Said it was his third time out with it and he had to initial jams the first time. He estimates 500 rounds out of it. Lets see how it performs for you.

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 8:43 pm 
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First trip to to the range today.

So far so good, 125 rounds, started off with 50 2-3/4" Remington Heavy Dove loads (1oz @ 1165fps), the gun cycled fine with no failures.... we then switched to Winchester "AA" (7/8 oz, 1200fps) we went through three boxes, again no problems...

It shoots very well, my son was hitting most of the targets thrown and never complained once about recoil...

Ok, so here's what I don't like about it so far;

1) The receiver isn't drilled & tapped for scope mounting, I'm going to have to figure something out before next week end...
Anybody know of a scope mount for a 20GA Beretta, it might fit...

2) Loading the magazine is a PITA!!, after you load one in the chamber, you have to press the bolt release button in order to release the elevator so you can load into the mag tube... One of the guys we were shooting with said that this was normal, he shoots a Beretta, I guess I'm just spoiled by the way the 930 loads. I'm sure we'll get used to it, it's just different...

Smitty

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 3:54 pm 
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Thats great to hear that it is performing so well! Yes that is the one thing i don't like about a beretta autoloader it is kind of a pain to do that. Keep us updated smitty.

Do you know what the gun weighs smitty?

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 10:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:30 am
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Location: Pennsylvania
Did you check the point-of-aim?

Did you have to adjust the stock at all?

How was the tear-down and cleaning?

What kind of gas operation is it... 'O' rings???

Thanks for taking the Plunge on this one. Hope you enjoy your PA turkey hunt.

My youngest is the one that like to go shooting with me. He is 10-years old also but needs to eat more mashed potatoes before he does any shotgunning. This might be a good gun for him in a year or so.


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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 7:10 pm 
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Point of Aim was dead on, I used it for the first 50 shells...to break it in, you know... :wink:

I dusted a lot of targets even though the 13" LOP is WAY too short for me.

Tear down and cleaning were a breeze, and NO O-rings!!

We have to go down to Grampa's farm in NE PA in order to take advantage of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program....

I have tried to find a state legislator here in CT that would submit it as a Bill (I would do all of the footwork). I've spoken with six of them fo far and they've all looked at me like I was the devil incarnate for wanting to take my kids hunting.....I wish there was work down in the area of PA where the farm is, if there was we'd already be there!!! (Sorry for the tangent)

Smitty

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:30 am
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I live in South Western PA.

I have three boys and I have just got back into hunting several years ago.

The Mentored Youth Hunting Program is a great thing.

My youngest has been practicing with his .22 Rossi and took his first squirrel and groundhog last fall.

Thanks for the info on the SA-20.

Keep us posted.


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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 8:36 pm 
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Where at in southwest Pa lukeshoot? Im in beaver county.

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 6:18 am 
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I’m in Agony… I mean Allegheny just a few miles north of Pittsburgh.


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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:34 pm 
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Went through another 300 or so shells this past weekend.

I tried some of the Fiocchi "20-Lite" trainer shells just to see if they would work or not.... no surprise, they didn't have enough "umph" to cycle the action...

Other than that, the gun ran well, only had one fail to eject (stovepipe), but that's not bad considering we're at about 750 rounds so far...

It didn't get a turkey this year, maybe next year, if he doesn't outgrow the shotgun too quickly....

Smitty

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:33 pm 
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Smitty,
How's the 920? Still as enthusiastic as you were at first? I've managed to acquire an SKB XL300 for around the same $'s. 20ga in gas is a hoot to shoot!
Cheers,
R*2


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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:53 pm 
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Still going strong...

The turkeys didn't cooperate, though....

The only complaint that I have is that is likes to be "cleaner" than my 930's...

About 250 - 300 rounds between cleanings...

Smitty

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:01 pm 
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For anybody that cares....

I found out that the SA-20 uses 20GA "Benelli-style" choke tubes...

Smitty

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:45 am 
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Smitty,
Good to know, my fixed mod SKB is going well, 42/50 at the clays course this week,,, but too thin a barrel for tube installation. It's gas adjustment system, a screw under the forearm that opens or closes one of the two ports in the barrel, works well. I have managed to locate a "tubed" XL900 in 20ga, but pricey at $700!
Cheers,
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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:05 pm 
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Hey Smitty,

Is the barrel matte or polished blue?

I'm seriously considering getting one before dove season. I checked on the availability of one with a 26" barrel and it wasn't available yet according to my local gun shop. I sure wish they had one clad in walnut.

Thanks!
L'duck <><

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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:38 pm 
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I have one and it's a matte finish on the barrel. The finish has alot to be desired on mine. It had little scuffs and scratches right out of the box. It's going to get beat around quite a bit, so no big deal on that. Mine's only had about 50 rds through it so far, but no failures at all. My wife shot two rds of clays (50 total) without a hitch and that's after I only fired three test shots at home. She actaully started hitting right away and this is really her first time shooting clays. So it must be pretty close to POA.

I'm happy with mine. I have roughly $380 out the door wrapped up in mine.


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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:39 pm 
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I have one and it's a matte finish on the barrel. The finish has alot to be desired on mine. It had little scuffs and scratches right out of the box. It's going to get beat around quite a bit, so no big deal on that. Mine's only had about 50 rds through it so far, but no failures at all. My wife shot two rds of clays (50 total) without a hitch and that's after I only fired three test shots at home. She actaully started hitting right away and this is really her first time shooting clays. So it must be pretty close to POA.

I'm happy with mine. I have roughly $380 out the door wrapped up in mine.

Another note....I emailed Mossberg and asked if they were planning on offering this line in a combo or importing slug barrels and they said they may be doing that in the future if the sales go well! So....come on guys, buy them up so I can get a slug barrel for mine!


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 Post subject: re: Mossberg International - SA-20 - Review + Pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:56 pm 
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As buymore says, matte finish only.... and plastic only, too :(

That's really too bad because I think there is a market for a wood version, like this one from the www.armsan.com website:
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I'd also buy a slug barrel as soon as it's offered!!!

Smitty

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