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 Post subject: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:52 pm 
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I just got like new Beretta A390.
I have also a A390ST, the difference that I can see that the wood on the A390 is plane [wood on the ST is better ] and that the metal and crome on it [A390]has like a matt finish. Any other difference between them that I did not/cannot see ??
I know that the AL390 [that I also have] is lighter than the A390ST by about 4oz .
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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Smoke, if I am not terribly off track, the ST guns were early variants. As for the weight, I also believe that they were steel receivers also, as opposed to aluminium. Hope this helps. Josh


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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:13 am 
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All A390ST models are aluminum.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:16 am 
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Mr.Wakeman, did Beretta ever made a semi-auto with a steel receiver other than some B-80 for Browning ??


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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:54 pm 
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It is a good trivia question and I don't have the answer.

Beretta is fairly new to autoloaders, the AL-1 came out around 1969 and it was alloy. The 302 came out around 1982 and it was the first Beretta autoloader of any consequence as far as the U.S. goes, an even then it was fairly muted by the Browning B-80 from 1981-1988.

The 303 came out around 1987; prior to that Beretta autos were largely ignored in the U.S.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:11 pm 
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Randy, can you please tell me the difference between the AL390, and the A390ST? I was told a long time ago that they were steel. I stand corrected. However, back when I owned and shot several AL390 sportings, the ST guns were markedly heavier. Somewhere there is a difference. Where is Seamus when you need him!

Also, let's not forget about the AL2's. They were good guns, and they sold decently well. I still have a 20 that runs like a top. Josh


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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:18 pm 
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htsmoke wrote:
... did Beretta ever made a semi-auto with a steel receiver other than some B-80 for Browning ??
Yes, but not in the 300 series.

Before the A300, first of the series, there were two closely related models, sold in Europe as the models 60 and 61, and sold in the US as the Silver/Gold Lark. They had steel receivers. They were only in production for a few years before they were replaced by the A300 and A301 (sold in the US as AL-1/2/3).

All of the 300 models had aluminum alloy receivers. As you noted, some of the Browning B-80's made by Beretta had steel receivers.

Beretta has made a few other semiautomatic models (1200, etc) that did not sell in large numbers, and I am not familiar with them.

I don't have any figures on how many of each model in the 300 series Beretta sold, but I am constantly amazed at how many AL-2's are put up for sale on gunbroker.com . There must be a lot of them out there in the hinterlands.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Primarily, the magazine cap. That's most of the weight difference. To add more confusion to the matter, some A390ST models came with alloy mag caps, as opposed to steel. I've acquired A390ST's both ways.

The AL-2, 302, and B-80 all share the same action, the barrels are interchangeable, etc. The AL-2 and the 302 are the same gun.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Seamus,

It is an open question whether Beretta made the receivers for the B-80 or no. The barrels, yes, but no one seems to know about the receivers. The 1200 / 1201 was an inertia gun, aka the "Pintail." http://www.gunsreview.com/shotguns/beretta/pintail.html

The bull was flowing even back then, as "100% of the gases are concentrated behind the shot wad for extra power and range."

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:38 pm 
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The L in AL390 means light.

I'm not sure what the ST means. I think I read on SGW that it stands for the Italian equivalent of "semiautomatic", so that designation could be applied to any of the 390's, but often was omitted. The heavy models you recall may have been the target versions, which are usually heavier than field versions. But I'm really just guessing about that.

Randy, the AL-2 is actually closer to the A301. I think it is basically a 301 with some cosmetic differences that were specified by the US importer, Garcia. The 302 came later, and is characterized by the side-lever cutoff and drop-in choke tubes.

After Garcia went bankrupt, Beretta imported their guns themselves, sometimes under the name of Berben Corp, before Beretta USA was formed. The AL-2 was replaced by the A301 until the A302 came out.

Some aftermarket choke tube makers use the term Ber/Ben in reference to tubes that fit the Beretta Mobilchoke system and its equivalent Benelli system. That is not the same as the Berben Corp. Berben Corp was originally formed as a partnership between Beretta and Bennett Galef, the "son" in Galef and Son, who were the US Beretta importers before Garcia. Apparently Berben Corp never was used for anything before Bennett Galef died and Garcia became the importer. The name was briefly revived by Beretta after Garcia.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:50 pm 
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The "ST" meant Sparatutto or "SparaTutto" which was a loose way of saying "Shoots All."

The distinction was that, unlike the prior 300 series gas guns, you could shoot 2-3/4 in. - 3 inch loads interchangeably, no buying two barrels or a "magnum" barrel.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:08 pm 
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I stand corrected. My memory is just as short as ... :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:12 pm 
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FWIW, I bought a new 1971 vintage AL-2 last year, and the owner's manual was for the 300.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:16 pm 
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It could also mean "Seamus Tutto" for that matter. :shock:

Tutto is derived from Latin, http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tutto so who knows-- perhaps an Italian doctor named it.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:07 pm 
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papaac wrote:
FWIW, I bought a new 1971 vintage AL-2 last year, and the owner's manual was for the 300.
Yes, and I think they were using the same A300 owner's manual for the A301's that were being sold in the UK and other countries at that time.

As best I can figure it out, the differences between A300, A301, AL-1, and AL-2 were actually just cosmetics and options (vent rib or not, patterns of the impressed "engraving", etc). IOW, they are really just different grades of a single model. Beretta continued to make A300's as plain-jane entry level guns long after the A301 came out. During the time the A300/A301/AL-1/AL-2 was in production, there were a few tiny changes in design (different shape to the feet on the bolt, for example) but those changes were not introduced at the same times as the name changes.

The 302 and 303 had a few more mechanical differences, but they were still just variations on the old standard design. The biggest changes in the line came with the gas valves of the 390 and 391, but most of the gun remained unchanged even then. Bolts, trigger groups, and many other parts are interchangeable through the entire series.

In my view, the entire 30x/39x series represents an evolution of a single design - an extremely long-lived and commercially successful design.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:55 pm 
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Maybe my memory fails me at the ripe old age of 39. It seems that there were some 390's that were distinctly heavier than the rest. Also, I didn't specify, but all that I owned were of the Sporting flavor.

About 20 years ago, I used to work at one of the biggest gun stores in Houston. We sold a lot of Berettas. Tons in fact. About that time frame, I am not sure what Beretta was doing, but it was pretty wild. It would seem that they would show up to work, with the attitude of, "we are building guns today". Whatever parts were available, was what got built. Meaning, whenever we got shipments in, there was no telling what they would look like. I've seen all the 68X guns, and 390's, in just about every configuration you could dream. Gloss wood, matte wood, blued steel, matte steel, 6mm ribs, 10mm ribs, Strada ribs, tapered ribs. Anybody remember the colored dots on the boxes? Denoted stock drop, as I recall. I seem to remember, blue, green, and red.

In the end, I am sure that there are a lot of guns, that don't "follow" the spec book, as we know it.


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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:47 am 
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My understanding of what the "ST" means is steel. But, it's not the receiver, it's the magazine tube. When they changed to the "AL", they changed the magazine tube to aluminum. I have an early 390ST and it has the steel tube.


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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:53 am 
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H&H, that comment is very interesting to me. Beretta must have a very long tradition of using up whatever parts happen to be on hand. I have seen examples of that going back before the time frame you are talking about. Their catalog specs may represent most of the guns in a model, but individual guns with off-spec combinations of features are fairly common.

When you buy a Beretta, if details like finishes, ribs, etc are important to you, you have to examine the individual gun before you buy, not just rely on the published specs for that model. What you see is what you get. :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:04 am 
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I owned a 390ST sporting, made in 1995. It had an aluminum receiver and a steel magazine tube. Don't know if ST was an acronym for steel tube...or any of the Italian words previously suggested.

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 Post subject: Re: 12ga BERETTA A390 VS A390ST
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:52 am 
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nwtapingtools wrote:
My understanding of what the "ST" means is steel. But, it's not the receiver, it's the magazine tube. When they changed to the "AL", they changed the magazine tube to aluminum. I have an early 390ST and it has the steel tube.

You are correct in that they went from a steel to aluminum in the mag tube and the forend cap when they added the L (light), but I don't think it follows that the ST meant "steel". There would be no reason to designate the material until after the aluminum was introduced, and apparently the ST designation was used before the AL was introduced. WinM12 says above that his 390ST was made in 1995, and Wilson "The World of Beretta" says the A390 was "first listed in the 1994 catalog", and the AL390 was introduced in 1996. (I think all Beretta dates have to be taken with a grain of salt, as the sources I have seen do not agree with each other.)

Putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 5, my guess is that the ST designation applied to all of the A390 but was often omitted and was dropped when the AL390 was introduced.

I like Randy's translation of ST - it means "Seamus Tutto". Well, maybe not ... "SparraTutto" probably. :lol:



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