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 Post subject: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:19 am 
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What are the differences and similarities between theses models? Are most of the parts (same gauge of courseJ interchangeable such as barrels, bolts and gas pistons. I have an AL2 20ga and 302 12ga and am on the lookout to pick up others and wondering how interchangeable common parts are?



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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:45 am 
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I had a similar question some time ago and here’s a response I received.

The 300s are generally interchangeable, but not all parts. The Browning B80 had an Aluminum (AL) model that is NOT compatible with the steel model Beretta for many pieces. Learned the hard way $$$.
The 303 barrels have the mobil chokes where the 301 & 302 models do not. The Browning B80 barrels can be used on the Berettas, but those barrels use the invicta chokes.

I have also heard that some parts of a 391 model are interchangeable.

I’m sure someone with more knowledge will respond in greater detail as to the interchangeable parts. I hope this helps you out a little until someone else chimes in.


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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:53 pm 
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I think that this topic has been covered in several threads over the years. Try a search.


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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:40 pm 
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If your not able to find any information here you could visit these sites and between them you should be able to see what parts are compatible. It may take a while to go through, but it will help. The first site will show what compatible models the part will fit with out having to look at each model to see if the part is the same.
https://www.omps2.it/en/ And gunpartscorp.com. The first I believe is connected with Coles guns. You could also email or call and ask them colesfinegun.com (800) 650-2653. They have been very helpful when I had questions and with orders.

Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:24 pm 
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marshfield wrote:
I think that this topic has been covered in several threads over the years. Try a search.

Thanks. Maybe I need some tips on using search. I entered AL2 301 302 303 in Beretta forum and no results. I tried adding word like similar and different but no results

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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:45 am 
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Wally Resibell (ACSS) on Trapshooters is an expert on old beretta semiauto parts. He sells and salvages all of the 300-391 series.


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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:03 am 
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https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=287656

Seamus O'Caiside wrote:
The earlier 30x models (A300, 301, AL-1, AL-2) came in either a standard model (2 3/4") or a Magnum model (3"). The Magnum action was beefed up a bit (ejector, ejector spring, recoil spring) and the ejection port may have been a little longer, although in the ones I have measured there isn't much difference. The Magnum model would cycle OK with heavy 2 3/4" loads, but not with lighter loads such as most target ammo. How light a load would work varies a bit from one gun to another. I have an A301 Magnum that will just barely cycle with Rio 1 1/8 oz target loads, but not with Rio 1 oz loads. If you have a Magnum and want to shoot lighter loads you need a second barrel, with 2 3/4" chamber. If you have a 2 3/4" gun and want to shoot 3" loads, you are out of luck - get a second gun.

Beginning with the A302, all receivers were the Magnum type, so you could use a barrel of either chamber length on any receiver. However, you still need two barrels, unless you stick to fairly heavy loads when you shoot 2 3/4" shells in a 3" barrel. Never try to shoot 3" shells in a 2 3/4" barrel - potentially dangerous!

So the short answer is, the A301 will take 3" shells ONLY if it is an A301 Magnum and has a barrel with a 3" chamber.

First question, re: differences between A301 and A302.
1. All 302 receivers are "magnum" type as discussed above.
2. 302 has a magazine cutoff lever on the right side of the receiver.
3. The 302 was available with interchangeable choke tubes, drop-in type with a screw-on collar to hold the tube in place.

Some early 303's also used the 302-type cutoff lever on the receiver. Trigger groups designed for use with the cutoff lever will not interchange with other models.

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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:05 am 
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Try this, Pullandmark, open your preferred search engine (Google, Bing, whatever) and type in something like "Beretta 300 series compatibility on shotgunworld". I just pulled up pages of hits.


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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 6:13 am 
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Colt99 wrote:
I had a similar question some time ago and here’s a response I received.

The 300s are generally interchangeable, but not all parts. The Browning B80 had an Aluminum (AL) model that is NOT compatible with the steel model Beretta for many pieces. Learned the hard way $$$.
The 303 barrels have the mobil chokes where the 301 & 302 models do not. The Browning B80 barrels can be used on the Berettas, but those barrels use the invicta chokes.


No Beretta's had steel receivers. The Browning B-80 (made when Browning and Beretta were corporate partners) was made with both a steel and an alloy receiver in both 12 and 20 gauge.

Browning B-80's were made with fixed chokes and "standard Invector" chokes which is the Win-choke thread. Beretta 302's came with fixed chokes or the original Mobil choke, shown below.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:01 am 
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Need a chart, models across the top, parts along the left side.

Eg:

301 302 303 304 390

Stock

Forend

End Cap

Barrel

Action Bar

Bolt Assembly

Gas piston

Trigger group

Recoil Spring

Recoil Tube

Shims


Etc.....


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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:13 am 
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Pullandmark wrote:
I have an AL2 20ga and 302 12ga and am on the lookout to pick up others and wondering how interchangeable common parts are?


Not very: they are all different models, after all. Not even 303 parts interchange with 303's as a matter of course. I've had 303's with three different receiver types and three different forearm designs.

The good thing is 302's, 303's, and B-80's don't break and you won't need much in the way of parts. B-80 / 302 / 303 barrels all interchange, but they are hardly all identical. Browning along had three different port configurations: one on the 2-3/4 in., one on the 3 inch, and yet another one on the "Plus" barrel.

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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:43 am 
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I think that the best answer is that ALL of those models (301, 302, and 303) were an assortment of innovations and changes in an attempt to achieve easy changeability of chokes, easy interchangeability of shell length, and increased reliability across the board with ALL of these changes. And they finally got it right with the NEXT model of Beretta which was the 390. The 390 was the high water mark.

All the models after the 390 were simply tweaks in an attempt to sell more shotguns by making the 390 APPEAR to be outdated so that they could sell a new gun to the gullible buyers. Also, cost cutting changes were often made on the newer models in order to increase their profit margins. As a result, the buying public ended up paying more money for a cheapened quality gun. All of these changes made perfect business sense for the Beretta company, but they did nothing for the buyer except to extract more money from their wallet for a lesser quality product.

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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:31 pm 
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Pullandmark wrote:
What are the differences and similarities between theses models? Are most of the parts (same gauge of courseJ interchangeable such as barrels, bolts and gas pistons. I have an AL2 20ga and 302 12ga and am on the lookout to pick up others and wondering how interchangeable common parts are?


If you aren't careful, you'll be on the old pawnshop path to the Frankengun.

Image

The Garcia-imported AL-2 was not well-received and the AL-2 and AL2 Magnum did not have interchangeable parts: different receivers, ejectors, springs, barrels, etc. Getting a few old Beretta / Browning autoloaders, taking them apart, and playing mix and match is not my idea of a good time. It is a recipe for disaster. If you find and like an as-new old Beretta, have fun with it as is.

By now, even the 303 / Browning B-80 parts have dried up. Browning B-80 forearms and Beretta 303 forearms don't work on the other. Today, it is hard to find 3 inch chambered barrels for either that haven't been screwed up. 1988 was 33 years ago, and that's when the last B-80's were assembled. The 20 gauges are worse in that regard than the 12 gauges, as comparatively few were made.

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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:45 pm 
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Ulysses wrote:
All the models after the 390 were simply tweaks in an attempt to sell more shotguns by making the 390 APPEAR to be outdated so that they could sell a new gun to the gullible buyers. Also, cost cutting changes were often made on the newer models in order to increase their profit margins. As a result, the buying public ended up paying more money for a cheapened quality gun. All of these changes made perfect business sense for the Beretta company, but they did nothing for the buyer except to extract more money from their wallet for a lesser quality product.


That's a pretty cynical view, as if buyers don't have many other choices. Actually, the 391's were far more costly to make than the 390's, but they had severe problems: bad bolt buffers, cracked gas pistons, the well-known shell lifter problem, etc. No one yet has been able to explain the wacky 391 forearm nut.

The best Beretta's were the 303's and Browning B-80's with 2-3/4 inch chambers as far as I'm concerned: simple and essentially bullet-proof. It is the obsession with light loads, helped along by steel shot mandates, etc., that complicated things.

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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:32 am 
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Some owners of the 3 inch magnums had one or both of the gas ports opened to shoot 2 3/4 light loads.


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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:50 am 
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RandyWakeman wrote:
Ulysses wrote:
All the models after the 390 were simply tweaks in an attempt to sell more shotguns by making the 390 APPEAR to be outdated so that they could sell a new gun to the gullible buyers. Also, cost cutting changes were often made on the newer models in order to increase their profit margins. As a result, the buying public ended up paying more money for a cheapened quality gun. All of these changes made perfect business sense for the Beretta company, but they did nothing for the buyer except to extract more money from their wallet for a lesser quality product.


That's a pretty cynical view, as if buyers don't have many other choices. Actually, the 391's were far more costly to make than the 390's, but they had severe problems: bad bolt buffers, cracked gas pistons, the well-known shell lifter problem, etc. No one yet has been able to explain the wacky 391 forearm nut.

That kind of confirms my point. For models after the 390, the buyer ended up paying more money for a lesser quality gun (and perhaps less desirable design).


The best Beretta's were the 303's and Browning B-80's with 2-3/4 inch chambers as far as I'm concerned: simple and essentially bullet-proof. It is the obsession with light loads, helped along by steel shot mandates, etc., that complicated things.

I'll grant you that the 303 was simple and reliable provided that your ammo choices were something that the gun liked because the 303 had no compensating gas system to automatically adjust from light 2 3/4" target loads to 3" magnums and everything in between.

With the 303, you had to purchase a different barrel if you wanted to shoot magnum loads. Also, the really light 2 3/4" target loads might not function well even in the 2 3/4" chambered barrels. Additionally, the 303 stock adjustment shims changed drop only, but not cast. So if you needed a different cast on your stock, you either had to "jerry rig" the cast shims or modify (cut) your stock.

The 303 was a good gun and the best of the 301, 302, 303 series, but it lacked several very desirable features found standard on the 390. That's why I said the 390 was the high water mark for the Beretta autos.



Edit: My comments are in BLUE inside of Randy's post.

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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 4:11 pm 
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I've had many examples of both. I prefer the B-80 based primarily on the stock . .. and I don't need cast shims. The Beretta 304 had cast shims, but was the 303 action. The most successful repeaters of all time (Model 12, 870, A-5, 1100) have no cast shims, nor does the Beretta 686 or Browning Citori. Most people don't need them and if you do, a stock fitting takes care of it.

It takes less time to change a barrel on a B-80 than to change a choke tube. No drama here. "Features" are only good if you want them or use them . . . I don't, so they are meaningless to me.

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Last edited by RandyWakeman on Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:43 pm 
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Anybody regularly successfully using the currently popular 3/4 oz. "Light" 20 gauge reloads in a pre-390 Beretta or B 80?


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 Post subject: Re: AL2 301 302 303 what’s the difference?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:32 pm 
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As an observer, my impression is Beretta has been a bit too
inclined to offer different models. I know they are good, and
I have an A300 Outlander, which I believe they ought to stick
with for quite a few years, seems to be a fairly simple good
reliable design, and is priced so it will sell.

All in all, I have to admit they must be doing something right,
being in business since 1526. I think that is a pretty good
testament to why companies should remain private. Once
they decide to become corporate, they seem to go pretty
much to hell. I have been to their factory in Gardone Val
Trompia. I used to go to that town a lot when I lived in Italy.
I loved the place, and the people there. I skied there in
the winter, they had a really nice ski slope. My first two
kids are Italian, yea, they were born there while I lived
in Italy.




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