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 Post subject: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:56 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:03 pm
Posts: 119
Let me start by saying that I don't have plans on shooting registered Sporting Clays. I was intialy going to buy an O/U 20 gauge for casual Sporting Clays (along side of my trusty Montefeltro Super 90 20 gauge). But....... I have got tons of NEW 12 gauge target shells & reloads from my old trapshooting days with no 12 gauge target gun to shoot. So.... I am contemplating purchasing a soft shooting 12 g autoloader. I understand that Beretta's rule the SC courses & I assume its because of proven reliabilty. I hate the "fake wood" & smurf blue on the A400 Xcels, and if I find a 390/391 Urika the gas system is more complicated than the 400, plus what the going prices are for used is high IMHO. (I realize that I can upgrade to the A400 Xcel Black, but then there is the "under engineered" roll pin on the carbon fiber rib, & when paying $2000+ for an auto this shouldn't be an issue) I have read many positive things about the Fabarm XLR5 & L4S, & from a "build quality" standpoint I believe that they use superior machining, hardening, coatings & parts compared to the Berettas (plus a much simplier gas system). Also Fabarm customer service is known to be "top notch", Plus I can get real wood on the higher grade models. And last, but not nessasarily least, is the Browning Maxus Sporting with real wood. I like the looks of the Maxus very much.

Price wise, the Fabarm will be over $2 K

The A400 Xcel & Maxus will be under $2K.

I don't have anywhere to demo these that I know of in sw, PA.

Inputs !




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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:29 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 5715
Fabarm prices have plunged on the XLR used models. Wouldn't touch one new. Beretta A 400's are scarce right now, Covid has hit Italy hard. Beretta is only shipping 694's and A300's. Most used 390/391 are beat to death and they want top dollar.


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:39 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:29 pm
Posts: 2746
Location: Central Maine
You can get a standard A400 smurf coated black and avoid the carbon fiber. I have one like this that has been an awesome gun. Over 20K rounds through it.

I shot 391’s for several years and over 50K rounds. Gas system is no big deal to keep running well

For simplicity and value though an A300 sporting is pretty hard to beat for casual use.

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CG Summit Sporting
Beretta A400 Excel "Black" Cole Special
Browning Citori Crossover Target

NSCA 602398


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:47 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:03 pm
Posts: 119
dpe2002 wrote:
You can get a standard A400 smurf coated black and avoid the carbon fiber. I have one like this that has been an awesome gun. Over 20K rounds through it.

I shot 391’s for several years and over 50K rounds. Gas system is no big deal to keep running well

For simplicity and value though an A300 sporting is pretty hard to beat for casual use.


Are the A300 Sportings gas system as complicated as the 390/391/Urika/Urika 2 ?
If mechanical parts do fail on the A300, can I replace with "premium Beretta" or aftermarket parts from Cole Gun ?

I see that they do come with a "real" wood stock, which I like.

Thanks !


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:51 pm 
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Location: Kansas
Fabarm L4S Sporting, and don’t look back. The gun oozes quality and is built like a Ferrari.

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"We pulled the trigger, the safety went forward, both barrels fired almost together, the gun opened, ejectors kicked the fired cases over our shoulder ...the most completely automatic gun we ever fired" Elmer Keith- Shotguns by Keith


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 4:00 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:29 pm
Posts: 2746
Location: Central Maine
johnnie g wrote:
dpe2002 wrote:
You can get a standard A400 smurf coated black and avoid the carbon fiber. I have one like this that has been an awesome gun. Over 20K rounds through it.

I shot 391’s for several years and over 50K rounds. Gas system is no big deal to keep running well

For simplicity and value though an A300 sporting is pretty hard to beat for casual use.


Are the A300 Sportings gas system as complicated as the 390/391/Urika/Urika 2 ?
If mechanical parts do fail on the A300, can I replace with "premium Beretta" or aftermarket parts from Cole Gun ?

I see that they do come with a "real" wood stock, which I like.

Thanks !


Coles supports the Beretta autoloaders very well. Lots of available parts and their service is top notch if you need it. To be honest though in all the use mine have had, I broke a connecting rod on the 391 late in ownership so lots of volume thru it and a piston ring on the A400 but that was my fault.

I believe the gas system on A300 is similar to the 391. Reliable and durable. Not overly complicated but do take some time to keep clean.

_________________
CG Summit Sporting
Beretta A400 Excel "Black" Cole Special
Browning Citori Crossover Target

NSCA 602398


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 4:53 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:03 pm
Posts: 119
casonet wrote:
Fabarm L4S Sporting, and don’t look back. The gun oozes quality and is built like a Ferrari.


I agree 100% about the quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2020 4:56 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:03 pm
Posts: 119
dpe2002 wrote:
johnnie g wrote:
dpe2002 wrote:
You can get a standard A400 smurf coated black and avoid the carbon fiber. I have one like this that has been an awesome gun. Over 20K rounds through it.

I shot 391’s for several years and over 50K rounds. Gas system is no big deal to keep running well

For simplicity and value though an A300 sporting is pretty hard to beat for casual use.


Are the A300 Sportings gas system as complicated as the 390/391/Urika/Urika 2 ?
If mechanical parts do fail on the A300, can I replace with "premium Beretta" or aftermarket parts from Cole Gun ?

I see that they do come with a "real" wood stock, which I like.

Thanks !


Coles supports the Beretta autoloaders very well. Lots of available parts and their service is top notch if you need it. To be honest though in all the use mine have had, I broke a connecting rod on the 391 late in ownership so lots of volume thru it and a piston ring on the A400 but that was my fault.

I believe the gas system on A300 is similar to the 391. Reliable and durable. Not overly complicated but do take some time to keep clean.


Appreciate the info. I'm gonna keep reading/learning what I can about all 3 of the autos & will probably buy right after the new year.


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:37 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:46 pm
Posts: 127
Location: midwest
Surprised no mention of Remington 1100 or Winchester Super X1. Please don’t tell me they are obsolete.

I have a Beretta Tekneys 391. The gun fits me extremely well, partly because of the adjustable comb. I also own an 1100 and a Super x. Each handle differently, swing differently, balance point different, etc. Buying a “new” gun isn’t mandatory. I would venture there are actually very few guns that are “shot out.”

The most important thing is gun fit. Just about any gun you buy is gonna go bang when you pull the trigger. Find one that fits you and shoots where you’re looking.


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:17 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:37 am
Posts: 19
[quote]/quote]Fabarm L4S Sporting, and don’t look back. The gun oozes quality and is built like a Ferrari.

I am not sure being built like a Ferrari is a plus! :lol:

My hunting gun is a 3 1/2" Maxus, it has functioned with any shell I feed it. I bought it new for less than $1000 3 years ago. I would shoot it on a clay course except I reload and save hulls.


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 6:31 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:40 am
Posts: 206
Location: Western Jersey
Give Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays a call. I was able to demo the A400 and L4S Sporting. I own a Maxus Sporting. Each gun has a very different feel. The L4S is a really nice gun in all aspects.


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 6:58 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 9:07 pm
Posts: 2326
Have had many, many different autos over the past 50 years and IMO, the 391's and variants of it were the best for me regarding field and sporting clays but I didn't like the cleaning aspect of them.

Became weary of a group of Perazzis that were constantly requiring pit stops and it was becoming a nuisance and getting to be expensive so I sold them. Purchased a L4S Sporting 30" and really it's the best of the bunch for me in shooting sporting clays. Now, not interested in shooting anything else and easy to clean. Paid $1850 in July of this year and have about 7K rounds thru it. Shoots good and don't need aftermarket chokes. If I was going to purchase another sporting clays gun, it would be another L4S.


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:43 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:21 pm
Posts: 713
I had one OU Beretta 687 with 12 & 20 barrels, dozen SXS guns and two 870 pumps 20 & 12. Wanted to add a Auto 20 G. Bought a Used 391 20 Sporting paid top dollar 1000 bucks. New A400 20 sporting looks put me off & they are another 500:bucks

Shot it some and like the gun. Grandson ready to move up from the 870 20 took over the 391.
He’s put over 3000 shells through it last 6 months. Mostly my 3/4 oz reloads factory GC 7/8 when we can find them . Added 1 lb to the gun 8 in the butt 8 mag cap. Weight tweaking easy on a Beretta. Points as well as any gun I have shot.

It’s run well overall can be fussy with the 3/4 oz, sliding parts well lubed makes the difference. It’s never failed with 7/8 oz loads & moving to 7/8 for reloads. Friends have 303s 390s 391s & A300 & A400. Gas systems are different model to model, all work ok just have to know how to operate & maintain them. Good aftermarket service available on Beretta’s Coles or Joel Etchen. Except bright blue or plastic not real concerned about looks unless it’s a SxS, My opinion more tool than keeper.

Am on the lookout for a 390 or 391 12g can’t find one I like may go for the A300 Sporting. Far as I am concerned Beretta only choice target Autoloader

Bass


Last edited by Bass3 on Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:50 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:56 am
Posts: 343
Bass3 wrote:
I had one OU Beretta 687 with 12 & 20 barrels, dozen SXS guns and two 870 pumps 20 & 12. Wanted to add a Auto 20 G. Bought a Used 391 20 Sporting paid top dollar 1000 bucks. New A400 20 sporting looks put me off & they are another 500:bucks

Shot it some and like the gun. Grandson ready to move up from the 870 20 took over the 391.
He’s put over 3000 shells through it last 6 months. Mostly my 3/4 oz reloads factory GC 7/8 when we can find them . Added 1 lb to the gun 8 in the butt 8 mag cap. Weight tweaking easy on a Beretta. Points as well as any gun I have shot.

It’s run well overall can be fussy with the 3/4 oz, sliding parts well lubed makes the difference. It’s never failed with 7/8 oz loads & moving to 7/8 for reloads. Friends have 303s 390s 391s & A300 & A400. Gas systems are different model to model, all work ok just have to know how to operate & maintain them. Good aftermarket service available on Beretta’s Coles or Etchen.

Am on the lookout for a 390 or 391 12 can’t find one I like may go for the A300 Sporting. Far as I am concerned Beretta only choice target Autoloader

Bass

Bass, you say good service at Cole’s and Etchen. I don’t doubt that. But there is a difference, right? Cole’s is actually an authorized warranty shop while I don’t think Etchen is. So for a gun under warranty Etchen might not be a viable choice. I would be very happy to be corrected on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: Northwest Pa.
Etchen's has been the number 1 Beretta dealer in the USA for 15 years or more.

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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:56 am
Posts: 343
KRIEGHOFFK80 wrote:
Etchen's has been the number 1 Beretta dealer in the USA for 15 years or more.

I understand that. But I still don’t think they are authorized to provide warranty service. Can you address that question?


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:21 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:21 pm
Posts: 713
You are right about Etchen not being factory service but he sells & knows Beretta’s well. Bought 20 G 687 barrels from him & he fitted to my 12G action. 391 dozen or dozen years old had a couple issues when I bought it, Etchen talked me through them & supplied a new gas cylinder spring. Am going to send it to Coles this winter & have the Briley bolt released & replaced with factory . Either one very good.

Bass


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:48 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:29 pm
Posts: 2746
Location: Central Maine
Joel Etchen is a great dealer for Beretta and others but it is hard to beat Cole Guns for parts and service. The op is interested in auto loaders and the shop here in Maine is top notch on those guns. They set up all the Cole special A400’s there. A couple of the gunsmiths there are phenomenal

I would guess etchen and Cole are the top two Beretta dealers and there is probably quite a gap between them and number 3

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Beretta A400 Excel "Black" Cole Special
Browning Citori Crossover Target

NSCA 602398


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:57 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:21 pm
Posts: 713
Another very strong point for Beretta gas guns is the adjustable stock, quick & easy . If not Beretta I would be looking for a older Remington 1100. No way I would consider any current Remington gun.

Bass


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 Post subject: Re: Autoloader choices for clays only
PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:25 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 am
Posts: 3005
I don`t have the L4S Sporting, but I`ll assume they`re put together with the same quality as the Hunter line of guns. If that`s the case, they`re top notch IMO. Fabarm/CG customer service is second to none as well. As for Remington guns, I have two 870s and a V3. The oldest was manufactured in `05. They have performed flawlessly. As far as I know, the 1100 Competition Synthetic has an excellent reputation as a clays gun.



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