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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll start with some history, I started shooting skeet about 15 years ago with a used Ithaca M900 recoiling auto loader. This gun apparently FIT me very good, because I did very well with it. I got out of shooting because we moved to the city. I've told you all this because I figure the more you all know about what I learned shooting with and was good with might help with opinions on a new auto loader. All the guns I've looked at I have not and most likely will not be able to shoot, so I'm going to buy on feel alone. I've looked at the Beretta 391, Beneli Montefeltro, Remington 1100, and the Franchi 48al. They all feel very good to me. I'll be shooting mostly skeet,trap and if I can find a sporting clays range in my area that to. And maybe some doves. I would like to stay under $1000 and believe it will be possible with all of the options. Now that you know what I used to shoot and what I will be doing. what are yall's opinions on these guns and what one will fet my purpose best. I'm also concerned with the light weight of all but the remington, is more weight better for a target gun. Thanks
 

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The only advice I can give is buy what fits YOU the best. Those are all good choices. Check out the Browning Gold/Silver or Winchester SX2 or SX3. I believe you could get those under $1,000.00 easily. My second vote would be the Beretta 391.
 

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Irishhig said:
I've looked at the Beretta 391, Beneli Montefeltro, Remington 1100, and the Franchi 48al.
Two of the three Italian guns (the 391 and Monte) offer an adjustable buttstock, which is a plus if a typical off-the-shelf shotgun doesn't fit you well. (And the 48 AL is only offered in 20 and 28 gauge, right?)

In my opinion, both would likely offer a little more reliability/less fidgeting than the 1100 or 48AL. In the very small skeet club I belong to, I think every broken/malfunctioning shotgun I recall seeing has been a "lemon-hundred," with the exception of a side-by-side, external-hammer "coach gun" of some sort. When it came time for me to pick my first semi-auto, that thought had me taking the 1100 off my list first. On the other hand, LOTS of shooters love them, and I figure there has to be a good reason for that!

You can easily add some weight and recoil relief at the same time to any of the guns you're interested in with various aftermarket recoil reduction gadgets. Some mount in the buttstock and others up front, so you can even use one to adjust the balance, as well.

I shoot skeet with an O/U, but I did buy a Beretta AL390 for duck hunting years ago. It has become my favorite shotgun and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one of the 39* family of shotguns to anyone.

Good luck with your choice!

Good shooting,
desmobob
 

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Irishhig, Your 900 should last you a lifetime. I have one that I got in the early 1970's and it is still going strong. My son is a heavy duty shooter and he shoots it a lot. It has never given a problem and I expect it to last a long time. I have a spare 900 that I bought about 25 years ago that will take its place if it ever fails. Both of them have Polychokes on them and are very versatile.

I don't blame you for wanting another gun. But don't forget that 900 is a great shooter. I've never known one to wear out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Evbutler, I wish I had kept it but I sold it some years back, I absolutly loved that gun, If i could find one in decent shape my search for another auto would be over. Right now all i have is a stoeger condor, I thought i would like an over/under, but found out very quickly that I prefer an auto, and I know what some might say, if I had tried a better o/u that may not have been the case but i could not afford a quality over under, he!! i still can't. Thanks for the replies.
 

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There are some very good auto loaders for you intended uses and price range. Here are some well made and reliable models.
Beretta AL391,3901,390 Wal Mart (B/S only), Browning Gold's,Silver, Franchi 712, Weatherby SAS, Winchester SX2,SX3.

Most target shooters like a heavier gun. It's subjective and some might like a lighter model. It's always easier and less expensive to add weight to a gun. You can also taylor the balance point to your liking.
 

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I have three Remington 1100s and they have all been very reliable guns that are well suited for clay target shooting. For your needs, I would look for a used late model Remington 1100 Sporting 12, made between 2003-2007. That should run about $550.

Based upon the prices I have seen in the DFW area, you will not be able to buy a new target grade Beretta or Benelli autoloader for under $1000. The higher grade Italian autoloaders are in fact pushing the $2000 mark - which is ridiculous in my opinion.

Browning and Winchester share a common design and are good choices if you want a lighter weight gun for field use. However, I've test fired a Browning Gold Sporting with 30" barrel and found it too muzzle heavy. A shorter or lighter profile barrel would provide better balance, IMHO. For example, I bet the Gold Fusion or Evolve would be a better choice if you wanted a 30" barrel.

I would stay away from the cheap Turkish imports...beyond that, it's really a matter of personal preference.
 

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Irishhig, I understand that you and Ev got together on the SKB. Is he a trip or not? My hunting club has him fly us to different places for weekend hunts from time to time. He also has a nice gun collection. I have traded a few pieces with him over the years. He always treated me right.

I hope you enjoy the SKB. I am glad that you got to meet a retired cop that has the first dollar he ever made. He and I were on the same squad at one time when we were chasing bad guys. I call him from time to time when we need to fly cross country. Rather eccentric chap. He makes us pay for the fuel.

Give us a review on the SKB when you try it out.
 

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Brad, I did give Irishhig a ride in the simulator. We didn't go up in the plane. Petrol is pretty expensive. That is why you guys have to pay for the fuel.

Irishhig, I am looking forward to a review, also, on your 900.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If the weather is nice I'm going saturday. Ev do you oil the magazine tube on your skb and franchi's. There is a sticker on this one that says not to but I have read many posts with people saying they do oil thier long recoiling guns.
 

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I have never oiled mine. Never had a problem with them. A certain amount of friction is needed to prevent damage to the receiver. I wouldn't oil it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had a chance to try the SKB out today. I shot three rounds of trap and the SKB performed flawlessly just as the first one I owned. I on the other hand was a bit rusty. It was the first time I've shot on an organized range. First round I went 15 for 25, second round 16 for 25, and third round 19 for 25. I had a flat of 1 1/8 ounce heavy target loads so I took them, needless to say after 75 shells my shoulder was pretty raw. I will be shooting light target loads from now on as well as getting a limbsaver recoil pad. I am very pleased with this shotgun. Thanks again Ev. Tim
 
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