Shotgun Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a novice shooter, and I am looking for an automatic that I can use for skeet, sporting clays and pheasant hunting. I have been looking at a Beretta 391, but it is a couple hundred out of my budget. However, I see used Beretta 390s selling for about $550. What are the differences between the 390 and the 391? Any other recommendations for a $500-600 automatic that will meet my needs?thanks Edited by: Rick618 at: 4/28/03 7:38:43 pm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,520 Posts
The AL391 is just the successor to the AL390 (which was the successor to the A390 and the 300 series). With each new model they had minor refinements like weight reduction due to newer materials, and different patterns of checkering among other things.That is not to understate the differences and I would definitely hold each one because the stock dimensions change a bit from one model to the next and even within the same model line between field and competition guns.The gas operating systems are essentially the same and to the naked eye, the biggest difference seems to be the smooth rounded top of the receiver on an AL391 compared to the hard corner on an AL390. My Beretta book mentions that the AL391 was the first gun that Beretta consulted an outside industrial designer to help design. So there you have it... a designer gun.Note that there are many models within each type, so if you are buying a used gun, make sure it has the features you want, or at least is not the wrong type of shotgun for your needs (slug gun, etc).I think that you would be happy with an AL390. There are many of them out there. If you could hold it and shoot it first, or borrow another one, that would be the best indicator of whether or not you'll like it as much as an AL391.Years of introduction:A390 - ~1992AL390 - 1996AL391 - 1999Hope this helps. I pulled some of this info from a book. If you have more questions of a technical nature, I can look in the book for answers. I've never shot or held an AL390 so I'm not much help in giving a subjective comparison. Casual ShooterOne gun does it all when one gun is all you have!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
The 391 is a more compact model of the 391, plain and simple, same machining same parts as a 390 except the 391 has a smaller frame making it more lightweight. the gold series 391 has a refined version of the bolt though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,810 Posts
The early models had problems with the connector rods breaking during heavy use. This seemed to happen most often to sporting clays shooters who used the high velocity loads and after several thousand rounds. This did not happen often but enough to be a concern for those who were serious in the sport. Beretta did strengthen the connectors in later models which I assume was carried over to the 391. I replaced my connector rods with after market ones. The old ones are in the "parts" bag in case of breakage (for others) but I have never had to use them yet. The same "problem" occurred with the hammer braces in the 390 which I replaced at the same time. I think the Beretta autos are the most reliable autos currently out which pains me to admit as I am a Browning guy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
You should EASILY be able to find a minty AL 390 in the $450 bracket in today's marketplace.

If you use the 30% rule you can't go too far wrong.

For example, a used Beretta 391 Target 12 gauge, which is an expensive gun, sells for $650 used, and you should be able to buy an AL 390 for 30% less than that or $455, and that would include the case, choke tubes, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,519 Posts
I thought I remembered the connector problem, I NOW remember where I got that information - at the 2000 World English Sporting at Southdown GC in England. Guy in the squad in front of me fires two shots then gets a breakdown, there were three other 390 shooters waiting and ALL THREE had spares in the their bags to give him :lol:

I am not sure about breaking due to "high velocity loads and after several thousand rounds" In England they are limited to 1oz and I would not expect a rod to break even after tens of thousands of rounds.....now have I just woken the gun-breakdown-god for this weekend ? oops,

The 391 does not have that problem.

Roger
 
G

·
You can buy a BRAND NEW AL390 at Walmart right now (today is 9/17/03) for $529. Hard case and 3 extra chokes.

RemingtonII said:
You should EASILY be able to find a minty AL 390 in the $450 bracket in today's marketplace.

If you use the 30% rule you can't go too far wrong.

For example, a used Beretta 391 Target 12 gauge, which is an expensive gun, sells for $650 used, and you should be able to buy an AL 390 for 30% less than that or $455, and that would include the case, choke tubes, etc.
 
G

·
Where?

sodak said:
You can buy a BRAND NEW AL390 at Walmart right now (today is 9/17/03) for $529. Hard case and 3 extra chokes.

RemingtonII said:
You should EASILY be able to find a minty AL 390 in the $450 bracket in today's marketplace.

If you use the 30% rule you can't go too far wrong.

For example, a used Beretta 391 Target 12 gauge, which is an expensive gun, sells for $650 used, and you should be able to buy an AL 390 for 30% less than that or $455, and that would include the case, choke tubes, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,322 Posts
You can buy a BRAND NEW AL390 at Walmart right now (today is 9/17/03) for $529. Hard case and 3 extra chokes.
Are you sure? I don't think so!

Not any more, you can't. I went to my local WalMart this afternoon and asked to see the "special order" catalog that lists all the guns they can get. There is no 390 or 3901 listed. They do list several versions of 391, with the wood-stocked ones priced at $756.xx. Synthetic stocks are a little less.

BTW, that was the 2003 catalog, and the 2004 catalog will be coming out next month. So the demise of the WalMart 390 is nothing new. If anyone has bought one lately, it must have been in stock for a pretty good while.
 
G

·
I just bought an A390 20ga yesterday at walmart. cost $350 plus tax. cant beat that.
they are clearencing them. hurry and get one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Glayans sells the black synthetic 390 with 28" barrel for $499, 3 chocke tubes, choke wrench, NO case.

joebob said:
Where?

sodak said:
You can buy a BRAND NEW AL390 at Walmart right now (today is 9/17/03) for $529. Hard case and 3 extra chokes.

RemingtonII said:
You should EASILY be able to find a minty AL 390 in the $450 bracket in today's marketplace.

If you use the 30% rule you can't go too far wrong.

For example, a used Beretta 391 Target 12 gauge, which is an expensive gun, sells for $650 used, and you should be able to buy an AL 390 for 30% less than that or $455, and that would include the case, choke tubes, etc.
 
G

·
I just saw a 390 today at Wal-Mart in 12 gauge with chokes for $446. Is that a good deal?

Would that be a better gun for deer hunting than my 20 gauge Remington 1100?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
I think one of the main differences between the two is that the 391 will let you shoot a variety of loads...1 oz, 1 1/8 oz or
1 1/4 oz shot loads without doing anything while in my 390 the gun works better and doesn't seem to beat itself up if I change the recoil spring when I switch loads...not a big deal but you need to keep which spring does what straight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,096 Posts
Other than the Beretta 390. Take a look at the Franchi 612 and Weatherby SAS. They are in your price range brand new. Both are reliable and made with quality.
 
G

·
I just bought an A390 20ga yesterday at walmart. cost $350 plus tax. cant beat that.
they are clearencing them. hurry and get one.
Dean,

Which Walmart did you see this deal at? Our local store is still at $529.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Guest3 said:
I just bought an A390 20ga yesterday at walmart. cost $350 plus tax. cant beat that.
they are clearencing them. hurry and get one.
Dean,

Which Walmart did you see this deal at? Our local store is still at $529.
The $350 price that's been quoted is for the 20ga 390. I've seen the 20ga for $350 here in NY (Middletown and Newburgh as of last week) Apparently Walmart is discontinuing carrying the 20ga, hence the $350 price. According to 2 of the sporting goods department managers in the Walmarts I visited, they're still going to carry the 12ga 390, which they have for $529.

If you're interested in a 20ga, you might have to look around, or if you're lucky enough to get a friendly/cooperative employee, have them call the surrounding Walmart locations to see if they have any in stock. It took a lot of leg work but I finally got one, and am very happy with the decision.

Tom
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top