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Browning Gold vs. Rem 11-87

2557 Views 19 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Red-Leg
I am new to this site. Hoping to get some opinions. I am looking to buy a new semi-auto 12 ***** to hunt turley and pheasant. I have it narrowed down to a Remington 11-87, camo 3 1/2" with 28 inch barrel and a Browning Gold Hunter, wood, 3 1/2" with 28 inch barrel. Pricewise, both guns are new and within $50 of one another.

I have a Remington 1100, about 16 years old that I like but have it set up as my deer gun.

Any opinions/input on which is the better gun, given equal price, would be appreciated. Are there any other guns I shoudl look at in the $600 - $750 range? I really do not want to spend the money that a Benelli would run.

Thanks for the help.
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I have a Gold 3 1/2" Stalker that I love. My brother has the Gold 3 1/2" with camo. Neither of us have had any problems. They both eat anything we put in them. I have had an 11-87 SP 3" that was a little picky about what brand shells I shot. I liked it ok, but sold it to buy an new Benelli SBE. I didn't like it, sold it, bought the Gold in 2001 I think. Of all of them, I like it the best. I like both the speed-load feature and the magazine cut-off on the Browning. If you don't care about these features, you may want to look at the Winchester Super X2.

I am picking up my son's new Gold 3" Stalker tomorrow. He is 13 and it is a Christmas/birthday present. It will cost me total of $630 after shipping/FFL/rebate. Man is he going to be stoked!!!!

Best of luck. My guess is you will get supporters and doubters on both sides. Personally, I like the Gold, but would not hesitate about buying an 11-87. You may want to read some of the other posts that have been written lately about camo. Some like it, others don't.
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Cascadedad: It is great you are getting your son a really great gun for Christmas,, ya,, he will probably flip out. As fas a camo goes. I like wood and blue steel. I apply some camo tape for the few times I really need it usually for Turkey.
With the main uses being pheasants and turkey, I would want something lighter than a 3 1/2" 11-87. The Gold should be considerably lighter. I don't think you'll need the 3 1/2", but if it is standard, I guess it won't hurt anything.
Thanks for the feedback. By the time I pay for shipping on the 11-87, it will end up costing the same as the Gold Hunter. $650. It seems like a good price, especially for the Gold Hunter. What do you think about this price? Both are new if I didn't already mention.

Can you tell me what the magazine cut off is and when this might be a nice feature?
Welcome to SGW. I would get a 3" gun myself. The 11-87 3 1/2" weighs 8 1/4lbs and the Gold 3 1/2" is between 7 1/2-7 3/4lbs. 3 1/2 models are best suited for waterfowling and turkey hunting. Pheasant hunting means a lot of walking and a little shooting(turkey hunting sometimes also).

The Gold has better quality and more features than the 11-87. The Gold also costs more though. The Gold is just slightly easier to clean and will go longer between cleanings if needed. Besides the 11-87 weighing more it balances with much more weight at the end of the barrel for me.

Here are some models that I like and are in you price range. They are all 3" models and would work well for your intended uses.

$500.00-$750.00: Beretta 390 and 3901 are gas operated. They are basicaly the same gun with different shaped receivers. They are fairly light in weight, have stock shims, and automatic magazine cutoff's. They each hold four shells and can't accept extentions. They are not too bad to clean. The 390 only comes in B/S with a 28" barrel in 12 gauge.
Beretta Pintail/ES100 is inetia operated. It's fairly light and has a slim forearm. They are very easy to clean and has an automatic magazine cutoff . It holds five shells and can't be extended. Shims are available for this model. This model does not have a magazine release making the unloading take a tad longer than most.
Browning Silver Hunter is gas operated. It's very light in weight and has stock shims available for it. It only comes in a Silver/Blue/Wood finish. It holds five rounds total. It does not have the speed load and magazine cutoff features but, has the same gas system as the more expensive golds.
Franchi 612 and 712 are gas operated. They are the same except for the receiver shape.They are very easy to clean and light in weight. They have an automatic magazine cutoff's and shims for the stock. They hold five shells and more with an extention. They don't have the best triggers in terms of weight and creep.
Weatherby SAS is gas operated. It is fairly light in weight and very easy to clean. It has a magazine cutoff switch and shims for the stock. It has a good safety shape,size, and location. It holds five shells and more with an extension. This model was made by SKB first then Valtro for Weatherby. Parts do not interchange between the two.
Winchester SX2 is gas operated. It has decent weight and is pretty easy to clean. It has a high rib and stock shims are available. It hold five rounds and more if extended. This is the only model that does not have a magazine cutoff of any kind. The Light field model is the same but quite a bit lighter and balances with more weight towards the stock. The SX2 models have a $100.00 rebate to the end of Dec..
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Can you tell me what the magazine cut off is and when this might be a nice feature?
On the Gold it is a lever on the left side of the receiver. When you flip it, it blocks the rounds in the magazine. This allows you to work the action back and forth with out any rounds being released from the magazine. I use when crossing a fence, creek,etc. I also use it while waterfowling. I might have a lighter load in for teal. Then if a flock of geese come in. I flip the lever, pull the bolt back to eject the light round, insert a heavier load in the cahamber and hit the bolt release and flip the lever back. Now i'm ready for the geese to come in.
The magazine cutoff is a lever on left side of the receiver. It holds the shells in the magazine if you open the bolt. The bolt then locks back like if the gun were empty. It works well if you are duck hunting over decoys and a couple geese fly in, you don't have to empty the whole gun and then reload. You can flip the mag cutoff, slip the 2 3/4" or 3" load out and slip in a 3 1/2". Or if you are going out of the blind or taking a break while bird hunting and want to lay your gun down, you don't have to empty the whole gun. The bolt stays back, so everyone can see the gun is safe.

If you are doing a lot of upland hunting, consider a 3" instead of 3 1/2". I almost went with a 3 1/2" for my son, but 3" is big enough for most things. If you need the extra distance/power, you can always go with Hevi-shot or similar.

The 3" Gold does not come with magazine cutoff. The Classic model of the 3" does though. Features are explained pretty well and pictures can be seen on the Browning web site.

If you get the Gold before the first of the year you will get a $100 rebate. I assume they will still have a rebate after the first of the year, but it may only be $50 or $75.
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Wow, you have all given me some great info. to consider. I did originally look at the Franchi guns, but I am used to the safety being behind the trigger. I noticed that the Franchi's have the safety in front of the trigger. When I shouldered the Franchi 712, it seemed like I was stretching to reach the safety, and I was only wearing a t-shirt. Oh, did I mention I was short (I mean vertically challenged) so some guns just don't fit me well.

I am really used to my 1100 and love the gun. It is the last gun I bought and I am shocked to see how much the prices on guns have increased since then. I have used 1100's that are not much less than what I paid for my gun new. Of course, that was many years ago.

I do plan on using the new gun I buy for turkey hunting. Would a 3" be sufficient or should I go with the 3 1/2".

I looked at the Winchester X2 and the prices I am seeing are around $800-$900. Same with the Browning Silkver Hunter. Where should I be looking to find these models in my price range? The gun dealer that has the Gold Hunter, 3 1/2" said the gun was not eligible for the $100 rebate because he bought it from another dealer, although it is still new. $650 seemed like a good price to me, but I could be wrong.

Thanks again for the feedback.
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I do like a 3 1/2" chamber for turkeys myself. A 3" gun will also work great. My first turkey I shot was with my Franchi 612 that is a 3" gun.
A SX2 that is $800-$900 sounds like a 3 1/2" camo model with DuraTouch. I got my Gold 3 1/2" MOSG with DuraTouch last year for about $800.00. It was on sale, had a rebate, and I got money back and off by opening a Gander Mountain credit card. That price of $650.00 sounds like a very good price to me.
The 11-87 takes a back seat to no other similarly priced gun in terms of quality.

All you are ever going to get from the Remington bashers is very limited anecdotal evidence.

I'd go for a 3" 11-87. It will be as familiar as your 1100, it will kill any turkey doornail dead inside of 40 yards, and is not too heavy to carry in pheasant hunts. Sure, lighter is better, but if someone can't carry a 7 1/2 lb gun for a mile or two, they need serious help in a gym.
Sorry for repeating pretty much what Worc wrote. We must have been typing at the same time.

I would jump on the Gold for $650. Even without the rebate that is a very good price.
I have been looking at guns on the online auction sights, trying to see what guns are going for. I looked at the Winchseter sx2 and Browning Silver Hunter. Both appear to be going for around $800 - $900. I am not sure I can pull that off without upsetting my wife. She would definitely remind me that $800 buys alot of chicken and steak! Should I be looking elsewhere?

I do like the wood or camo look. I did go to a gun show today hoping to see some guns. First gun show I have been to in 4 - 5 years. I was disappointed at how few shotguns there were. I saw no more than 10 semi-autos.

I thought I should probably look at a few more, different guns before purchasing. Thanks for the tips.
I think you have answered your own question if you go back and read some of your post. If you are happy with the 1100...and it fits no other brand gun is necessary. I can assure you the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. I ant.
Winchseter sx2 and Browning Silver Hunter. Both appear to be going for around $800 - $900.
That sounds high to me. Give these guys a call. The are in Fenton,MI near Detroit. Guns Galore (810) 629-5325.
I own an 11-87 3-inch and have shot my Friend's Browning Gold 3-inch. Both are good guns, but I prefer the weight and balance of the 11-87. (Most of my decent beginner skeet shooting was with rented 1100's, so I had developed a feel for the Remingtons.) If you like an 1100's feel, you'll like the 11-87. Both are good guns. I have no experience with, use for or desire for a 3 1/2 incher. the 11-87s in particular do not like light target loads in the 3 1/2 incher and 99% of my use is skeet and 5-stand.
You make a good point. If they made the 1100 with 3" or 3 1/2", I probably would have made up my mind to go with that. I would like a magnum for the turkey hunting.

I also want to keep my 1100 I have now as my deer gun, with a red dot on it. I pulled the scope and slug barrel off after last season so I could use it to bird hunt with this year. I ended up bird hunting right up to gun season and ended up sighting my deer gun in two days before deer season. That was cutting it a little closer than I like.

I have a Browning Sweet 16 that I also like alot, but don't want to take it out in the field. That was what got me looking at the Browning. And I looked at the Franchi's because my dad has an older Franchi and it has been a good gun for him, and nice and light. I just don't like the safety location on the newer Franchi's.

I will look at the Winchester, as suggested, as well as the Berettas.

I have heard they did make the 1100 in a 3". Is this still an option on the new 1100's? I have not seen anything to indicate that it still is an option.

Worc, thanks for the name and number. Do you know if they will ship a gun to an FFL dealer?

Thanks to all of you for the feedback.
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I have heard they did make the 1100 in a 3". Is this still an option on the new 1100's? I have not seen anything to indicate that it still is an option.
I think all you need is a 3" barrel. You should be able to find them used at ebay, gunsamerica, etc.

Worc, thanks for the name and number. Do you know if they will ship a gun to an FFL dealer?
I don't know for sure as I go to their store when I buy from them. My guess is they would. Give them a call and see if they do.
ohhunter said:
You make a good point. If they made the 1100 with 3" or 3 1/2", I probably would have made up my mind to go with that. I would like a magnum for the turkey hunting.
It's called 11-87. :roll:
While I love my 11-87SC, if you're looking for a rock-solid reliable gun that can take a lot of use, abuse, misuse, and neglect while still going bang every time you can't beat the Benelli.

Yes, I know these are likely out of your budget, but both Franchi I-12 and Stoeger Model 2000 (sister companies with Benelli via their parent, Beretta) have adopted the inertia firing mechanism (with very few differences) of the Benelli and should be just as reliable while being more palatable for your wallet (and wife).

Good luck!
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