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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a new semi-auto shotgun to purchase. I have searched this site for days and now I really don't know what to get. I will using the gun mostly for ducks and dove, but I would like the option to shot 3.5. But I really don't know if it is wise for me to spend the extra money on a gun that will chamber a 3.5.

So far I am leaning towards a Beretta Extrema w/o KO ( don't know if I need it) or a Browning Silver. I am trying to stay under $1200 mark. Also should I get the camo version or just plain black.

What other guns should I consider?

Thanks for everyone's help!
 

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I have a Beretta Xtrema2 w/KO. This is my 3rd Beretta semi-auto. I definitely recommend it. W/O KO is in your budget. Also, Browning Gold Hunter 3.5 inch is in your budget. Also look at the Benellis SBE II.

Pick the one that fits you best.
 

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txgolfer45 said:
I have a Beretta Xtrema2 w/KO. This is my 3rd Beretta semi-auto. I definitely recommend it. W/O KO is in your budget. Also, Browning Gold Hunter 3.5 inch is in your budget. Also look at the Benellis SBE II.

Pick the one that fits you best.
I agree...both great guns. I have te SBE II and love it. For me it came down to the feel. I'd put both of them in your hands and see which one feels better to you. And if you are already spending $1200...what's another few 100? In a year it won't matter but you'll be glad you spent that extra to get the gun you really wanted.
 

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I would not bother with the 3.5 it isn't necessary and save the cash. I would look at an M2 or other 3 inch gun and use the extra money to buy shells. Camo loks nice but the black is just fine that is all I have and duck don't spook becasue it's not camo.
 

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Any of the B guns are nice. If you are wanting to use the gun for doves, keep in mind that a lot of the 3.5" guns don't like the lighter (less than 1 1/8 oz) dove loads.

Give a look at the Winchester X2/X3. Basically the same guts as the Browning Gold/Silver. As for camo, black does just as good. I wouldn't waste, er.... spend, the money on it. I also don't know the differences from the Extrema and the Urika, but my dad shoots a Urika 2 in black syn and really likes it. Think he got it for around $800.

Bottom line....Get a gun that fits you and feels good when you shoulder it.
 

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Hello:

Don't let your head explode! Shopping for a waterfowl gun is a lot of fun.

If 3.5" is your target:

I bought an Xtrema the second year they were on the market and I truly can't think of a product I've ever bought that has given better service.

I used to use it for clays too until I bought a dedicated target gun so it has seen a lot of rounds. It will now easily cycle 1 ounce loads. I can't say enough good about it nor how easy it cleans. My two regular blind companions now use them too- one a convert from his o/u and the other from an 11/87.

I can't speak for everyone, but if you buy an Xtrema 2 I doubt you'd mind not having the Kick-Off. That isn't to say it doesn't work, as I'm sure it does, but the Xtremas just don't have much recoil to begin with. For the past several years I've used almost nothing but 3.5" for ducks and my shoulder is just fine.

My second choice, based on what I've seen amongst my friends and at the club where I often shoot, would be either the Winchester SX3 or the Browning Gold.

I bought and SBE several years ago, took it to the range, and returned it the next day. I loved how the gun felt in the store but having been shooting my old 1100 at the time I wasn't happy with or prepared for what I perceived as a significant increase in recoil. Others are obviously very happy with them and the forearms sure are nice to hang on to.

In a 3" gun, which is a fine choice these days as loads have changed a lot over the past few years, you have a lot of great options. Beretta 391, 3901, the excellent and overlooked Franchis, the Remington G3 and so on.

Should you get interested in a used gun a close friend's Winchester SX1 is a shell cycling hammer that won't quit. From what I've heard his experience isn't unique.

Keep us posted-

Brent
 

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A gun is very personal. So its up to you. No one has recommended a bad one.

I will say though, that I feel a camo finish on a gun is a waste of money, and in a few years it will look like crap if you use the gun very much. The camo tends to fade to a whitish color and wear thin in spots. I think that over time, you will wish you got a black one if you choose otherwise now. Its sort of like a white or silver car. Yeah they may be plain and ordinary, but in 10 years the paint will still look good... but if you looked at my 94 red blazer that is about 9 different shades of faded red.... you'd rethink being unique with a bright or dark car color!

Good luck... get what you want and get what fits you well. The Beretta is a fine choice. If you want a 3.5... go ahead on. You don't need it, but it won't hurt nothing either.
 

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sideburns101 said:
I am looking for a new semi-auto shotgun to purchase. I have searched this site for days and now I really don't know what to get. I will using the gun mostly for ducks and dove, but I would like the option to shot 3.5. But I really don't know if it is wise for me to spend the extra money on a gun that will chamber a 3.5.

So far I am leaning towards a Beretta Extrema w/o KO ( don't know if I need it) or a Browning Silver. I am trying to stay under $1200 mark. Also should I get the camo version or just plain black.

What other guns should I consider?

Thanks for everyone's help!
I have the Extrema II and REALLY like it. Mine is not in Camo and for jump shooting (mostly what I do) don't think it matters. Mine has the KO but as I understand it it can be added later (cheaper than with the gun new?) if you feel you need it. I've been having pretty good luck with just 2 3/4 Fasteel so if I had to do it over think I might go without the KO. Or maybe not
:shock:

My gun cycles with my 1 oz (trap) reloads just fine, where my sons SBE II occasionaly fails on them, maybe 1 in 20.

This gun is far and away my favorite waterfowl gun, and I have several. It fits me and (for me) handles very well. It's a keeper :D

Roi
 

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Get a Browning Gold, Take advantage of it's rebates while saving your money by buying one of the best guns out there. Do you have to even think about it? :wink: Spend savings on ammo and supplies. Hardest thing is to pick out which Gold suits you the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What is the main difference in the browning gold vs silver. Both can chamber a 3.5, the only difference I can tell is the stock. The gold has a more of a hump and the silver has a smooth curve on top.

I have also looked at the beretta urika and I have heard a lot of great things about this gun. What it really boils down to is if I am going for a 3.5" chambered gun or a 3". I still have not made up my mind.

Also, I have a question about a 26" barrel vs a 28". What would be a good reason to have either one.

Sorry about all the questions, but you guys have been very helpful. I just want to know all I can before I buy.

Thanks again!
 

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BBl length is mostly personal preference. Both will pattern exactly the same and yield the same MV. Personally, I like the 26". Its a bit easier to manuever around cover than the 28". Keep in mind that the 3.5" guns will be longer (not much, not sure if it is exactly 0.5" or more) than a 3". I can't say that I have missed or not taken a shot because I was only shooting a 3" gun. When I bought my SX2 a couple of seasons ago, I didn't even pick up a 3.5" at the store.

Something else to consider, the Gold/Silver and the SX2/SX3 both have over-bored bbls. Its debatable how much this helps patterning and felt recoil, but it can't hurt. They also ust the invector + choke tubes which are the same length as a lot of aftermarket extended chokes for other brands.

Narrow it down to 3" or 3.5" then go with the gun that fits you the best.
 

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I like 3 1/2" models for waterfowling. Good models would include the Benelli SBE,SBE II, Beretta Xtrema,Xtrema 2, Browning Gold,Silver, Franchi 912 (also Dick's Diamond 912), Winchester SX2,SX3. From this group the SBE's would have the hardest time with the lighter loads but would be fine for a heavier dove load.

For all around use a 3" model is usually a better choice as they are lighter in weight and cycle lighter loads better. There are quite a few very good all around models that would work well for all day upland hunts to waterfowling to clays use.

$800.00 and up: Benelli M2/M1 is Inertia operated. They are light in weight and very easy to clean. The have an automatic magazine cutoff and shims to adjust the stock. It has a good safety shape, size, and location. It holds four shells total and more if you add an extension. Most 3" field Inertia models are not usually the best choice for light target loads.
Benelli Cordoba is also Inertia operated. They are similar to the M1/M2 with a few differences. They are thinner thru the forearm and hold five shells total. They do not accept a magazine extension to hold more. They have a two piece receiver which can make cleaning slightly easier. They are better for cycling lighter loads than the M1/M2. They only come in B/S and camo finishes. Their barrels are also ported which ay not be too good for blinds and boats with blinds.
Beretta AL391 is gas operated. They are fairly light and have very thin forearms. They have an automatic magazine cutoff, bolt lock back lever, and shims for the stock. It holds four shells total and cannot accept an extension. This design is more complicated to clean than most.
Browning Gold is gas operated. They are fairly light and pretty easy to clean. They have the speed load feature, stock shims, and a magazine cutoff switch. It has a good safety shape, size, and location. It holds five shells and more with an extension. The forearm/receiver junction could be much better than it is. The Evolve, Fusion, and SL models are similar to the standard Gold but are very light in weight and balance with more weight towards the stock.

$500.00-$800.00: Beretta 390 (Wal Mart) and 3901 are gas operated. They are basically the same gun with different shaped receivers (390 angled/3901 rounded). They are fairly light in weight, have stock shims, and automatic magazine cutoffs. They each hold four shells and can't accept extensions. They are not too bad to clean. The 390 (Wal Mart) only comes in B/S with a 28" barrel in 12 gauge.
Beretta Pintail/ES100 is inertia operated. It's fairly light and has a slim forearm. They are very easy to clean and have 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. It can be tricked into having a magazine cutoff by holding up the carrier and pulling back on the bolt. They have the same gas system as the more expensive Gold's.
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 extension. They don't have the best triggers in terms of weight and creep.
Franchi I-12 is inertia operated. Weight wise they are about average and balance with more weight towards the stock. It is one of the easiest semi autos to take down for a through cleaning. They hold five rounds and can take an extension. They have shims for the stock, automatic magazine cutoff, and a cartridge release lever. They do have a very modern look and are not the best choice for light target loads.
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 design. It holds five rounds and more if extended. This is the only model that does not have a magazine cutoff of any kind but, can be tricked into having a magazine cutoff by holding up the carrier and pulling back on the bolt. The Light field model is the same but quite a bit lighter and balances with more weight towards the stock.
Winchester SX3 is the same as the SX2 with a much lighter weight and a more modern look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Does the Browning Gold come in the black Dura Touch? I really like the feel of the Dura Touch. Also, can someone give me a ballpark figure of the Browning Gold with the $100 Rebate?
 

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Here a gold stalker ( in blk ) is $880 then the rebate $100 making it $780

I see my dealer has Winchester SX2 blk duratouch for $695 That is very much like the browning silver. Almost twins. That is a pretty sweet deal also.
 

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Brent said:
I bought an Xtrema the second year they were on the market and I truly can't think of a product I've ever bought that has given better service.

I used to use it for clays too until I bought a dedicated target gun so it has seen a lot of rounds. It will now easily cycle 1 ounce loads. I can't say enough good about it nor how easy it cleans. My two regular blind companions now use them too
Keep us posted-

Brent
Hell, if two blind guys can use this gun, you can't go wrong! 8) 8) 8) :roll: :lol:

Seriously, a young friend has an Xtrema II and it will cycle my 3/4 oz. reloads.

Clyde
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was able to find a Xtrema2 in black syn. for $990. Is that a good deal or should I look some more.

I was able to hold the Browning gold and really like it. With the rebate it would almost be the same price as the Xtrema....What to do??
 

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Clyde:

I have to wear a Kevlar helmet and I always stay seated when they stand to shoot!

As for the Xtrema2 for under 1k, that seems like a good price.

Brent
 

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I have a Wichester SX2 in 3.5" and I like it very much. I don't have any problems shooting the light promo dove and quail loads in it. The gun I have is the black finish, and I think it would be well within your price range.

Jeff
 

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I have a SBEII and I love it, but with that being said I have patterned 3 in shells vs 3.5 and you really don't pick up much more for the money. I would look at a M1 M2 and save the 400 bucks.
 
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