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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I am new to shotguns and I am planning for an auto loader. I have been looking at Franchi 48AL, Beretta 390/391, Remington 1187 premier, in 20ga. I really like the feel of the Franchi 48 but I have read that it kicks really hard. I am small built and I like a light weight gun. I will use the gun for moslty clay and also upland birds. So many difference views on these guns it is hard to decide without having a chance to test fire. Could please share your experience so I may be able to make up my mind. Thank you. :?:

-uk
 

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Generally the lighter the gun the worse the felt recoil. Double edged sword.

I like all of the guns you mentioned and would also throw the Browning Gold into the bunch.

I own a Browning and have owned the Frachi and shot the others all are great guns that you'll not be disappointed in.

Pick the gun that you like and then find a load that it shoots well and you'll be fine.
 

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The Franchi 48AL is a lightweight hunting gun. As such, it's great. As a clays gun, I wouldn't consider it for more than just an occasional round of skeet. If you're going to shoot much clays, then cross this one off your list.

The 1187 will probably be less expensive and softer recoiling than the 391. Once properly broken in and when properly maintained, the 1187 will work fine. If you are planning to put 50,000 to 100,000 rounds through the gun, then I would suggest you get the 391. At about 30,000 rounds, the 1187 many need a few minor parts replaced. They are readily available and inexpensive. ANY gun (including the 391) can break a part occasionally. This is not a condemnation of any of the guns, just recognition that a gun is a machine that incurs wear with usage and occasional parts replacement can be required on any of them. Unless you are going to be shooting clays every weekend for many years, I think the 1187 might be better for your requirements. Either gun will work just fine.

P.S. Also consider the Browning Gold as JLP suggested. It's also a fine gun and would be well suited to your uses. So would the Winchester SX2 (the Browning's twin).
 

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I am also new to shotgunning and am looking for a shotgun. As such I have my eyes open for good deals. There is a Beretta 390 in a 20ga. at my local Wal-mart for under $350. Just that price alone made it a consideration for me, but it is a 20ga. and doesn't fit me very well. I am a big man and like 12ga.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your input. It really helps me in making a decision on my purchase. I think I should find a way so that I can test fire all these guns before I buy. Thanks again,

- uk
 

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UK,

You are in the process of discovering that different guns have different stock dimensions. It is common that one will fit better than the others. For that reason, stock-fit should be a consideration when buying any gun.

You should be able to close your eyes and mount the gun; when you open them, you should be looking straight along the center of the rib with an amount of the top surface of the rib visable that will put the pattern at the height that you prefer (to give your preferred vertical forward lead.)

Be aware that your body-position when mounting a gun will have an affect on the stock dimensions that are correct for you. The ones that are probably most important are the height of the comb where you place your cheek (drop at the comb dimension,) the distance of the top of the recoil pad below the rib (drop at the heel,) and the length of the butt stock (length of pull.)

When dimensions aren't right for a particular shooter's size and shape, the dimensions can be changed to make the gun fit...usually. It is easier to get a gun that fits rather than changing the original dimensions if that is possible, however.

It is important that the gun does fit. You will be able improve faster with practice, be less bothered by recoil, and shoot more accurately. You wouldn't believe some of the weird shooting forms that can be seen when shooters have to compromize the way they shoot (their form - stance, body posture, weight distribution, gun mount) attempting to adjust to their poorly fitting stock dimensions.
http://stockfitting.virtualave.net/

Rollin
 

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Rollin's information is very good, but perhaps I can add a couple of things that he didn't cover in detail. First, it is very problematic for the beginning shotgunner to try to buy a gun that fits. One of the reasons is that most field or target guns generally marketed to the general public have very similar dimensions. The main exceptions to this would be the Youth or Ladies guns and the Parallel (Comb) Target guns. The LOP on most of these guns is usually between 14 1/8" to 14 7/8". So there is little selection as far as stock length is concerned. Also, most of these guns will come with no (or very little) cast off to the stock. Again, little choice for the buyer.

Yet another factor complicating the selection process is that a beginner might have a gun that is a perfect fit, but because he doesn't know the proper basics of stance, hold, weight distribution, etc, the gun may not SEEM to fit him when he does the little "eye closure" test. The converse is also true. The beginner may have a gun that is a poor fit, but because he doesn't know the proper basics on the correct way to shoot, he may contort himself until the gun SEEMS to fit him. :?

So what is a new buyer to do? IMO, the thing to do is buy the gun you like and, unless it's just a terrible fit (particularly with regard to LOP), try to learn the basics of correct shooting stance with that gun before doing any major cutting, sanding, bending or whatever on the stock. Naturally, if the gun is way too long, then shorten the stock. If the gun is way too short, add a slip-on recoil pad. Otherwise, I'd suggest leaving it alone until you learn some of the basics and develop your own shooting style. This can take several months or even a year. As long as the gun is not beating you up badly, I'd leave it as is for about one year. At that time, assuming you've shot regularly and often, you can see a gun fitter and get the stock fine tuned to your shape, build, and shooting style. Or, perhaps Rollin's booklet would be sufficient to make the changes on your own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ulysses,

Thanks again for taking you time to introduce me to the basics of shotguns. I have been shooting mostly .22's and just aquired the interest in shotguns. I have only shot clay once with a 12ga. Rem 870. Got about 25 out of 50, ended up with a terrible shoulder :p

-Uk
 
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Uk:

I have been shotgunning for close to two years now and stand by my Browning Gold Hunter 3" solidly. I, like you, use mine for Trap and sporting clays as well as upland huntiung i.e. Pheasants. I have a 26" barrel and have enjoyed the gun greatly. It probably has over 2500 rounds through it and has never misfired once or experienced any problems. Browing has a great reputation and I believe they have a $75 rebate right now. I'm a pretty slight build myslef, 5'-11", 150 lbs and the gun shoulders great, recoil is no probelm on this autoloader even on your field loads. For trap shooting you might want to invest in a T&S shell catcher, this will catch the shells as they are ejected while shooting singles. They only cost $10 os so and ar particular for each make of gun, just let them know what you have. If you don't use one of these they guy to your right with his brand new $12,000 Perazzi will let you know in a hurry I'm sure.

Great gun and highly recomended.

best of luck,

Ed from Pennsylvania.
 

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UK,
Or you might try a Benelli, the Montefeltro or the Legacy are both very light guns. Comparable to well made SxS's as far as weight. You get a shim kit that will allow you to change drop at comb in order to fit the gun. They are very reliable, do a search for reviews on these and you'll see that they are extensively used in South America as dove guns. I can't think of a much more punishing situation ,for the gun or shooter, than 1,500+ rounds per day. There has to be a reason the Benelli's are so widely used there. My wife has one, it points well and cycles anything you can put through it.
Good Luck,
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ed, Jim thanks for your posts.

Ed: I see that you are from PA. Did you go to the Cabelas Grand Opening?. I did! What a opening it was. I have never seen a outdoor store like that :shock: . Talk about crowded, could hardly move around! They have good gun selection too. It was worth the three hour drive from MD.

- Uk
 
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Go to your local gun club, and ask to try a few different guns,
Stock lengths and pitch can all be altered to fit you.
As a general rule get the best gun you can oford now,once your get to shooting you will want a perazzi
 
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