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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at these different guns for a general purpose hunting shotgun. Ducks to bears.
The price range seems to start with the mossburg at about $500.00 and go up to the Benelli range of about $1500.00.
I want a gun that is reliable. I'm happy to pay for reliability, not much interest in paying for a name.
It seems like the marketing department has been working overtime on these shotguns, I'd really like to hear from someone with actual experience.
Thanks.

I tried the search function. My search skills kind of suck, though.
 

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Though I have no experience, with 3.5" guns, I can tell you one that is on sale at Dick's this weel that has good reviews.

Remington (Baikal) SPR 453; $399

I have had no experience with these guns but the price is right and there are lots of good posts about them. Also, Dick's has shotgun ammo for half price this week.

Walmart has the Remington 11-87 3.5" usually around $575. I have had experience with this gun. It is a quality gun that I would recommend.
 

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I've had the 11-87 supermag. I couldn't recommend it for the non Remington buff maybe wanting a do all. Things are generally deficient at cycling the widest variety of loads without knowing just what to do and how to do it. Plus they are maybe too heavy for some and they don't offer adjustment for those that they don't fit.
Browning/Winchester make nice ones. Beretta and Benelli both make nice ones. All probably work as well as the next some better than others perhaps. I'd favor gas operation vs an inertia operated one to cut down recoil as much as possible. The rest is to me is a crap shoot of what appeals to you and how it fits and feels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Reading, reading,reading,reading,reading. As I read and read and read I hear from people and more people who have had bad experiences with this gun or that gun.
I would think that once you got into the $1000.00 price range things would be pretty reliable. But the fact that there is a thing now known as the "Benelli click" does not make me confident. I am looking at the Beretta.
 

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For all around use most 3" models are better than most 3 1/2" models. That being said there are a few good 3 1/2" models that are good with lighter loads and are lighter in weight. Those would be the Browing Maxus and Winchester SX3. The Beretta Xtrema 2 is a little heavier but also good with lighter loads. The Benelli SBE II is pretty light in weight but not as good as the others with lighter loads.

All of these are well made and reliable models. They have good features like magazine cutoff's and shims for their stocks. The all go longer periods between cleanings with the SBE II having the edge. They are all pretty easy to clean with the Xtrema 2 being the easiest on complete tear downs. The Benelli and Beretta have rotary bolt faces which makes them longer overall than the Maxus/SX3.

Hold them side by side with different barrel lengths if you can and pick the one you like the best.
 

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For me, this would be a fairly simple choice.

If I wanted to spend around $500.00, I would go Mossberg. I have used Mossgerg guns for years with excellent reliability.

If I wanted to spend twice that and wanted something "nicer", I would follow Worc's advice and go with the Browning or the Winchester SX3.
 

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With the exception of cheap guns that need to be broken in with $200 worth of hunting loads before they majically become reliable (and no longer cheap), most 3 1/2" guns work fairly well with the long shells. I don't own or have the need for a 3 1/2" gun, but if I did, I would buy the Beretta Extrema. My unscientific observations tell me they also work well with light loads, whereas some are simply not reliable with light (trap & skeet) loads, making them a headache of a gun to shoot targets with.

If you can live with a 3" gun, you can buy a Urika II for under $800 (at least you could last year).
 

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In my hunting club, we have maybe 20 inertia action shotguns. Most of them are Stoeger 2000s. All but a couple ran light promo loads to start with. Though the owner's manual states that 1 oz is the minimum, we regularly use 7/8 oz with no problems. The two guns that had problems never quit having cycling problems, even after sending them back for service a couple of times. One of the these problem children was a SBE.

Stoeger has really improved and is getting its reputation right since the installation of the new machining tools in 2007. In fact, a lot of parts for the high dollar guns are now made in Istanbul on the new toolings. My friend, Tom, has one of the the largest Benelli dealerships in NC. Of the dozens of 2000s he has sold since 2007, only one has been returned for service. The barrel lugs and the rotating bolt head wasn't mating properly. The gunsmith shot ten rounds of buckshot through it and it was good to go.

According to his gunsmith, the requirement for a box or two of break-in loads is not what it used to be. Most will cycle the manual's minimum loads right out of the box after a good cleaning.
 

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I can recommend the Beretta Xtrema II without reservation. It cycles everything down to 1oz loads with no break-in. Dead easy to take apart and clean. Built like a tank, and will handle lots of wet weather. With the Kickoff option the recoil is as light as you can get in a production autoloader.
 

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Another vote for the Xtrema II. Mine has cycled everything down to 3/4 oz reloads with no problems. I don't have the KO version and haven't seen a need for it myself. If I were buying a 3" gun - I'd look no further than the 391 Urika or the 390.
 

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I'd go for the Extrema II. I've had mine for two years now and it has been great. I bought the KO with mine and found that it is a great feature. If you plan on only hunting with it, the KO isn't necessary, but it sure is nice when you're shooting a bunch of rounds. I shot my personal best score with it last weekend at sporting clays.
cheers-Gofer
 

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The first thing you will notice between the Xtrema and Xtrema 2 is the size differences. While the Xtrema 2 is not a small feeling gun, it is thinner than the first Xtrema model. You should also notice that the Xtrema 2 is a little lighter in weight than the first Xtrema.
 

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Beretta Xtrema 2....it'll cycle anything you put into it. I had the pleasure to shoot the Xtrema 2 a month ago and it seemed flawless...it cycled the lightest of loads with ease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had a chance to handle the xtrema2 today at the gun shop. Wow. That thing is a lot lighter than it looks. I was pretty sure it was a 26 inch barrel, turned out I was holding a 28 inch, something about the balance. I was pretty impressed.
I need to decide what barrel length to get now. I will mostly use it for close in hunting of deer and turkey. With the occasional goose and duck. I really want it to be as compact as possible. Extra length is just a liability in the brush. So the 24 inch seems like a good choice. Then I would have a lot of choices in slugs or buckshot. I would be able to use a screw in rifled choke tube for that kind of slug. I could go back to turkey choke, or waterfowl choke.
But if I ever wanted to sell the gun for whatever reason, I'll be nobody would be interested in one of these guns with a 24 inch barrel.

And I just discovered the different types of Beretta chokes. My head is spinning.
 

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The 24" should be fine as long as you like the way it feels and swings. Since they are longer due to their bolt the overall length is close to most others with a 26" barrel. It's because the Xtrema has a more stock heavy balance point that makes it feel a little lighter than it is.

The Maxus and SX3 are smaller and lighter yet if you are concerned about weight. Try to hold one of them as well if you have not already. You could also look at some of the 3" models like the AL391/Urika 2 as it's smaller and lighter than the Xtrema's.
 

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I like my extrema 2. try several guns and one of them wil speak to you.
 

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If you like the way the 24" feels to you then I'd get it. I understand what you're saying about probably taking a beating if you try to sell it, but I honestly wouldn't ever think about selling mine .... sooooo .......
 
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