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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon, I'm looking to purchase a semi-auto shotgun for water fowl and not break the bank. I'm seriously considering the CZ 1012 and the Stoeger m3500 water fowl edition. Does anyone have experience with either of these they can share, or something else they could recommend up to the 800 to 850 price range?
Thanks in advance!
 

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Oooh. Your Price range is a problem. CZ shotguns are not known for their quality unlike their bolt action rifles. No knowledge of the
Stoeger. Semi Auto a deal breaker? I would look for a used Remington 870 Pump. I carried a Mossberg and a field grade (older) 870 in both 20 and 12 Magnum for many years also. All great for tromping through the Marsh and Rice Field with.

If I were to buy a semi auto today it would be in the Beretta A400 family. It is outside your price range though. My first pump shotgun was a Winchester 42 in .410 that was borrowed from a great Uncle. My Dad had a Model 12 that I shot when I got big enough. I currently own a Mossberg 600 AT (although in bad shape), a few 870's and a Winchester 1200. My .410 870 is still a favorite. I've owned a bunch of semi-autos that I could recommend...but they fall outside your price point

Don't be scared off by a pump. Recoil is not that much worse than a semi auto if it fits you well.

Good luck and all the best.
 
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There's a lot of good semi-auto shotguns in that price range. Remington V3 is an outstanding autoloader that seems to just be constantly overlooked. If they made it in a 20ga, I'd already own one, but last thing I need is another 12ga. Everyone is all about the inertial actions these days, I personally don't care for them. The gas action of the Rem V3 is thus far the softest shooting 12ga I have ever picked up...and I have shot most of them.

The Winchester SX3 and Browning Silver/Gold (basically the same gun) are also excellent gas action semi-auto's that have been around for over a decade. They are very reliable and soft shooting.

Mossberg 940's are very reliable shotguns and well worth consideration; probably the fastest cycling gas action shotgun out there. Franchi Affinity 3 is worth a look, as is the Beretta 300.

If you want an inertial gun, there are a ton of choices these days and the CZ is a good place to start.

You don't have to search far to get a good semi-auto shotgun these days; they're all pretty darned good, just need to find the one that lights your fire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oooh. Your Price range is a problem. CZ shotguns are not known for their quality unlike their bolt action rifles. No knowledge of the
Stoeger. Semi Auto a deal breaker? I would look for a used Remington 870 Pump. I carried a Mossberg and a field grade (older) 870 in both 20 and 12 Magnum for many years also. All great for tromping through the Marsh and Rice Field with.

If I were to buy a semi auto today it would be in the Beretta A400 family. It is outside your price range though. My first pump shotgun was a Winchester 42 in .410 that was borrowed from a great Uncle. My Dad had a Model 12 that I shot when I got big enough. I currently own a Mossberg 600 AT (although in bad shape), a few 870's and a Winchester 1200. My .410 870 is still a favorite. I've owned a bunch of semi-autos that I could recommend...but they fall outside your price point

Don't be scared off by a pump. Recoil is not that much worse than a semi auto if it fits you well.

Good luck and all the best.
Thank you for the input. I have a Mossberg pump, so I'm not worried about that, getting follow up shots off quickly is my concern. I'm more of a handgun guy. I'm surprised about the CZ quality. They are my #2 favorite manufacturer due to their high quality hand guns and bolt actions. I've held the Stoeger, and it was comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There's a lot of good semi-auto shotguns in that price range. Remington V3 is an outstanding autoloader that seems to just be constantly overlooked. If they made it in a 20ga, I'd already own one, but last thing I need is another 12ga. Everyone is all about the inertial actions these days, I personally don't care for them. The gas action of the Rem V3 is thus far the softest shooting 12ga I have ever picked up...and I have shot most of them.

The Winchester SX3 and Browning Silver/Gold (basically the same gun) are also excellent gas action semi-auto's that have been around for over a decade. They are very reliable and soft shooting.

Mossberg 940's are very reliable shotguns and well worth consideration; probably the fastest cycling gas action shotgun out there. Franchi Affinity 3 is worth a look, as is the Beretta 300.

If you want an inertial gun, there are a ton of choices these days and the CZ is a good place to start.

You don't have to search far to get a good semi-auto shotgun these days; they're all pretty darned good, just need to find the one that lights your fire.
Thank you for the input. I'm not opposed to a gas system, I'll research the ones you mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Consider looking for a Beretta A300 shotgun. They can be found in your price range. They are very, very reliable shotguns and easy to clean and take care of. I’d consider them the absolute best in the price range you’re looking at.
Thanks, I'll check them out.
 

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A guy showed up to shoot skeet last weekend with a new Beretta, when he was putting the barrel on he noticed a broken part and showed me. Under the forearm is a sleeve that rides the magazine tube, it's plastic, very thin plastic. We had discussion about it and he was in love with the gun from an appearance perspective, don't blame him the wood was highly figured and finished perfectly. I asked if he thought about how brittle plastic becomes when the temperature falls below freezing like when your duck or pheasant hunting anytime after November in Colorado. He had himself convinced he had bought the most awesome shotgun ever made in spite of the reality of the situation, I thought he might have a meltdown. Another guy loaned him a gun thankfully.
Anyways, thought it was pretty cheesy of Beretta to make that part out of plastic on a gun that's really expensive for a semi-auto.
Beretta A400 Xplor 20ga 28" Bronze Receiver - Semi Auto Shotguns at GunBroker.com : 939426160
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A guy showed up to shoot skeet last weekend with a new Beretta, when he was putting the barrel on he noticed a broken part and showed me. Under the forearm is a sleeve that rides the magazine tube, it's plastic, very thin plastic. We had discussion about it and he was in love with the gun from an appearance perspective, don't blame him the wood was highly figured and finished perfectly. I asked if he thought about how brittle plastic becomes when the temperature falls below freezing like when your duck or pheasant hunting anytime after November in Colorado. He had himself convinced he had bought the most awesome shotgun ever made in spite of the reality of the situation, I thought he might have a meltdown. Another guy loaned him a gun thankfully.
Anyways, thought it was pretty cheesy of Beretta to make that part out of plastic on a gun that's really expensive for a semi-auto.
Beretta A400 Xplor 20ga 28" Bronze Receiver - Semi Auto Shotguns at GunBroker.com : 939426160
Wow! Thanks for the info! That is crazy!
 

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He bought the gun at Scheels, was at a loss for what to do because he didn't want to give up the gun for another and ordering a part for it might take a long time. I'm wired different than that, I see something I don't like in a design or whatever it's gone.
 

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I'm wired different than that, I see something I don't like in a design or whatever it's gone.
Cheers to that!
I never understood the pedestal mindset that so many people have.
 
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I get mad at myself if I don't do my homework on a purchase only to find out later there is a problem with it and I've lost some time and money.
 

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I shot around 25,000 rounds of clays a year for many years and owned over a dozen Benelli and Beretta shotguns. I’ve NEVER had one break or fail in all that time. I’d shoot them to the point I’d have to replace the recoil spring due to compression over time, a simple replacement, but it never caused to gun to fail. Benelli’s are the most reliable shotguns of all, and can be taken down to the smallest component in under a minute and put back together almost as fast. The Beretta’s are gas guns and I’ve run some of them into the thousands of rounds on purpose to see how long they’d go before they started of cycle fail due to needing cleaning. They easily surpassed any of the Remington or Brownings I owned. I’m not familiar with that plastic part on the A400 since I don’t own one of the, but I see a lot of them on the clays field and I haven’t seen any fail yet. A good friend of mine has two of them and swears by them. To each his own I guess, but my experience has been Benelli and Beretta being the most reliable over the last several decades. I gave up on Remingtons a long time ago and all five of my Browning gas guns (Browning Golds) had cycling problems.
 

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I don't have a dog in the fight, Beretta is the oldest and one of the best gun manufacturers on the planet but this wasn't a part that looked like it should be made out of plastic.
I don't own any Beretta's but my kid does, their o/u shotguns are wonderful.
It was a new gun, I suspect that it's a recent change in materials.
 

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I'd buy a used Browning A-5 if I were in your shoes. They seem to sell for about $550 around here. I have had one since I was 12 years old (67 years) and it has never failed me.
I'm a Browning A5 junkie, and I really wouldn't recommend one to any but the most hardcore gun nuts (like you and I)

As great as the A5 is, modern shotguns are cheaper, lighter, and way more versatile. Also, any A5 you find for $550 has probably been ridden hard and not maintained well. Very good condition Light 12's start at around $1,000, and 20 bores in VG shape start at about double that. The middle gun below is a 1973 Belgian I recently found that was NIB, and it was a steal at $1,100. Enough of steal that I couldn't walk away from it.

Most A5's have fixed chokes, but very late models have interchangeable chokes. A5's do not have chrome lined barrels, so steel shot isn't recommended. They also won't handle both 2 3/4" and 3" shells, its one or the other. Modern shotguns can use both shells interchangeably without any adjustments, just load and shoot. Lastly spare barrels for A5's are VERY expensive, starting at around $350 for a plane no rib barrel in okay shape, and expect nearly double that for a good condition barrel with vent rib.

All that said, I personally use an A5 almost exclusively. I too fell in love with the A5, also at age 12... My hunting buddy had one and it was just the coolest shotgun I had ever seen. 40+ years later, its still the shotgun I'd rather be shooting, and I really don't care if something "better" exist.

Wood Gun accessory Everyday carry Gun barrel Composite material
 

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I don't have a dog in the fight, Beretta is the oldest and one of the best gun manufacturers on the planet but this wasn't a part that looked like it should be made out of plastic.
I don't own any Beretta's but my kid does, their o/u shotguns are wonderful.
It was a new gun, I suspect that it's a recent change in materials.
Always happens when the Bean Counters get involved. I've personally shot quite a few of the 400 series and have always liked them. I don't own any, but have a few friends with them. Disappointing in what you reported Kevin.
 

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Beretta is a great company, they haven't survived this long and done this well by not making things right with their customers, they'll fix his gun and if it turns into a big problem have a recall.
At 2 minutes into this video on the 391 the guy removes the forearm, that black piece that goes over the magazine tube is plastic on the gun I seen, it was broken out near the end where the plastic piece goes from surrounding the tube completely to rail like pieces on each side.
(1) Beretta A391 Xtrema Troubleshooting - YouTube
 
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