New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

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New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby Swiftks » Sat May 17, 2014 7:09 pm

Hello All, brand new to the forum, although I've been a lurker for quite a while.

So I just picked up my new shotgun this week. I went with the Beretta A400 Xtreme.
I know this is a super great gun out of the box, and that's why I paid all that $$$ for it. Regardless, I still want to take it in and get a few Gunsmithing things done. I've complied a list of a few things I'm thinking about getting, and would like the "expert" opinions of the forum members here on anything else that I might need to consider. :bow:

Like I said, I've been a lurker for a while, so I know I'm probably going to get a lot of, "don't waste your money" "why the hell you wanna do that" "that doesn't do anything" etc., etc. Lets for arguments sake say that I have more $ than sense, and just like to blow it like there's no tomorrow... :thumbsup:
Truth be told, I've been saving my $ for a while for this gun, and included in my savings additional money for some custom gun work. And don't worry, I'll be spending just as much on clays and practice, just as soon as I get her back from the gunsmith. So lets try and keep the above noted points/posts to a minimal please... I'm not asking what you would do with my money, I'm asking your opinion on custom shotgun work.

So first and foremost, the Gunsmith. I am most likely going to take it into Briley, as I live in Houston, and I can easily drop it off and pick it up when ready. However, I also know that Benelli sends all their SBE IIs to get custom work done at Rob Roberts, and I saw that Cole Gun Smithing is a Beretta authorized service center, and thus specializes in Berettas. Should I be considering either of these over Briley, or someone else? I've used Briley in the past for work on my rifles and they've always come through; never had a shotgun worked on though. And if the consensuses is the end all, be all of Beretta Gun Smithing is XYZ Company, then I may consider sending it there.

Here is a short list of just a couple of things I would like to do/add to the gun:
- Trigger Job
- Polish Action
- Replace bolt handle for larger one (see SBE II waterfowl edition)
- Replace action buttion with EZ-Lever (see SBE II waterfowl edition)
- Full assortment of Briley extended & ported chokes

Question: I originally wanted to lengthen the forcing cone as well, but saw on several reviews of the A400, that the forcing cone was already lengthened. As Beretta is closed on the weekend, I have yet to confirm or deny this. Anyone know if this is true? And if it is lengthened, is it more/less the length that a gun smith would lengthen it to; say about 3"? If it's already lengthened, and a gun smith would only lengthen it by a "little" more, then I don't see the point. However, if it isn't lengthened, or could be lengthened "a lot" more, then that's something I may consider.

Back Bore: Was told by Briley and Rob Roberts that the Bertta barrel is already perfect diameter, and does not need to be back bored.

Porting: Not real crazy about having permanent holes in the end of the barrel, that's why I wanted to get extended ported chokes. Yes, I understand I can't shot Black Cloud out of said chokes... I don't shot that anyway.

So keeping all that in mind, and that the gun is a A400, what if anything else should I be looking at?
Thanks for your help, and I hope I can help you sometime in the future. Also, sorry for the long post, but I like to be detailed.

Thank Again.
Last edited by Swiftks on Sun May 18, 2014 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby Steele22 » Sat May 17, 2014 8:24 pm

Hurry and trade it in for a Benelli then take your new gun out of box and be happy for years lol
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby MNGunner » Sat May 17, 2014 8:33 pm

I'm personally not a fan of ported choke tubes--especially in a blind with friends.

I'd skip altering the barrel. At the very least, get the chokes and see how it patterns with various loads first.

Enjoy the new gun!
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby KRB » Sun May 18, 2014 5:30 am

Check out Pure Gold chokes, they pattern awesome in my A400.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby mudpack » Sun May 18, 2014 6:28 am

Swiftks wrote: Lets for arguments sake say that I have more $ than sense, and just like to blow it like there's no tomorrow....... I'm not asking what you would do with my money, I'm asking your opinion on custom shotgun work.


How about one or two of those "light pipe" front beads? They seem popular with the trick shooters.
Some Duck Commander decals for the stock, and some "Beretta" decals for the barrel should increase stature.
Don't forget the aftermarket Stainless Steel spring kits.....
Titanium firing pins are cool.

Or, how about something that will actually help you kill more ducks with that gun: having a professional stock-fitter adjust the gun to fit you....? THEN, several sessions with a Sporting Clays shooting instructor should finish the task nicely.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby MNGunner » Sun May 18, 2014 7:33 am

mudpack wrote:
Swiftks wrote: Lets for arguments sake say that I have more $ than sense, and just like to blow it like there's no tomorrow....... I'm not asking what you would do with my money, I'm asking your opinion on custom shotgun work.


How about one or two of those "light pipe" front beads?


I was beginning to think I was the only guy left that still likes the ol' brass/while bead.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby 3200 man » Sun May 18, 2014 7:39 am

FYI

After trying to hunt with a Clay target gun with ALL the Bells and Whistles you speak of , I can only offer this....Don't !
Other than what Mudpack has suggested , your 400 has everything you need . You say you live close to Briley so , with
taking your gun to them and having them measure your barrel , you will be assured of purchasing extended chokes that
match your bore .
Spend that extra money at the Sporting Clay range with Gil and Vicky Ash , a pretty gun means nothing , if you can't hit
what you are shooting at and there is a Big Difference between a true Target Dun and a Duck Killing Machine !
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby 3200 man » Sun May 18, 2014 7:54 am

NNGunner ?

What do you mean ? Do you really need a bead to shoot straight , if the gun fits you ?
Light pipes , I think , cause shooters to check/look at the barrel , a NO NO !
Beads front and back on a target gun , do help with canting the gun , for target shooting only .
But shooting game birds , it's the mount of the gun and the focus on the front of the bird that's more important !

Yes , the old Bradleys ( white or brass ) are better than those glow-in-the-dark things.......for me too !

Old School shooting at its Best ? :beer:
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby MNGunner » Sun May 18, 2014 12:23 pm

3200 man wrote:NNGunner ?

What do you mean ? Do you really need a bead to shoot straight , if the gun fits you ?
Light pipes , I think , cause shooters to check/look at the barrel , a NO NO !
Beads front and back on a target gun , do help with canting the gun , for target shooting only .
But shooting game birds , it's the mount of the gun and the focus on the front of the bird that's more important !

Yes , the old Bradleys ( white or brass ) are better than those glow-in-the-dark things.......for me too !

Old School shooting at its Best ? :beer:


In theory, no, but I do find it helps guide me to have a "ghost" image of a bead.

I actually think the opposite--in target shooting you need a bead less since you have time to get the gun mounted properly. In hunting, even when a gun fits perfectly, the fit changes when you have bulky clothes, mount from weird positions (like lying down, sitting) etc. Bit you are correct--giun fit is everything!

I got a Maxus last year and it was actually tough to get a model to look at that didn't have those damn distracting fiber optic sights on them!
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby 3200 man » Mon May 19, 2014 5:40 am

I also hunt with a Maxus , it's a Sporting 30" and to heavy in the front-end loaded so , I added 8 oz of lead to the stock
making it very quick out front . I took the light-pipe off and shoot it plain barrel , by fitting the gun to me it shoots 60/40
POI for me , as do my clay target guns . There's no change when I mount the guns , other than LOP for the seasons !
My success in shooting is from hard focus on the target ( clay or Live birds ) so , I wouldn't know if a gun had a bead or not .

Good shooting :thumbsup:
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby MNGunner » Mon May 19, 2014 7:21 am

3200 man wrote:I also hunt with a Maxus , it's a Sporting 30" and to heavy in the front-end loaded so , I added 8 oz of lead to the stock
making it very quick out front . I took the light-pipe off and shoot it plain barrel , by fitting the gun to me it shoots 60/40
POI for me , as do my clay target guns . There's no change when I mount the guns , other than LOP for the seasons !
My success in shooting is from hard focus on the target ( clay or Live birds ) so , I wouldn't know if a gun had a bead or not .

Good shooting :thumbsup:


I should have done what you did and just take off the fiber and put a bead on. I spent a ton of time calling places to try to find a camo model that just had the bead only (I also wanted a newer serial number since the first run supposedly had trigger reset problems--probably not a big deal, but something I just didn't want to deal with).

In the end, I found a MODB model that just came with the brass bead. Once I got the cast off shim installed I was smoking clays! Actually shot 5 triples in a row.

Good to see another Old Schooler :beer:
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby z51 » Mon May 19, 2014 8:16 am

I wouldn't do any of the things you listed unless the gun has a crappy trigger. Extended chokes are nice, but not ported. They do zilch for felt recoil. Start with lite mod and improved mod. Those are probably the only two chokes you will ever need for waterfowl. I could tell you all the reasons not to do the other things but just don't.
If you need to get rid of some cash go out in the yard and set a handful of $100's on fire.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby R. Chapman » Mon May 19, 2014 10:52 am

You could also do some barrel work to it. Such as ultra sonic straightening, back boring, forcing cone lengthing or elimination, and porting to name a few.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby R. Chapman » Mon May 19, 2014 10:59 am

I like back boring a lot as I can shoot a little bit hotter loads and get the same pressures as max loads.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby cluckmeister » Mon May 19, 2014 11:03 am

It looks to me like a lot of money spent to kill ducks. Ive had no problem the last forty years killing ducks with a gun just out of the box

BTW the way you mentioned more money than sense, send me some money, Ill take care of it for you
Last edited by cluckmeister on Mon May 19, 2014 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby mudpack » Mon May 19, 2014 11:11 am

R. Chapman wrote:You could also do some barrel work to it. Such as ultra sonic straightening, back boring, forcing cone lengthing or elimination, and porting to name a few.

Read the original post again.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby blackrock » Mon May 19, 2014 11:13 am

I think you should just buy two of them! That way if one doesn't hit ducks or function, you'll have a back up.......
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby Tgunz64 » Mon May 19, 2014 11:56 am

Why didn't you just go with the SBE2 waterfowl edition then?
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby cluckmeister » Mon May 19, 2014 12:06 pm

blackrock wrote:I think you should just buy two of them! That way if one doesn't hit ducks or function, you'll have a back up.......

And if they both don't work ,rig'em in the oar locks and use them for oars.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby blackrock » Mon May 19, 2014 12:15 pm

cluckmeister wrote:
blackrock wrote:I think you should just buy two of them! That way if one doesn't hit ducks or function, you'll have a back up.......

And if they both don't work ,rig'em in the oar locks and use them for oars.
yep, and get an old 870 that goes bang instead of click......
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby 3200 man » Mon May 19, 2014 2:56 pm

You have made a good choice with the Maxus ! It has everything you need to shoot steel shot efficiently , with its'
over bored barrel and invector Plus chokes , it's a heck of a good design . Yes the early ones did have some issues
and they fixed that with a nice trigger and piston spring improvement so , you're good to go !

Benelli's are catching on though , other than not looking like a Waterfowl Gun , they do back bore them now ! :yes:
but , at lease you didn't drink the BS and are shooting something you can be proud of..... :lol3: :biggrin: :grooving:

:censored: replies will not be read ! :no: :tongue:
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby Steele22 » Mon May 19, 2014 3:23 pm

Lmao benellis catching on what a joke. Seems to me the big new A5 from Browning is the copy cat following the inertia drive. About time cause the gas system of theirs sucked. I used to have browning shotguns years ago and never had one that didn't jam. Although reading on this forum they half assed it cause according to the owners they can only shoot a few select low powered shells and have to be very picky on cleaning or not cleaning the new gun lol. Keep on worrying about looks like a true water fowler. I'll keep to my UGLY gun that I can shoot whatever I want thru and not worry about jamming like a true duck hunter :beer:
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby cootlover » Mon May 19, 2014 4:06 pm

Mud I would like to thank you on your first post I was having a bad day and it made me laugh .I would first off make sure your a good shot it don't matter what money you spend on your gun if you cant hit SH*T. I see it all the time people spend all this coin on $10.000 plus shotguns and don't shoot any better .
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby cluckmeister » Mon May 19, 2014 4:38 pm

cootlover wrote:Mud I would like to thank you on your first post I was having a bad day and it made me laugh .I would first off make sure your a good shot it don't matter what money you spend on your gun if you cant hit SH*T. I see it all the time people spend all this coin on $10.000 plus shotguns and don't shoot any better .


If I spent 10,000 on a gun I couldn't hit SH+T either because my hands would be shaking so bad from knowing Id wasted about 9,000 dollars.
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Re: New Gun... Custom Work Suggestions.

Postby War Wagon » Mon May 19, 2014 7:40 pm

It's your gun....If you want to do that.....DO IT....
Be happy with your gun... :clapping:
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