This will be my last post on the topic, as I certainly didn't intend to offend anyone who shoots a Stoeger. Once again, my main contention was that these guns are different in many ways from other firearms manufactured by companies within the conglomerate known as Beretta Holdings.
Here is what I can tell you from personal experience testing many of these guns. One of my main hunting partners owns a large gun shop. When I say large, I mean one of the largest private shotgun dealers in the state of KS. Last summer, while out there shooting sporting clays we got into a debate about the differences in pattern between a Browning Citori 625 Sporting with ported barrels and a Beretta Silver Pigeon 2 Sporting without ported barrels. So, we set out to do a test; both on the pattern board and the range. What started out as a O/U comparison quickly turned into a test of a variety of shotguns including Benelli, Beretta, Franchi, and Stoeger. We even tested Reminton, Winchester, and Browning semi-autos. Over the process of several hours, we learned that pattern density, pattern distribution, and pattern consistency varied dramatically amongst many of the manufacturers. We also learned that as you increase distance from 30 yds to 40 yds or increased shot size the guns with back boring, lenthened forcing cones, higher quality steel and machining, and barrel porting absolutely made a noticable impact on patterns. Inside 30 yds there was less variance, and unlikely to be significant in most hunting situations. Although for competition clay shooters, yes, a distinct difference was noted at all ranges tested, especially in regards to POI versus POA. I was VERY surprised to see how much better a SBE2 with crio barrels and chokes patterned as compared to an original SBE1.
After we reviewed the test results from the pattern board and the range, I came away with a much better perspective regarding the technology that goes into these shotguns. By far, the best patterns came from the high end O/U shotguns with 30-32" barrels and elongated forcing cones. Porting seemed to help with POI, but did not impact the pattern as much.
I know many of you won't agree with what I've posted and will dismiss me as some sort of elitest because you think I'm putting down the shotgun you chose to purchase. That is just not the case. I think any and every shotgun on the market is worthy of ownership by someone. No shotgun on earth can make a poor shooter hit every bird, and the best marksmen out there will be deadly with any shotgun you hand them, regardless of make or model. What I'm trying to say here, is be happy with whatever it is you shoot. They all can get the job done. Just understand that the differences between many of these guns goes beyond than the price tag. That doesn't mean a lower priced shotgun won't fit your individual needs or function flawlessly for you. It just means that some shotguns do certain things better than others. Whether or not that is valued and worth the additional price is up to each individual and we get to decide which shotgun we purchase. We are lucky to have such a variety to choose from!
Best of luck to all of you, regardless of what brand of shotgun you chose to own.
IF I AGREED WITH YOU, WE'D BOTH BE WRONG.