Wallew wrote:Thanks for the advise.
I went to Bob's the other day to get a feel for some of the guns in my budget. I also went to ****'s today at lunchtime today.
-So far I think the 11-87 fits me the best. It's heavier than about everything I have looked at but fits well.
-The stoeger 3500 fits pretty well. It has a familiar feeling because I have been shooting the 2000 for a while. I like it but am afraid of having issues again down the road.
-the beretta A300 fits me ok. It is definetly put together well. Internals are nice and polished. It feels like the lightest gun I have handled.Should be an obvious choice but fit doesn't quite feel right.
- the Versamax feels pretty good. The quality seems kind of shoddy. I was surprised. Internals look very rough and the two I have looked at, the forearms don't seem to fit quite right. After looking these over they are off the list.
-at ***** I handled a Benelli Montefeltro. It was at the top of my price range at $999. It felt like it was made for me. Very light, beautifully polished internals and was put together nice and tight. The issue is that it was wood furniture with blued barrel. It just won't last duck hunting. The salesman called to see if he could get me one with the synthetic stock and found that they are on back order with no available date for delivery.
Also at ***** this week they are having a shotgun sale. $25 off of all shotguns up to $400, $50 off shotguns $400- $800, and $100 off all shotguns $800 or more. The sale is making me fell froggy about buying a new duck gun.
I went through this process a year ago. I would put a lot of value on which gun feels the best. I was looking at the a300, m35000, 11-87, and a few others in the general price range. The a300 felt the best to me, but it was the only one I have never shot before. My brother has the m3500 and my girlfriend has the 11-87 so I got to shoot, and hunt with both.
The stoeger felt pretty good to me but I wasn't a big fan of the inertia system. I know it is really not meant for light dram clay loads, but it would cycle them for my brother and not for me. I am guess I have more give when I shoot, or have more meat on my bones lol. It also was less smooth than the gas guns...not a big deal but something I would always take notice.
The 11-87 is a tank. It was the heaviest of the guns I was looking at, something I really didn't like. I didn't like the balance eaither. Seemed like a lot of weight was forward on the gun. It went up pretty well and I shot well with it. I wasn't a fan of the whole taking off o-rings and adding/removing piston to shoot light loads or hunting loads. Not a big deal but not a pro in my book.
the a300 just felt plain good when I picked it up, and shouldered even better. It was the lightest of the bunch and the most well balanced to me. Pretty cheap as well. I didn't shoot 3.5 shells, which I really don't mind because I never shoot them anyway, and it was the black finish, which seems to be more of a rust attractant than the other finishes. They have a camo version for $100 more but none at the store at the time. I didn't know anyone who had that gun so I couldn't get a chance to break some clays with it, but I couldn't get over how well it felt so I ended up buying it. I have really enjoyed it this past season. No regrets on the purchase. Only thing is I plan to get it dipped maybe after next season. I stay on top of cleaning but that black matte finish really dislikes salt water.
My buddy bought the sx3 not too long ago. I didn't get a chance to shoot it yet but that gun feels really well too. Equally as light as the a300 and balanced well too. I think that one shoots 3.5s and isn't that expensive either. I would have given some serious thought between the sx3 and the a300 if I had a chance to see the sx3 when I was in the market.
So that was a long winded way of saying go with your gut and what feels the best. Don't forgot some of those guns come with spacers to change lop and shims. If It feels pretty good but isn't quite right make sure it isn't just a minor adjustment that you can make.