What is everyone shooting?

A state with an abundant amount of waterfowl. Share with others your New Jersey duck hunting experiences.

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What is everyone shooting?

Postby Wallew » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:00 pm

I am in the market for a semi auto shotgun.

I have been using a cheap Stoeger 2000. It has been a good gun but as of late it has been giving me some trouble. The last month of the season I ended up using my 870 and sending the 2000 back to Stoeger. Got it back about 2 weeks ago and everything seems good but I don't want to deal with my primary gun taking a crap in the middle of the season again. I will probably keep the Stoeger as a backup.

My budget is a max of $1000 but would be happier if I could spend less than that. The shotguns I have been looking at are the Stoeger 3500, berretta a300, remington 1187, and the Winchester sx3. I also don't have to shoot 3 1/2" shells. I know there are a few others in my price range and a few more just out of my range. I have been doing a lot of research online and there are mixed reviews on everything.

I was just wondering what everyone else is shooting. Also have you had any issues with what you shoot.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby TomKat » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:28 pm

I have $600 in my Al390. That would be a good used one if your on a budget. I it says B on it you cant go wrong.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby nitram » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:40 pm

Benelli SBE, Montefeltro or M2 and Beretta A390 & variants or Pintail. Or build you a 1100.
Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or f-ing beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back.- Al Swearengen
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby brenth8209 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:43 am

I have an a400 extreme and its a great gun. If it is a Beretta or benelli you can't go wrong
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby lag1365 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:58 am

I was in the same boat as you two years ago, I had a model 2000 for 10 years before it started it give me major problem. I ended up buying a Beretta xtrema2 because it just fit me best. Buy a gun that fits you and you will be a better shot because of it.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby TheWanderer » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:10 pm

I agree with the last post. The best gun is the one that fits the best. Many waterfowling guns now come with some shims to adjust the cast and comb (did I say that right?).

I had a Benelli SBE1 that I had bought off my dad and it fit ok after I made some adjustments but not great. I liked it for the most part, but in cold weather I had issues with the reliability of the inertia driver system specifically with overhead shots and after days hunting in the salt. I would break it down and clean it as best I could but still had some issues.

Got a new Winchester SX3 day after Christmas and love it. I'm shooting better because it fits better. I like the gas system too compared to inertia. Lucky for me it was the cheapest of the options I considered (did consider another Benelli but was low on the list, and the VersaMax as a friend has one and loves it). I didn't consider Beretta. I hear they're very reliable but they fit me the worst of any manufacturer I shouldered.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby Wallew » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:52 pm

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.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby modman901 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:32 pm

If you are interested in an 1187, I have one that I want to get rid of. I've had it for a few years, and don't use it much. It is a 3.5 magnum, with 28 inch barrel, screw-in chokes, and fully camo-ed with rubber on on the pistol grips. I saw that you were at Bob's in your post so you must be local to my area (Mullica Hill). let me know if you are interested. looking to get $650 for the gun, I am pretty firm on that. it was used ducking, but I am religious about cleaning due to the salt water.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby nitram » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:56 pm

So why not get the Montefeltro and hunt it for a year or two? By then you can save enough to change out the wood and have it dipped/parkerized, if you still think it's necessary. I don't know how in the hell we made it all those years with wood and blue steel.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby Wallew » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:14 pm

I am thinking about getting the Montefeltro and just dealing with the abuse. I was looking on the Benelli site and found that the receiver is aluminum, so I don't have to worry about surface rust on that. I have to admit that I kind of like the worn look on a wood/blued gun. It adds character. Something the dime a dozen camo guns lack.

Tomorrow I am going to call around to a bunch of gun shops in south jersey. I would like to track down a Winchester Sx3. I have read a lot of good things about them but haven't come across one yet. It's a gun with a good reputation and it's in my price range.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby jerseydutch » Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:56 am

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.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby Basspond » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:13 am

I picked up a M2 in Max-4 at ***** for under 800 when they were having one of those sales. The M2 is basically a synthetic Montefeltro.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby Wallew » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:19 pm

Thanks for everyone chiming in. I do appreciate it all the feedback.

I called around most of south jersey today and couldn't track down a Winchester SX3. I was hoping to get my hands on one to check it out.

Tomorrow I am going to head up to Cheyanne Mountain Outfitters and Sportsman's Center since they are right up rt130 from each other. I figure I'll take a ride up after work and see what they have in the gun racks for me to check out. You never know what you'll stumble across.

I drive myself crazy when it comes to things like this.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby Wallew » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:40 am

Decision made. Yesterday I went to ***** and picked up the A300 in Max4. It feel it was definetly the best bang for the buck. The fit and finish was better than everything in my price range except the Montefeltro.

The Montefeltro is a great gun and I could see myself picking one up later on down the road. But for now, $700 for the A300 makes more sense to me. Plus I can use the extra money towards the Creekboat/aquapod I have been looking into. I also realized that no matter what I picked I was way better off than with the cheap Stoeger I have been using.
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Re: What is everyone shooting?

Postby pvn6616 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:08 am

Nice choice! Beautiful gun. You can't go wrong w/ Beretta. I have 2 of them - 12 and 20 but they are blued and wood, too nice to shoot at ducks so I mostly use the Stoeger myself. Congratulations on your decision.
“The perils of duck hunting are great- especially for the duck” Walter Cronkite
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