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303 or 391 best for project gun?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by mallard2, Oct 4, 2011.

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  1. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

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    Someone posted a nice 391 that they had built up with a high rib and nice stock.

    I have an almost new 303 that I am thinking of doing the same project on.

    I don't know much about the 391. Is it substantially better built gun or better shooter than the 303?

    Any other thoughts?
     
  2. SouthMetro Shooter

    SouthMetro Shooter TS Member

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    I am far from an expert on guns but i have had my fair share of run ins with Beretta's, they are all very similar with modifications done to the next model in line. I'm in the same boat with a 390 I'm looking at getting, but my hesitation is the stock has a small crack. And on Beretta's some guys say no school like the old school and others will say the newer ones are better, there is no straight answer. It all comes down to just doing your research and knowing how they function and what breaks and such. Hope you find this helpful, as i said earlier I'm no expert though.
     
  3. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

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    Thanks, South, good information.
     
  4. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    They're basically the same gun, but the 391 (and the 390) has a shim system so that you can adjust the cast/drop of the stock by use of a simple washer system. Also, the 391 has a gas valve that will release excess pressure through the forearm vent. It has a narrower forearm than the 390 and previous models as well...which I like. For reasons that I have never understood, some say that the 391's gas system is hard to clean....I don't get it, it's actually very simple.

    Personally, I think the 391 is the best of the 300 series, but they all have their following.
     
  5. acss

    acss Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    thats not even a close race!! a 391 is a great gun, but a 303 is as well!! its like a 60's corvette vs a newer one---which has more "feel" & what people comment on-- its the 303 with the great balance and respect- but really, its what trips your trigger -wally riebesell
     
  6. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

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    South I will say this. I have an AL-2 that has about 175,000 rounds through it and shoots like the day I bought it. Don't have any experience with the ones after the 303.
     
  7. autogun

    autogun Member

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    The 391 has a better gas system and the shim system. Much better for a project in my opinion.
     
  8. twopipe

    twopipe Member

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    only real advantage is 390/391 will shoot target & 3" magnum loads, without changing barrels. Will you be shooting many 3" magnum loads ? the 303 is the easiest to clean, I found.
     
  9. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me it goes as follows:

    391- Can digest anything you feed it, from 2 3/4" light target loads to 3" magnums, even mixing and matching in the magazine.

    390- Can digest most anything you feed it, from 2 3/4" light target loads to 3" magnums, but you might need to change out gas springs if you are one one extreme or the other of the spectrum. On the upside, if you play with springs, you can set it to drop the hulls right at your feet rather than zinging them across 3 counties.

    303-2 3/4" ONLY or 3" only.

    If you are going to be shooting clay targets only, and of these would be more than adequate. Its only when your going to be feeding it target shells and 3" magnums do you need to worry about anything.
     
  10. OLD ONE EYE

    OLD ONE EYE Well-Known Member

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    You are nit picking here all 3 are excellent guns I have had all three and like them all the same easy to shoot a little extra in cleaning but they keep on going and that is the key. I would like to try a Benelli with out a gas system seeing more and more of them on the sporting clays shoots
     
  11. JH

    JH Well-Known Member

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    I still own 303s....I have owned them since the 80s....I also owned 390s (early and late).....391s...(there are quite a few variations).....

    You have to be more specific regarding the 303 and 391......

    303: Better looks and balance (less whippy than the early 391s)...super SIMPLE Mechanism which is very easy to clean....shoots 2 3/4 shells (target) best...some crazy people open the ports when in reality you can play with the recoil spring to make it humm.....

    391: Mobilchoke or Optimabore ? 391? 391 Urika? 391 Urika II? 391 Teknys? 391 Urika Gold? 391 Urika II Gold?.....precisely, what 391 are you talking about.

    Talk to Rich Cole and get some AL2 magnum springs for your 303 and forget the 391...
     
  12. BAD 303

    BAD 303 Active Member

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    It is really a simple answer to those of us that know.tic 303 of course!
     
  13. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

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    What do the AL-2 magnum springs do for the performance?
     
  14. JH

    JH Well-Known Member

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    Here is the deal:

    303s don't have a recoil buffer. The recoil spring (as in any semiauto you shoot a LOT, particularly with 3 dram loads) weakens after about 5,000 shells....if the recoil spring weakens, the bolt legs hit against the receiver and you will eventually break a leg....be smart and buy the AL2 springs which are the heaviest Beretta made and replace them at regular intervals (it is like changing the oil in your car)...your 303 will hum like a fine tuning fork......

    There will be some who will claim they shot a zillion shots without changing springs....they are, what I like to call: WRONG!
     
  15. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

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    Bang, thanks a lot for the info!
     
  16. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

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    Does anyone have a good source for the AL-2 springs?
     
  17. Sky Buster

    Sky Buster Sky Buster TS Supporters

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    It's much harder to get parts for the 303 than a 390 or 391.
    Last time I checked, Brownells did'nt even list parts for the
    303.
     
  18. JH

    JH Well-Known Member

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    mallard,

    Rich Cole had lots of AL2 Magnum springs....you want the AL2 MAGNUM springs!

    Regarding parts, Rich Cole has parts and/or can point you where to find them....

    In 26 years of shooting 303s....when I was younger and STUPIDER...I broke two bolt links and the legs off a bolt because I DID NOT CHANGE THE RECOIL SPRING WHEN IS SHOULD HAVE.....

    Nothing else has broken....and I shoot A LOT!

    P.S. I have also broken links in an X-1 and a 390 for the same STUPID REASON!
     
  19. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

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    Thanks, Bang. I will call them.
     
  20. twopipe

    twopipe Member

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    390 & 391 have recoil springs that need changing as well. for clay targets ONLY, a 303 would be my choice
     
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