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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any recommendations on a good semi-auto 20 guage for field hunting use. Reliability, recoil, price etc. Thanks for any help.

Dan
 

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I love my 11-87 20 gauge but I know it wouldn't be the best choice for all use. It is heavy for a 20 gauge which makes it better for target shooting, waterfowl or turkey hunting with 3 inch magnums. Not as much fun to carry on an all day quail hunt. I think Franchi or Benelli make the lightest 20's. Good for an all day carry in the field but can be brutal target shooting or with heavy shells. A real light gun doesn't swing as smoothly either. You have to keep it swinging. A Browning or a Beretta would be in between in weight. They are all good guns. Some would never use a 20 gauge for ducks or turkeys but I enjoy using it. With hevishot I don't feel that compromised. I can kill either to 40 yards.
 

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Not in any particular order

Franchi AL-48
Beretta 391
Remington 1100
Benelli (not sure of their models, they have several)
Browning Silver
 

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Jack, the outfitters my friends used in Arg. used the Benelli 20's, they shot sometimes 1800 rounds in one day with only an occasional squirt of lube into the port.

They had used others with somewhat less reliability.

You don't want gun malfunctions on a 5 Thousand dollar trip.

The other side of the coin: You will never in the USA subject a field gun to that much usage.

Therefore, Beretta and Remington are viable alternatives if they feel and fit better. Browning also (is there a 20 ga. Gold Hunter?)

I would avoid the low cost stuff like Daly or Breda, etc just from a future support standpoint. There have been many of these that are no longer in existence or with parts available.

Guns with the spring and action bars inside the mag tube- avoid like the plague.

HM
 

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I guess the new Brwnings are "silver" and not "gold."
 

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Browning A5 light 20 either Belgian or Japanese. The Japanese models are somewhat less expensive, heavier and some have choke tubes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Guy's thanks for all of the tips. Do they still make an 1100? Also I had heard good things about the Benelli's and will have to see if they fit me. I will primarily be using this for pheasants in SD and will shoot 3" shells. Any other thoughts I appreciate.

Dan
 

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The only 1100 20 gauge they make now would be a sporting clays model or a skeet model. They both have 2 3/4 inch chambers. They make an 11-87 with 3 inch chambers. My friend's 20 gauge Benelli has trouble with 3 inch shells. Might be just his gun. You need to handle them all. There is a big difference in how the Benelli will feel and how the Remington will feel. If you plan on doint any target shooting with this gun I would avoid the real light guns. If I was going to be shooting heavy 3 inch shells but still wanted a light gun I would go with the Browning or Beretta. The Benelli will pound you with target loads much less 3 inch magnums.
 

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I bought the Benelli M2 20 gauge for just that purpose, pheasants in South Dakota. You can shoot 3 in shells and still get 1 1/4 ounce of shot and not have to lug around a 12.

It's an awesome gun! Somebody mentioned recoil above but with the ComforTech stock there is minimal recoil with 3 inch shells.

It's very light weight, comes up sweet, all in all a great gun.

The only disadvantage is the 3 round capacity. Sometimes when you get into those birds thick it would be nice to have 5 shots.
 

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Benelli is a good choice for hunting as noted, but they seem to be 'way overpriced. Look for a used one. I looked for and used Remington 31L pumps (very light weight due to their alloy frames) - carried like a dream all day pheasant hunting: 12ga. 28" barrel = 6.25lbs; 16ga. = 6lbs.; 20ga. = 5.5lbs. Now they're impossible to find. Regards, Ed
 

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You don't tend to notice recoil as much when you are shooting at a game bird because your excitement level is so high. But light guns do have high recoil regardless of the stock. I patterned an 11-87 and a 12 gauge Benelli auto with the comfortech stock on the same day with 3 inch shells. No comparison. The Benelli almost knocked the teeth out of my head and dislocated my shoulder. I haven't felt that much pain since patterning my Mossberg 3 1/2 inch pump. Heavier guns have less recoil as do gas operated autos. The most pleasant gun I have ever shot at the target range was my 11-87 20 gauge with the R-3 limbsaver pad and light target loads. I could shoot that gun all day long without a mark on my shoulder.
 

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I had a 391 in 20 ga, shot 1-1/4 oz at pheasants, no noticeable recoil. It worked pretty good, and was real light.
 

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I have a like new 20 11-87 with 2 stocks 1 reguluar and 1 youth reduced lenght gun has been shot about 100 times I bought new for 589.00 plus tax I will take 475.00 shipped Thanks let me know
 
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