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Five +- years ago I got caught up in 391 mania and built a matching pair w/ all Briley accessories and Wenig wood. Could never shoot them consistently, they rattled and parts fell off at inopportune times. Sold them both and went back to o/u‘s. Probably just me as others loved them. Fast forward 5 years and I found a 303 Trap new in the box but w/ a Moneymaker big bore barrel. I shot a 303 skeet in the 12 gauge events back in the 80s and missed it. The 303 is brick solid, almost Llutic simple and works flawlessly. Why did B ever change it?
 

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I can’t speak to why Beretta dropped the the 303. Probably, just like car manufacturer, tje need to come out with a new improved model is driven by some corporate egghead in tje marketing department.

As an aside, what fell of your 391’s ? I have two and shoot them quite a bit. I’ve had two issues. The charging handle has popped out a couple of times while I was shooting. My fault for installing it incorrect.

The other issue was the ventilated rib popping off. It’s happened twice. I’ve been reluctant to use a permanent solution like JBWeld for fear I might want to remove the rib at some point in the future.
 

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Like Bob just said. The 390 improved on the 303 by adding a gas release spring that is easily replaceable without tools. Cole's sells a set of springs in graduated strength to allow shooting very light loads up to magnums without having to own separate barrels. I have shot my 390 extensively without a problem. They are easy to clean and easy to perform routine maintenance on. -Ed
 

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Yes, the 303 was simple....maybe too much so. That's why they improved it when they came out with the 390. The problem with the 303 is that it can't vent excess gas and damage can occur to the linkage, bolt or even the receiver. You have to be VERY careful about the loads that you choose with a 303 and you need to pay close attention to recoil spring wear.
 

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303 was super simple...390 improved the 303 by adding the self-compensating spring to vent excess gas...391 tweaked the 390 by overcomplicating the gas-venting spring. I love my 303's and 390's.
For many (such as myself), the 391, with its narrow forearm was a big improvement. The gas valve is a bit more complicated, but actually pretty simple.

For me, I like a 391 with a 390 trigger. The 391 had a plastic trigger plate where the pre 391 models were cast zinc alloy and took to a trigger job much better in my opinion.
 

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For many (such as myself), the 391, with its narrow forearm was a big improvement. The gas valve is a bit more complicated, but actually pretty simple.

For me, I like a 391 with a 390 trigger. The 391 had a plastic trigger plate where the pre 391 models were cast zinc alloy and took to a trigger job much better in my opinion.
The 390 gas valve assy is two parts - a spring and a flat washer...while the 391 gas assy takes six parts to do the same funciton...pick your poison.
 

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I can’t speak to why Beretta dropped the the 303. Probably, just like car manufacturer, tje need to come out with a new improved model is driven by some corporate egghead in tje marketing department.

As an aside, what fell of your 391’s ? I have two and shoot them quite a bit. I’ve had two issues. The charging handle has popped out a couple of times while I was shooting. My fault for installing it incorrect.

The other issue was the ventilated rib popping off. It’s happened twice. I’ve been reluctant to use a permanent solution like JBWeld for fear I might want to remove the rib at some point in the future.
Use silicone adhesive.
 

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All solid, but I'll go 390 as the high point in the line.

The addition of the spring in the 390 gas system allows great versatility in handling a range of loads without the 391 complexity. 303 and prior are great as well if you have a barrel suited to your preferred load or willing to have multiple barrels.
 

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I have a 391 gold sporting and have shot it for years with no problems. I just bought the new 300 ultima ,so far no problems. I still prefer the 391! You known how the new gun bug bites.
 
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