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Discussion Starter #1
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

I am waiting on my turkey to roast and found a few minutes to post the universal new shooter dilemma :
"How can I narrow the field to a handful of 12 gauge Semi-Auto?"

I have researched, maybe over researched this subject. Read online reviews, the forum, and watched videos.
In addition, visit local gun stores (and larger chains). Plus paid a visit to a local range yesterday. Fine folks there and hope to be doing my business there - it makes sense.

I am going to get instruction first and shoot a few guns that I am interested in, but feel I may be in for paralysis by analysis mode.

Here are my parameters for new :

1. Entry level sporting, not a field gun
2. Semi Auto 12 gauge
3. Wood Stock (I know it will not be beautiful - but aesthetically more my style)
4. Durable, good manufacturers warranty

New, I have come up with the SKB RS300, Beretta A300 Sporting, Franchi Affinity Sporting

Used: Same versions as above, but also the Beretta AL390/391 Sporting models (not many at this price point). Benelli Semi Auto?

I usually don't sell my stuff to upgrade, so I would keep as a backup for myself, friends and family.

Black Friday sales around me have the A300 Outlander Sporting @849. Room for a case. Franchi Affinity at $799, and the RS300 at $949 - but like the ability to adjust.

I would love to buy American - my friends Remington 1100 experience was not good, but understand that is one data point.

Lastly, as in all hobbies, if I held out and saved up more cash, I could get a better, preowned gun. However, the opportunity to shoot them is a bit of a risk. Plus, I totally get the archer and arrow analogy. So pragmatically, I am trying to stay at my budget to see how good of an archer am I.

Hope everyone enjoys their holiday.
 

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Beretta A300 Sporting, if you have to have a Sporting gun, or you could get a synthetic A300, which is highly adjustable, a great loaner gun, and saves you a couple hundred dollars. Just buy something that fits you and go shooting. Best 5 Stand score I have shot recently was with my A300 synthetic, and I shoot a lot of different guns. Happy Thanksgiving.
 

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I agree with Oregunner, he made a good recommendation, the A300 has a gas system similiar or the same as the 391. I don't own a Beretta autoloader since I have 4 12 ga. and 2 20 ga. 1100s.
 

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If you are looking for a semi auto, Beretta makes the best semi autos out there at this time. Out of your list, I'd suggest the A300.
 

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Beretta A300.
Don't even look at the other two you mentioned.

As someone who spends a LOT of time on Sporting Clays ranges, and has seen just about every gun fail multiple ways, I can tell you that the Beretta gas guns are among those giving the least trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
First, thanks to everyone who replied on Thanksgiving. The recommendations are greatly appreciated.

So while on this thread, the gentleman at the range said that the technology from the 390/391 receiver is in the A300, while the gas system is from the A400.
The finish is not the same as the A400, but it is good.

I see alot of threads here about people going back to their 390/391 and either selling their A300 or keeping it as backup. Is the quality better in the 390/391 or is perceived quality?

Do the Franchi's not hold their value or are simply problematic?

I have at least a 100 other questions, but I try to answer them myself first.
 

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Another vote for the A300, the sporting if you so choose. I've had a synthetic one for a couple years that I hunt with. Have shot some sporting and skeet with it as well just for fun. Shoots light loads and is rock solid. Super easy to clean.
 

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I've used a 390 as my primary gun for almost 20 years. It's never broke and it's never, ever, ever malfunctioned. I use this gun HARD during waterfowl season too.
 

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First, thanks to everyone who replied on Thanksgiving. The recommendations are greatly appreciated.

So while on this thread, the gentleman at the range said that the technology from the 390/391 receiver is in the A300, while the gas system is from the A400.
The finish is not the same as the A400, but it is good.

I see alot of threads here about people going back to their 390/391 and either selling their A300 or keeping it as backup. Is the quality better in the 390/391 or is perceived quality?

Do the Franchi's not hold their value or are simply problematic?

I have at least a 100 other questions, but I try to answer them myself first.
I don’t know about the parts, but I wouldn’t go and get a 390/391. A current production gun should have much better support and replacement part inventory. 390/391 were great guns but as all semi autos will ultimately succumb to wear.

Beretta is a top brand. I can’t comment on the Franchi, but if you’re worried about resale
I’d assume that Beretta will be easier to sell and at a better price.
 

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On line, you can probably find a used Remington 1100 Sporting or 11-87 Sporting Clays shotgun in 12ga for under $1000.00. That's pretty much entry level and still made in the USA. These guns have been around for quite sometime and overall, they're pretty dependable.
 

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To hell with new. Find a high condition Beretta or 1100 in the correct configuration and fit. You should be so lucky to wear out either one. Fits your budget and competitive with any shotgun on the course. Good luck,
 

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Remington 1100 classic trap, a real trap gun for just a little money. Certainly enough gun to get ya started and it won't beat the bank or the shoulder.
 

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I’d say the Remington 1100 Competition Synthetic is the best bang for the buck sporting clays semi-auto made...you get a *lot* for about $900...recoil reduction system, adjustable comb, adjustable butt plate, nickel plate receiver (easier to clean).

But, if you’ve *got* to have a wood stock, get the Beretta A300 (though you can’t go wrong with a 391 either).
 

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390 & 391 were all I saw what the Argentina dove hunting outfit had for backups.
Half of customer's gun malfunctioned after a day or two in Argentina, so they all have backup guns there, and they're choosing 390 & 391.
 

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I believe the Franchi shotgun is a cheaper version of a Benelli(could be wrong). I would stay away from the SKB, many of our youth shooters at my club had purchased through the SCTP program and they didn’t hold up well. Can’t go wrong with a Beretta.
 

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Another vote for the 11-87 as a good entry level gun. My wife has thousands of rounds through her older model Premier. We keep it clean and it continues to function without missing a beat.
Good luck with your search.
 
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