I agree with BAD 303. I've had both and have shot tens of thousands of rounds through each and found the 390 to be the more reliable of the two guns.
That being said, the 1187 was a fine gun and the problems were minor such as firing pin springs and forend supports, but the 390 was a rock solid when it came to dependability - I never had a problem with it.
I've never had a problem with any of my 1187s. The trick to the 1187 is to keep it clean. It will need cleaning more often than the 390. (Though you should hear the complaining when a 390 owner goes too long between cleanings and crusts up his gas system.) Most of the parts that break are easily user replaceable.
Having said that, is the 390 more reliable? Yes. But I don't agree with BAD 303's assessment that the gulf between the two is that wide.
Frankly there are other factors that should be considered as well, but you did not ask about them.
The difference between the two is that wide Brian. Just own both and shoot several thousand rounds thru both and it will become obvious. Reliability alone makes the gap huge. Add to that the available aftermarket options and feel and balance and it gets even wider. Cleaning is always good fro any gun. I started out shooting the 1187 and they are not in the same league as the 300 series Berettas.
My 11-87 is flawless. I doubt if most current or prior owners of both have actually done enough side-by-side, scientific testing to make a determination and their answer is merely subjective depending on experience and which gun they like the best.
I would agree with Brian. They do require more frequent cleaning to operate reliably, but all of mine have always worked as expected. I did break the operating handle detent ball retainer during a 200 bird event at the Iowa state shoot once, but didn't know it until I took the gun apart for cleaning.
Plus, you can buy two or three older style 1100's for what one new Berretta costs.
I shoot both 1100 & 11-87 for the past 35+ years. I will tell you this on the Trap & Skeet field if one is better than the other 1100 or 11-87 or 390 you can't prove it to me, I have seen all kinds of guns fail regard less of price from P guns to B guns to Remington's. I do feel how one maintains what they have has a bigger affect than what they have. I have a friend that does not take care of anything & he shoots it till its done then he buys something else cost means nothing to him. Just a parting thought why does a 1100 hold the record for most shots fired with out being cleaned or a parts change, 24,000 rounds look it up your self on Wikipedia. Buy what you like & what fits you, that will have a bigger impact on your scores. Good Shooting.
I have owned both. I have shot several 300 series Berettas for doubles with my current 390 nearing 50K. Seldom have had any problems with failures to fire, ie jamming for second shot. I can only recall having lost a bird due to multiple failures to fire per ATA rules one time. NEVER had that dependability with 1100 or 11-87s.
Any thought of keeping a fellow American employed?
I have an 11-87 that I use for skeet. Don't shoot it day and night but I've never had a problem with it. Also, I've never had and issue getting Remington parts when needed not that I've had too many occassions and never with this gun other than a gas ring once a year. Can't say for Beretta. Had a Beretta double and never liked the feel of it whereas a Rizinni fit the bill. Personal thing.
Pick up both guns, see which one you like and buy it. Clean it when it needs it and you won't have problems. We all overthink these things. Truth be told, if you find a good used 870 and practice you'll shoot as well as a guy with a 40 thousand $ shotgun. As the best trap shooter that I know has said for the past 50 years, "It ain't the arrow its the Indian." And the best skeet shooter that I have ever known whose been long dead shot one gun and one gun only; a Model 12 pump. Dependability? Ocassionally they broke an extractor.
Longest I've ever been able to get an 1100 or 1187 to shoot with cheap, dirty ammo is a bit over 600 rounds. I clean mine between 200 and 400 rounds, but then, I find cleaning guns to be enjoyable. No doubt some folks do not.
I used to wipe down and re coat the mag tube on my 1100's after every event or two with break free. It was kind of dirty to do, but it always worked. Cleaned everything once or twice a year depending on how much I shot or how bored I was.
I have owned both, and in my opinion the Beretta is more reliable. I do feel that the Remington kicked me less, but who knows, that could be the way the gun fit?
I had a friend who use to go to Canada to hunt every year with some friends as they brought a total of 6 Remingtons with them. By the end of the trip the boat was filled with broken parts and only one gun still functioned properly.
Then they all purchased the Berettas one year, and did not have one broken part among them after they went on their yearly hunt.
Remington is a great gun, soft recoil, but for plain realiabilty, the Beretta hands down.
I shot an 11-87 for over 20 years. It needed cleaned, but clays/clay dot helped it go longer with out being cleaned. To totally disassemble an 11-87 takes about 2 minutes. Clean it all out, put it back to gether, and you are done in 12-15min tops. No big deal. 11-87s shoot great. Biggest issue I had was 'o' rings breaking once in a while. I had two complete sets in my bag if needed.
I've owned and shot both for years. They each have their plus' and minus'. The 11-87 fits me better and is easier to clean but it needs to be cleaned more frequently. The 390 can go further w/o cleaning but if you go too long it's a bear to get squeeky clean. 11-87 parts are much easier to obtain than a 390's but 390's seldom break. I think the 11-87 shot softer too.