My brother (Calkidd) used to have one, but it has been years ago. I remembered loving the gun, but I don't know that I would say it is better than a 390 or 391. I just bought a 391, granted I haven't shot MINE, but I have shot my father in laws and I love it. Maybe there is something inside that makes it better.
What I've been told and I am sure someone will correct me, is the 303's were the main stay for Beretta in the semi auto. Built well and produced for alot of years. Stopped production to make way for the 390's. The only real difference between the two is the 390 has a larger gas port for operating the action. If you enlarge the one in the 303, you have a 390. The 390 production was only for a few years. Out came the 391 and 3901.
I have not heard of any real following taken to the last models as the has been for the 303 and 390.
I've heard the word "junk" used more then once when shooters talk about the difference in the models in connection to the 391's. Don't really know why, I've never shot one myself. But I have shot alot of 390's, liked them all.
this is what i hear when shooters call me ( and i get alot of calls)--
the love for beretta autos really heated up with the 302 and then 303-1980
the balance of the gun- something about the feel-reliability and a QUIET cycle!
the biggest complaint i hear on a 391, particularly from woman, is its "ping" or thrasher noise it makes while cycling a shell!!!
the slim forearm of the 302 and older 303s is what beretta went back to on the 391--that is also the complaint i hear on 390's-its bulkiness
the downside of 302/303 was the designated barrels, lite vs mag loads(23/4-3in),this was overcome on a 303 mag barrel by opening a gas port-not a big deal to a trapshooter or game money shooter, cuz they love doctoring or tweaking their guns!!!
the shooting public was directed to a "do all" type shotgun in the early '90s-all the gunmakers tried to satisfy a shooter with a buy "one gun"limited budget mentallity and shoot every kind of load---- now, how i see it is, this kind of seperates the diehard shooters out----dont take this personal-but as i trade gun parts ect(AND I DO SELL ALOT OF THEM) and listen to what shooters are doing--the person who is trying to get by with one gun, sees shooting differantly then a diehard older shooter who doesnt care what it takes to gain ONE extra target!!! they just love to fool with their shotguns and quite frankly are not in tune with only owning 1 gun and no extra barrels -stocks -triggers ect-its just in them to do this!!!!!
there is a cult following for 303s-they LOVE this model--if it doesnt feel that way to you, then its like, why one guy likes a brown haired woman vs red ect!!!!!!!!
for what its worth-i can handle 10 or 15 302/303s compaired to 2 391s and maybe 1 390, i personally like them all, but always fall back to the older ones!!
JOHN--dance with the one that makes you feel good --happy shooting
I have a 303. NOt a trap model, but that's immaterial. It would not handle one ounce loads. I measured the gas ports with a set of number drills and then calculated what size would increase the area by 15 %. It came to within a couple thousandths of 1/8th inch.
I bought a new extra length 1/8 inch drill (about 2 bucks or so) and opened up the holes, and now my 303 functions one ounce loads to perfection.