Re: need opinions on shotguns.
I have not seen the insides of a Benelli in eons, so I can't say alot about their gas piston setup. The Beretta uses a self cleaning hard chromed gas piston. About once a year I wipe it down with a dry cloth, and then wipe the cylinder walls with an extremely light coating of oil. Nothing else! Remingtons use an O ring on the piston, and heavy users ought to change the O ring once a year with a 120 duro O ring you can get at most any hydraulic supply house. I have had Remington 1100 autos and have used their SP 10 in the long term (I should have bougt it when it was offered to me for $500!!). Zero issues! My first auto was a Beretta AL2 in 12 gauge. Nice and light but also had a lt of recoil. It would shoot 1oz. loads like a dream (speacially Winchester Double A's)
Personally, I prefer over & unders and side by sides with the English style stock and angled forends. They just swing a lot better. Yet I probably only own two autos right now, but have owned close to a dozen in the past. Most of my shotguns are O&U's and pumps. When I'm bird hunting you will see me with an O&U or a BPS 95% of the time. I turkey hunt with a Mossberg 835, and probably will use it till I finally croak. I once had an 870 slug gun, and ouldn't hitthe broadside of a red barn standing ten feet away rom it! The new ones are much better due to the barrels alone. But I can get there with the 835 and a rifled slug barrel. I've used the Remington 3200, and Perazzi's in the past (nice guns). The Remington' stock was cut all wrong for a bird gun, and was a tad too heavy. Yet still shot very well. The Ruger's are nice, but after shooting Berettas you first notice the lack of balance during the swing. But still well made. Got the chance to grouse hunt with a Merkel once, and it don't get much better than that. But a Bernadelli Hemingway is a step better. Just about as good a shotgun as I've ever shot.
Shotguns are in most cases a compromise. They are a basic bird gun with a slug barrel, or vise vesa. The doubles barreled ones are different of course, and are a true love afair. The best slug gun I'v ever seen is the Savage bolt action, but is useless for bird hunting! Although Savage makes a turkey gun on that same concept. Never shot one, so won't comment.