Best Do It All Shotgun?

Tulsa Reiner

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Jan 6, 2014
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Tulsa, OK
First: I have been unhappy with my Benelli. The buttons and levers are illogical as hell, and it doesn't unload from the magazine easily. (Benelli Super Black Eagle II).
Now, more generally, I would recommend an over and under 20 gauge for dove and quail. They are very light weight, thus easy to carry, and quick to shoulder. Further, the third shot in a semi-auto, if taken, is almost always wasted.
Also, they are so simple in design that they virtually never fail.
More specifically, I would recommend a Beretta.
 

davidu

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Aug 2, 2020
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North Texas
Interesting choice as I believe no one suggested this shotgun. I have no idea how they feel or function, but the 4LS appears to be the best fit for your stated needs. Chuck Hawks really likes that model so it must be at least ok. :) Give us a review if you choose that shotgun.
 

Buckys

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Nov 13, 2018
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187
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Allen, Tejas
John, I like my Beretta A400 Xplor for mostly upland bird hunting with the occasional waterfowl.

The only downside that I have with mine is that my son stole it for competitive shooting and I'm shooting a Beretta 391.

My 391 should be more reliable but I have only had my A400 in for repairs once and between my two sons and I, we are shooting about 25,000 rounds a year.
 

73driver

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Aug 24, 2011
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335
I have been dove, quail and duck hunting for 55 years. My first duck hunt was a weekend over a pond in an alpine meadow in N AZ shooting a MOD 97 Winchester 12G pump. I got fourteen birds that weekend two were red head drakes zooming left to right over the decoys. I managed a double and dropped them both, mind you that was as 12 year old working a pump shotgun that even back then was a near antique. Point being pumps work fast and use a 12G. Since that time its many years of bird hunting with a number of different MOD 12 Winchesters, they all seam to fit just right. I finally switched to a Winchester MOD 23 side by side when Federal steel shot shells would no longer work in MOD12's. Went to the side by side and ran tungsten matrix shot. Now days unless you can get a used Miroku Mod 12 only made in 20G) most MOD 12's are sort of worn out. Pumps work fine and less of a function headache than autos. Over under and side by sides are reliable, solid and usually come in wood stocks. Consider Browning over/under, really you don't need an auto, all it gets you is 3 shots and third shot just means you missed.
 

73driver

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Aug 24, 2011
Messages
335
I have been dove, quail and duck hunting for 55 years. My first duck hunt was a weekend over a pond in an alpine meadow in N AZ shooting a MOD 97 Winchester 12G pump. I got fourteen birds that weekend two were red head drakes zooming left to right over the decoys. I managed a double and dropped them both, mind you that was as 12 year old working a pump shotgun that even back then was a near antique. Point being pumps work fast and use a 12G. Since that time its many years of bird hunting with a number of different MOD 12 Winchesters, they all seam to fit just right. I finally switched to a Winchester MOD 23 side by side when Federal steel shot shells would no longer work in MOD12's. Went to the side by side and ran tungsten matrix shot. Now days unless you can get a used Miroku Mod 12 only made in 20G) most MOD 12's are sort of worn out. Pumps work fine and less of a function headache than autos. Over under and side by sides are reliable, solid and usually come in wood stocks. Consider Browning over/under, really you don't need an auto, all it gets you is 3 shots and third shot just means you missed.
 

Hondo64d

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May 27, 2003
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561
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The Big Country
OK folks, I really appreciate all the responses but have to go a different direction. This is a Christmas gift and a little more intel tells me he wants an over/under 12 ga. Recommendations in the < $1400 range?

Thanks,

John
 

dfrahm

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Oct 3, 2012
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Location
Wyoming
You have to hold them and the old tried and true - shut both eyes and bring it up. Your cheek weld to the stock determines your rear sight - this HAS to be right, not something that looks good. Try all of them, knowing Remington 870 is 'short' stock, Browning BPS is 'long', Benelli is in the middle in my opinion. But you have to try them all. Get with friends who have several different makes and models that you can shoot at the trap range or whatever. Bring them up until your cheek welds to the stock and open your eyes. One or two will be right for you - don't buy anything else. A 12 that can shoot low-base to 3.5 inch magnums would cover a lot of ground. A pump doesn't malfunction as much as a semi-auto in most cases. There's some basics - have a blast!
 

dogz

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Jan 11, 2006
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SWMT
I shoot a few Dove and Quail but am mainly a rifle guy so am soliciting experience formed opinions on what the best Do It All shotgun would be. Do It All being mostly dove and quail with occasional waterfowl.

I would want nice walnut or a synthetic walnut. My son has a Beretta A390 with a synthetic walnut finished stock that is absolutely gorgeous. You have to look really hard to tell it’s not walnut, but, alas, as near as I can tell, they don’t offer that option for their stocks anymore.

What do you shotgun aficionados recommend?

Thanks,

John


John--for doveand quail, uffda I'd be all over a nice 28. I have an old Charles Daly and it's a killer, and it punches way above it's pay grade! I use it for late season goose (field) shooting, especially when I'm working it alone. I have a thing for calling them as close as possible not busting away at them.

That said, as others have noted get out their and hoist as many of them you can. Once you find one that speaks to you pull the trigger (pardon the pun).

That said, my all around work horse is a Benelli M1 12 ga with 24" barrel. An absolute killer from trench gophers to honkers:)
 

SumTingWong

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Jun 4, 2019
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San Diego, California
Kind of late to the game, but I went through this EXACT deliberation a year ago. It eventually came down to a handful:
Beretta A300 & A400
Benelli SBE III, and Super Vinci.
Win SX4.
Rem V3.
Fabarm L4S
Retay Masai Mara.
>>> All in 12ga<<<

I shot all except the Masai Mara, and the A400.
The SBE is a nice gun, but not as nice shooting (for me) as some of the others. It's inertia, not gas, and a difference is noticeable, but not a deal breaker. If you have a long dove day with many rds, I suspect you will feel the difference more.
The Beretta is nice, but again, did not shoot as well as others (for me) and did not feel as natural when pulling up.
The Fabarm shot the best/softest (for me) and fit well, but was just barely better than the Remington, although it had superior build quality.
It then came down to either the Fabarm or the Remington.

I got the V3, and have since put about 700 rds through it. It shoots extremely well, is softer shooting than most of the others, and had the best price point. BUT, Remington was just broken up in bankruptcy court and, although their firearm business will continue (possibly/probably under a new name) it may be difficult to find one in the near future.

I WAS going to get the L4S, but could not justify the extra $$$. In retrospect, the L4S, IMHO, is the best of the group, and worth the money. I may pick one up, as I like the way it shot, it has a very good build quality.
 

COBrad

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Jan 4, 2004
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1,400
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Western Colorado
No love for Browning? I haven’t hunted birds, other than grouse with a 22, for years. Always wanted a nice light weight 20 gauge for grouse and other upland birds for when I get too old to hunt elk. Current politics being what they are I bought a Browning feather lightening while I still can. Don’t know if it’s the best fit it’s just what I’ve always wanted.
 

warboar21

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Feb 2, 2015
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124
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Southwest
I was looking at shotguns about two years ago. Was looking at the lower end O/U shotguns and my research told me not to go that route if I wanted a decent one. I shot a friend’s Browning Citori and didn’t care for it. I also tried the Beretta and fell in love with it. I just couldn’t justify the $2200 price. I ended up renting a Beretta A400 and putting it through the paces at the trap and skeet houses. My Brother shoots the Beneli and I tried it. I prefer the Beretta and went with the A300.
After buying the Beretta I bumped into a buddy who had just bought a Franchi O/U and after shooting it, it left me wanting one.
I'm left handed and most of these guns are set up for right handers. The Franchi is more neutral and maybe that’s why it was more comfortable to me.
 
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