Recommend a Shotgun

NeekReevers

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I own several cheap pumps and would like to get something a little nicer. For the most part I'll use it for clay pigeon shooting but I'd like something that could be a little more general purpose so not just a straight up target gun. I haven't decided between over under or semi auto I'm really open to anything. It seems to make sense to buy a 12 for multi purpose use, probably with 28" barrels. Guns I've been researching from top end to bottom end:

Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon (O/U)
Browning A5 (O/U, possibly the Sweet 16)
Beretta A400 Xcel (Semi)
Beretta A300 (Semi)
Weatherby SA-08 (Semi)
Stoeger M3500 (Semi)

I realize that it's a wide range budget wise. Any thoughts on any of those or other recommendations?
 

tcpoke

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I have shot the same Benelli Montefeltro for 20 years in just about every scenario, and I love it. It’s extremely fast, and light weight which makes it great for upland hunting or hiking a long ways down to a duck blind. I have the walnut finish so I do have to take care of it when it gets wet and be a little more cautious than I would if it were a synthetic stock, but I’ve gotten use to that.

I have a couple of other shotguns that I shoot some too, but if I could only keep one it would be the Montefeltro.

https://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/montefeltro-shotguns
 
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86Poke

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I’m a Beretta guy. I shoot a DT11 Sporting Black Edition. One son shoots a 686 Silver Pigeon and my other 2 sons shoot the A400 Xcel Black Edition. I personally like the 30” barrel.
 

panhndlpoke

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I'm an over/under guy. I just waste shells if I need more than 2. Better barrel coverage than a side by side in case the barrel heats up.

While I have all wood stocked shotguns, I don't buy many firearms with wood on them anymore. I'm just to hard on nice things and need things that are less ornamental if I'm going to use them.

That said, I have a Weatherby Athena 20 gauge and Browning Citori 28 and 12 gauges. All have been cut down and sized to my Tyrannosaurus arms.

I honestly feel there are so many solid firearm companies out there, it would be pretty hard to purchase something bad. I really think you just need to go play with a few at a shop and see if any feel better than the others.
 
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Pokes15

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I shoot a Browning Maxxus for clays/upland hunting in 12g. It's super light, swings really well and has very little recoil. I don't take it to the duck blind or in the woods because it's too pretty... My turkey/duck gun is a Stoeger M3500. The thing is a tank. Eats any kind of ammo and loves getting muddy and dropped in water. For the money they're hard to beat. But as panhandle says above, its hard to go wrong nowadays as long as you take care of it.

I've got the old model Browning Sweet 16, but its a safe queen and doesnt come out unless im cleaning it.
 

NeekReevers

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I’ve got a Montgomery Ward pump 16 gage that my grandfather won in a raffle many years ago. It looks like a Browning clone with the “humpback” receiver. I’ve always hit clays with it better than any other gun I have. It may be because of the sight lines but it’s made me partial to 16 ga. Ammo choices suck though.
 

TexasCowPoke

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Small ranch North of Denton, TX
I've had various brands, and all have been servicable or better, though none have been high end guns, but I've probably shot more birds (quail and dove) with the superlight Franchi auto in 20 ga, but love the Browning O/U in 12 ga now. If I were looking to buy a new autoloader, I'd look first a Benelli and Beretta, just personal preference as all major brands are going to have good models.

IMHO A 28 inch barrel is standard mostly because it is an attempt at a do all length, but not necessarily great at most things.

Panhandle hit on it. We tend to love guns that fit us best, because they feel right, and are a more natural extension of our arms/vision. Those are the one's I find myself picking up first.

Once you narrow it down a little, find a good gun store that carries a lot of brands/variety and go ask if you can handle them and feel them. Weight, Balance, Ease of pointing it, eye down the barrel should not require you to duck your head or pull it back. I think, if you haven't, its worth reading/researching a bit of science to fitting a shotgun right, but you can also find that charmer through enough handling of different ones of different sizes.
 
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86Poke

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Last summer the family road tripped to Dallas to visit the Beretta Gallery. Only three in the US. NYC and Memphis are the other two. Cool experience and they have all the models in all the guns. Rifles, pistols, and shoguns. I’d recommend stopping by if you ever get the chance.
 

dtspoke

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I own several cheap pumps and would like to get something a little nicer. For the most part I'll use it for clay pigeon shooting but I'd like something that could be a little more general purpose so not just a straight up target gun. I haven't decided between over under or semi auto I'm really open to anything. It seems to make sense to buy a 12 for multi purpose use, probably with 28" barrels. Guns I've been researching from top end to bottom end:

Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon (O/U)
Browning A5 (O/U, possibly the Sweet 16)
Beretta A400 Xcel (Semi)
Beretta A300 (Semi)
Weatherby SA-08 (Semi)
Stoeger M3500 (Semi)

I realize that it's a wide range budget wise. Any thoughts on any of those or other recommendations?
I have four of the guns on your list. The best O/U i own is that 686 in 20 gauge. I also have a Benelli SBE 3, Beretta Urika 391, and Remington 1100 and Versa Max in semi auto.

I can say that the best VALUE (not best gun overall), is my Weatherby 18i autoloader. It's made by Marocchi and it's shockingly good for it's price.
 

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