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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am looking to pick up a shotgun. I want 12ga. I would like to get a semi automatic. I would like something of high quality that will last. I would like something that can take a wide range of ammo. I would like something that can flex into different roles. From home defense to something that is a lot of fun at the range. Maybe something I can shoot clays/skeet with although I understand that there are shotguns more geared specifically for that and I'm looking for something more well rounded. I don't really hunt.

Limitations. Because of where I live I am capped at a 5+1 capacity on shotguns so anything with larger capacity doesn't do much for me. Also, I can't have a pistol grip or telescoping stock so it would need to be a fixed stock.

What I have been looking at are the following and I am looking for feedback:

Benelli M4. Very well reviewed but expensive. Handles a wide range of ammo. I hear it is high quality parts and very reliable.

Benelli M2 More affordable. Does it handle a wide range of ammo? I heard people suggest that it might be less recoil than than the m4 is this true? I would try to get the one with the comfort stock feature. It is lighter than the m4. I also heard that it stays cleaner than some of the other shotguns on the list with the inertia system is this true? Doesn't look like I can mount an optic on it the way I could the m4 but frankly I don't know that I would bother putting an optic on a shotgun since my place isn't that big. I heard this one is a little harder to load compared to the others.

1301 tactical how is the recoil on this compared to the others? It is less expensive than the m4. Faster cycling although I'm not sure the components are as high quality as benelli. Maybe I would get an airdus stock? Lighter than the m4.

1301 comp pro this one is interesting but it is longer than the tactical and I'm not sure if I can get the 5+1 capacity with this as I have seen a lot of them with lower capacities. The stock has recoil management built in. I heard the 1301s tend to get dirtier quicker than the m2?

Would appreciate any thoughts. Looking for a life long shotgun.
 

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Can't go wrong with any the three B's. Browning Maxus II, Beretta A400 (hate that safety location) but a wonderful shooter I had the xplor, or the Benelli all great shotguns. I found the Browning and the Beretta were about the same for me as far as the recoil felt. Both soft shooting guns.
 

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Berreta A-400. You can thank me later. You might find a used Semi in another make and model that catches your eye too. Has there been any you have fired that you like?

Beretta A400 Shotgun Family
I second this opinion... Everyone I have allowed to shoot my A400 has nothing but praise for it !
 
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If you can find one, a Benelli M4 is the way to go for HD, range use, and "whatever". 5+1 w/ default mag tube, standard/straight stock, and will reliably fire any 2 3/4" and 3" shells you feed it. I have not shot skeet with it's 18.5" bbl, so there's that...

2 of my 6 combat deployments were with the M1014, not including my time on U.S. Embassy Duty actually utilizing it on a few occasions. I immediately purchased an H2O model after my last deployment and I have no regrets with this "life-saving & conflict-resolving" shotgun. The M4 may cost a bit more but it gets my vote for top semi auto 12g.

I also run a Beretta 1301 Tactical that originally came with a standard stock, and have since installed a Mesa Tactical pistol grip and other gear. At 7+1, you would have to use a "limiter" but it is a fantastic 12g platform. Not as "stout" as my M4 and I feel a bit more recoil impulse shooting 3" magnum slugs and such, but it'll also run just fine with anything you load it with. Improving aftermarket support but not up there with the M4 (yet).

Tough call but if you can find one or the other at a "reasonable" price, grab an M4 or 1301 T (or BOTH).
 
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