The link below to Randy Wakeman's site doesn't claim 1/2 million rounds through one gun, but 100-million rounds over 18-years through some 150 rentals is dang impressive:
The Benelli Montefeltro / M2 line is the most durable autoloader in times past, and is the gun that Zeke Hayes would buy tomorrow for himself. The Beretta 390 is in the same league, with a bit more cleaning required as you'd expect of any gas gun and perhaps the occasional broken or cracked action rod to replace.
Do you want to save pennies now and spend dollars later? If so buy the 1100. Me I will pay now and save later. Thats why I own more then one Benelli M1 Super 90. Wish they never changed it up, but just like Beretta they have to continuely change things.
Loc: Rockford, MI
Originally Posted By: battue
Originally Posted By: passport
The Italian gun's, like Beretta, are great but nothing fits me like a 1100. Its all about the fit brother!
I dig your shotgun enthusiasm Passport, but watch this and get back to me about fit.
Trick shooting is cool but in the end for the other 99% of the people who shoot a shotgun its still about fit. The other things like confidence, practice and eyes are a big part of it too not doubt but there hard to get with a poor fitting gun.
Now if all you want to do is hip shoot thats another topic all together!
Its a magazine not a clip......
Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least. - Lord Chesterfield. 1750
Loc: outside the burg
If I-and most of us-could get that Copperfield fellow to make my barrel disappear we would all probably shoot better. We want to look at it and it screws things up. Everyone says shotgun shooting is an eye/hand game. Most of us make it an eye/barrel/hand game and when we look at the barrel, even for a moment the barrel slows down and we lose the eye/hand relationship.
Those kids have essentially taken the barrel out of the picture and they are shooting on instinct and just looking at the target. When one does that fit becomes less important and almost irrelevant. The shot naturally goes where the eyes are looking. Do you really think fit is relevant when the guy in the second video is breaking clays when the shotgun is pointing backwards on the crook of his arm in the second video? Nope he has trained his hands to do what his eyes tell him.
No doubt fit is important. It gives the head a stable platform. The reason those kids can do what they do is their heads essentially stay rock still when they make the shot.The don't need a stock to do it for them. Do that and look at nothing but the target and it doesn't matter if the comb and heel are xxxx inches.
The eyes will then lead the hands. Easier said than done and I wish I could.
Addition: Hitting a baseball, we don't look at the bat. Catching a ball, we don't look at the glove. Hitting a tennis ball, we don't look at the racket. Yet when shooting a shotgun, most of us look at the barrel and that is where most of our biggest problems come from, not gun fit.
Edited by battue (02/17/1203:41 PM)
laissez les bons temps rouler
The Italian autos are good shotguns that offer lighter weight with shims and spacers for a custom fit and most of them will also handle 3" & 31/2" mag. shells. Most 1100s don't and the ones that do only shoot 3" mags. All at a considerably higher price than a used or new 1100.
I've owned both a Beretta 391 and a Benelli Montefeltro. I also own 2 1100s, a 12 and a 20. I've owned them for over 30 years and they are used for clays & hunting. I'm not a high volume shooter but shoot skeet, trap & sporting clays at least once a month. They've had plenty of rounds through them during this time and still work fine. I sold the 391 and the Benelli for a decent price. There wasn't anything wrong with them but since I didn't shoot them any better than the 1100s I took the money.
IMO a decent used 1100 is worth a try if you don't shoot 3&1/2" magnum loads. If you don't like it resell it and you won't be out too much. If the used 1100 works out for you you've saved a considerable amount of money.
I've found both types of guns to be reliable for the average shooter if properly maintained. How well you shoot them usually gets down to who's shooting not what they're shooting.
Loc: Steuben County, NY
My experience is probably abnormal, but I got my 1100 a little over 15 years ago and up until last year shot a lot of practice, every league, the 12ga, and doubles events with it. In the 15 years I've put 2 gas rings, 2 rubber rings, an action spring, and 1 lifter release latch(not sure what it's actually called!). I don't think that's too bad... Maybe with a Benelli you would have had to do any of that, I just couldn't get used to them. I'm not sure why I never shot the 391 more. Probably should have... I just used it for pheasants.