I've never been a semi-auto fan but I'm starting to see that they offer some advantages in some shooting sports, with light recoil being one of them. I've read reports of the 1100s running for 1/2 million rounds when maintained. Sometimes I run across really nice 1100s that are cheap. Do the new Italian autos really offer anything over the 1100s?
"If what I say offends you, you should hear what I don't say."
after using a benalli i never looked back. fantastic at reliability & comfort--one of my buddies shot hogs from a gov. heli for years & said the benalli lasted 3 times longer than remington.--cranky 72
Do the new Italian autos really offer anything over the 1100s?
The newer designs are much lighter, but you said you're using it for shooting sports, not hunting, so that shouldn't matter in that case.
Recoil-wise, I don't think that extra weight on the 1100s helps much. A few years back I switched from an 1100 to a Benelli M2, and I was shooting a bit so could make a pretty good comparison. I decided that (using target and light game loads) the Benelli kicked me less. The difference could have been the modern recoil pad and reduction features, as the 1100 had an old Pachmayr pad from the 60s on it, so YMMV.
Reliability wise, using the same cheapest-possible factory ammo, I'd say the 1100 rarely if ever gagged, but the Benelli occasionally would. Again, maybe it got the worst of the ammo, I don't know.
Since you can probably get used 1100s at half the price of used modern B-guns, I think the questions are really moot. They'll work, and at a half million rounds of ammo, the initial cost of the gun is beyond irrelevant anyway.
Half Million? I doubt it and have never seen any that could prove they have come close. Do know a few that have shot 100,000 plus with minimal maintenance. Things will break, but they are easily replaced with readily available parts.
Over 20years a half million comes out to 25,000 rounds per year. Shooters who reach that average are few and far apart.
Today, most high volume semi-auto users are shooting the Italian offerings for a reason. Go to a large SC shoot and Beretta and Benelli will be everywhere. 1100s will be an oddity. There is a reason, and that is the 1100 will not hold up. Americans would like to shoot an American offering, but Remington can't keep up and the "shooters" have come to realize it.
Softer shooting? Depends, they all can be made to shoot soft.
Dad used to shoot an 1100. He refers to it as the Jam-a-matic. Soured him on auto's and he switched to 870's for years. Then brother in law and I bought 391's. He shot ours and went and got his own. That was 8 years ago. He commented a couple years ago "and to think, there are guys out there that are still shooting 1100's and 870's and really think they've got something".
We've all still got 870's, and they do get used from time to time for posterity's sake. No 1100's. The 391's are the go to guns though.
Joined: Aug 2003
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.
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!
It�s a magazine not a clip......
Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.� - Lord Chesterfield. 1750
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.
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.
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.
The gold standard in gas guns in the past 15 years is the Beretta, beginning with 303, then 390 and now 391. Agree w/ Battue, Remington has been left in Beretta's wake.
Remington was in lead, arguably, 30 years ago with the 1100. The gun balances well, is generally reliable (keep some "O" rings in your wallet). It's just been outpaced.
Some might argue that the Winchester Super X Model 1 is the finest gas gun of all time. I think I like it better than these others, but anyone who shoots one much has already had the overhaul kit installed. Then they run forever, or so I'm told.
To recoil operated guns, in practical terms, the Benelli has no peer. Apparent recoil slightly more than a gas gun, but ultra reliable.
That said, I'm a sop for tradition, and I'll take my old Browning Auto Five over all of them.
The Super X Model 1 was a fantastic shotgun. Have shot them extensively and still own three. However, they will break when pounded hard and today parts become an issue. A bolt cracked on one: Expensive to replace and yes the buffer was in good shape. A trigger pin broke on another. The magazine tube on the originals will corrode rather quickly and should be replaced with the stainless option available from nu-line.
Shot an 1100 a good bit also and one day the magazine tube let go from the receiver and left me with the action and barrel in my right hand and the for-end and magazine tube in my left. Jams were common.
Really like the Super X Model 1, but when it comes to hard use the Beretta and Benalli will outrun them and when problems do occur the fix is relatively easy. Have also had a Beretta 391 a few years back that was fussy and knew of some others. However, for the most part it is a thing of the past with the newer offerings.
I have owned a SX-M1 since I bought it new in 1976, replaced the bolt buffer last year (old one was brittle and chipping out little hunks of plastic), own a M-2 Benelli and it is the easiest semi-auto to break down and clean I have ever had my hands on. My favorite is the Browning Auto-5, own two now and have owned two in the past I no longer own - I just cannot beat them for a great fit. Never owned a REM 1100, but did own a Sportsman 58, same fit, a decent gun but not as reliable as the others (to include the 1100).
One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others. Archibald Rutledge
Give me easy access to parts and I would still be shooting the Super X1 for clays. Heavy for long days in the field, but they were solid and relatively simple in operation and would feed on just about anything you gave them.
Winchester at one time made a shell which I think was called the "Feather" and the velocity was around 980FPS. The Super X1 would even work with them. Slowly for sure, but still work it did.