I grew up shooting my dads A5 browning sweat sixteen I bought an A5 12 but it only shot 2 3/4 in and it had a fixed choke so I bought a SBE II which I like I mainly shoot ducks and a lot of them are teal the SBE II is light and swings fast and I also have a 26" barrel on it but I'd like to try one of the new Browning A5's I like the hump back design.
I was in your position last summer. I was looking to retire my 870 and get an semi-auto. I had always wanted a Benelli and after lots of research I ended up going with a Franchi Affinity.
This was Franchi's new release at the time. It had been getting great reviews by those that know far more about shotguns than I do. It functioned flawlessy this previous waterfowl season.
The Affinitys are made in the same factory as the Benellis and cost significantly less.
I should also mention that these only shoot 2 3/4 and 3"but mine has cycled everything from target up to waterfowl loads without a failure.
I'm a bit of a shotgun nerd,I've patterned most major brands and here is what I've found. Overbore barrels almost always out pattern standard and especially underbore barrels,with faster steel shot.I'll probably catch crap for that statement from guys that say thier benelli SBE patterns good and it might,but most times with the same load an overbore will out pattern it. I'm found of Brownings but there is other companys that are making overbore barrels now and there is a reason they are offering them now. Find out which guns you're interested in that offer an overbore barrel and then find the one that fits you. Several manufactures offer shim kits with their guns to help get your gun pointing where your looking. Myself, I also cut my guns down for a shorter LOP.
I also load my own shells so I can better match the load to the gun but you probably dont,and thats another reason I recommend overbores.They just seem to pattern most factory loads better.
My opinion,for what its worth.
[QUOTE=BonMallari;1053354]lifelong Remington 1100 fanguy but their quality control does leave a bit to be desired....I will continue to shoot them because they FIT me..so does the Winchester SX2
but.....the softest shooting auto that I have ever used was a Beretta 391 Urika/Teknys (it was a sporting clays model)[/QUOTE]
I really like mine..
1 12 and a beautiful 20 guage.
never gives me any problems... very dependable. eats anything Ya want to feed em, including my powder puff reloads
witnessed a new Beretta a 400 in action this past monday.. beautiful gun.
Love my SBE and 20 gauge Montefeltro. The Montefeltro will be the last gun they pry from my cold dead fingers.
I've been shooting the same Browning Gold 3.5" since 2002. It's my go-to waterfowl gun and has at least a few thousand rounds through it. This gun cycles just as good today as it did the day I brought it home. It points great, cycles smooth, recoil is minimal, and cleaning is pretty easy. All that being said, the next semi-auto that I buy will be a Benelli SBEII. I won't even bother checking any other guns out. For a waterfowl gun, the SBEII is extremely hard to beat. Reliable cycling, soft recoil, and breaks down to clean easier than any other gun that I've seen. The Vinci is sweet, too... but I just think it's an ugly gun.
I would not hesitate to pick up a Browning, as they are a tried-and-true semi-auto... But me personally, I'd be buying a Benelli.
I have owned an Xtrema2 since 2005 and absolutely love it. That being said, I have shot a friends a400 xtreme and thought it was far and away a better gun than my trusty Xtrema2. I use my gun primarily for waterfowl and it cycles the heavier loads but has trouble with light loads for dove, etc. Beretta made changes to the a400 xtreme and it'll handle everything you throw at it. I'm not in the market right now but wouldn't hesitate buying an Xtreme at all. If you're scared of in-store pricing you should check out Able Ammo's website, they'll ship to your local FFL and are typically cheaper than buying in stores. I bought my camo Xtrema2 from them for $1050 in 2005 and I know that they're about $150-$200 cheaper on the Xtreme than Cabelas or Bass Pro. Either way you should go and shoulder the guns before you pull the trigger as someone mentioned earlier.
I have shot american made Remington 11-87's for almost 20 years with no complaints. Though I have looked at others and would consider the Benelli having shot several of them.
Would use my sbe2 as an oar in a heartbeat if its above freezing. However it dose not always play nice with light loads, and the safety has frozen on more than one occasion. The benellie click can also happen if you knock it just right. The recoil can be a little harsh with 3.5 shells but isn't that part of the fun sometimes. The camo wrap has also held up very well. I definitely have no buyer's remorse with this gun. olny complaint i have had is it didn't come with a big window sticker not.
Lots of good guns out there. The best one, by far, and I say this without hesitation, is the one YOU can hit targets with. In other words, the one that fits YOU best.
1187's and 1100's don't fit me at all. In spite of me really wanting an SBE, it doesn't fit me. Beretta Xtrema II fit best when I was looking for my last gun, I could consistently hit targets with it, and so I bought it. By the way, it has worked flawlessly.