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Best Autoloader

959 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  threshershark
So, I've shot a 12-gauge pump my entire life and I'm getting ready to add an autoloader to my small collection. It will be used primarily for pheasant, chukar, grouse and clay pigeons. I'm looking for something reliable in cold weather and fairly easy to clean (if that's possible???). Low recoil and not too heavy would be next on my priority list.

From what I've been able find, the Benelli SBE II and Beretta Xtrema 2 seem like they might fit the bill.

Any thoughts from those of you that own either of these two guns (or have a lot of autoloader experience in general) would be much appreciated.

Also, are there any shooting ranges or anywhere that would have these guns available to shoot so I can experience them firsthand before making a decision?
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Here again my two cents for what its worth..
I own the Extrema II and have shot many SBEs Both are great guns, but wouldnt be my choice
for a upland/trap gun.
Something more like a Browning Gold 20 gauge featherlite. Lite packing and recoiling.
A winchester SX2 pretty light weight and gas operation keeps the recoil down. Its only 12 gauge
Other 2 3/4 to 3 inch guns, gas operated. All premium autos will work cold. Did you want a 3 1/2 inch gun?
My next one will be a 20 gauge feather its Sweeeeeet on the shoulder in more ways than one.

Thanks for the info. I'll look a little closer at the Browning and Winchester you recommend.

No, a 3" will be plenty big for my needs.

How is the Xtrema 2 for recoil? I know they advertise it as being very low recoil.
Either of the two you mentioned, plus many others, could serve you well. The autoloader bug bit me hard a few years back and I've not yet recovered. They're my choice for just about everything I do with a shotgun. My standard response to a question like this is go buy what fits you best. No single factor will impact how well you shoot a shotgun more than fit. And frankly, it's pretty tough to go wrong with any of the major manufacturers anymore. Especially those that start with the letter "B" (Benelli, Beretta, Browning :) )

The first autoloader I bought, after scrimping and saving, was a Beretta 391 Urika Gold. Awesome gun, very light recoil, but didn't fit me as well as others I shot later. Also a little too pretty for waterfowling. As a general rule, your gas operated autos will provide the lightest recoild, as oppossed to recoil op guns. However, manufacturers are now implementing technology in recoil op guns that greatly reduces felt recoild as well. I currently have a Browning Silver and a Benelli M2 in my cabinet. I love both of these weapons, even though they are very different in some regards. The M2, and it's big brother the SBE2, have recoild dampening featurers that I quite like. I shot the older SBE1 in nothing more than shirt sleeves a time or two, and didn't feel it was terrible. But I didn't get a ton of shooting in on those occassions.

If you're leaning towards the SBE, you owe it to yourself to look at the M2. It has basically the same features as the SBE, minus the semi-hump back receiver and 3.5" chamber. But I have found a 3" chamber to be just fine for me. You can't go wrong with the Beretta auto either, and like the Benellis, they have smaller chambered models, like the Urika and Technys, available other than the Xtrema with the 3.5" chamber. It will also save you a little $ on the price.

The Browning Gold and Silver are excellent guns, as is the Winchester SX2, which is basically the Gold under the Winny nameplate.
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The Xtrema is very light on recoil for the heavy loads you can shoot from it.
But it sounds like you dont need that 3 1/2 inch capability.
Scattergunner is right on with his post. The Technys, M2 and Urika all cover your needs for
a bit less weight and price. A gun with the capability of reshiming its stock can give a almost
custom fit so its another consideration to look for.
Looking for a new gun should be fun so enjoy your quest :D

Definitely go for best fit, it's amazing how small differences in design just seem to work better for some. I have a friend that can't hit a ptyerodactyl at 10 feet unless he's shooting a Browning Auto 5. For upland and clays, I love over/unders. Having 2 chokes available is a big advantage for flushing birds or pass shooting. It's also a lot easier to pick up your hulls plucking them out of a break action as opposed to chasing them all over the place with an auto. There are some excellent O/Us available for the price of a high-end auto, like the Franchi Renaissance Field or Classic.

I have a SBE II for waterfowl and love it. It has the fastest cycling action of any auto. You can't fault the Beretta either, both are outstanding. If recoil is a significant concern, you may want to check out the Benelli Cordoba. It's designed specifically for recoil reduction and has factory porting as well as knurled choke tubes for easy changing when target shooting.
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