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Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? #8752142 12/07/22 03:14 PM
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Looking at getting a Stoeger M3500 waterfowl edition,
but is it worth it or just get a Franchi, Berretta, or Benelli?

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752153 12/07/22 03:24 PM
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I've hard good things about the M3500! I actually just bought the CZ 1012 because I've been really impressed by their other guns, and I'm liking it so far. Similar price range. As for Franchi, Beretta, and Benelli, they're definitely nice guns. I've shot them, but never owned them. That being said, you could buy two M3500s for a price of higher-end guns, which is why I went with the CZ. I'm pretty hard on my stuff and my guns get dragged through a bunch of mud and water and timber, so it's hard for me to beat up a $1,500+ gun.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752156 12/07/22 03:27 PM
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I have the Stoeger 3020 duck gun in 20 gauge and love it. For the dollars, I don't think you can make a mistake buying that gun.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752171 12/07/22 03:41 PM
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Beretta and Benelli are like a divorce...they are expensive because they are worth it.

Yes, and get one that's camo then you don't have to fight rust as much.


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Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752175 12/07/22 03:44 PM
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I have the Franchi Affinity 12 and it is the legitimate twin brother to the Benelli at half the cost

Last edited by RayB; 12/07/22 03:44 PM.

There is time, and you must take it, to lay your hand on your dog's head as you walk past him lying on the floor or on his settle, time to talk with him, to remember with him, time to please him, time you can't buy back once he's gone" GBE
Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: RayB] #8752305 12/07/22 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RayB
I have the Franchi Affinity 12 and it is the legitimate twin brother to the Benelli at half the cost



Yep, I have the 12 and my wife has the 20. Highly recommend!!

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: Judd] #8752343 12/07/22 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Judd
Beretta and Benelli are like a divorce...they are expensive because they are worth it.

Yes, and get one that's camo then you don't have to fight rust as much.


100% been shooting SBE III 20Ga this year and love it w mid range Creamator choke, or IC extended for ducks inside 20 yards


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Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752387 12/07/22 07:49 PM
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A300 Ultima can be had for less than that one. Not sure what to think about buying a dressed up Stoeger over any Beretta.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752390 12/07/22 08:02 PM
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I shoot both the SBE II and the Stoeger 3020, mainly for Teal. Both are fine guns. It's gonna depend IMO on how much Steve hunts and his price point.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752412 12/07/22 08:25 PM
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I have a Franchi Affinity and an Intensity - both great guns but I think they only sell the Affinity now since they're basically the same.

I also have a Stoeger M3500 - I haven't shot it in....like 4 years now. It'd make a heck of a club or boat paddle...it's heavy IMO. Also had some reliability issues. Not a horrible gun for the money but there are better options.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752500 12/07/22 10:02 PM
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I am one of the cheapest people you will meet. I hunt 40-50 days a year and still refuse to buy fancy camo, I wear 100 dollar frog toggs breathable stockingfoot waders (because they typically last an entire season, unless I cut them on a sharp edge), and shoot whatever shells are the cheapest in the size I prefer.... If you are going to buy a waterfowl shotgun... by the top of the line made by Benelli, Browning, or Beretta. I have a super black eagle 3 in 12 gauge and also have a Franchi affinity in 12 gauge. They are NOT the same. The foreend on the SBE 3 is thinner and the balance of the SBE 3 is more in the rear of the gun (it feels lighter, not sure it actually is). I have had fewer firing issues out of by SBE 3 and the SBE 3 also does not have the "benelli click" issues.

Someone the other day made a statement and while at first it just made me laugh the more I thought about it the more I thought it was true.

"Buy a super black eagle III and have the best gun or buy something else and spend the rest of your time trying to convince yourself it is just as good"

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752831 12/08/22 08:09 AM
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The m3500 is a great shotgun. I owned one for several years and killed many birds with it. If it makes you feel important to tell your friends you own a benelli, then by all means by one. If you want to save some money and own a shotgun that works well and kills birds, then buy the m3500.

Only reason I got rid of the M3500 is because I don't like inertia guns. The Super Black Eagle and M3500 are both inertia guns. I prefer the old fashion gas piston guns, so I went back to shooting my Browning Silver. Although my M3500 never failed me I always worried about the Benelli click/fail to fire because of the weak springs they use in those guns.

Keep in my that the inertia action is the least expensive action to manufacture. That is why all those company's copied Benellis inertia design and sell their Benelli copies for $299. If you pay Benelli over $2000 for a shotgun that costs Benelli about $50 to make, then you should probably bend over while you are handing them your money.

Last edited by Bluesea112; 12/08/22 08:25 AM.
Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8752898 12/08/22 01:04 PM
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SBE II and a SBE III owner here. Worth it yes!

Went through Remington 1187 o-ring issues and trouble with them cycling when it gets super cold. Had Browning Maxus issues of needing a new spring and now a charging handle.

The SBEs just work. I normally lean Beretta's and have several of their semi autos and O/Us. They are great too.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8753239 12/08/22 06:05 PM
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If you like getting kicked like a mule by a cheap made gun buy a Stoeger. I have seen lots of cheap guns come and go.

Buy a Beretta. I can’t testify as to how the A300 Ultima will hold up but they use them in Mexico for dove hunting.

I have a 2008 model Beretta Extrema 2. For the 1st 8 years I owned it I hunted saltwater marsh. Now I hunt freshwater marsh. I hunt 30-40 days in regular season each year plus 5-6 teal hunts and shoot 2-3 cases per year (lots of gators so limited dog use and I shoot cripples for guests to save decoys … 🤦🏻🤦🏻). Absolutely no issues. Sometimes I go a season and a half between cleanings.

Duck hunting partner bought a Beretta A400 when first camo version came out. He hunts a few more days than I do. No issues. He was a Benelli man until I introduced him to less recoil and greater reliability of the Berettas. Now his recoil guns stay in the safe.

Just my 2 cents.
Big Hutch

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8753340 12/08/22 08:06 PM
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I've always thought B guns were worth it. They hold their value and are normally really good reliable guns. Pick the gun that fits you the best not what people say is the best.


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Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8753389 12/08/22 08:49 PM
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If you are gonna look at high end guns, check out the Fab Arms.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: 2flyfish4] #8753699 12/09/22 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
I've always thought B guns were worth it. They hold their value and are normally really good reliable guns. Pick the gun that fits you the best not what people say is the best.

I would have to agree… they are worth it. You won’t be disappointed

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8753987 12/09/22 03:40 PM
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On a side note, a 3.5" gun typically does not pattern as good. Its been years since I've shot a 3.5" shell and probably will never shoot a 3.5" shell again, especially at ducks.


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Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: 2flyfish4] #8754000 12/09/22 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 2flyfish4
On a side note, a 3.5" gun typically does not pattern as good. Its been years since I've shot a 3.5" shell and probably will never shoot a 3.5" shell again, especially at ducks.




I've actually thought about moving back to 2 3/4 just for bismuth. Less recoil. I shoot an ou so no inertia or gas offset.


No matter how high a duck flies a hammer still breaks a window.
Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8754058 12/09/22 05:00 PM
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I shoot a stoeger m3000 and it does everything I need it to. In my opinion 3.5" shells are unnecessary punishment and more of a gimmick than anything. The Franchi, Beretta, or Benelli will be a better balanced and more pleasant shooting gun but will not kill ducks deader than a cheap stoeger. If you plan on doing high volume shooting a more expensive gun is worth it. If you hunt nasty terrain and don't want to worry about the gun then the stoeger is for you. Just be advised after you try a nicer shotgun, the stoeger will feel like cheap junk.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8754885 12/10/22 11:09 PM
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I have a camo Benelli and I love it. I agree with Bois about the 3.5" shells. I don't need the added kick or expense.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8755495 12/11/22 10:12 PM
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If you like it and can afford it I don't see any reason you shouldn't buy it.
To each his own.

Shotguns are not precision shooters by their very nature. Most shotguns will work just fine, if the shooter is up to the task.
Of course many can be improved upon with minor adjustments but other then that I am not aware of any advantage from one model to another.

I learned to wing shoot 55 years ago, with a Cooey model 84.

I still own a model 84 but it wasn't made for steel shot so I seldom use it these days. Instead my go to shotgun now is a 55 year old Mossberg190 KA 16 guage which I use mostly for Goose hunting.

My point being, if it works for you that's all that matters.


Do for yourself as much as you can, eat what nature provides as much as you can. This is the key to sleeping well and living long.
Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8758040 12/14/22 10:27 PM
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Def worth is to move up. All 3 of those are solid choices, i have a couple franchi that are used as backup/loaners for clients. They get abused and keep running


Stickin' gills and Stackin' bills

In a world of compromise..... some dont....
Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8758982 12/15/22 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by stevehong
Looking at getting a Stoeger M3500 waterfowl edition,
but is it worth it or just get a Franchi, Berretta, or Benelli?



A Berretta A300 outlander, a burlap sack and a couple cans of spray paint is about the best budget waterfowl gun money can buy.

Re: Waterfowl Shotgun - is it worth it? [Re: stevehong] #8759169 12/16/22 02:27 AM
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I was searching for a new shotgun last season and had a lot of fun during the selection process.

Originally, my heart was set on an A400, but it felt “bulky” and the 1 year warranty on such an expensive shotgun was a turnoff. Next I looked reallly hard at the Fabarms XLR5. I didn’t shoot it, but I handled one several times. As much as I liked it, there was just something about the fit that I didn’t like. I could have been very happy with an A5 but the one I borrowed had cycling issues so I mixed it. Next was the SBE. The SBE checked all the boxes, but after some self evaluation, I passed on it. I knew I’ll never shoot 3.5” shells and believe the M2 is just as good and bet less expensive. So.. I ended up buying an M2 and I have zero regrets. It’s a duck swatting machine.

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