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Budget shotgun for 3guns match: Mossberg 930 JM pro, Stoeger M3K Freedom, or ...?


Sean_ht
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Good budget shotgun for 3guns match. Kinda old question, but the answers I  have found are more confusing than providing a guidance! You can find feedback from 100% reliable awesome, to never ever even think about it, for both of the following models: Mossberg 930 JM pro, and Stoeger M3K Freedom.

 

Basically the main difference is the cycling system: Stoeger M3K Freedom is Inertia Driven, and  Mossberg 930 JM pro is gas driven. So I assume Mossberg 930 JM pro has less felt recoil, but needs to be cleaned after every match, to function reliably.  Stoeger M3K Freedom is the opposite, more recoil, and less subject to be unreliable due to not cleaning it. 

 

I don't want to spend too much on shotgun, so $1k+ shotguns, such as M2 and M4, are out of the conversation.

 

If you have shot with them in a 3guns-match, could you please share your thoughts and suggestions? Also, other than those two models, if u have other suggestions, please share them.

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Your assumptions on gas vs. inertia recoil and cleaning are correct. I've seen M3K's have teething issues, but nowhere near the inevitable catastrophes I see with every 930 at a match.

Mossberg is coming out with a 940 that hopefully fixes all the problems of the 930 but I don't know if the 930 is being discontinued. 

But if I were you I'd spend a little more and get a Franchi Affinity. Its the same liscenced M2 copy as the M3K, just nicer. Or wait for a used 1301 to pop up for under $1k.

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I've wrestled with the same decision myself and ultimately decided to keep saving for a Beretta 1301 Comp. I've seen a handful of used, ready to compete examples from $800-$1000. 

 

Given your two choices, the Stoeger was a much better fit for me and I preferred their recoil system. I currently trap shoot and hunt with a 28" M2 but I wasn't willing to spend the money for a shorter barrel and filling away on the receiver. There's a pretty obvious difference in fit and finish between a Stoeger and a Benelli, but they're going to get run hard and thrown into dump barrels just the same. 

 

I'd also check out the Franchi Affinity line. There are a few companies starting to make packages and they split the difference between Stoeger and Benelli pretty well in terms of quality and price. 

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Thanks for all the inputs. 

 

I shot at a match yesterday, and the consensus of opinions of the people I asked there, and those who responded to this topic could be summarized as:

1. If you want to get a gas operate system, don't bother searching around. M4 is the way to go.

2. For a lower budget 3gus shotgun, only inertia system can bring the desire reliability. 

 

I know the Mossberg have recently introduced 940 JM pro, which presumably fixes the issue/s of the older version (930).  That being said, it has a higher price tag (of course, why not. Sell a shotgun and let the users test it for you. You gain some profit, free sort of R&D, and sell a model that should have been sold in the first place at a higher price), and I prefer to wait to see whether in action it brings all the promises they claim. Even M4, to operate, does not rely solely on gas, and Benelli combined two systems to deliver a reliable system.

 

In conclusion, I have decided to go into the inertia base system. So any suggestion other than Stoeger M3K Freedom (in that price range)? 

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I've been shooting 3 Gun for years all over the country and I've not seen more that 3 or 4 total m4's at all of those matches combined, and always in the hands of someone newer/less competitive. 

 

Meanwhile, you see 1301's all over at nearly every match with many of them being used by the better shooters at a match. And they're a fraction of the cost of m4's...

 

Furthermore as a Marine I have lots of experience with Benelli m1014's and yet myself and nearly all of my friends use Berettas.

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I've been shooting 3 Gun for years all over the country and I've not seen more that 3 or 4 total m4's at all of those matches combined, and always in the hands of someone newer/less competitive. 
 
Meanwhile, you see 1301's all over at nearly every match with many of them being used by the better shooters at a match. And they're a fraction of the cost of m4's...
 
Furthermore as a Marine I have lots of experience with Benelli m1014's and yet myself and nearly all of my friends use Berettas.

You are saying that you have anecdotal evidence that lots more people are shooting Beretta over Benelli, and the only reason is because they are cheaper? Is there anything else you’d like to add to further explain?

Also, I’m wondering if “all of your friends” who shoot Berettas are also Marines, making their choice of shotgun more meaningful than an ordinary civi, or if they’re not Marines but their choice of shotgun is more meaningful because they’re friends with you, and you are a Marine?

Thanks for your help


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Well 3 gun is expensive, by nature, and everyone is trying to cut corners and save cost. Everyone. Further this is a thread with BUDGET in the title, so yes, apparently we are considering cost here.

 

A 1301 comes more set up than an m4 out of the box for much cheaper. The aftermarket isn't there for m4's either. Last time I looked there were hardly any tubes available let alone any that actually got you to around 12rds again for a relatively reasonable price. 

 

Now the issue of Benneli vs Beretta as a whole is an entire different discussion. The m2 is wildly popular, for many reasons. I actually have both an m2, a 1301, and a 1301 comp pro. But again that's a completely different topic than what's been asked here. 

 

 

As for my friends, largely they are civilians, some are Marines, and others serve in different branches/departments, which is unimportant. What is important is that they are all experienced shooters who looked at all the options and made their own choices, all of them again not choosing the m4.

 

Lastly my opinion of these guns is mine alone, I was simply sharing with you that I have many years of experience both in competition and military service with ALL of the guns I've mentioned. I've made my choice for sport as have many others and largely it isn't the benelli m4. My opinion and the opinion of others is only worth what you make it but whoever told you that the m4 is the choice for action shooting hasn't used one either very much or very seriously. 

 

Edited by ecn515
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In conclusion, I have decided to go into the inertia base system. So any suggestion other than Stoeger M3K Freedom (in that price range)? 


Think about a Stoeger 3000 and upgrade it as you go. I ended up getting the loading port opened up on my MK3 so I didn't really get anything out of the upgrade ($100). All the other parts are drop in / bolt on.

The only thing you absolutely need is a magazine extension tube. I recommend one that will let you load 4 right at the buzzer.

The only reliability issues I had were fixed by installing a Benelli M2 extractor.

The only other budget inertia gun I can think of is the Affinity.
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I started with a JM pro. Mine was a great gun with very few issues. I did clean it about 500-600 rounds so that may have helped. Personally I prefer a gas gun over an inertia gun but that's just what I have shot all my life. 

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On 1/19/2020 at 8:57 AM, Sean_ht said:

Thanks for all the inputs. 

 

I shot at a match yesterday, and the consensus of opinions of the people I asked there, and those who responded to this topic could be summarized as:

1. If you want to get a gas operate system, don't bother searching around. M4 is the way to go.

2. For a lower budget 3gus shotgun, only inertia system can bring the desire reliability. 

 

I know the Mossberg have recently introduced 940 JM pro, which presumably fixes the issue/s of the older version (930).  That being said, it has a higher price tag (of course, why not. Sell a shotgun and let the users test it for you. You gain some profit, free sort of R&D, and sell a model that should have been sold in the first place at a higher price), and I prefer to wait to see whether in action it brings all the promises they claim. Even M4, to operate, does not rely solely on gas, and Benelli combined two systems to deliver a reliable system.

 

In conclusion, I have decided to go into the inertia base system. So any suggestion other than Stoeger M3K Freedom (in that price range)? 

 

18 hours ago, DesertTortoise said:


 

 


Think about a Stoeger 3000 and upgrade it as you go. I ended up getting the loading port opened up on my MK3 so I didn't really get anything out of the upgrade ($100). All the other parts are drop in / bolt on.

The only thing you absolutely need is a magazine extension tube. I recommend one that will let you load 4 right at the buzzer.

The only reliability issues I had were fixed by installing a Benelli M2 extractor.

The only other budget inertia gun I can think of is the Affinity.

 

 

A little bit of clarification:

 

My understanding is that Stoeger has 3 models of inertia gun that fit the bill of "budget 3 gun shotgun":

  • M3000 - the "standard" model with no competition mods at all
  • M3k - the initial competition model, with an opened loading port and oversized controls, but the stock magazine tube
  • M3k Freedom - all the mods of the M3k, with the addition of the 10-round mag tube.

Those are listed in order of increasing cost. I'd agree with the general sentiment that you might not want to bother with the Freedom edition, but unless there have been some changes recently, there's one more critical difference between the "standard" M3000 and the M3k models - the location of the serial number.

 

On the M3000, the serial number is located right next to the loading port, which limits the amount that you can open the port up. It's not the end of the world, but you do need to be really careful if you're doing that work yourself, since you can accidentally commit a felony if you remove too much material. Also, if you think that you might eventually send it in to someone for them to cut up, some custom shops will only work on the M3k models and not the standard M3000, due to the serial number issue.

 

I've found some pretty good sale prices on the non-Freedom M3k now and then, so that might be a good budget option to consider as well.

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I'm betting that of those "thousands" you have seen the same shotgun several times, so maybe hundreds in reality? I saw 5 M4s at one single match, but I saw them at 6 of 10 stages so did I see 30 M4s? No, but I was squaded with the USMC 3-Gun team. Come to think of it, that's the only 30 M4s I've  ever seen at a 3-gun match! 😁

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I knew someone would comment on the possibility of redundancy in the number of different shotguns I've seen. I've been to enough matches where I barely knew anybody and never saw them again to say that I've seen plenty of individual guns only once. I also know people that own M4's and would never consider bringing them to a match. My experience only goes back four years so maybe I missed the golden era of M4 usage, because now is not it.

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Thanks for all the comments/suggestions. 

 

So apparently 1301-comp is a very popular model, correct? And among the two barrel lengths (22" and 24"), which one you suggest?

 

For around $450 more than the M3K Freedom, does 1301-comp deliver enough benefits to justify the difference in price?

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Another way to go would be find a used M1, add a kick eze recoil pad, welded lifter, and a tube and go facing. I've seen used ones go for around 450-500 and it's really hard to wear one out. I've been trying for quite a while and haven't got it done yet.

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OK, wait wait!

You started to distracted me!

 

I mentioned in the topic: "Budget" shotgun for 3-guns. Not pay for a shotgun now, and then buy aftermarket parts that I will end-up with a Frankenstein shotgun, for God knows how much money spend in total.

 

I know the 1301-comp or 1301-comp-pro, and M2-3gun are solid options. But, I can't justify spending at least $500~$800 more than a M3K-Freedom, unless you could provide enough reasons that could justify the difference. In that case, I will definitely buy one of those more expensive ones. 

 

 

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Used M1 Benelli $500.00 , recoil pad fit and ready to go $80.00, Welded lifter $50.00,  Mag tube $80.00. No Frankengun about it. All genuine Benelli except for the tube. No matter what you buy it needs a mag tube, and there ain't one made by the gun maker!

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The parts are fairly cheap compared to rifle or pistol parts and none of the guns mentioned need parts (except magazine tubes in general)

 

You may find you want the magwell opened up even on the factory competition models (again fairly cheap compared to getting custom cuts on a pistol) 

 

I hope you find a great gun for the sport :)

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