Beretta 1301

For three decades, Remington 870's have been my go to shotguns--typically using 18" or shorter cylinder barrels for duty/work use and 24" or longer choked barrels for sporting/game purposes.  In the past few months I've begun to play with Beretta 1301's.  Below is a comparison of work and game 870's compared with similarly configured 1301's.



Each gun sports Briley magazine tube extensions with the Picatinny rail and sling swivel options, allowing mounting of a light and a convenient sling attachment point.  In addition, each has BFG VCAS 2 point sling, Aimpoint H1 RDS, and uses SF EAG Fury lights in LaRue mounts.

Keep in mind that the 1301 Tactical has an 18" barrel w/3" chamber, ghost ring sights, 3" length receiver, and comes with the Pic Rail installed, while 1301 Comps have 21" or 24" barrels w/3" chambers, vent rib and bead sights, 3.5" length receiver (bigger loading port), receiver is drilled for pic rail but it is not included ($65 option from Beretta).  The 1301's are softer shooting than the Benelli M1/M2, but not quite as soft as the Remington Versamax--however the Beretta is substantially lighter than the Versamax and is much quicker on target. The VersaMax has a larger loading port, but the Remington lifter often needs some work to rapidly load well; the Beretta loads fine out of the box.

Both the 1301 Comp and the 1301 Tactical have 5 round magazines, but a variety of vendors make magazine extensions. I recommend the 1301 Tactical for a shotgun that is going to be carried a lot and primarily shot defensively using buckshot and slugs; the larger loading port on the 1301 Comp makes it much better for a shotgun that is going to get run hard and needs to be reloaded rapidly.  The 1301 Tactical has a fixed cylinder choke, while the 1301 Comp's use the Beretta Optima HP Chokes, providing more versatility for sporting purposes--I tend to run extended Briley "light modified" chokes on my game guns, as this works adequately for everything from birdshot to slugs.  

Below is a comparison of similarly configured 1301's, including the 24" barrel Comp, 21" barrel Comp, and 18" barrel Tactical.



Note that since the 1301's have very long forends, I use the 3 cel EAG Fury lights in order to move the push button a bit further back to ease activation, plus what is not to like about 1000 lumens!  A better solution will be for Beretta to design a forend with built in attachment rails.  Each 1301 also has a Wilderness Products rear sling adapter.

Original Post

Pat, fully concur with your comments and feel the AR15 is a better choice for most circumstances.  Unfortunately, for some citizens serfs, a 12 ga shotgun is the only realistic option as a result of insipid, illogical restrictions on other firearms.  In addition, for folks living in places where large animals are a significant threat, like Alaska, a 12 ga with good slugs is a better tool for mitigating the danger.

I ran a bunch of 970 fps bonded buckshot without issues, as well as reduced recoil slugs and 00 buckshot.  They have worked on all brass case head loads.  The one load they choke on occasionally is the cheap Winchester white box 7 1/2 shot light target loads at 1145 fps--it seems to primarily be a problem with the nickel plated steel case head. 

 

Federal Flight Control #1 buckshot keeps all 15 .30 caliber pellets on the target out to 35+ yds.  Cheap 9 pellet S&B #00 buckshot keeps all the pellets on target out to around 20 yds or so.

 

Each of the 1301's can put five 1 oz Brenneke slugs into a 3" circle at 50 yds.  They don't mind the S&B 1 oz slugs--typically getting 5-6" 5 shot groups at 50 yds.  They did NOT like Winchester low recoil Foster slugs--these made a 10" pattern, not a group.

 

 

I've been considering the Tactical for bear medicine (defensive) on a camping trip to Colorado later this year. I was torn between this and a Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 until I recently got the Beretta in my hands. I'm not a big shotgun guy but I was shocked at how light it is, makes me wonder how fast follow up shots would be using 3" Brennakes.

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Joined: March 2006    Location: west Texas

What are the improvements over the Benelli S90's? I always thought Beretta shotguns were just more affordable S90's (I think Beretta owns Benelli).

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Joined: 2/21/04          Location: Seattle,  WA

kaltesherz--The Benelli M1/M2 and the old Beretta 1201 are inertial operated, while the  Benelli M4 and new Beretta 1301's are gas operated--very different animals.  The 1301 is much softer shooting than an M1 or M2 and cycles reduced recoil loads better.

 

BKennedy--I used to rely on a sweet .45-70 lever gun for wilderness defense against larger critters, but recently realized I spent way more time training with shotguns and that there is nothing I need to stop that won't be just as well served with a 12 ga. Brenneke slug as with a .45-70 JSP.

Guys, looking around, I dont see mag extensions specifically for the 1301.  Are the optima parts compatible?

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third shift blows.

Joined: 2/14/08 5:28 PM.         Location: NE Illinois

Doc, you're killing my checkbook...

I used to be really proficient with an 870 and could run it at speed. But that level of proficiency took a lot of time and training to maintain. Since Patrol Rifles became an option for us 7 years ago, I haven't spent the time with the 870's that I used to.

I've been thinking about a semi 12 ga, but I've never been impressed with reliability of those I've shot over the years.

I've read a few positive things in the last few weeks about the Beretta 1301. But this is the first feedback I have heard from sources that I would consider credible.  Gary and Pat, thanks for the feedback.

I see one of the tactical 18" guns set up almost exactly like Doc's picture in my future. I want something to keep in the cabin when on vacation in the Smokey Mountains, where black bear may be an issue,  along with the 2 legged issues. This would work...

 

 

 

Joined: 4-23-04                                          Location: SW Ohio

Originally Posted by aegis305:
Originally Posted by Dan Easterday:

Guys, looking around, I dont see mag extensions specifically for the 1301.  Are the optima parts compatible?

 

Google is your friend:

 

http://www.briley.com/berettamagazineextensions.aspx       

Well, fuck me, I was looking in the usual spots (brownells,etc.).

 

thanks.  I had never heard of Bailey before this thread.

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third shift blows.

Joined: 2/14/08 5:28 PM.         Location: NE Illinois

Briley makes a lot of shotgun stuff. Most people who know them well tend to be skeet or trap guys though for chokes I think.

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Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

Briley and Nordic Components both make good mag extension tubes for the 1301.

 

Beretta, Briley, and Carlson all have chokes for the Comp--be sure to order chokes for the "Beretta Optima HP".

 

I find that handguns require the most training, followed by shotguns, then carbines.

Damn, I'm liking that 1301 Tactical.  Looks to be a very good option. 

 

How are those stocks for warrior sized guys?  Does anyone have any information regarding aftermarket stocks such as the Hogue or other, which may have a shorter LOP?

"If you can't do something smart, do something right" -Jayne Cobb

 

Joined: 2010.                 Location: NOVA HELL

If it gets popular enough, maybe Magpul will make one for it.

 

I love my SGA for my 870. 

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third shift blows.

Joined: 2/14/08 5:28 PM.         Location: NE Illinois

Re: Breneke slugs, I have used the 12ga 9/16 inch length and even they work well on critters.

We shot some 2 3/4' and 3's against autos, very impressive, much better than the foster type slugs, windshield penetration was awesome.

I have bad shoulders now, so recoil is a consideration, the 1301 may be a viable choice.

Thanks Doc.

Art

The push-pull technique is new to me. But the difference in muzzle rise demonstrated in his video was substantial.

 

Thanks Doc for the info.

 

Unfortunately I now have to start scrounging funds for a 1301 Tactical...

 

 

 

Joined: 4-23-04                                          Location: SW Ohio

Thanks Doc.  As soon as I can sell a couple of other gauges, the Beretta is on my short list.

 

Personally, the Benelli M4 seems to be the go to for a "Tactical 12 ga." that is going to get a lot of stuff hung off it.  Slings, lights, red dots, etc. are all easier with the M4 at this point.

With that said, for those of us who love the 12 ga. as a general purpose defensive system, the Beretta is close to about perfect.  Hopefully, Beretta will see the potential.  I would like to see a "Police" type version with the Competition receiver, and an 18 (with an available 14") inch barrel and the ability to mount a red dot ahead of the receiver (or way in the back) and a clean receiver.  Proper "Benelli type" sling mounts and a small piece of rail on the front of the forend for lights would also be a requirement.  Either that, or get Magpul to do a furniture package for it.

"If I had a Grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton"

Let those who love the LORD hate evil. The one who guards the lives of his godly ones will rescue them from the power of wicked people. Psalms 97:10 Trooper Troy Duncan-EOW 5-19-84 Deputy Erik Jon Telen-EOW 8-21-2001

Bastards. I'm almost done setting up my 590 about the way I thought it should be, and here you are with this. Considering the problems with my shoulder, it is likely the far better set-up.

- - - -
Never be biased. Get to know people, and then hate them for objective reasons. They will almost always give you plenty.

www.routledge.com/9781138302969 (NOTE: Live Link)

Curious on how many 1301s are being purchased because of this thread.  $1k a piece.  Hope Doc gets a taste.

 

If the new ones run at all like my old 1201FP, you guys are going to love them.

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 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

Since I finally picked up an M1 Super 90 last year, I think I'll stick with it for awhile.  It handled the light loads just fine.

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Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

We first saw the 1301 at Alliance when Chappy hade Berretta out there  for one of the multiple vids they have done there.
Fresca shot it and loved it (He did a SWAT story on it).

I've had it for a while, but circumstance have kept me from shootimg it as much as I would like.

In the day i had a benelli, and it was the worst gun I have ever owned.
The 1301 seems to be the answer at this time.

Originally Posted by Pat _Rogers:


I've had it for a while, but circumstance have kept me from shootimg it as much as I would like.

A certain somebody will be in your neighborhood soon and could probably rectify that situation....

"If I had a Grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton"

Let those who love the LORD hate evil. The one who guards the lives of his godly ones will rescue them from the power of wicked people. Psalms 97:10 Trooper Troy Duncan-EOW 5-19-84 Deputy Erik Jon Telen-EOW 8-21-2001

Interesting.  

 

I bought a Rem VM tactical last year.  Very reliable - but I hate the elevator.  I actually think it was designed as a mouse trap at some point - it does a brilliant job of catchingmy thumb when I'm in a hurry.  Receiver edges are very sharp.  Need to have it welded and opened up to make it more user friendly.  I like the looks of the irons on the Beretta a bit better too.  Oh - and the Beretta is $300 cheaper. 

 

Of course, after market support and parts are a big deal.  Beretta isn't stellar in this regard with some of their stuff.  

 

But overall I like the looks of this thing.  Curiosity is killing my cat.  

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Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

Originally Posted by SPDSNYPR:

Interesting.  

 

I bought a Rem VM tactical last year.  Very reliable - but I hate the elevator.  I actually think it was designed as a mouse trap at some point - it does a brilliant job of catchingmy thumb when I'm in a hurry.  Receiver edges are very sharp.  Need to have it welded and opened up to make it more user friendly.  I like the looks of the irons on the Beretta a bit better too.  Oh - and the Beretta is $300 cheaper. 

 

Of course, after market support and parts are a big deal.  Beretta isn't stellar in this regard with some of their stuff.  

 

But overall I like the looks of this thing.  Curiosity is killing my cat.  

Roger on their CS.
However, now that Chappy has been involved (for more than a few months, it is likely you will see a positive change.

 I'm surprised it took Beretta this long to come out with something like this - the 391 Xtrema I own is the first shotgun that I can shoot with heavy loads and not be instantly sore (many 3" loads at ducks) but would work perfectly with Winchester light AA shells for trap (well cycle fine anyway, since it's not a trap gun and I'm not that good a shot).  For some reason they never came out with a barrel shorter than 24" for the Xtrema - perhaps it's an import issue.  I can't seem to find a spare barrel to have cut down to 18-20" so a 1301 might be in my future.
 
As for the Benelli, while the two (12 and a 20 ga) I owned were reliable I don't enjoy being beaten up.  Also it likes to grab fingers while being loaded.  It wasn't the worst gun I've ever owned but then I've owned things like a Streetsweeper and a Davis P-32 so...
 
Originally Posted by Pat _Rogers:

We first saw the 1301 at Alliance when Chappy hade Berretta out there  for one of the multiple vids they have done there.
Fresca shot it and loved it (He did a SWAT story on it).

I've had it for a while, but circumstance have kept me from shootimg it as much as I would like.

In the day i had a benelli, and it was the worst gun I have ever owned.
The 1301 seems to be the answer at this time.

 

This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on. What we need is not freedom of the press, we need freedom FROM the press Oswald Spengler

Originally Posted by Pat _Rogers:
Originally Posted by nyeti:
Originally Posted by Pat _Rogers:


I've had it for a while, but circumstance have kept me from shootimg it as much as I would like.

A certain somebody will be in your neighborhood soon and could probably rectify that situation....

There is that...
Except there are precious few places to shoot up here.

Maybe I could take it with me to places that I can shoot it...........you know, like a "loan"....

"If I had a Grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton"

Let those who love the LORD hate evil. The one who guards the lives of his godly ones will rescue them from the power of wicked people. Psalms 97:10 Trooper Troy Duncan-EOW 5-19-84 Deputy Erik Jon Telen-EOW 8-21-2001

Only the Benelli seemed to have a taste for my fingers, the Beretta hasn't been a problem though opened up is better (who opened up your gun?).  I'd rather keep the barrel as is on the off chance I ever go for birds of the clay or feathered variety again - I'm just hoping to find a cheap used barrel.  I'd also like to see that Remington pattern tang as a shorter stock would be nice - though I don't mind the weight since it's not like I'm patrolling with the gun or anything.
 
Originally Posted by Huck:

Simcha, I've been running a 391 for about two years as a 3 gun shotgun. It loads easy with an opened up loading port, and the barrel can be shortened and chokes reinstalled if you're into that sort of thing. Don't bother with the spare barrel, for what they cost you can just buy a second gun... Nordic components makes charging handles and extended tubes for them as well. the oem stock is stupid long for run and gun stuff, but the tungsten rod in it is for weight and can be discarded. Mine is wearing a magpul SGA stock (had a machinist make a remington pattern tang that threads into where the tungsten filled rod used to be. It's a hackjob, but an amazingly shootable gun. 

 

This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on. What we need is not freedom of the press, we need freedom FROM the press Oswald Spengler

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