3.5” semi auto 12 gauge - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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I currently have a Remington 11-87 Supermag shotgun. I’m not happy with it’s performance. You have to add an o ring and spacer to switch between 2 3/4 and heavy loads. It never seems to cycle perfectly with light loads. It usually gams up.

My question is what is a good 3.5” semi auto 12 gauge that’s reliable. I’ve heard good things about Benelli however they seem over priced.

A friend of mine has a Franchi and he seems happy with it. He said it did take about 100 rounds to break in.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 07:23 AM
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I have a franchi. I think they are the best gun value out there. For semi auto. It has worked perfectly. Had it 4-5 years now.
Had a browning auto gold. It worked flawlessly.
Never owned a Benelli but the guys i know that have them are always bragging on them.
Both the franchi and the browning cycled everything well.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:08 AM
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Have owned a 12 3.5" Browning Gold for about 15 years. It cycles 2.75's -3.5's flawlessly. The Win X series of semis has the same reliable gas system.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:23 PM
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+1 on the Winchester Super X line !!!!

I run both a Super X2 and a Super X3. The Super X4 is just more of a good thing.

These guns will cycle 7/8 oz Walmart el cheapos and 3 1/2" turkey loads out of the same magazine full and never hiccup. You can get one for roughly 1/2 the price of the Benelli and have $700 left over for ammo.


I bought my Super X2 new and decided to see how long I could use it without cleaning it before it would miss a step. After 7 or 8 years of uncleaned usage, I finally got a guilt trip and cleaned it.....having never failed to feed, fire or eject.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:54 PM
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I think 3.5" guns are all pretty prone to problems with light target loads, particularly gas guns. Benelli's are nice, my wife has one(not a 3.5") but it's been a great gun. They're certainly not cheap. I've not shot one, but I know that the Franchi's have a similar inertia recoil system, Franchi is owned by Benelli(Beretta) and is considered their mid-grade line. They also have a 7 year warranty for what it's worth.

To counter what some others have said, I have a Browning Gold 3" gun and even it does NOT cycle target loads reliably. I was having some major problems with Federal Top Gun target loads before switching to Rio's. Even with the Rio's though, I'll probably have on average 2 failures per 100 rounds fired. Also, my Browning doesn't pattern steel well at all.

I'd probably try the Franchi, or look for a used SBEII
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 09:22 PM
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I have two 3.5 inch Benellis. Never had a problem and they are worth the money.

The Franchi is a great value. My son hss one. BTW Franchi is a Benelli subsiduary.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 09:32 PM
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I grabbed a barely used Stoeger M3500 for $500 last year. I've heard it described several times as a Benelli on a budget. I've not run a ton of rounds through it yet, but I've no complaints thus far except for a trigger that's heavy with some creep on the trap range, but definitely not noticeable in the goose blind. It comes with a weight to put in the stock to cut recoil on magnum loads, and it doesn't like low-brass with the weight in place. With the weight removed, it's cycled anything I fed it, just a little more recoil on the heavy stuff.

I've heard great things about the Winchesters and Franchis as well.

If your pockets are deeper than mine, Browning, Beretta and Benelli would be at the top of my wish list, in that order.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 12:27 PM
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I've seen way too many 3.5" guns over the years that don't cycle light loads. My solution was to buy the Browning Cynergy Waterfowl. If I need 3.5" shells I'll take that, or the 10ga. Anything else gets shot at with the pumps or 11-87 which since it's old cycles everything like a dream.

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