Its hard to imagine a good lineup of autoloading shotguns that doesn’t include something from Beretta, the European manufacturer is one of the oldest pillars in the firearms business. The firm is well known for many notable firearms, but they are known in these parts for their shotguns, and the A300 Outlander is the one we are playing with today.
My Father is a bit of a shotgun junkie. Being things as they were when I was younger, I was exposed to some very nice shotguns. I also got to shoot many of them, Dad wouldn’t let me bring my two-hundred dollar 870 when he had a couple fancy Italian’s on standby. And whether it was a fancy double barreled gun or a handsome auto-loader, I was happy to give it a go.
Beretta makes a broad assortment of semi-automatic shotguns, whether it is an M9 for tactical scenarios, or todays A300 field gun, there is a Beretta to fit your needs.
The A300 Outlander like many of Beretta’s semi-auto guns is a gas operated system. The action is operated by gas pressure vented from the barrel to a piston, which pushes an operating rod disengaging the bolt and cycling the action. It sounds pretty simple, because it is. Perhaps the reason why it is such an effective system used by so many. The gun is fed from a tubular magazine that can hold up to three two and three-quarter inch shells with the plug removed.
This model came with dark wooden furniture, but the gun is also available with synthetic options and camouflaged coatings. The twenty-eight inch barrel features a three-inch chamber which allows you to shoot any two and three-quarters or three-inch loads. And the muzzle utilizes an assortment of replaceable chokes to adjust your shot pattern to the ammunition and expected shots.
The controls of the Outlander mirror most semi-auto shotgun patterns, so whether you are learning on the A300 or coming from a different model you will find the controls familiar and easy to operate.
I grabbed a few boxes of Winchester and Fiocchi ammunition, both of them with one-ounce loads of 7.5 and 8 shot. And with a couple cases of clay targets my Dad and I headed out for an afternoon of bustin’ clays.
In the field
Of course Dad was going to bring a couple of his own guns, something we could compare the A300 to. A Benelli and A Winchester SX3 would make great company to the Outlander, as well as something we were both familiar with to compare it to.
We started throwing targets to get a little warmup going, and before long we switched over to throwing doubles and report pairs.
The Beretta felt great in my hands, I felt a little bit of a squish on the cheek to get a good view down the rib. As I continually swung the gun after targets I found that old familiar feel of pacing the flying target with the bead. To my surprise I did quite well shooting the A300, better than I had done with the other guns present anyhow. A good bit of time passed before I managed to miss a target, and as it invariably happens the gun wasn’t at fault.
Following the faster targets that came from the side I was able to maintain a good sight picture down the rib, and it felt great to watch those clays turn to dust. The modest recoil from the one-ounce loads was easily manageable, and follow-up shots were quick to get on target.
Proper shooting with any shotgun requires a proper setup, we did change out the full-choke for something a little more open. Hand thrown clays can often be more challenging to hit than mechanically thrown targets, and many of the shots we made were fairly close. So before we started, I swapped the choke out for a modified for a little broader pattern.
I managed to talk my Dad into putting his gun down for a minute, to see how what he thought of the Beretta. He too was able to make good hits with the Outlander, and his old guy hmm haw of approval was well deserved. Continue Reading Here…