Go to any serious clay sports competition – national teams, for example – and chances are every semi-auto you see will be a Beretta. Semiauto Beretta dominate sports clay for the same reason that they are popular among South American pigeon hunters. They are reliable and strong and will work for countless rounds between cleanings. It is not surprising that Berettas are familiar with duck hunters.
Starting with the A300 in 1968, Berettas has established a reputation for more than 50 years as a manufacturer of gas weapons. The Beretta Semiautos are so good that when Browning tried to introduce a gas weapon in the 1980s, she contracted with the Beretta to build the B-80, which was nothing more than a 302 with a crank receiver and a Buckmark logo in the trigger guard. . If Beretta semiauto are good enough for Browning to decide their name, they are good enough for me. Given the popularity of Beretta guns among waterfowl, it is no surprise that the highly successful A400 Xtreme passed our duck gun test.
However, as the Beretta’s main weapon and loaded with features, the A400 Xtreme sells for $ 2,000, putting it out of the price range of many hunters. To meet the needs of the mid-range market, Beretta has come up with the strategy of introducing lower priced, US-made versions of discontinued models. The first was the 3901, a great weapon based on the 390. Now the Beretta offers the A300 Outlander, which is basically a 391 list for much less than $ 1,000, as well as an A350, a lower priced version of the Xtrema 3. Inches. .
The latest in the line is the A300 Ultima, an upgraded version of the A300 with some of the features that waterfowl love these days. I was already a big fan of the 3901 and A300 Outlander – guns I recommend to people looking for a first shotgun – so I was very excited to include the A300 Ultima in our waterfowl test at the Pintail Hunting Club.
Beretta A300 nuts and bolts
Features of Beretta A300 Ultima
- Meter: 3 inch 12 gauge (tested); 3 inch gauge 20
- Action: Semiauto with gas
- Capacity: 3 + 1
- Choking: IC, M and F Mobilchokes
- Barrels: Scale ribs, fiber optic beads
- Barrel length: 28 inches
- Finish: Black camo (tested).
- Length: 47 ç inches
- Towing length: 13.8 inches
- Trigger pull: 14 5.14
- Overall weight: 7.7 pounds
The A300 Ultima has a very close resemblance inside to the 391 from which it is derived. 391, which debuted in 2000, has been Beretta’s leading semi-author for almost a decade, and many think he is the best Beretta semi-author ever. Like the 391, the A300 Ultima gas system consists of only two moving parts, a piston and a buffer tube with a connection that connects it to the bolt. There is also a relief valve at the front of the barrel ring. You are encouraged to remove it and clean it with the 391-but not the A300 Ultima, which eliminates any maintenance work. Also, the gas piston on the A300 guns is different and, in my opinion, easier to clean than a 391 piston. The magazine cover has also been redesigned, which does not look like much – but the very tricky, with seven parts (!) 391 would be put in place and most of the 391 owners learned to pack a strap wrench with their gun – Set of care to remove the lid when stuck. The result is that the A300 Ultima is a simple weapon to detach and clean. Although, like other Beretta semi-cars, it can spend a long time without much care.
From the outside, the gun comes with the enlarged bolt handle and the release button of the bolts that waterfowl seek these days, as well as a ground gate to make quick refilling easier. I miss the 391 magazine abort button, but I do not remember using the abort on any of my 391s. Like all Beretta safety buttons, the 300 Ultima safety sits on the front of the trigger guard.
The 28-inch barrel has a 3-inch chamber and a stepped rib and is used for Beretta’s older Mobilchoke system. The stock includes a version of the Beretta Kick-Off return reducer, which can be removed to change the length of the stock. The stock also comes with a cover bag to help adjust the fit as well.
How we tested the Beretta A300 Ultima
Three mornings in a row, we pulled our test weapons into the field where we hunted dung in wetlands, rice fields, and shallow lake environments. After the hunt, we returned to the lodge to shoot models, test the point of impact, check trigger pulls, and weigh and measure weapons. After that, we would shoot the guns as much as possible on the club’s clay field. The A300 Ultima fired a desirable 60 percent above the target point, 40 percent below. With 1 ¼ ounce loads of Federal Speed Shock Nr. 2 and a modified choke, it was modeled at about 75 percent (105 strokes) to about 30 inches at 35 yards. While most of the other weapons in the test had more efficient models, this was definitely a killer duck model – and what would you expect from a modified distance choke. The trigger pull was 5.14 pounds and the weapon weighed 7.7 pounds.
How the A300 Ultima worked
Handling and Ergonomics
As a fan of duck heavy weapons and Beretta semiautos, it seemed to me that the A300 Ultima was very shot. He steered and swayed well, and the 60/40 strike point suits both shooters who want to see the bird a bit and those who would cover it with barrels.
Enhanced controls help the weapon load and unload easily. The bolt release button can be a bit too easy to use. It only takes one bump to close the bolt and it is possible to close it unintentionally. It’s not unsafe, nor is it a unique problem for this particular button, but it is nonetheless annoying. On the positive side, the magazine cover is simpler than the 391 cover and goes off without sticking, so this is an improvement. Some people hate – or fail to achieve – security in front of the trigger guard. If you have very short fingers, this weapon can be a challenge to shoot.
While I generally liked the gun, the Kick-Off bounce reducer was a weird disappointment. A couple of us, including me, felt like the gun was hitting us harder than usual on the cheek. For whatever reason, Kick-Off seemed to emphasize the rise of the muzzle, though everyone feels the recoil of the gun differently. I would buy an A300 Ultima if I were in the market for a waterfowl pistol, but I would probably remove the return reducer, which is easy to do.
Workmanship and Aesthetics
Our test model came in synthetic black (camo guns are also available) with a gray receiver that gave the gun a special look. The stock mimics the design of the A400 stock, though the rubber-covered kick-off spoils the effect a bit. The steel surfaces have a matte finish that looks similar to the finish of my old A300 Outlander or 3901 — both had to be carefully inspected and cleaned as soon as I got home, as rust stains will bloom on them almost before your eyes. The A300 Ultima is well-fitted and worked perfectly for us, with the exception of the Kick-Off reducer.
The A 300 Ultima is a versatile weapon. Although it will not fire 3-inch projectiles, it handles everything else, including light target loads. With its weight and 60/40 hitting point, it would be a good target weapon as well as an excellent pigeon weapon. If you did not mind the weight, you can hunt turkeys with it, especially since the receiver is cut for an optical base. You can also get it in high places, especially if you choose the model with 20 gauge.
Berettas made their name through reliability and this weapon seems to follow in the footsteps of all its predecessors. We had no failures of any kind and the gun moved by bike on hunting and objective loads. Other Semiauto Berettas I have shot, including the A300 – which is the same weapon with fewer features – have no problems with reloading or free loads with steel heads and target loads causing problems with some weapons. I would predict the A300 Ultima to do the same.
The A300 Ultima is a great value. You get a proven, reliable and durable design for less than $ 1000, and that includes features that many people put into another gun market, e.g. enlarged bolt releases. The Kick-Off feature, when running on other models, very effectively reduces bounce. I can’t say if our weapon was weirder or if Kick-Off needs more Research and Development. But Kick-Off comes out easily, and you still have a gun that sticks well against the Winchester SX4 and costs $ 20 less. I would definitely look at the A300 Ultima if I were to shop for a duck weapon.
What makes the Beretta A300 Ultima better
What the Beretta A300 Ultima does best is to shoot. And shoot. Beretta semiautos are famous for their performance and the A300 Ultima should not be an exception. Gauge 12 would make a brilliant duck, pigeon, target and, at one tip, a turkey gun. 20 could afford all that work, albeit at a closer distance, and would also fit in the heights.
What makes the gun worse
Heavy weapons are easy to shoot and difficult to hold. Light weapons are easy to hold and difficult to shoot. The A300 Ultima is a heavy weapon, so while it shines in situations where you sit or stand there and shoot, I would choose a 12 different one for turkeys or mountain hunting if that were my decision. And, surprisingly, thanks to Kick-Off, which seemed to be almost worsening the bounce, the A300 as we shot it was not a smooth-bore weapon. My guess is that removing Kick-Off can make the gun softer.
The A300 Ultima is a great choice in a duck hunting semi-auto for less than $ 1000. It will fire a wide range of 2 ¾ and 3 inch loads and is a weapon that can be carried to the ski or sports clay range, to the blind or to the pigeon field. And you can use the money you save by buying this gun instead of a better model to buy a choke in the market if you feel the need to improve model performance. The Kick-Off reducer was a disappointment to me, but even without it, the gun gas system interrupts the strike itself. In all other ways, this weapon would make an excellent choice as an affordable and high quality waterfowl semi-automatic firearm.