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Semi-automatic shotguns are simply an upgrade from the typical pump-action models. They are some of the most expensive shotguns, primarily because of their quick firepower. The Beretta A300 Outlander is no different.
If you’ve had the pleasure of shooting with a semi-auto, then you know what an impeccable firearm it is.
These shotguns are a pleasure to shoot. They empty rounds in such quick succession, hence giving you an excellent way to unwind at the end of a long day.
If you’re considering buying a new semi-auto, Beretta A300 Outlander is a good option. It’s pretty reliable and unlike a pump-action shotgun, it cannot be short-stroked.
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What to Consider Before Buying a Semi-Auto Shotgun
When purchasing a semi-automatic shotgun, the main considerations you have to make are the price and action-type. Let’s delve into these aspects.
If you’re planning to buy a semi-automatic gun, expect to pay top dollar. The high-end models go for as much as $2000. But, don’t discredit them just yet. There are some cheaper models that average between $550 and $650.
In fact, if you don’t mind one that doesn’t have a 3 ½ inch chamber, then you can get semi-autos for $800 to $900.
That said, there’s no guarantee that an expensive semi-automatic works better than the more affordable ones. Therefore, you should do a lot of research and purchase from a reputable brand like Beretta.
Semi-automatic guns have evolved significantly from The Browning Automatic 5, or A5, the first successful semi-auto invented by John M. Browning in 1900.
The current semi-autos are a far cry from the A-5 and can be classified into two main types: gas and inertia shotguns. You will have to weigh the merits and drawbacks of each type to determine which one suits your preferences.
A gas-operated gun is one that bleeds off small amounts of gas from the rounds being fired. The barrel is fitted with tiny ports for collecting the portion of gas needed to trigger the gas piston. Gas-driven semi-autos have one key benefit, that is, reduced felt recoil.
When you fire with this shotgun, a part of the recoil energy is stored. This energy is then released to the moving elements of the gun, which distributes the kick out over a longer duration. This working mechanism makes gas guns very popular among clay target shooters, who tend to shoot a hundred, or more, shells per day.
On the downside, gas semi-autos are more difficult to clean because of the carbon residue. Also, gas guns are not the most suitable to use during winter or in cold regions. When the temperature drops, any lubricant present in the gun, carbon and unspent powder residue all become less fluid and sticky, making it harder to shoot.
Inertia guns were first invented by the Italian firearms manufacturer: Benelli. Nowadays, this feature is made by different companies. The way an inertia gun works is that the breech bolt is held in the chamber using a spring. When you fire, this spring is depressed by the rearward inertia of the firearm. This releases the bolt causing it to move rearward; hence ejecting the used round and picking another from the magazine.
Unlike gas-operated semi-autos, inertia models operate cleanly. You don’t have to worry about carbon residue accumulating, and making it harder to clean.
Another factor that makes these guns easier to clean is the fact that they have fewer moving parts. No special gas pistons or ports.
Unfortunately, inertia guns present a few challenges. For one, there’s more recoil. The only place the recoil can go is through the stock, then to the user’s shoulder. Thankfully, manufacturers are trying to overcome this hurdle by installing recoil pads and collapsing stocks.
Overview of Beretta A300 Outlander
In the past, whenever someone asked me for a well-rounded shotgun, I’d always recommend a decently-priced semi-auto like Beretta 3901. This was the US-manufactured version of the renown Beretta 390and it used to go for about $650.
I had even bought one for my son. But then Beretta reported that they had developed another shotgun—the A300 Outlander—to replace the 3901 model and that it would cost at least $100 more. At that point, I started regretting having not bought a second 3901 shotgun for myself.
But, as I realized later, Beretta replaced the 3901 with a more advanced and effective shotgun. Nowadays, the Beretta A300 Outlander is my favorite shotgun.
Manufactured in Beretta’s Maryland plant, this shotgun features a lighter and sleeker design than the 3901. It’s the only one of its kind and it’s often ranked among the best semi-automatic shotguns.
Features and Benefits
The first thing you’ll notice about A300 Outlander is its elegant design. The slim flowing lines give this shotgun an unforgettable impression at first sight. To make things sweeter, this shotgun boasts a lightweight and ergonomic profile.
The receiver, which is so accurately machined, is made from aluminum alloy. Furthermore, the internal components housed within the receiver have been assembled with a lot of care.
Also worth noting is that all the metallic parts are coated with special finishes to protect them against wear, tear, and rust. And that’s not the only feature that prevents rusting. The Outlander receiver undergoes an anodic oxidation process, which not only prevents rusting but also scratching.
They have designed the receiver in a circular shape, allowing it to fit smoothly into the stock. This design contributes to the rapid and instinctive acquisition of targets.
As for the trigger guard, Beretta decided to use heavy-duty polymer in its construction. What’s more, it’s designed in a semi-square shape, which makes it very easy to position your fingers. We also like that the opening of the trigger guard is bigger. This means that you can easily access it even if you’re wearing gloves.
The new shape of the trigger guard and the absence of sharp corners also gives you a more secure grip.
Another feature that makes the Outlander unique is the incorporation of technopolymer reinforced fiberglass, which is resistant to corrosion. This technology ensures that color doesn’t fade even if some parts are constantly subjected to rubbing.
The Safety Button
The safety button is another element that Beretta has redesigned. More specifically, the safety button now has a wider surface making it easier to operate. To prevent unintended engagement or disengaging, this safety is protected and topped with a bulging edge.
The forearm of the A300 Outlander consists of long, slender contours. These complement the overall design of the shotgun beautifully.
Gun enthusiasts will also love the self-cleaning cylinder and piston that Beretta has designed. Nonetheless, you should clean your shotgun rigorously after use.
The versatility that the A300 Outlander offers is incredible. This shotgun comes with reversible components to make it user-friendly for left-handed shooters. Plus, Beretta has equipped this firearm with spacers for adjusting the cast and drop of the stock. This means that you can use your Outlander for years to come. As you grow a little older, simply adjust the components to correspond to your fit and hunting technique.
I can go on and on about the magnificent features of this firearm, but if its performance is below average, then nobody will want to buy it. Thankfully, the Outlander is a beauty to work with. Due to its adjustable components, users never have to be concerned about ill-fitting shotguns—a factor that can compromise your accuracy significantly. Additionally, if you are using good ammo, everything should fit and work nicely every time.
The fact that these shotguns use gas-operated mechanisms is another aspect that contributes to good performance. Other features that guarantee a flawless operation include its lightweight design, recoil pads, and low-profile action.
From my experience, A300 Outlander shotgun works fine just the way it is. However, you can customize it by buying a couple of aftermarket accessories.
For instance, you can get factory-installed synthetic stocks with adjustable lengths that range from 13 to 14.5 inches. You can also get a modifiable shim system with drop and cast spacers.
Beretta also provides several components with every Outlander they sell. These include sling mounts, two spacers, and Mobil Choke system, which comes with full, modified and improved cylinder choke tubes.
Pros and Cons
- A300 Outlander has very few parts – the barrel, stock, forearm, and lug. Thanks to this simple design, this shotgun is very easy to assemble, take apart and clean. You will also appreciate the self-cleaning piston, which makes it so much easier to clean.
- Another plus of this semi-auto is that it comes with three choke tubes: improved cylinder, modified and full. Unless you’re into customizing shotguns for a more personal feel, these are all the chokes you’ll need for your hunting and shooting practice.
- The only disadvantage of the Outlander is that it might be a little pricey for beginners. But, then again, there are semi-autos that cost way more than that. Generally, if you’ve just started using semi-autos, go for cheaper models that cost less than $500. But if you know how to shoot a semi-auto, and are looking for an affordable upgrade, the A300 Outlander is an excellent option.
General User Impressions
Most users have remarked that the A300 Outlander is a great semi-auto shotgun. The graceful lines, affordability, and adaptability add to the shotgun’s appeal. In terms of performance, customers liked the smooth action of the trigger. And, in the recoil section, you can be pleased by the fact that it handled light loads with ease. However, there were a few complaints among shooters who used magnum loads.
Based on our field tests, we can confirm that Beretta A300 Outlander is an outstanding semi-auto. We like its simple design and sturdy build. Furthermore, this shotgun is great for hunting all kinds of game—upland birds, turkey, waterfowl and more.
Other features we loved about this semi-auto include the self-cleaning piston, lightweight, customized barrels, and level of adaptability.
A300 Outlander Frequently Asked Questions
What sizes does A300 Outlander come in?
All the A300 Outlander shotguns are available in 12-gauge sizes.
What is the length of the Outlander barrel?
It has a 28-inch barrel, and it only shoots 2 ¾” and 3” shells.
How much does A300 Outlander cost?
You can get this semi-automatic for $700 or more.
Is this shotgun easy to maintain?
Yes, it is. Outlander is the perfect example of Beretta’s principle regarding maintenance: easy, fast and tool-free. You can disassemble this shotgun into just four parts, making it one of the easiest to clean. Also, since it has a self-cleaning piston, the shotgun shoots much cleaner than other models.
A300 Outlander is the latest gas-driven semi-auto shotgun made by Beretta. Just a couple of years after its invention, Beretta sold this shotgun to millions across the globe, and deservedly so. It has state-of-the-art features that set it apart from the crowd. It can be adjusted to suit your measurements and hunting technique has a tough build and is easy to maintain.