Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun Review: A “Carbine” Shotgun

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The Beretta 1301 Tactical is all business with ghost ring sights and a rail for optics.

The Beretta 1301 Tactical is all business with ghost ring sights and a rail for optics.

Have you ever shot an M1 Garand, followed by an M1 Carbine? Or perhaps a FAL, followed by a Ruger 10/22? Or maybe a full size over and under 12 gauge, followed by a compact coach gun?

If so, then you already have an idea of the relative feel of the Beretta 1301 Tactical shotgun.

What attracted me to this gun for testing and evaluation is its compact size, light weight and super quick handling. You can think of it as a shotgun carbine. With an 18.5 inch barrel and short stock, the entire length is just under 38 inches long. As a comparison, the M1 Carbine of WWII fame is 35.6 inches end to end, while a Ruger Carbine measures 37 inches.

Just the specs…

In standard configuration, you'll be able to fit four 2 ¾ inch shells in the tube, but you'll have to remove the plug first.

In standard configuration, you’ll be able to fit four 2 ¾ inch shells in the tube, but you’ll have to remove the plug first.

The factory configured stock is really, really compact, offering a length of pull of just about 13 inches. As I wanted a compact shotgun, I left it just as is – almost. More on that a bit later. If you prefer a longer stock and length of pull, Beretta includes two spacers that work together or separately. One is ½ inch while the other is 1 inch, so choose the length you want and mix and match accordingly. As with most other Beretta guns, you can also tweak drop and cast, although I had no need – this one fit me out of the box and offered a natural sight line right down the sights.

Offered in 12 gauge only, the 1301 Tactical features a 3-inch chamber, not that you need it. If you want to get thumped, feel free, you can load the big boy shells.

Magazine capacity is a bit of a mystery. Some retailers quote the 1301 Tactical as 4+1 while other say 5+1. Beretta doesn’t exactly say in their website specs, but the owners manual indicates 4+1, so I just tried it. Mine fit four 2 ¾ inch shells plus one in the chamber. Just a heads up, Beretta ships the gun with the magazine plug installed, which limits you to two shells in the tube. Just remove the end cap and pop that out to take advantage of full magazine capacity.

The Beretta 1301 has an MSRP of $1,059.

The Beretta 1301 has an MSRP of $1,059.

The controls

The controls, bolt handle, bolt release and safety are all oversized and easy to manipulate with or without gloves.

The controls, bolt handle, bolt release and safety are all oversized and easy to manipulate with or without gloves.

The primary controls are all oversized and easy to operate, presumably to enable operation with gloved hands. This also makes it a solid combination home defense and competition shotgun.

The bolt release button is oblong with textured ridges, so operation is easy and positive. The bolt handle is also oversized, and shaped somewhat like a snow cone cup, with the pointy end in the receiver. The shape encourages your fingers to stay on the handle when operating it quickly. The push through safety bar is also oversized and reversible.

Operation

One of the engineering enhancements is an upgraded gas operating system. According to Beretta, “The integrated BLINK gas operating system, featuring a cross tube gas piston, allows the 1301 Tactical to cycle 36% faster than any other shotgun on the market.” Reset and cycling is fast, allowing up to four shots per second if the shooter does their part.

The 1301 Tactical has sling attachment points in front of the magazine tube and under the stock.

The 1301 Tactical has sling attachment points in front of the magazine tube and under the stock.

Your first look at the bolt will indicate that something is different. The bolt head looks and acts, somewhat like that of an AR-15 design. The bolt turns and locks into place, reversing the turn to extract the fired shell.

The gas system is self-cleaning. So far, I haven’t touched anything remotely resembling a cleaning kit and we’re still rocking. But then again, I’ve had a similar experience with most Beretta shotguns. They’ll run and run before you need to break out the brushes and chemicals.

Unloading the 1301 is easy once you know the tricks. Flip it upside down so you can see the magazine tube. Then press the bolt release button and the tube will release shells into your hand. No need to cycle them through the chamber to empty the gun. When the magazine tube is empty, cycle the action with the bolt handle to remove any shells in the tube.

Sights

The front sight features a removable post and is protected by wings.

The front sight features a removable post and is protected by wings.

Designed for the law enforcement and home defense market, the 1301 features real sights to facilitate use with slugs and tight buckshot patterns.

The front sight is a removable post with wings on either side to protect it from bumps and thumps. The rear sight is a ghost ring aperture, also with side wings. The aperture is large for fast sight acquisition, and I had no problem being precise with slugs at 25 and 50 yards. The rear sight is both elevation and windage adjustable with corresponding screws. When you pick your preferred load, you can tweak those to get your desired line of sight and point of impact match.

Just in front of the rear sight is a 3 1/4 inch long, 7 slot MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail. It’s the perfect place for a small profile red dot optic. I’m adding an Aimpoint Micro H1, and if my fancy math skills are correct, it will sit at the perfect height so that the ghost ring rear and front sight post will be visible through the glass as a backup.

Handling

The rear sight is a large ghost ring and is adjustable for windage and elevation.

The rear sight is a large ghost ring and is adjustable for windage and elevation.

I’ve talked quite about about the compact size, and this makes handling fast. As Beretta markets this for law enforcement and home defense segments, it’s also a lot less clunky indoors where one might have to navigate hallways, doors and furniture.

The pistol grip has a nice texture all the way up to the receiver. The fore-end has the same type of texture along the bottom half for almost its entire length. An inset groove along the sides of the fore end stock provides a natural resting place for your support hand.

Shooting adventures

While we’re talking shooting, this is a cylinder bore shotgun without removable chokes. That would be a bit silly on a gun like this.

The gas system is designed to work with a broad array of ammo types. Being a tactical model, you would assume it’s good to go with heavy slug and buckshot loads. The trick is getting it to work consistently with pussycat loads also. Assuming I would have no trouble with rock ’n roll shells, I tried the light target loads first.

Federal Target Load ⅞ ounce 7 ½ Shot

A 3 ¼ inch rail sits just in front of the rear sight. You can take it off if you like.

A 3 ¼ inch rail sits just in front of the rear sight. You can take it off if you like.

Cycling reliability was perfect with this light ⅞ ounce load. I didn’t measure a pattern as traditional patterning of bird shot through a cylinder bore self-defense gun doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But I did do some Kentucky estimation on a paper target placed 15 yards downrange to get an idea of how the pattern would impact for 3-Gun. After all, I’m using this shotgun at the upcoming Crimson Trace midnight 3 Gun Invitational and want to have at least a subjective idea of how wide the pattern is at “3-Gun” range. As you can see by the photo, the smaller than standard ⅞ ounce load (all I had on hand) in 7 ½ shot size, pretty much covered the 14-inch square target.

Winchester 3 inch Magnum 15 pellet 00 Buck

Having a desire to inflict pain on myself, I shot some rounds of Winchester 3 inch Magnum buckshot. These are 15-pellet rounds and the best way to describe recoil is… enthusiastic. While here is really no need to carry these monsters, I was curious, so I tested some patterns from the Beretta 1301 cylinder bore. How much range could I get before the 15-pellet pattern become so wide it was uncontrollable? It turns out that most pellets impacted within an 8 inch circle, with a couple of flyers opening up to just about 12 inches.

Winchester PDX1 Defender Personal Defense

The cross bolt safety is reversible for righties and lefties.

The cross bolt safety is reversible for righties and lefties.

This is one of the new combination loads, in this case a one-ounce slug combined with three 00-buckshot pellets. In the PDX1 shell, the pellets are placed on top of the slug, which seems to help spread the pattern aggressively. Winchester Ammunition advertises this to “compensate for aim error” and it certainly does that. Of course, you need to make your own decision as to whether a wide pattern works in your environment. After all, you’re responsible for where each of those 30-caliber pellets ends up.

As you can see by the photo, the pattern does spread rapidly. At 15 yards, the slug went directly to the point of aim, with the three pellets spread into a near-perfect triangle pattern with 10-inch sides.

Winchester Super-X 1-ounce Slugs

These hum along at 1,600 feet per second, plus or minus a bit depending on your barrel length. I didn’t want to get overly scientific with measuring groups given that this is a compact, cylinder bore shotgun. As it’s not really designed for longer range rifled-barrel deer hunting, I set up a target 25 yards downrange, placed the Beretta 1301 Tactical on my shooting bag, and proceeded to abuse my shoulder. I fired a five-shot group using the built-in iron ghost ring sights. The first four shots created one rather large hole and the 5th was about one inch outside of those. That flyer was all me. I think I had enough of getting thumped by a lightweight 12 gauge at that point. Call it plenty combat accurate.

Remington 9-pellet 00 Buckshot

The loading port is also large for fast reloads.

The loading port is also large for fast reloads.

This 2 ¾-inch shell fires its load at 1,325 feet per second. I also measured a pattern 10 yards down range. All 9 pellets fell into a 6 ½ inch circle. Given that this patterned slightly better than the others, I placed a second target twice as far down range, 20 yards, and found the pattern still stayed within 9 ½ inches. Not bad!

Federal 9-pellet 00 Buckshot

Also clocking in at 1,325 feet per second, this load created a pattern just under 7 inches at its widest point.

Winchester 9-pellet 00 Buck

I shot this load at “indoor” range of 10 yards. The pattern was spread nicely around point of aim and measured just over 6 ½ inches across at its widest point.

A couple of tweaks.

As soon as this shotgun arrived, I knew I was going to have to send Beretta a check so I could keep it. Now guilt free about tearing things apart and making a few changes, I did two and a half things to “personalize” it just a tad.

The entire grip area is well checkered.

The entire grip area is well checkered.

First, while I like the ultra short stock, I wanted just a hair more length of pull and distance between my nose and the back of the receiver. The included Beretta rubber recoil pad is effective, but a little thin. So I ordered a Kick-Eez KZ-109 pre-fit recoil pad. This size fit the butt stock perfectly and I used the existing screws to mount it. Couldn’t be easier. It’s almost twice as thick as the factory installed pad, so length of pull was increased just enough. The effectiveness of Kick-Eez recoil pads is legendary – they really make a difference in shooting comfort.

The second change is really not necessary for “regular use” except that I’ll be using this shotgun at the upcoming Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational in Bend, Oregon. My plan this year is to use my “regular” home defense guns in the match to gain some good practice time in the dark. To cheat just a little for 3 Gun, I added a Nordic Components MXT two round magazine tube extension. I could have added a longer extension, but that would have stuck out past the muzzle – negating the benefit of the “carbine” shotgun. Installation of the magazine tube extension was very easy. Just unscrew the existing fore-end cap, remove the front stock and you can access the magazine tube cap. Remove that and gently guide the existing magazine tube spring. The Nordic Components extension screws into place just like the fore end cap which is no longer needed. The kit comes with a new magazine tube spring which you cut to desired length.

This Nordic Components 2 round extension gave me a total magazine tube capacity of 7 rounds, plus one in the chamber.

This Nordic Components 2 round extension gave me a total magazine tube capacity of 7 rounds, plus one in the chamber.

Remember that magazine capacity ambiguity I mentioned earlier? It seems I benefit from the “half” shell extra space as now, with a two shell tube extension, I can fit seven 2 ¾ inch shells into the magazine, or six 3 inch shells, plus one more in the chamber.

The “half” customization was the addition of a light. For the upcoming night match, I’m adding a Crimson Trace Rail Master light on the right side of the barrels using a Nordic Components barrel clamp and rail segment. I mounted it on the right side so it’s out of the way of my support hand, but easy to reach if I want to turn the light on.

The Beretta 1301 Competition

If your priorities are more aligned with 3-gun shooting, you might want to check out the 1301 Tactical’s sibling. The competition model shares the same basic features but is optimized for the competitive shooter. It has a more traditional sighting rib topped with fiber optic front sight and does not come with a rail. The receiver is drilled and tapped so you can easily add one. The 1301 Competition is also longer, offered with 21 and 24-inch barrel lengths.

Closing thoughts

This gun is exactly what I expected. Compact and light, it handles like a dream. You’d get some funny looks taking it to the trap field, but for buckshot and slugs, it’s a winner. While the factory recoil pad is tolerable, so yourself a favor and upgrade that. The gun is light, and defensive 12-gauge loads will provide a little extra unwanted love to your shoulder.

I haven’t had the chance (yet) to use this in a three-gun match, but I’m already sold on its value as a home defense option.

The two on the right are ½" and 1" stock spacers which are included should you wish to adjust the stock length. On the left is the factory recoil pad, which I removed in favor of the Kick-Eez.

The two on the right are ½” and 1″ stock spacers which are included should you wish to adjust the stock length. On the left is the factory recoil pad, which I removed in favor of the Kick-Eez.

I shot this Federal ⅞ ounce target load of 7 ½ shot from a "3-Gun" distance of 15 yards just to see how the cylinder bore would handle it. The size of the paper target is 14" x 14" for reference.

I shot this Federal ⅞ ounce target load of 7 ½ shot from a “3-Gun” distance of 15 yards just to see how the cylinder bore would handle it. The size of the paper target is 14″ x 14″ for reference.

 

These 1-ounce Winchester slugs made one ragged hole at 25 yards, except for the 5th shot, which I pulled off target. Oops.

These 1-ounce Winchester slugs made one ragged hole at 25 yards, except for the 5th shot, which I pulled off target. Oops.

Remington 2 ¾" 9-pellet 00 buckshot at 20 yards.

Remington 2 ¾” 9-pellet 00 buckshot at 20 yards.

Winchester 3-inch, 15-pellet buckshot at 10 yards.

Winchester 3-inch, 15-pellet buckshot at 10 yards.

I shot a variety of slugs, buckshot and birdshot, both 2 ¾ and 3 inch shells, without any trouble.

I shot a variety of slugs, buckshot and birdshot, both 2 ¾ and 3 inch shells, without any trouble.

Winchester 2 ¾" 9-pellet 00 buckshot at 10 yards.

Winchester 2 ¾” 9-pellet 00 buckshot at 10 yards.

The Nordic Components extension just barely extends past the muzzle.

The Nordic Components extension just barely extends past the muzzle.

I installed this Nordic Components 2 round extension. I'm showing it going on here without the forend in place so you can see better. Normally you'd put the fore end stock on, then screw the extension tube in place!

I installed this Nordic Components 2 round extension. I’m showing it going on here without the forend in place so you can see better. Normally you’d put the fore end stock on, then screw the extension tube in place!

The factory leaves a plug in the magazine tube, limiting you to two rounds, do you'll probably want to remove that. Just take the fore end off and remove the magazine tube cap to get it out.

The factory leaves a plug in the magazine tube, limiting you to two rounds, do you’ll probably want to remove that. Just take the fore end off and remove the magazine tube cap to get it out.

The Kick-Eez pad gave me a little more length of pull and a lot more comfort!

The Kick-Eez pad gave me a little more length of pull and a lot more comfort!

The factory recoil pad is soft, but a little thin for my taste, so I installed a big, cushy one from Kick-Eez.

The factory recoil pad is soft, but a little thin for my taste, so I installed a big, cushy one from Kick-Eez.

As you would expect with a Beretta, fit and finish is outstanding.

As you would expect with a Beretta, fit and finish is outstanding.

The trigger has just a touch of take up, followed by a smooth break.

The trigger has just a touch of take up, followed by a smooth break.

If you have a dime in your pocket, that's all you need to make adjustments to the rear sights.

If you have a dime in your pocket, that’s all you need to make adjustments to the rear sights.

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • Joel Gray September 6, 2015, 9:09 pm

    I have both a Beretta Tactical 1301 and a Mossberg 930 SPX Blackwater Edition and they are both fantastic weapons for home defense. The Beretta handles better due to the shorter length but you will need to upgrade the recoil pad as shooting buckshot loads will take a toll on your shoulder. I also upgraded with a magazine extension so it will hold 7+1 and it did not add to the length. Could not ask for a better home defense weapon for under $1000.00. If I had to choose one then I would go with the Beretta.

    • William February 10, 2016, 9:04 am

      Joel, what recoil pad and magazine extension did you purchase and are you satisfied with them?

  • Terry July 23, 2015, 10:17 am

    Your comment “Just take the fore end off and remove the magazine tube cap to get it out.” is BS as I just removed the cap and it wouldn’t come out. Can you explain how to get the plug out please?

  • Jim Vincent February 26, 2015, 6:01 am

    I recently purchased a beretta 1301 , seems well put together.. There is one critical problem, the bolt release. If you activate the oversized extended bolt release by mistake while the magazine tube is loaded you will induce a double feed onto the shell lifter. This ties up the firearm until you can clear the malfunction. Beretta tells me this is a feature to facilitate unloading .

    • Richard Watson January 6, 2017, 9:07 am

      Aridus Industries makes a shroud specifically for the 1301 to protect from inadvertent contact with the bolt release. It retails for $60. Wise investment!

    • Richard Watson January 6, 2017, 9:20 am

      I’m adding the Bushnell TRS 25 red dot to mine. Any suggestions for a side saddle (4-6 capacity)?

  • Scott January 25, 2015, 10:12 pm

    I have carried the Remington 870 in the line of duty and also owned the Benelli super 90, M3, M4,and M4 L.E.O. I let my son pick out any long gun, of his choice, for his 18th birthday. After much research and handling the different guns, he chose the Beretta 1301 tactical. This gun lives up to all of the positive reviews! When we got the gun home we did an inspection and he began to try different loads on our private range. It ate the light bird shot along with any other shell he put in the tube. When we used the timer, he was able to shoot (4) shots in less than 1 second, as advertised from the factory. Then I asked if I could try the same drill. Of course, he said yes and I was able to fire (5) rounds in .930 seconds. I just ordered the Nordic extension kit for my sons gun and I will be buying myself a 1301 Tactical in the near future. In my personal experience, the Beretta 1301 Tactical out performs all of the others I mentioned above, and unless something has changed, Beretta still owns Benelli. Hope this added some clarification. And, no I am not affiliated with the original reviewer or Beretta.

  • Greg September 2, 2014, 4:44 am

    I also own the Beretta 1301 Tactical. Picked it up about 3 months ago and want to add a Nordic Components magazine Extension tube also. My concern is the Nordic Components barrel clamp. How did yours fit on the 1301 with the front sight and also the groove in the mag extension tube where the barrel clamp is supposed to precisely fit. Doesn’t the front sight get in the way of the barrel clamp.
    By the way, my 1301 Tactical fits 5 shot shells in the factory magazine plus one in the chamber. I tried many different shot shells from 00 to slugs. I want to make it a 7+1 though and maybe add a flashlight later on. It’s nice to have the flashlight mounted, just in case there comes a time that you must use a light. You will then have that tactical advantage, IF the defense scenario calls for it. Better to have it on the firearm than not.

    • Moe September 22, 2014, 2:23 pm

      The standard mag tube capacity is a function of the specific shot shell you use. 2 3/4″ shells are all a little different. I was able to load 5 of some but mostly it would just take 4 shells.

      The current clamp can work with the +2 mag extension but you run the risk of deforming the mag tube since you’d have to tighten it on two uneven surfaces. Nordic is bringing out a barrel clamp for the Tactical made specifically to work with the +2 extension that won’t interfere with the front sight tower. It will also have a small rail to enable using a sling mount. Keep checking their website.

      • Greg September 29, 2014, 2:39 am

        Hey, thanks for getting back with the good news about Nordic Components. Glad I waited to purchase the Ext tube and clamp from Nordic Components, because now I know that the previous clamp/extension tube combination wouldn’t have worked. I will check the website right now and put and order in if they have the new clamp for the 1301 tactical developed and for sale as of today. Nordic originally told me I would have to modify the clamp to make it fit, but now I excited to make the purchase. I totally agree with IRISH-7 about the 4 plus one capacity is a little lame on a tactical shotgun. Even my Remington tactical pump holds at least 6 plus 1.
        Thanks again Moe!!

        • Gregaldo October 10, 2014, 11:54 pm

          Getting back about the Nordic Components Mag Extension for the Beretta 1301Tactical. Moe, you were right on with Nordic Components developing a clamp for the Mag Extension (Beretta 1301Tactical). It’s now in production and for sale on their website. Not only did they come out with a different clamp designed to work with the Beretta Mag Extension, but they have a complete Mag Ext Kit for the specifically for the 1301 shotgun (Mag Ext tube, Nut, Cap, Spring, New Clamp, and the picatinny rail) in one kit. Of course you save some money by ordering the complete kit as to separate parts. Nordic Components does listen and respond when you email them with comments and suggestions. I ordered it and am eagerly waiting for delivery.
          Thanks again Moe. You to listened and responded

  • Greg Aldo August 7, 2014, 4:03 pm

    Nice review. I purchased the Beretta 1301 Tactical about 3 months again and was trying to find info, reviews, etc about the Nordic Components Magazine Extension since then with little success. I guess because it’s fairly new intro from Beretta the reviews are starting to come up on the internet. Nordic responded that I would have to improvise and maybe cut down the clamp to fit around the front site on the two shot tube. Or I could get the one shot ext. tube, but the added expense and everything else would not be worth it for just one extra shotshell I would think.
    Your review in particular (which one of the few) has left out some particulars that I was looking for. Aside from the full views of the shotgun, I would have liked to know about the Nordic Components Mag Ext. clamp install. I know that the new Nordic mag extensions come with a new groove in the mag ext. tube for the placement of the additional mag ext. clamp. How did this work out for you, with the groove location and clamp? Doesn’t the clamp interfere with the front sight. There is only one specific location you can mount the clamp because of the new ext. tube groove where the clamp would not fit, due to the front site.
    Can you elaborate on your install and you made it work, so I can order the right parts from Nordic. Also, if I don’t get the clamp for a flashlight, do you think I need the clamp to secure the two shot mag ext. Thank You

  • Scott July 27, 2014, 10:19 am

    Got a chance to handle this tactical workhorse and the ARX-100 in Beretta’s mobile showcase at our new Scheel’s Sports in Grand Forks, ND. SWEET! It’s nothing at all like my old 870. Lighter and livelier, great controls and sights, rails in the right places and ready to run right out of the box. At around $1000 I’ll just have to be content with the memories, but what an impression this 1301 makes! Remington and Mossberg don’t really have anything in their lineups comparable to this one, yet.

  • Gary July 25, 2014, 12:30 am

    Had a 1201… It was brutal on the shoulder…I’m a 20 ga guy now and love it…Killed my biggest Montana Mulies with the 20 ga…I have a 870 youth 20 ga and a 1187 youth 20 ga…

  • Donn July 23, 2014, 3:20 pm

    As soon as they offer it in a 20 gauge…I will be all over it!

  • J-Man69 July 22, 2014, 8:00 pm

    Appears to be a really nice mid-level shotgun, below the Binelli and above the standard Mossberg or Remington. Since it is a Beretta it will have a good accessories list to choose from and as a plus it cycles through light loads without breaking in the spring. I have a Weatherby SA-459 and my only complaints have been having to break in the spring with slightly more expensive heavier/higher velocity loads and very few accessories. The Weatherby has the feel and performance of a mid-level shotgun, but at a lower price. As said, however, how a weapon feels when you handle it, etc. is the key and sometimes you like the feel of a lesser expensive weapon.

  • David July 22, 2014, 7:20 pm

    I’ve owned 3 Beretta’s. Out of the 3, 2 of them have been nothing but how should I put this: spent more time on the UPS truck then at the range. For that I now only have one. Plus there customers service is nothing close to being professional. Here is one thing that makes a gun more reliable then it’s name. Run over 3 million rounds through it.(like our military does). Then we’ll see how well it stands up to being worthy of it’s name brand. Also sock it in a mud bath for a few days and wile your at it through some sand in their as well(like our military does).

  • Dave Higginbotham July 22, 2014, 6:29 pm

    Hello all. Sorry about the lack of a full length photo. I went back in and added it. Sometimes we make mistakes. While something like this seems hard to overlook, you’d be surprised. When putting together an article like this, even as the editor, I see a lot of photos. I get kind of snow-blind, and don’t realize what I’m missing until someone else points it out. Thanks.

    • Tom McHale July 24, 2014, 5:51 pm

      Doh! I only took 750 photos of this gun but forgot to include the full length – thanks for posting Dave!

  • Robert McDonald July 22, 2014, 5:27 pm

    This is a blog article, not a magazine article, thus it is less complete. If you click on the link at the end of the first paragraph it will take you to Beretta’s site which has photos of the complete shotgun as well as the MSRP (which is a little high, if you ask me).

    • Administrator July 22, 2014, 5:30 pm

      Usually our articles are more involved than the magazines, but the author left this a little short.

  • JimmyJ July 22, 2014, 2:17 pm

    I concour with several previous comments: a complete full length photo of the firearm would have really been nice instead of having to take the writers word of how compact it is. Also, a msrp would have helped too! I thought about printing the photos shown and then pasting them together and maybe then I would have a better idea of its “compactness”but on second thought………

  • Billy Richardson July 22, 2014, 12:47 pm

    How about showing us a picture of “The Gun” so we can see what it looks like overall, instead of just sections of the gun. I want to see the WHOLE gun, please.

  • AJ July 22, 2014, 11:55 am

    It’d had been nice to post a picture of the full gun.

    • Irish-7 July 22, 2014, 12:55 pm

      I thought I zipped through the article too fast, and did not see a photo of the whole weapon. Thanks, AJ! On another note, I wonder why any semi-auto shotgun manufacturer would limit their firearm to 4+1, or even 5+1 magazine capacity. I have a Mossberg 930 SPX, and it is real easy to burn up 7+1 in a few seconds.

      • Tom McHale July 24, 2014, 5:50 pm

        I shot it next to a Mossberg JM Pro as part of the tinkering process and found the Beretta to be a better built gun overall. Then again, that’s most likely a function of getting what you pay for. The JM Pro is somewhere around $650, while the Beretta 1301 tactical is a $1K gun. Both good guns in my experience, but you can see the difference in construction between the two.

  • Russ July 22, 2014, 11:55 am

    I don’t want to be negative here, but I have to comment about lights and firearms.
    If you wake up in your home to an intruder and flip on your shotgun light, not only will you be squinting from the brightness, but the bad guy will know exactly where to shoot you.
    I don’t know about you but I can see and navigate through my home in the dark.
    Turn on a flash light next time you get up to go to the bathroom and prove to yourself what happens.

    One more thing,(sorry) I love ghost ring sights…..for aiming at distances over 30 yards.
    In your home day or night the best sight on a SG, IMHO is a XS Big Dot.
    Take a look—> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J45cJp5VHg

    Again, I’m not a Troll and I hate to be negative but the review needed;
    1. Full size complete picture of the whole SG, maybe even you holding and shooting on video.
    2. Price, $ matter.

    Anyway I appreciate all firearm reviews. What I got out of this one is that It seams to be a good SG for you to take to the upcoming Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational
    Thanks.

    • JAYC July 25, 2014, 4:39 pm

      Tactical lights are not just for finding the way around your own house. They are intended to blind your assailant.

  • Evan July 22, 2014, 11:25 am

    What’s the MSRP? Because unless it’s well under that of a Benelli M4, I don’t see a need for this gun. The Benelli is amazing, and I see all other “tactical” shotguns (with the exception of Saigas, with their detachable box magazines) as also-rans.

    • Tom McHale July 24, 2014, 5:48 pm

      The MSRP is $1,049 and I’ve seen them listed online a bit below that. So somewhat lower price point than the Benelli M4 – less than half comparing MSRP.

  • Anthony Walker July 22, 2014, 10:30 am

    I have enjoyed several 1201’s over the years, and am interested in this one. Why didn’t someone think to photograph the ENTIRE shotgun, so we could see all of it at once?

  • Mark Currier July 22, 2014, 9:48 am

    How about a photo of the complete shotgun end to end?

  • Augest West July 22, 2014, 7:41 am

    Nice looking piece from Ruger again. that slug group at 25 yards is pretty tight even though he used a bench rest. But that says it all for me. A semi auto shot gun that holds 4+1 and comes with a rail, Put a nice bright light on her and you have a home self defense firearm. For those of you sportsman who shoot duck or clay the lighter loads are obviously better but I don’t know much about that. Looks like a good combat gun also.

    • Clyde Wason July 22, 2014, 9:51 am

      This looks like a great shotgun for its intended use. Thanks for
      the test it was comprehensive. Have to check on the price and
      availability.

  • Michael T July 22, 2014, 7:19 am

    In the whole article there’s not even one picture showing the whole shotgun…!

    • Brian L July 22, 2014, 10:13 am

      Not a single pic of the grip either.

  • ed nusso July 22, 2014, 6:40 am

    What’s it weight?,how much?

  • Larry Webber July 22, 2014, 5:37 am

    I bought one a couple of weeks ago, this gun is sweet. I am definitely going to order the kick-Eez recoil pad, this thing does abuse the shoulder a bit using heavier loads. Plan on using it next month for my first 3-gun competition, should be fun!

    • Tom McHale July 24, 2014, 5:44 pm

      The Kick-Eez made a noticeable difference. Well worth the money 🙂

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