New this year from Beretta are two new additions to the A300 Ultima family of semi-automatic shotguns. These are the Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol & A300 Ultima Turkey which feature the traditional mechanisms of the reliable Beretta A300 platform and are available in a few different color patterns. The A300 Ultima Patrol has been engineered to be easy to manipulate while maintaining the utmost reliability. This new dedicated self-defense or tactical shotgun features an enhanced loading port, enlarged controls, a thinner forend design with multiple M-Lok and QD sling mounting points, and a 7+1 capacity from utilizing an extended magazine tube with an integral M-Lok capability.
- Caliber: 12 gauge with 3” chamber
- Length: 38”
- Barrel Length: 19.1”
- Action: Semi-auto
- Weight: 7.1 lbs.
- Choke: Mobilchoke
- Capacity: 7+1
What’s the difference between a Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol and a Beretta 1301?
When I first started testing out this shotgun, the number 1 question I was asked was how the Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol differs from the classic Beretta 1301. The main difference is that the A300 Ultima features an enlarged loading port and in my opinion, an improved front handguard while the Beretta 1301 utilizes the proprietary Blink gas-operating system and a polished BCG. The A300 Ultima is also able to be found for just under $1000 whereas the 1301’s remain slightly more expensive.
Beretta is currently offering three different variants of the A300 Ultima Patrol. These are the Gray which is what I was loaned out to review, the Black which is designed to give a low IR signature, and the Tiger Stripe which just looks amazing.
Out of the Box
The A300 Ultima Patrol is shipped in a cardboard box and includes a user manual, product sheet, stock extensions, and an adhesive velcro strip cut to follow the contour of the receiver for mounting shell holders to the side of the shotgun.
The first thing that caught my eye with the A300 Patrol when I opened the box was the handguard. It features M-Lok rail slots at 3-6-9 O’clock on the front end of the grip to allow for mounting weapon lights or lasers. The handguard is slim yet contoured around a large percentage of the barrel to allow for a solid grip. It features very aggressive texturing which pleasantly surprised me. This provides a sturdy non-slip grip even in wet conditions, or in high-stress situations that often lead to sweaty palms. Throughout my review, I very much appreciated this level of texturing which helped me maintain a solid grip when running and gunning with this shotgun.
Using a shorter stock, Beretta designed this shotgun to be more maneuverable, and maneuverable it is. Running some timed drills, I noticed that it decreased my time to shoulder the stock and get a first-round shot off. The A300 Ultima Patrol has a 13” length-of-pull which maximizes maneuverability and gun handling in confined spaces. At the end of the buttstock, Beretta incorporated a thin rubber base pad which helps hold the shotgun in my shoulder, as well as reduce felt recoil. The grip also features very aggressive texturing which feels grippy and works great. Two buttstock extensions are also included with the A300 Ultima Patrol.
The handguard features a custom polymer barrel clamp which has integral M-Lok slots and QD sockets on each side of the clamp. The QD sockets look to have steel washer inserts which will keep the sockets from wearing out over time which is a nice feature as well. This clamp secures the 7+1 shot extended magazine tube which comes with this shotgun right from the factory.
Taking lessons from the world of 3-gun competitions, Beretta utilizes an enlarged port and extended bolt release to help users with quick or multi-shell reloads. While I am no 3-gun pro, I can say that I was able to get sub-4-second 1R1’s (on timer raise the gun, shoot the target, reload, and shoot again) when loading from an Esstac 7-round shotgun card mounted on the receiver of the shotgun. Even the reversible safety button is oversized which makes activation easy even with gloves.
One oversight Beretta seems to have made with this shotgun is the rear QD insert placed into the stock. The top of the QD is recessed slightly below the surface of the stock, keeping the QD mount from fully seating and locking in place. I have seen other A300 Ultima’s with this same issue, but luckily it is an easy fix with a Dremel. Removing the slightest bit of plastic from the stock allows QD’s to work properly. I hiked around 5 miles through the woods after sanding the stock down and never had an issue after fixing this.
From the factory, Beretta includes a set of ghost ring sights. While quite different than the traditional shotgun bead, I find these to work great on this shotgun, and fitting for the tactical role this was designed for. The rear features a round peep sight, and the front utilizes a red fiber optic bead that is protected by a flared-out front sight post.
A great perk of this shotgun is that is optic-ready. Coming with a top Picatinny rail, the A300 Ultima Patrol is ready for mounting a variety of optics. Throughout this review, I ran a Leupold Delta Point Pro on their cross-slot mount which held up great. Through hundreds of rounds of 12-gauge, the Leupold DPP held zero and worked without issue. The Delta point pro has thin sidewalls which made for easy tracking of clay pigeons, and even wild pigs when I went out shooting with it. The only downside is that the mount on top of the Picatinny rail sits high enough it blocks out the ghost ring sights.
Upon special request, Beretta loaned out a prototype Reptilia mount with an ACRO mounting surface that sits low on top of the receiver. I ran this mount with a Steiner MPS without issue, and it was very low profile and seemingly durable. While the sidewalls of the MPS are larger, making skeet shooting slightly more difficult, it is always good to have more options for optic compatibility. The biggest perk of using this mount is that the iron sights can still be used in the lower portion of the glass window if the battery for the red dot ever went out.
Wanting to see how buckshot patterned some Federal 00 Buck with the 19.1″ barrel, I shot some patterns at 10, 15, and 20 yards. At 10 yards I got groups of around 3 inches wide, at 15 yards around 5-inch groups, and at 20 yards my patterns got as wide as 10 inches.
Throughout my testing, I was able to shoot 200 rounds of Federal Premium 00 Buck, a few boxes of Hornady Interlock slugs, Hornady FTX slugs (yes I know the A300 has a smooth barrel, but these still grouped fairly well), and Hornady 00 Buck, as well as 75 rounds of varying birdshot. All of this ammo ran great. The Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol powered through these various loads and felt great shooting it. This was the first time I have shot hundreds of rounds of buckshot and slugs in a single day and my shoulder held up just fine. This shotgun kicks less than most of my other 12 gauges and was very pleasant to shoot.
The one performance issue I had throughout my review came at around the 300-round mark. After shooting buckshot, slugs, and some birdshot, I could feel the action getting slightly gummed up when working reloads. It was at this time that I experienced a failure to feed and then a light primer strike when shooting slugs due to the bolt carrier not being pushed all the way forward back into the battery. While this isn’t ideal, shotguns get dirty quicker than rifles so quick cleaning sessions wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Using the factory Mobilchoke, I had no issue disintegrating skeet and thoroughly enjoyed shooting them with a shotgun equipped with a red dot. I was happy to see the inclusion of a Picatinny rail because these optics are the future.
Overall I am quite impressed with this shotgun. It is feature packed for the price and lives up to the name of “Patrol” as I was easily able to maneuver miles through the woods stalking wild pigs. While Beretta states in the owner’s manual that this shotgun is not meant for hunting, I see this as their way of marketing this as a defense platform. It is compact and very ergonomic while featuring an awesome 7+1 capacity. The Beretta A300 Ultima Patrol is American-made and manufactured in Tennessee. The MSRP is listed as $1099 while the street price runs right around $1000.
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Ghost load it and get 7+2 🙂
I have wanted the Beretta 1301 since it came out. Now they come out with the A300, and still only in 12 GA. My wife won’t shoot my 12 GA that I us for birds hunting, and I don’t want something for home defense that can blast through four walls. The 20 GA seems perfect.
I kinda bought the “Judge” for that. Well NOT really, I just wanted the piece. Can’t use it for home defense since there is vert little .410 out there.
“The main difference is that the A300 Ultima features an enlarged loading port and in my opinion, an improved front handguard while the Beretta 1301 utilizes the proprietary Blink gas-operating system and a polished BCG.”
Uhhh, I’m confused. You’re comparing features to gas system here. This tells me nothing about “the main difference”.
The A300 Ultima has an enlarged loading port and an improved front handguard compared to the 1301. On the other hand, the Beretta 1301 uses the proprietary Blink gas-operating system and a polished BCG where the A300 Ultima does not.