M*CARBO Brotherhood

Budget Semiauto Shotguns


I’m looking to get a “sporting” shotgun to have some fun at the range as well as shooting clay birds with friends. I do not currently own a shotgun. I want to keep the budget under $1,000 and preferably closer to $500.

My wants are as follows:

-Aftermarket accessories and upgrades
-Light(er) weight

I prefer new over used. Having said that, I saw a Benelli Super Vinci today for under $600 that almost swayed me, but I knew nothing about the gun.

Here are some models I’ve been researching.

Beretta A300
CZ 712 G2
Mossberg 930
Stoeger M3000 and M3K
TriStar Viper G2

This seems to be one of the most mature forums I’ve been a part of and I respect the opinions I’ve seen here in my short time so I’m sure you guys can give me some valuable insight.


While i dont own any of these, jerry miculek puts his name on the mossy 930. I highly doubt he’d stake his reputation on a crap shotgun.
I own a H&R excell semi auto and couldn’t be happier. Have had zero issues with it. While i haven’t looked into upgrades for it, it does serve my purpose, which is mainly fun at the range and home defense.
Best if all, i paid a whopping $200 for it nib!


I really respect Jerry, but if you look at his Mossbergs there’s rarely many stock parts left. But he does put his name on my beloved S&W’s. If only they made shotguns!

I’ll checkout the H&Rs.


Mossberg puts one out fairly decked out. Hopefully the link works for you to check it out. They are a little pricey, and its definitely on my want list.


No reviews yet but this is lovely and affordable


Franchi -Brescia 48AL Hunter 20GA they sell used for the older ones at around 500$.


Graham Baates did a vid on the Lynx 12. AK pattern 12ga on Atlantic Arms for $499.

Thefirearmguy also did a cool vid on the Tristar KRX Tactical


I dont know anything about the models your looking at but something to consider while doing your research or buying.
I have a stoger pump p350 turkey 3 1/2 inch. It does not like to cycle 2 3/4 in shells. (3 and 3 1/2’s seem fine). I shoot 2 3/4 for trap and birds.
I dont know if this is something common to 3 1/2 in super mags or not. If so then it might be an issue if you want to shoot 2 3/4 instead of 3in for trap or as in my case upland bird hunting.
Having a cycling malfunction and watching a bunch of Chukars fly over the edge, after chasing them a mile or two through the canyons makes me EXTREMELY UNHAPPY!

The other thing on my stoger is the LOP (length of pull). It is a little long for me and the recoil pad catches under my shoulder if I don’t make sure I reach all the way out when I pull up.
Some people have said they don’t like the drop on the rear stock but I don’t mind it at all.


I wanted a semi-auto shotgun and settled on the Bennelli M2. Not necessarily a ‘budget’ shotgun but out of the box, it has everything already going on you would do with a cheap shotgun. I appreciate the classic shotgun lines and hot performance.

The Shockwave qualifies as cheap. I got it cheap. Probably not what you’re looking for, not semi auto, and I never woulda bought this, other than dude brought it to my office, new, never fired, and all tricked out, to try and bail his wife out of jail. Tried to talk him out of it, and honestly, if it didn’t have that breacher tip I woulda shined on it. Pretty lopsided deal, fees were only $220, but he didn’t have the money. I told him I’d hold it til her case was done and it cleared a month ago. He never came back.


nice! I love 20 and 410’s. i prefer both to my 12.


Can only speak for the 930.
Buddy owns the Spx 930, he bought it on gunbuyer.com for $589
He installed the M*CARBO spring kit on it.
So far with about 350 rounds through the gun no issues. Not sure if it matters, but our local gun shop recommended breaking the firearm in with slugs or magnum loads. We used 175 rounds on break in. Like stated the gun runs flawless so far. Hope this helps…https://www.mcarbo.com/mossberg-930-/-935-trigger-spring-kit.aspx


@SwishaHouse My stoger p350 also recommended a break in with magnum loads. It hasnt had a lot of rounds through it so that might account for it not cycling 2 3/4 although I doubt it…


I’ve owned a Stoeger M3000 with 28” barrel for a couple of years now. I use it as my duck gun & clays gun and highly recommend it as a general purpose sporting gun. It mounts & points pretty quickly and the recoil ain’t bad either. Pretty easy to clean too after pumping a bunch of shells through it :wink:.
A Stoeger shotgun is basically a discontinued Benelli shotgun. When Benelli discontinues a model, the tools, dies, and machinery go to a factory in Turkey who then makes and sells them under the Stoeger name at a discounted price.


I appreciate all the responses. And, please, keep them coming!

I will just give a reminder that a short barrel shotgun isn’t going to work for me since I want to shoot clays.


Ha! I just threw that in for fun, not even semi auto. But there’s a guy on YouTube, can’t remember his name, but I think he’s even a Benelli endorser, knockin’ out the clays with the M2. Just smokin’em​:boom::boom::boom::boom::boom::boom::boom:


MKA-1919 Match:


About $600 out of the box, but with all the upgrades, including the forged aluminum lower, I think we’re at about $1200 now. Stupid fun to shoot. We have several 10-round magazines for it.


Well, I’ve held back since you want to shoot clays. I will shoot’m with mine 'cause the clays won’t know the difference.

RIA VR60. News on this front is that my 9 round mags have landed so support is improving. I’ve also learned that RIA will be releasing a bullpup semi soon. The 9 round mags announce compatability with the vr60 and the Bull Rocket.

No pic now but it looks like an AR10 and a Benelli had a big fat baby.


years ago, me and a few of my unit, would have midnight shoots, we would set up crossed beam spotlights, and the object of it was to bust the clays in between the beams of light. i had been using the old humpback A5, THEN as the evening progressed, was using a modified 870, then a 500atp, and finally ended up with a shotgun with a bean can, a old SWD street sweeper.
length of barrel didnt seem to affect it as much as a good pattern did.
I still have the old hydraulic rig, for patterning shotguns my uncle bought. does from 16 thru 10 ga, has a bunch of different collars, works like a charm.

I still do the turkey shoots every year, as well as hunt, to fill the freezer.


I’m starting to lean towards the Mossbert 930. It seems to be such a versatile gun with lots of aftermarket parts and accessories. Plus, the owners love them. Made in the USA is just another perk. I’m also still researching the Beretta A300.


@GL9CK I would recommend against that. Wife had the 930 jm pro. Lots of aftermarket parts pushed the cost near that of a versa max. At the end of the day it is a dirty machine, takes forever to clean and since no one wants to spend 1.5 hours cleaning it sits in the gunsafe.