Stoeger M3000 Shotgun Review
Stoeger’s “bells and whistles” are no different than any other self loading shotgun, so there is no real bonus or detriment to the layout of the controls. Assuming the shotgun is not too large for the shooter, it swings and points easily, the reduced weight of the alloy receiver allows for a noticeable benefit for use of extended periods of shooting and travel time.
The primary determination here may be on the actual shooter, but all tests and reviews indicate that the Stoeger shoots no worse, and on occasion even better than shotguns of considerably higher quality. The only complaint for some is the stock trigger which admittedly can be a hit or miss (ha ha) prospect. Yet for an out of the box shotgun, this is no worse than many of its higher priced competitors.
Being a recipient of the Benelli Inertia Driven bolt system from Benelli allows it to be cheaper and simpler to manufacture which also means simpler to clean and maintain: something that can happen with less frequency because it does not rely on trapped gasses to cycle the action (NOT an excuse to NEVER clean your shotgun!). Even better: the reduced weight makes it a welcome addition to any hunting party.
Additional shims for adjusting the length of pull affords some adjustability to fit for shooters of different stature. As to aftermarket upgrades, some Benelli furniture replacement options can be made to work, but the real point of this model is the different variations that are available for specific roles, be they waterfowl, upland, sporting clays or even just home defense.
While not as “refined” as its more expensive competitors, the Stoeger maintains a respectable level of craftmanship, especially in its blued and walnut configurations where, for its price, it easily can pass for a more expensive shotguns and performs no worse: which really just makes it look that much better!
For a self loading shotgun for sport or defense, it is not unreasonable to spend close to or over $700 from any of the established names such as Remington or even Mossberg. MSRP may be an initial put off (it always is), but market prices as can be found online make this shotgun a very worthwhile choice for one looking for Italian lines and engineering with out of the box prices.
With all the major shotgun manufacturers moving production to Turkey, the companies that have been there all along are finally getting a leg into the competition. Stoeger has long been sidelined by self-proclaimed serious scatter gun consumers with little to no real reason.
When in fact, their biggest issue appears to be there association with a premium shotgun maker that limits their distribution to almost exclusively under the Benelli umbrella: the products are exclusively limited to Benelli distributors.
So even when one is interested in the brand, it may not always be easy to find outside of big name distributors that promote the more expensive brands. The result is a fine and, important to many, affordable shotgun brand has been too often overlooked.
The good news is that the company has maintained a steady and expanding line of well made and dependable firearms that, with the Turkish origins becoming a standard rather than stigma of shotgun makers, are ready for the discerning and pennywise shotgun enthusiast.
Stoeger M3000 Review:
What it Has
There are several variants of the M3000 designed for all shotgun applications, which leaves a selection for each consumer to select a model (or two) that is (are) more specific to their needs. These are the six stock and finish variations as well as barrel lengths that include 18.5”, 24”, 26”, 28” and 30”; variety, the M3000 says, is the spice of life.
As a subsidiary of Beretta Holding, its design benefits from the technology, components, techniques and raw material quality control of shotguns far and above its comparatively modest price tag. Additionally, it enjoys the use of Benelli’s Inertia Driven system: this results in both Italian big names lending a little something to the makeup of this affordable option that us mere mortals would only see by missing a mortgage payment or two.
While potentially dismissed as an “economy shotgun” that cuts corners, it comes standard with three additional chokes: improved cylinder, modified and full turkey along with the necessary choke wrench. Several models also include recoil reducers and shim kits to adjust the length of pull (standard 14 3/8”) on the stock.
All models are capable of holding 5 + 1 shells (2.75” length, subtract one shell for 3”), weigh in at the 6.5-7.5 lb mark depending on barrel length and have a drilled and tapped receivers for the installation of optics. Otherwise, the alternative is to rely on a prominent a red-bar front sight.
How Does it Compare?
From a price point of view, the Stoeger M3000 seems to be competing with budget focused Weatherby rather than self loading Mossbergs or Remingtons. From a development point of view it benefits from the same Inertia tech that operates Benelli autoloaders, making it a direct competitor to the Mossberg 930 and Remington 1100 series or even the more expensive Beretta A300.
To be sure the trigger system is going to be stock and the fit and finish will have the attention to detail one would expect for a sub $700 gun, but the sauce of the goose is that the traits one would only find in the two Italian “B” names can be found nowhere else in a like priced system. What is more: the shotgun is designed to be used and abused in the field: scratches and dings will do far less harm upon the value of this gun than any of the higher priced samples.
This is an “all purpose tool” of sorts, it shoots 2.75” and 3” shells of various shot types with equal dependability. With the above referenced variety of barrel lengths and finishes, the Stoeger M3000 is ready to take on any sporting or defense need.
Can it be accessorized?
This model is available in several “skins” allowing it to offer a sample in the expected camo, all black or traditional looks. That said, one aftermarket consideration that is popular is to replace the rear sight with a contrasting fiber optic.
For those looking for a bit more, the receiver is drilled and tapped for use with a weaver rail, this makes the shotgun ideal for use as a turkey gun as well as for use for sporting clays, upland or waterfowl hunting.
As to full out tactical rebuilds/reincarnations: the Mossberg and Remington models continue to have the most aftermarket support, but what is available for Benelli can probably be acceptable or made to work for the Stoegers: individual application should be consulted with the manufacturer, however.
The M3000 is an attractive gun that borrows much from the Benelli line of self loaders. While the camo covered and black synthetic furniture guns serve well, the walnut and blued finish offers an attractive combination that may easily be mistaken for the more expensive Italian made shotguns. Competitors are a curious lot in that it is not ONLY how well you shoot, but how you, and your gun looks while shooting: the Stoeger offers a very economical way of looking more affluent than one’s budget may readily afford.
Baseline model starts at a manufacturers suggested retail price is $569 with large warehouse like distributors offering them for 10-15% less. This usually necessitate buying the model unseen, but the price point generally balances out to the buyer’s benefit.
There are a LOT of shotguns on the market from H&R reworks to Mossbergs to high priced Italian models. The quality and dependability of Stoegers place them at, if not above, the workhorse and almost ubiquitous Mossberg and Remington models that are seen everywhere. The lines and internals are the same that are put into the Italian made guns that typically are priced for $1000 or more. The M3000 is a very well rounded gun that can be utilized for any and all shotgun applications. If you are looking for something different, or even for something that has a proven operating system that deviates from the same old same old, these deserve a serious consideration.