Stoeger P-350 Pump Action Shotgun review
Easy disassembly for maintenance, lightweight for easy pointing. To date there is a lack of a shim kit for adjusting length of pull or comb drop. Further some have complained that the safety may be difficult for anyone outside average hand sizes, but this can be mitigated with practice. The most often response to any sort of nitpicking is it is a $350 investment for doing what $600 guns are usually employed for.
Absolutely capable of hitting targets at typical sporting ranges. It’s a scatter gun, though, so it has that working for it. Perhaps the biggest complaint are the stock sights and no readiness to accept an optic of any sort. This is not, however a fault of the gun in accuracy, just a hint that the shooter may have to practice a bit to make the fixed sight option work at peak efficiency.
The wonderful point about pump actions is that no matter what shells are being used, as long as both the shooter’s arms work, so does the gun. This not only gives the gun a delightfully high reliability score but also opens the gun up to use of a wide variety of shot shell loads without concern over whether or not the shotgun will cycle reliably or short stroke and jam during a crucial stage of a competition, for follow up shots in the field, or simply blowing off rounds in front of friends. The only caveat from the company as well as reviewers is that it may need a 100 round break in period…. But is that really so bad?
Where reliability and cost are this firearm’s strengths, the customization factor perhaps leaves much to be desired. It is a reminder that there are reasons that this gun’s price point is so affordable: not because of shortcomings in design or manufacture (it is a Beretta and Benelli subsidiary for crying out loud!) but in its simplistic approach to providing a dependable, no frills firearm.
It is opined by some that the gun promoted ergonomics over style: the Italian guns inherited the sexy lines and fine wood, the Stoeger P350 got all the robustness of a tank and the looks to match. It is not a gun that will woo others with how it sits but will earn admiration for its reliability and eagerness for extended use.
If one is looking for a gun to show off and be “sexy” expect to pay more. For a gun that is proven reliable and has the Italian association in technological development, that will not break the bank and will likely provide years of service with relatively little to no depreciation in value, this gun is not an “investment” per se’ but will cost far less initially and overtime by someone who wants to get some real use out of it.
It seems that while few were watching Stoeger has been quietly expanding their lines of sporting shotguns beyond the double barreled Condors they are most well known for. This has made available to consumers a reliable and well made selection of products that benefit from Beretta Group technology and industry standards at a price point that rivals “destined for truck or barn gun” ignominy.
While Turkey has been making guns for almost as long as Beretta, their quality - whether it be Mauser military rifles starting almost 150 years ago or modern domestic designs has always been superb.
While more commercially known brands have hogged, and arguably inflated, the market Stoeger has acquired (by being acquired by) Beretta and Benelli tech and manufacturing to provide robust and affordable shotguns for mere mortals on a budget.
This is especially good news for anyone looking for a magnum pump gun, such as the Stoeger P350.
Stoeger P350 Review:
What it Has
The Stoeger P350 is a pump action, 3.5” chambered 12 gauge shotgun ideal for turkey hunting or anywhere else a plus powered scatter gun shell needs to be delivered.
Weighing in at about 7 pounds 11 ounces, with a 26 inch barrel, the shotgun is available in both black or camo “skins” with multiple chokes (Cyl, Improved Cyl, Mod, Full and Turkey). 18”, 24” and 28” length barrels are also available.
The vent rib sports an orange bead which serves, but is almost universally wished to be replaced, which presents some difficulty as the aluminum receiver is not drilled and tapped for the use of optics.
This is designed and priced at an economy shotgun that will deliver shots reliably and indefinitely, but does so without the extras some may come to expect. Even from a shotgun that MSRP’s at a price considerably lower than its competitors.
How Does it Compare?
Perhaps the most obvious and widespread competitor for the P350 would be Mossberg 835 Turkey gun. The Stoeger does not have the potential for readily available aftermarket upgrades, the variety of skins Mossberg can parade in, nor is it ready to accept an optic without considerable effort. But it also does not have the hefty price tag.
Whether it is for a back up or for a friend who conveniently forgot to bring along or buy a turkey gun of their own, the Stoeger is a wonderfully affordable solution to make sure that shot shells will be used. Shooters expecting accoutrements normally found on shotguns fetching $500-$1000+ price tags will be sorely disappointed. Those looking for a gun to take out that can do what the 835 does for much less or needs to outfit a friend without breaking the bank will adore it.
Is it dependable?
Stoeger has built a lasting reputation for dependable performance. Since becoming linked under the Beretta umbrella, that reputation has only improved. What they have here in the Stoeger P350 is a reliable, few frills, turkey gun ready to go into the woods, be dropped, tossed and rolled, and still shoot straight when needed. It may not win many beauty contests, nor will it come in dead last to be honest, but it will bring home plenty of drum sticks. What more could anyone ask for?
Can it be accessorized?
The short answer is not especially. At least not when compared to the Mossbergs or Remington options out there: the Stoeger seems dedicated to getting 3.5” shells into the field at the lowest possible output of cost to the consumer. As such it may appear to be an accessory dead end outside of what features come stock. That does not mean possibilities do not exist, but they will require smithing or some extra effort to bring to fruition if someone is looking for something other than a point and shoot magnum 12 gauge out of the box.
The Stoeger P350 comes in camo or ever slimming and fashionable goes with everything black. It epitomizes the work gun aesthetic and eschews the bling or flashiness of more expensive guns. But you are not paying for flash (other than muzzle flash), you are paying for something that will work in the field and take the inevitable abuse of the field without stripping away hundreds of dollars of value for every single scratch, scrape or ding.
This is where the Stoeger P350 really shines: Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price was originally in the $300-350 price range depending on whether one was looking at the all black or the camo pattern. For the black finish, online retailers are selling them for closer to $200. This may be interpreted as a reflection of the gun’s quality (a distinct mistake) but is instead a call to opportunity for anyone looking for a reliable knock around gun in the robust 3.5” chamber.
It should be noted: a camo version with a pistol grip is a more recent release fetching price tags in the $400 range: this is still considerably less than a similarly appointed 835 from Mossberg will demand: and with no sacrifice in quality or performance.
Quickly dismissed by those who use the price tag as the sole means of a gun’s value, the Stoeger P350 is a surprise for its reliability and a price tag that looks like a typo. The only thing it suffers from besides some somewhat uninspiring lines is that there is little after market “upgrades” for it to customize the gun. For something that will work and is frankly ideal as a loaner, back up or starting gun, there is really nothing to say against it. Even if it is tried and found to be unexciting, the loss to the finicky user is going to be not much more than the cost of the box of shells used on it. Find another new in box shotgun that will run up a risk tab smaller than that.