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Deciding on a shotgun

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Old 03-18-2013, 11:01 PM   #1
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Default Deciding on a shotgun

Ok, I took the plunge and sold my Ruger Red Label 12g to Cabelas. They rated it at 98% and gave me $750. I know a private sale would have netted me more money, but I did not want to deal with the admin. I was hoping to get into the new gun for what I made on the Ruger plus $200 I set aside (and a bit more for the right gun).

My plan is to get a budget / used 20g O/U or reasonably priced semi-auto in 20 or 12g. I would use it for shooting trap or skeet with the wife (we are newbies, and she is really interested in shooting), and maybe shooting pheasant (I have done this a bit over the years). I am trying to get something with relatively light recoil. I would appreciate advice on the following:

1. Would the felt recoil on a 12g semi-auto shotgun be comparable to that of a 20g O/U? How does the felt recoil of a inertia gun compare with a gas-cycled semi-auto?
2. Has anyone handled or fired a Franchi Instinct? It gets great press, but I have not seen one in a store. The only other O/U in the running was the CZ Redhead, but the fit and finish was marginal.
3. Would dropping down to a 20g from a 12g hinder me in hunting and shooting clays?
4. The semi-autos on the short list include Weatherby SA-08, Beretta 3901 and Beretta AL391 (I found a nice used one for $799). The inertia guns on the short list are the Benelli Montefeltro and Franchi Affinity. Your thoughts? Is the 3901 mechanically the same as the 391? If I pursue the used AL391, what should I look-out for when inspecting the gun?

Thanks for the advice.
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