Alright everyone, I'm new to this forum but I've been shooting for a few years now (kinda required to keep current in the military). I just bought a Stoeger m-2000 last night for 450$ from Bass Pro. It's got a 28" barrel and all black synthetic stock. What originally attracted me to this gun was the fact that it uses Benelli's "inertia driven bolt".
Basically, between the bolt and the bolt carrier, there is a very hefty spring. When you shoot, the bolt carrier compresses this spring as the entire gun and bolt move rearward and then the carrier sends itself flying rearwards, taking the bolt and extracted shell with it. On paper it's said to be a much cleaner design because it uses only a few parts and requires no gas ports or pistons to cause the bolt to return. It has the advantages of the A-5's long recoil without the disadvantages of having a brass bushing to replace or heavy parts.
I looked over the entire gun in the store to make sure that it felt sound. If you're reading this review, then you're probably like me and you've probably read every review on the internet by now. It seems as though all the reviews for this gun are 50/50. Some say it's the best gun in the world; others say "the wood stock split, the customer service sucks, the pin bent, the gun is jammed, won't feed, won't fire, won't eject, the paint/finish/chrome is peeling". So, naturally, being as cautious as I could, I took the gun home and dismantled every piece.
I took off the barrel, choke, bolt, bolt carrier, return spring, massive "inertia spring", pin, pin return spring, multiple pins, and trigger assembly ("trigger guard" according to the manual). Everything had to be removed because everything had a nasty, honey-thick and, in some places, congealed grease. Not that this is a terrible thing, but with the number of reviews that are sour because of a jammed gun, I figured this is the most likely culprit. After dismantling and cleaning the gun, I put it all back together again with Rem-oil... lots of it. I figure if you're gonna break in a gun, you want to use lots of oil. Since it was about 7 or 8 at night, I decided to do a "break in" by running the bolt through while watching TV. About an hour later with two tired arms, I could see the first signs of wear on the bolt. I took the gun apart again, cleaned it back up, and put it together again. DONE!
What I noticed: The bolt was smooth operating and the trigger pull was crisp. The shell-release button (near the trigger) is easy to operate. The bolt release button is quite a bit hard to push in and looks a bit cheap, but seems to work fine. Maybe I was just being a wuss after having to press the button about 100 times, but my fingers were sore. One thing that bothered me slightly is this: no matter what position the bolt was in, whether it be fully retracted or only minutely retracted from the barrel, the trigger could be pulled. There isn't a safety issue here since the bolt has to be retracted fully into the carrier (i.e. fully seated in the barrel) for the pin to stick out far enough to hit a primer. However, if you have that 30 pound turkey in your sights and you pull the trigger only to hear "CLICK", you're going to be mad. This tends to be a non-issue since every time I loaded a shell it fully seated, but it bugs me none the less.
Also, something else that bugged me was that there was a little over-spray glob inside the barrel. It was big enough that I could feel it and it could affect operation, so I erased it with a bore brush. Another thing that was a bit cheap were the chokes. The turkey choke had tons of over-spray inside and the other chokes were all poorly finished. Little chrome flakes were falling off and the cutouts for the choke key had burrs on them. Not a big-to-do since the rest of the gun was sound and since chokes are replaceable, but it was bothersome nonetheless.
Firing time: Next day, I brought two boxes of Federal Premium 2 3/4 3 dram 7 1/2 oz loads to the skeet range. I was a bit apprehensive about bringing just this new gun and not my remmy 870, but I put my faith in the new gun. Loaded her up, dropped the first shell, dropped the bolt, and called "Pull!". Missed the first, hit the second, and proceeded to hit about 19 out of 25. No jams, no misfeeds, no misfires, and I never touched the bolt handle once during that shootout. Second round went the same way! Operation is smooth though it was said to be a bit loud (I didn't notice).
I will note a few things: The spent hulls will FLY out of this thing. Maybe I'm used to the pump action 870, but these shells would fly most of the way to the next station (about 10 feet) at times. Personally, it was exactly what I was looking for since the 870 seems to get a lot of stovepipe rounds when shooting doubles. Also, the gun has an odd recoil. Might just be me since I'm used to the 870 and over-under's with their closed breaches, but the recoil was a bit longer than normal. It was as though it were dual peaked; one recoil from the shell and a second from the bolt flying back. Either way, it was a tad softer than the 870 which I appreciated. Oh and another thing, it's just a bit nose-heavy. It doesn't affect me much, but it would be nice to throw a half-pound or so i the back. The balance point is just about a half-inch in front of the receiver, towards the muzzle.
All in all, I like the gun quite a bit and I believe it will replace my 870 as the go-to gun (after a full break-in of course). It's only slightly more complicated to clean out but is very reminiscent of an m-16 which I am all too familiar with. Heck it's actually a whole lot cleaner than the m-16. I dismantled the 2000 after I shot and noticed very little dirt on the bolt or bolt carrier, or anywhere else in the gun.
I attached some pictures. the brown color is from using a brass brush to clean the parts. Somewhere in there is a breakdown of the bolt carrier. You can see the big inertia spring right there and hopefully it'll be easy enough for most of you folks to understand. Just about every moving part is in that one picture, excluding the return spring which is in another picture (on the magazine).
Oh, also... sorry this is so very long, but I read on another forum that it is important to loctite the bolt holding the buttstock onto the receiver, so I did that and I put some loctite on the little torx screw holding the extractor on as well.