The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Preview – Stoeger M3K

Photos by Kenda Lenseigne

A Racing Shotgun With All the Goodies for Way Less Than a Grand? Do Tell More …

There are life-changing moments when all choices are reevaluated. You can usually tell when someone’s reached this juncture by the look on his face. It’s a look of perplexity not unlike the way your dog looks at you when he doesn’t understand what’s going on, and it’s usually followed by a headshake. I had this exact look on my face when I decided to start shooting a shotgun in competition. My mind wandered and contemplated a multitude of other activities that I would be better suited to, narrowing it down to extreme ironing or competition mustache growing, ’cause either one had to be easier than sorting out a three-gun shotgun.

Don’t get me wrong, the actual act of shooting a shotgun is awesome — hurling ounces of lead at high rates of fire is one of the most satisfying shooting experiences there is. It’s simply the task of getting the gun to perform the way you want it to, when you want it to. After all, shotguns were not conceived with the tortures of three-gun competition in mind.

Decision making is defined as the process of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision maker. Seems easy enough. The problem is there are as many values and preferences as there are shooters when considering a sporting scattergun. The first step is to select a division you want to compete in. The most popular choice in three-gun is the tactical or tactical optics division. The fact that the shooter doesn’t require much specialized equipment is the reason this division is so popular, and most interested participants already have the required guns sitting in the safe. For this reason the bulk of new shooters start here.

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The next step in selecting a shotgun is considering a brand. As we all know, any item in the marketplace with brand recognition is always better than something from a lesser-known company. Or at least the marketing budget is better. Then you can narrow it down to the specific model. Our decision is getting closer, but now you must find a company to perform any modifications to the gun, as very few are set up to go racing right out of the box. Yep, it’s a long drawn-out process. What about bowling? That could be fun.

When I got into this game almost 10 years ago, being an analytical type, I started the process by interviewing my fellow shooters to get an idea of the shotgun best suited for the game. The consensus was the inertia-driven Benelli M1 Super 90 was the way to go. There were a few guys running Remington 1100s, but those guys were like revolver shooters who don’t run Smith & Wessons. No one was making a dedicated race-ready street howitzer. The choice was simpler then, because there was no choice.

You young kids of today don’t know how easy you have it. Not only are there more shotguns to use, but also dedicated versions specifically built for the three-gun game. Enter Stoeger Industries. Stoeger is a subsidiary of Benelli, which is owned by the Italian manufacturer Beretta. The relationship resembles that of Chevrolet, Cadillac, and General Motors. With the Italian pedigree, we know what you’re thinking. And the answer is no, the Stoeger doesn’t require olive oil for lubrication.

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