The success of the Beretta 1301 Comp shotgun led the company to release the new Pro model. Equipped with a new polymer stock and the Kick-Off Plus system, the Beretta 1301 Comp Pro semi-automatic shotgun is ready for 3-Gun competition straight out of the box.
Consisting of two elastomer dampeners with return springs that are positioned near the rubber insert, the Kick-Off Plus system effectively mitigates the first recoil peak. According to Beretta, the system reduces the perceived recoil by up to 40 percent. A third elastomer dampener, located in the stock bolt, absorbs the impact of the slide against the stock, thus reducing the second recoil peak, muzzle jump and any vibrations caused by the movement of the slide. This was noticeable while shooting the gun. It was comfortable to shoot, as well as stable and easy to swing.
The Beretta 1301 Comp Pro (MSRP: $1,675) has an overall length of 47 inches with the extended magazine tube. The length-of-pull is 14 inches, which some shooters and firearms instructors think is too long. However, this LOP seemed perfect to me. (If you have alligator arms, 14 inches may be a little long for you.) The synthetic stock has an attachment point for a sling on the bottom about four inches from the butt pad, which is unlikely to be used in the competitive shooting world. As for the synthetic forearm, it is 10.5 inches long.
The B-Steady system divides the stock into two sections—butt and forearm. Beretta says the recoil absorption point is in an advanced position, moving in unison with the forearm. This makes it free to move back, leaving the butt stable and avoiding any rubbing of the comb against the cheek. The cheek remains still and rests without ever losing the line of fire.
According to the Beretta website, for more comfort the comb comes with Soft Comb, a soft insert that is gentle against the cheek. A rubber Comfort Grip improves sensitivity and pistol grip, and provided spacers allow for drop and cast adjustment. The MicroCore recoil plate provides shouldering benefits and high stability when shooting, as well as a way to adjust the stock's length using the two spacers provided. Additionally, the ergonomic Comfort Grip fore-end, also made of polymer with a rubber insert, offers maximum grip even in poor weather conditions.
Thick and blue in color, the receiver of the Beretta 1301 Comp Pro that I tested had a rugged feel. It was drilled to have a scope mounted on the receiver if desired. The four threaded holes can also be used to add a Picatinny rail. Located on the right side of the receiver, the rectangular bolt release handle sits at the forward end. The bolt release handle is generously size, which makes hitting it simple. As for the bolt handle, it rides on the right side as well and is large and easy to grip in a hurry. Beretta says “the blue anodized Ergal stock combines lightness with extreme robustness and reliability, and inside houses the reloading system, the ultra-tested gas system with rotating head B-Link closure system, which has a 36 percent faster cycling speed than any other semi-automatic; it is reliable and accurate round after round, even with light loads.”
The safety is enlarged to the point that it is as large as a fingertip. Hitting it when picking up the shotgun is easy and nearly fumble-proof, due to its large size. If the shotgun is in the hands and the shooter has a good register position with the trigger finger, that puts the finger near the safety for smoothness when deactivating it. The Beretta 1301 safety’s location and size are well thought out. The trigger is stainless in appearance and is a solid hunk of steel. The trigger feels robust and durable to the touch, and breaks cleanly and is smooth.
The 1301 Comp Pro sports a 3-inch chamber, but uses an oversized 3.5-inch stock which facilitates cartridge loading. Another key feature is the ability to quickly load and do the quad-loads even easier. The loading gate has been enlarged and the lifter has a system which keeps it raised during loading operations, thus creating a sort of “chute” for the ammunition. This also eliminates user risk of pinching a thumb between the lever and the gate.
The Beretta website states that the ballistic performance of the 1301 Comp Pro takes full advantage of the Beretta Steelium barrel's exceptional features:
“Created using Beretta's exclusive tri-alloy steel (Ni, Cr, Mo), deep drilling, cold hammer forging, vacuum distension and characterized by the elongated 80 mm double forcing cone. The internal profile of the OptimaBore HP barrels was designed and tested to guarantee excellent ballistic performance with all types of ammunition, lead, steel and high-performance steel. The result is pattern distributions which are always dense and perfect, partly thanks to the three interchangeable OptimaChoke HP Black Edition choke tubes it is supplied with, making it possible to adjust the choke depending on the competition.”
Overall, this Beretta 1301 Comp Pro has a traditional look about it. It has a black synthetic stock and forearm rather than wood furniture, but other than that it looks like a traditional shotgun. The 1301 Comp Pro is a fine-looking gun that appears functional without being over the top in any way. The safety, bolt release and bolt racker are all located in user-friendly spots. An ergonomic gun, the 1301 Comp Pro feels great in the hands. Handling it at home in my gun room made my mouth water a bit in anticipation of shooting it.
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Store Address: C/O Quénet’s Hunting and Fishing Shop 4-5, Q-Square, 72 High Street, Worcester, Western Cape, South Africa, 6850