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Thread: Beretta 1301T or Benelli M4 LE

  1. #1
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    Beretta 1301T or Benelli M4 LE

    Hello everyone,

    I recently have been looking more and more into getting a semi auto shotgun. I have ARís and handguns for home defense and carry outside the house.

    I realized though that I donít really have anything for:

    1. Bears/other four legged predators. My wife and I are about to go camping pretty often, and the areas we travel to are known to have bears. Yes I know bear spray exists, and we have that, but a firearm thatís capable of stopping a bear would be extra piece of mind.
    2. We travel (by car) to CA pretty often, to visit family. A long gun would be good to have. For anyone not familiar with CA laws, ARís and AKís must be neutered in some stupid way I donít remember off the top of my head. Regardless, a semi auto shotgun seems to still be one of the few types (if not only type) of firearm that can stay as capable as its out of state counterparts.

    So, that along with me being tempted to add a semi auto 12g to the toolbox, got me looking at both the 1301T and Benelli M4 LE.

    Last I remember, a while before 1301ís became a thing, Benelli M4ís were the go to semi auto shotgun. Are they still relevant (for lack of a better word)?

    Based on reading around, Benelliís have less parts, ďfeelĒ more durable, are easy to service, and are reliable. The complaints in the past were 922r, and price of the shotgun itself + aftermarket parts to un-neuter it.

    Now I see thereís an LE version that comes with the collapsible stock (or the non-pistol grip for less if one prefers), and a 7+1 tube.

    Pricing aside, is there a reason to go with one or the other(1301T vs M4)? I donít care about aftermarket support, I just want to mount a WML and RDS.

    I came upon an M4 for about the same as what a 1301T will cost me. But I want to know if one is truly a better choice over the other.

    I just want something reliable and durable. While I know cheaper options exist, im more of a buy once, cry once guy and would rather pick between these two options. Unless thereís really something better.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Beretta 1301T or Benelli M4 LE

    I have both of them, and theyíre definitely not equal in all ways.

    Without a doubt, the M4 is a more durable design, and if I were forced to go into an ugly situation, it is the SG I will be taking. If I werenít running an RMR on it (with a mounting solution that includes a rear aperture), I would have immediately replaced the 1301ís plastic rear sight, which is quite ridiculous at this price point.

    Both have been supremely reliable, even with light field loads of birdshot.

    Recoil is more similar than not, so thatís not a deciding factor.

    The 1301ís buttstock is noticeably shorter than the M4s, so it easier to wield in right spaces, or if youíre wearing a vest.

    Neither is a poor choice, but the M4 is a better choice if it absolutely, positively has to work under pretty much all conditions.
    Last edited by grizzman; 08-01-23 at 11:35.

  3. #3
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    Both are fantastic shotguns, with reputations for solid reliability, so I don't think you can go wrong either way. Obviously, the M4 has a longer track record of combat experience and durability, but the 1301 seems to be really growing in popularity.

    Having shot both, I ended up going with the 1301 Tactical. It feels little lighter to me than the M4, which i like, and mine has cycled anything and everything i've ever run through it from cheap 8 shot to slugs and buck etc. The M4 can be a little more picky with weaker ammo, so that could be a factor if you plan to shoot weaker birdshot or low velocity ammo. The BLINK operating system in the 1301 is just fantastic, cycles anything, and is very fast. I like being able to train with cheaper lighter loads, so that was a factor to me in choosing the 1301.

    Typically the 1301 is a couple hundred dollars cheaper, which makes it an easy pick over the M4 from a financial standpoint, but if you can get them for the same price, it's more of a toss up. It seems like the main differences come down to weight (M4 feels more robust but is heavier), and cycling (the 1301 will cycle a wider range of ammo and is technically a faster cycling operating system).

    If possible, you should try and shoot both, and then see which feels better to you. I don't think you can go wrong either way.

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    There is a significant weight difference between them. Iíve not head of anyone breaking either, so ďfeels durableĒ is probably just feels heavier.

    The Beretta runs lighter target loads.

    The Beretta comes with an appropriately sized stock for a tactical shotgun.

    Extended magazines and a pistol grip may not be legal in some ban States. You canít just remove the mag extension from the Benelli.

    Both have a good reputation of being reliable.

  5. #5
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    I've got them both also. I have short barreled my M4. Without knowing anything else and factoring in price and legal complications, the 1301 would be my "if I could only have one" pick over an 18" M4. The 1301 is cheaper, shorter, lighter, faster, and has at least as good of an aftermarket and in far less time.

  6. #6
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    Post 1, just a minor clarification.

    My recollection or understanding is a collapsible (Calif. uses the wording "folding" or "telescoping") stock on a semiauto shotgun is forbidden in California. The M4 with some sort of fixed stock would be ok though.

    The Mesa Tactical "Urbino" stock seems to be a popular aftermarket stock for the M4, however, if not one of Benelli's own brand of fixed stocks.

    https://mesatactical.com/urbino-pist...elli-m4-12-ga/

    Ref. Calif. Penal Code 30515(a)(6)

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    Thanks for the replies everyone, I haven’t abandoned the thread. Just been really busy.

    In regards to the collapsible stock legality, yes I believe you’re right about CA requiring a fixed stock, but that’s an easy fix.

    My main concerns were durability and reliability. I don’t think the 1301 is fragile, but I did see mentions about the amount of plastic parts used and that it just has more moving pieces than the M4. Whether that was another case of internet nit-picky “feels” talk or valid concerns, I wasn’t sure.

    I also just remembered most complaints against the M4 were related to how much more money you had to pour into it just to restore its true capabilities. Which is no longer a problem with the LE models. I would like to try them both out side by side for a test run, but I won’t be back in the US for another couple months.

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    1301 is 2lbs lighter. If I am going camping and can pack 2lbs less, that is the one I am and did pick between the 2.

  9. #9
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    Beretta 1301T or Benelli M4 LE

    Theyíre both fantastic SGís. I donít own both but I own an M4 H2O and an XPLOR A400 which is similar.

    Beretta makes the best hunting SG period. The 1301 is a tarted up tactical hunting model.

    Between these two, as others have stated, the main difference is the weight, the other difference is the M4 has two small gas pistons while the Beretta has only one large piston. The Beretta will cycle much faster than the M4 as well.

    The M4 is supposed to be able to cycle even if one of the small pistons goes tits up. But would imagine you need a defensive load for that to be the case.

    You need to decide whether the weight or the redundancy is more important.
    Last edited by HKGuns; 08-18-23 at 07:59.

  10. #10
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    Thanks all, that pretty much answers it. I’m going to go handle both of these again side by side when I return and I’ll see which feels better

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