This year I had the opportunity to review the Beretta A300 Outlander Camo Max4 on my early season waterfowl hunts. Right out of the box, this gun impressed me. The gas-operated, semiautomatic 12-gauge shotgun is made of 4 main components, allowing for quick and easy, tool-free assembly. The shotgun’s Max4 camo pattern and 28-inch Steelium barrel make it an ideal choice for waterfowl hunting.
As a hunter, I historically have spent the vast majority of my time in the field chasing upland gamebirds. Until a few years ago, when asked my favorite species to hunt, I would have quickly told you it was pheasant, with grouse a close second. However, that was before I was introduced to the world of waterfowl hunting. Now, I take any opportunity I can get to hunt ducks and geese as they migrate through the skies.
Perhaps my favorite features of the A300 Outlander are its versatility and the ease with which the shotgun can be customized. The Outlander comes with an adjustable shim system, as well as a series of spacers that can be easily inserted between the action and the grip to allow for customization of the drop and cast; this makes for easy adjustment to fit my petite frame and personal shooting style. The A300 Outlander outfit includes sling attachments, as well as an assortment of Beretta’s Mobile Chokes, including the full, modified and improved cylinder choke tubes.
As soon as I had adjusted the fit of the shotgun, I took the A300 Outlander to the range to pattern it and shoot several rounds of sporting clays. From its first shot to the last shot of the day, the gun impressed me. The fit of this shotgun makes it feel like a solid extension of the body, helping it swing easily and allowing for good follow-through. It is very soft-shooting, and I felt only a minimal amount of recoil, whether shooting trap loads or heavier goose loads. I still felt the power of the heavier loads, boosting my confidence the shotgun would pass the test while hunting.
It took time, though, to become comfortable with the placement of the safety on the A300 Outlander. Unlike most shotguns, which house the safety at the rear of the trigger, the A300 Outlander has a reversible safety (to accommodate left- and right-handed shooters) at the front of the trigger guard. That being said, I quickly found myself appreciating the position of the safety, as it allows for a more fluid shot and quicker turnaround, moving my finger from the safety to pull the trigger.
The A300 Outlander boasts a 3-inch chamber, allowing it to shoot a variety of shotshell loads, making it an excellent choice as an all-around shotgun. Initially, I felt a bit skeptical while considering carrying this shotgun in the field for a pheasant hunt. However, my time on the sporting clays range made me recognize the A300 Outlander is an excellent choice for someone looking for a versatile shotgun that can be used not only for waterfowl, but also for pheasants, turkeys and perhaps, even deer. The shotgun is very well balanced, making it feel much lighter than its 7.25 pounds, making it comfortable to carry afield all day.
Beretta offers the A300 Outlander shotgun in a variety of models in addition to the Camo Max4, including the more traditional wooden stock and blued barrel of the A300 Outlander, the A300 Outlander Synthetic, as well as the Outlander Camo Max5. Like the Camo Max4, the Max5 is available only with a 28-inch barrel. Both the wood-stocked A300 Outlander and A300 Outlander Synthetic are offered with 24-, 26-, 28- and 30-inch barrel lengths.
After becoming comfortable with the A300 Outlander at the shooting range, I took it on its inaugural hunt – a much-anticipated goose hunt. As I expected, the gun’s accuracy and field performance impressed me. I brought down two beautiful honkers as they came in to our beckoning calls. (Unfortunately, neither of my birds was photo-worthy, compliments of a young retriever in training who was a bit too hard-mouthed.)
Fortunately, I will have an opportunity to put the A300 Outlander Camo Max4 to work again soon when I join 3 of my girlfriends later this month for a kayak duck hunt on the Columbia River near Scappoose, Ore. I know I will be able to rely on the A300 Outlander to help make my first kayak hunt a successful and memorable outing.
The Beretta A300 Outlander Camo Max4 reasonably priced, again helping make it a great all-around shotgun choice. Most comparable shotguns in the marketplace are twice as costly the A300 Outlander’s modest price. The Beretta A300 Outlander series is available from firearms dealers nationwide. Find the dealer nearest you.
MSRP: $775 to $845, depending on finish
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