The gas-powered Beretta 1301 Comp is a workhorse designed to dominate in action shooting competitions (3-gun) as well as tactical uses.  And while its Blink system does allow for a faster cycling (faster than we can pull the trigger), it does have one major limitation holding it back here in the United States. . . its magazine capacity.

That’s right. Due to US import laws (922r Compliance), the Beretta 1301 comes to the US manufactured to hold only 5 rounds total.  Thankfully, there are a number of aftermarket extensions you can use to increase your carrying capacity (but please stay within compliance of 922r).

Either way, this is a beast of a shotgun (that comes with either a 21″ or 24″ barrel) that I thoroughly enjoy shooting. Anyway enough rambling, let’s get into this Beretta 1301 Comp review.

Beretta 1301 Comp

MSRP~$1275.00

Reliability: A+
Customization: C
Accuracy: A
Ergonomics: B
Shootability: A+
Value: A

Final Grade: B+

Beretta 1301 Comp Blink Action

Beretta claims that their Blink gas-powered system allows for a 36% reduction in average cycling rate.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I started thIs review thinking that seemed like a load of BS…. I mean “marketing.”  But after shooting this bad boy…. HOLY CRAP!  The Beretta Blink action is BY FAR my new favorite action.

Through a unique split-ring valve system, a dramatic increase in efficiency and cycling speed can be noticed–whether it’s really 36% or not.

The signature piston seal doesn’t just make the gun more efficient though, it keeps the gun cleaner as well.  The blink-action seal only allows for half of the normal amount of gas to pass from the barrel to the piston chamber.

Also, Beretta has installed a new self-cleaning feature within the internals.  This leads to a cleaner, smoother shotgun which maintains its shot integrity round after round.

1301 Comp Specs

Operating System  Gas System
Guage/Bore 12 Guage
Standard Capacity 5
Overall Length 26.5″
Barrel Length 21″ or 24″

Beretta 1301 Features

1. Rugged Checkered Grip
This is one of the best grips you’ll find on a shotgun’s factory stock.  Even with sweaty hands, you can rest easy knowing that with a proper hold you’ll be able to maintain control of the firearm.  This grip is also placed along the fore end of the gun ensuring for the best possible grip.

2. Stupid-Fast Blink Action
The Beretta Blink action is phenomenal.  Restating it in other words won’t help you understand any better until you shoot it.

3. Oversized Bolt Handle and Release
Some of the most aggravating things that can come on a shotgun are undersized components–especially if you’re trying to operate the gun in a hurry.  However, as you’ll read in our review below, there is one major drawback.

4. Vent Rib
Typically not on a “tactical” shotgun, this vent rib is just the right height to help line up the bead and hit your target.

5. Interchangeable Choke System
The interchangeable choke on the Beretta 1301 allows you to customize your shot pattern for whatever use you are intending.

Beretta 1301 Comp – Our Take

Here’s a summary of our review: the Beretta 1301 comp is an amazing shotgun that is well worth the money.  Our only gripes? The shell release button and the limited capacity.

I used to love the Remington VersaMax.  Heck, I still do.  However, the Beretta is an Italian sports car compared to the Remington pickup truck.  The VersaMax is clearly a strong shotgun that is very capable, but the Beretta is just way more nimble, faster, and…well…sexier.

Everything about this shotgun just screams “SHOOT ME!”

You might think I’m weird, but I’ll let you in on something I look for in a firearm: recoil impulse.  Yeah yeah, I know, I’d roll my eyes too if I read that.  However, especially with shotguns, there is a very real difference between some shotguns on how the recoil impulse feels.  Too harsh or abrupt isn’t fun to shoot and, even though it may sometimes be faster, it makes me a slower shooter (remember, we’re talking about 3-gun/action/tactical shooting here).  Also, if the impulse is too soft or long, the gun is slow, there can be reliability issues, and it just feels… well… sluggish.

I was first introduced to the perfection that is a Beretta semi-auto when I rented one on the sporting clays course at Ben Avery in North Phoenix.  I was in love and quickly got a Beretta 390 Gold for myself.  That shotgun taught me to appreciate what an amazing semi-auto feels and shoots like and it also taught me to hate Benelli shotguns.  Seriously, Benelli’s are pretty but in my opinion, the Beretta is just a nicer machine that is a joy to shoot.

What we loved about the Beretta 1301 Comp: Super fast and altogether enjoyable recoil impulse.  This shotgun is a clay breaking machine (even though it isn’t designed for it). I’ve run a few courses of sporting clays with it and it feels like it’s impossible to miss!  Thankfully, the shotgun already fits me well, however, if you’re looking to change the cast of the stock, plates are included to do so!

The fit and finish of the gun is impeccable. It’s supposed to be “tactical” looking and not “pretty,” but like a good-looking woman in sports gear, the good looks still come through.

If it’s not clear, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this shotgun even with some of its warts (beauty marks?) below:

What we didn’t love about the 1301 Comp Shotgun:  Two things: the capacity and the shell release button.

Imported semi-auto shotguns must be 922r compliant.  This effectively means that the shotgun must have a certain number of American-made parts in it before it can have some “evil” features like pistols grips or extended magazine tubes.  As this shotgun is imported from Italy, and it doesn’t have enough American parts as-is, the capacity is limited.  This is not a problem for most uses, however, this is supposed to be a shotgun used in applications where extended magazine tubes are a necessity.

It’s sad to see such a perfect platform limited by this.  We hope Beretta decides to put an American buttstock and forend on this after it is imported… those are the big limiting factors.  If they did that…. they could finish the conversion and sell them with extended mag tubes.  If you like this idea, email Beretta and send them this article. 🙂

 The other thing we didn’t like seems like a case of over-engineering: the shell release button.  Beretta designed the bolt release button to also release a shell from the magazine tube if the button is rocked forward.  This is a neat feature if you’re trying to unload the shotgun and don’t want to cycle the shells through the chamber one at a time.  However, if you accidentally hit this button with 2 or more shells in the mag tube, you’ve effectively turned a supreme shotgun platform into a single shot shotgun.  Hitting that button will put one and a half shells onto the lifter jamming the gun!  Beretta sells a very inexpensive part to retrofit and prevent this from happening – they REALLY need to include this on the shotgun from the factory.

Beretta 1301 Comp Pros and Cons

Our favorite shotgun action…by far!
Very fast (and reliable)
Perfect recoil impulse
Excellent pattern/chokes
Fatal-flaw magazine shell release
Limited capacity as an imported shotgun

Report card

Reliability Super reliable. Best shotgun we’ve shot.

A+

Accuracy Accurate enough for a shotgun – slugs went where we aimed (unlike with Remington VersaMax)

A

Customization Not much to customize – this is actually part of the 922r compliance downfall

C

Ergonomics Feels amazing and easy to operate but has a “no longer works” button.

B

Shootability Hands-down, the best and most enjoyable shotgun action!

A+

Value Awesome gun. Despite its shortcomings

A

Final Grade: B+

3 Gun Performance Review of the Beretta 1301 Comp

Just how viable is the Beretta 1301 comp when it comes to a 3-gun situation?  When looking for a good 3-gun shotgun, there’s a number of factors that come into play.

  • How fast can you reload?
  • Can you shoot slugs accurately?
  • Does the gun cycle quickly and without malfunction?

These are just a few questions that come to mind. But how does the 1301 hold up?

Check out SuperSetCA’s first look into the Beretta’s capability to compete.

Our Top Upgrade Picks for the Beretta 1301 Comp

Although the Beretta 1301 is a pretty top-notch shotgun as is, there are a few things I’d recommend to make your shooting experience that much more comfortable. 

Best Magazine Tube Extension for the Beretta 1301 Comp:  Lancer Beretta 1301 Mag Extension TubeIf you’re looking to get more out of your Beretta 1301, this Lancer extension tube comes with everything you need to add more shots.

Best Choketubes for the Beretta 1301 Comp:  Carlson’s Optima HP ChoketubesCarlson’s makes choketubes of all patterns. Finding the one you want is the hard part.

Best Slugs for the Beretta 1301 Comp: Hornady American Reduced Recoil Rifled SlugsLooking for some quality slugs to sling down range?  Hornady’s got you covered with their reduced recoil slugs.