Beretta 1301 Comp Review [2021]: Worth it?

by Roy Chesson

January 2, 2021

5 comments

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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 Specs

  • Host Platform Beretta
  • Caliber 12 Gauge
  • Barrel Length 21″ or 24″
  • Length 26.5’’
  • Capacity 5 rounds

What is the 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.

Beretta 1301 Comp Features Review

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.

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 Review: 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.

Video Review of the Beretta 1301 Comp

Beretta 1301 Comp Review: 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

Shootability

Very easy to shoot and operate – Perfect for hunting, but not as stable as a dedicated target rifle.

A+
Accuracy

Very controllable and definitely hit its targets on point.

B+
Reliability

It’s performance gave good peace of mind that it will function properly.

B+
Ergonomics

Felt a little awkward when holding, it could had a better grip.

B
Value

Not outrageous on price which is good, and is worth every penny.

A

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

TBD

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The Beretta 1301 is a fine-tuned machine, but that doesn’t mean it needs no improvement. These are some essentials that every gun owner needs to have to ensure a proper shooting and owning experience.

Now that we’ve got the must-haves out of the way… Let’s get into some cool personalizations for the Beretta 1301 Comp.

Best Choke Tubes for the Beretta 1301

I love that the Beretta 1301 Comp has great capacity to interchange its choke tubes–especially if you’re using this as a 3-Gun competitor. Investing in some high-quality chokes would be wise to have, if you own this shotgun already.

Editor's Choice

Carlson’s Choke Tubes Competition 12 Gauge

Another brand that frequently comes up when talking about the best choke tubes is Briley. Briley is one of the largest choke tube manufacturers in the world. And after firing a few shells with one, it’s easy to see why. CHECK PRICE

Carlson’s is known for making premium choke tubes. And they’ve got some made specifically for Berettas. The 1301 platform makes use of the Optima HP series chokes, so be sure that you’re not off grabbing something else. Thankfully Carlson’s makes so many different varieties. You just might have a hard time choosing which one. CHECK AMAZON PRICE

Another brand that frequently comes up when talking about the best choke tubes is Briley. Briley is one of the largest choke tube manufacturers in the world. And after firing a few shells with one, it’s easy to see why.

Check Price

Best Buttstock Accessories for the Beretta 1301 Comp

Here’s one thing you might notice about the Beretta 1301 comp: It’s got a relatively short buttstock. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It makes things much easier when making the gun ready or performing quick weak shoulder transitions. But…you may find it just a tiny bit too short for your liking. These buttstock attachments may be exactly what you need.

This recoil pad from Kick Eez does two things. One it lengthens the butsstock on the 1301 which could be very advantageous for some. And two…It helps to reduce the recoil when fired. If you’re recoil-sensitive, this might just be a guiding light. Just be cautious when purchasing these. The Kick Eez pads are prefit. This means that they fit on particular models. This pad will not fit on a Mossberg or Remington. It’s only designed for your Beretta. CHECK PRICE

You may not want to change your original buttstock, but just simply add a bit more length to it. That’s perfectly fine and easy to do. Simply plug in one of Beretta’s Competition Stock Spacers, and you’re on your way.

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Beretta Gel-Tek Cheek Protector

If you’re looking for a quick and cheap way to raise the comb on your Beretta 1301 Comp…consider this cheek protector. It can allow you to easily draw a more accurate bead and obtain better shot consistency. Not to mention, it helps minimize cheek bruising.

Check It Out On Amazon

Other Shotguns of its Class to Check Out

#1 Remington Versamax

Remington Versamax

The Remington reputation is definitely upheld when it comes to their Versa Max Series. and the Versa Max Tactical is the centerpiece of Remington’s Versa Max family.

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  • Shootability B
  • Accuracy B
  • Reliability A+
  • Value A

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

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When we put together our list of best combat and tactical shotguns, we had a very difficult choice to make when deciding which gun would be our favorite for 3-gun shooting. It was either the 1301 Comp–our winner–or the Remington VersaMax. We like to make the comparison between the two that the VersaMax is your dependable work truck while the Beretta is your Sunday driver. READ MORE

#2 Benelli M4

Benelli M4

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  • Reliability B
  • Accuracy A+
  • Customization B
  • Ergonomics A
  • Value D

Our Grade

B

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

TBD

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If you’re in the market for a semi-auto shotgun, don’t skip over Benelli. Although they’re a bit more pricey than some, the Benelli M4 really hits the mark. They’re fun, fast, and extremely reliable. That’s probably why they’re standard issue for law enforcement and militaries across the globe. And if you can get past the sticker price, you can own a top notch designer shotgun…READ MORE

#3 Mossberg 500

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  • Reliability A+
  • Accuracy A
  • Customization C+
  • Ergonomics A-
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Roy Chesson

Reader’s Grade

TBD

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But what if you’re looking for a great pump-action? You can’t go wrong with a trusty Mossberg 500. It’s super-reliable, budget friendly, and an all-around great pick for anyone looking to buy a new shotgun. Plus, the Mossberg 500 has the ability to shoot mini shells which are great for picking off field rats and other varmint. READ MORE

How to Care for Your Beretta 1301

As one of the best 3-gun weapons out there, you’re going to want to take good care of your 1301–this way your gun fires properly every time. And that means knowing how to completely break down the 1301 and clean it. This is one of the most in-depth reviews I’ve seen on the Beretta 1301 (if not, any other gun).

Important Links And Manuals For Your BERETTA 1301 COMP

Looking for more info on the Beretta 1301 Comp? Check out these links for the manual and other news!

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About Roy Chesson

Roy Chesson is prior Navy with a specialty in international arms dealing for the US government across multiple countries. Having traveled the world and abided by ATF and ITAR, Roy has a unique background in legal as well as practical capabilities of weapons deployment and use.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Great review. I have been scouring videos and articles to find the best semi-auto for my needs. I’m not a 3-gun competitor but want the versatility for hunting and sport shooting as well as home defense. SO I wanted a “tactical” shotgun (semi-auto) with a longer barrel (24 inches versus the tacticals at 18.5 inches) and interchangeable chokes. Also wanted a gun that runs cleaner and is built to last. Looked at Benelli and Stoeger but they use the inertia system that requires the gun to be shouldered to eject the cartridge properly. Also looked at the Versa Max and Mossberg’s new 940 JM Pro as well as the FN SLP Tactical. The Versa Max “out beasts” the Beretta but your analogy between the guns seems fitting. I’ve read where the FN has issues ejecting light loads but I don’t want to knock any product that I haven’t personally tested. Your article along with other research really helped me lock in my decision to go with Beretta. Now if I can just find one – every retailer seems to be out of stock.

    1. Glad we could help. As a note, I decided to try a Beretta Turkey Choke in my 1301 Comp with Winchester LongBeard 3″ shells and it patterns better than any other shotgun I’ve ever tried. So, it’s now my turkey gun, too.

  2. I bought the 1301 for 3-gun and Roth Customs did some upgrades. It is an awesome shotgun! I use it for everything: 3-gun, trap, sporting clays and 5 stand. For half the price of the other B shotgun it is a great value.

  3. I would like to see an in depth article on 922r compliance and the 1301’s. There are differing opinions as to how many parts you actually need to change out. Some say three and some say 4. So it could be butt, forend mag follower or those three plus one more which could be the aftermarket trigger. It really should be decided by an expert and then published.

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