When it comes to shotguns, there are the American brands (Remington and Mossberg), the Italians (Beretta and Benelli), and then a glut of Turkish-built guns. In general, the Turkish-built guns are considered to not be quite up to standard relative to the American and Italian guns.
A while back, we looked at one of those Turkish-built guns, but one that Beretta holds the strings to. The hope being that maybe that will give us a budget-friendly blaster that can go the distance with the Stoeger P3000 Freedom Series Supreme (FSS). Here we are, 1,000 rounds in, and still going.
What have we learned?
There are quite a few Stoeger parts listed as being for other guns that will actually fit on the P3000. A perfect example, the P3000 FSS comes with a cheesy and quite horrible adjustable folding stock. It was the one thing that really detracted from the shotgun in our review. The stock was ditched, and a compact stock for a M3000/M3500 was put on the gun. According to Stoeger, this stock doesn’t fit the P3000. I asked them and they said no. Turns out they were wrong. It gives the P3000 a 13” LOP, which is significantly improved over the original stock.
I initially replaced the puny factory safety with Stoeger’s own extended safety for the M3K. It is a direct replacement for what comes on the gun out of the box. For the last 200 rounds, the P3000 has had a S&J Hardware Jumbo safety for the Benelli M4. It is also a direct replacement for the factory safety and can be flipped around to run in either direction.
I don’t know what parts for other guns in the Beretta family (Beretta owns Benelli, too) will fit on the Stoegers, but the potential aftermarket could be huge. The interchangeability of parts, including some for other models, makes the P3000 one of the best-supported guns out there.
Safer Than The Average Bear
While the P3000 isn’t 100% drop-safe, it is more drop safe than the typical Remington 870 or Mossberg 500/590. The reason those guns (and all of their copies) are not considered drop-safe is that the sear is held onto the hammer with spring pressure. The trigger does not directly hold the sear in place. The safety that only blocks the trigger does not prevent the sear from moving. If the sear bounces because the gun is jolted just the right way, the hammer falls, and BLAM!!! At least, that is what happens if there is a round chambered, and largely why shotguns are usually not staged in that way.
On the P3000, the trigger and sear are the same part. So if the safety is engaged, the trigger and sear both cannot move. Even if the hammer bounces, it will just get caught by the sear again. This mitigates the primary reason that shotguns are not considered to be drop-safe.
Since there is not a firing pin block, like what we have come to expect on modern polymer pistols, the gun still isn’t technically drop-safe. But, we have moved from the traditional shotgun level of not drop-safe to something more akin to what we might expect from an AR-15 that also has a free-floating firing pin. At least the Stoeger has a spring pushing its firing pin away from the breech face, whereas most AR-15s do not.
Over the course of the 1,000 rounds, there has only been one malfunction. I encountered it on day 2 of the Symtac Consulting Shotgun Skills class. Two rounds tried to feed out of the magazine tube at once. The malfunction was remedied in short order without leaving the line, and the gun continued on. The malfunction did not repeat itself, and the gun has gone about 400 rounds since then without issue.
The only persistent issue has been the magazine cap. The Stoeger P3000 uses a single-piece magazine tube, even though it is longer than normal. There is a retaining nut to hold the barrel in the receiver that is retained via a detent in the barrel lug, as is common on shotguns. The cap on the end of the magazine tube that holds the spring in place, however does not have any mechanism to help retain it. On my sample, it will start to back off every 50-75 rounds. An easy-to-see witness mark and periodically checking the cap has been enough to keep from launching a spring and follower downrange, but it is an annoyance that could likely be designed better.
Until Next Time
Big shout out to ATR Firearms Training for graciously donating a nice chunk of ammo to get the gun this far. We haven’t broken any parts yet. The gun is still going strong, and the action is finally starting to smooth itself out. That means we keep going. See you at 2,000 rounds or if the gun breaks. Whichever happens first.