A waterfowl hunter’s best friend, the Beretta A300 Outlander shotgun offers versatility, quality, and affordability in one package
I’ll never forget the first time I took my Beretta A300 Outlander on a hunting trip.
As we taxied out to the duck blind less than 200 yards off the northern tip of an island in coastal Maryland, we knew the odds were against us for a good day and full bag limit.
With the sun rising over the Old Line State’s hills and staring directly into a bitter, west wind that occasionally spit the light January rain onto the exposed parts of our faces, I remember looking over at one of my hunting partners, sharing a look that only two people who have been in this position before know:
“This isn’t going to be a good one,” we said to each other, non-verbally.
An hour later, legal light was well behind us. The only birds we saw were flocks of cormorants migrating above us when the honk of an incoming Canada goose shattered the cold air. Within seconds the big-bodied fowl flew directly over my spot in the blind.
“It’s yours,” my buddy said to me, the other guys not yet reacting.
I quickly shouldered the Outlander, a 3-inch Federal Black Cloud shell primed, and knocked the bird out of the air with ease—no more than a 25-yard shot.
While the rest of the hunt went as my buddy and I expected, we ended up leaving the blind with that goose and three blue bills—not terrible for taking overhead and crossing shots on birds that didn’t want to land in the spread.
And though it had been a disappointing day, I was much more excited about how the A300 performed and felt throughout the morning.
A quality auto-loader, but on the heavy side
By all means, the A300 Outlander is the nicest shotgun I’ve ever owned. For measure, I grew up with Mossbergs or older single-shots, and for my first two years hunting ducks I used a Browning BPS Field pump, so moving to a gas semi-automatic was a big jump for me.
Since that first outing on the Eastern Shore, I’ve taken it out plenty, mostly during West Virginia’s spring turkey season and to pattern different shot in the off-season. With 3-inch mag shells, it shoots much softer than other comparable shotguns—one of Beretta’s selling points—but is highly out-competed in this category by its A400 Upland cousin. Aside from that, the lean design makes it easy to bring to shoulder and quickly acquire the target and, weighing in at seven pounds, it isn’t terrible on the arms or shoulder during a long day in the blind. Additionally, it’s customizable, allowing the shooter to adjust the drop and cast.
Speaking of weight, it certainly isn’t the lightest shotgun in Beretta’s lineup—the A400 XPlor 12- and 20-gauge models range between 5.5 and 6.9 pounds—but after a day-long hunt chasing gobblers through the hilly country of my home county, I didn’t feel taxed carrying it and my hunting pack around.
Chokes, patterning and price
The A300 comes with three Mobilchoke internal choke tubes—modified, cylinder, and full—and with a 28-inch barrel, bird hunters won’t have issues with reach. In preparing for duck season, I recently ran BOSS No. 3/5, 2 3/4-inch shells with a modified choke and still maintained tight patterns at 45 and 50 yards.
Only available in 12-gauge with a 3-inch chamber, the A300 Outlander MSRP is just under $900 but can be found at some dealers for under $800. It’s also available in different camouflage patterns and the standard wood/black depending on where you buy it.
The A300 Outlander presents an affordable option for someone diving into the semi-automatic world or someone looking for a quality backup that can at times be swapped out as their main gun.
Personally, I can’t wait to put many more miles on and create many more memories with mine.
Andrew Spellman is a professional journalist and Project Upland's digital editor. A 2017 graduate of West Virginia University, Andrew has written for and produced multimedia content for multiple Mountain State newspapers, securing awards for his work along the way, and has contributed to many outdoor magazines.