Stoeger is announcing a new inertia-driven semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun for hunters and competition shooters, the Model 3000. The Stoeger M3000 is budget-minded intermediate model that does more than the M2000 but costs less than the M3500.
Like other automatic shotguns by Stoeger, the M3000 uses an inertia-driven operation. Unlike most automatic shotguns which are gas-operated and use burning propellant from fired shots to cycle, inertia-operated guns work more like semi-automatic handguns. After a round is fired the shotgun compresses the spring pressing the bolt into the locking barrel extension. As the bolt spring decompresses the energy is transferred to the bolt carrier which opens the bolt and ejects the spent case. A return spring around the magazine tube completes the cycle.
The benefits are straightforward: improved decreased recoil as compared to gas-operated shotguns and better reliability with different types of ammunition. Many shooters also prefer the balance of inertia-driven shotguns, with so much less taking place under the handguard. Still these are solid shotguns with a heft: depending on the length they weigh either 7.4 or 7.5 pounds due to the solid build.
The M3000 travels light without the many additional accessories included with the M3500. It comes with just three chokes, extra-full turkey, modified, and improved cylinder and a shim kit to adjust the stock for drop and cant. Every M300 has a drilled and tapped receiver for a Weaver sight rail and a red fiber-optic front bead sight. The stock is threaded for an optional steel recoil reducer.
The M3000 is initially being introduced in six variants, with 26- or 28-inch barrels in three finishes, Realtree AGP, Realtree Max 4 and matte black. The MSRPs are $530 for the plain black models and $600 for the camouflaged, which means real-world pricing staring in the $400-450 range. The M3000 chambers both 2-3/4- and 3-inch 12 gauge shells.
The idea of inertia-driven operation belongs to Benelli who developed it for their combat shotguns which are often called on to fire a wide range of types of ammunition and quickly put it to use with their hunting and sporting shotguns. Benelli has also licensed inertia-operation to other companies. The patent on inertia-driven operation has lapsed now, allowing other companies to use the technology without license.
Not that it matters too much as Stoeger Industries is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Benelli, who in turn is owned by Beretta.