Beretta’s 1301 semi-automatic shotgun replaced the company’s venerable Model 1201 in 2014. The latter had an enviable run of nearly 20 years and employed the Inertia-driven system of operation pioneered by Benelli—part of the Beretta corporate family—proven to be among the most reliable auto-feeding designs in the industry.
The new shotgun wasn’t simply a cosmetic upgrade, though. Times had changed, three-gun matches were popular and its requirement of unfailing performance and lightning-fast operation had become virtues demanded by nearly every enthusiast. To answer that demand Beretta harnessed a cross-tube gas piston for the operating system in the 1301 called BLINK. It’s 36 percent faster than the competition, yet it maintains the unfailing reliability owners have come to expect from the company.
Today the features to enhance speed also include an oversized charging handle, large and highly textured bolt release and reversible safety button big enough to find fast under stress. Barrels lengths are 18.5", 21" and 24"—depending on model. All are back bored and cold-hammer forged.
Seven versions are available today, each wearing synthetic stocks and chambered to handle 12-ga. shotshells up to 3" in length. There are five members in the Tactical Model 1301 family—color choices include all black, Flat Dark Earth, marine and Olive Drab green. Each come with a Picatinny rail atop the aluminum receiver for mounting optics. They ship with spacers to alter length of pull and drop and cast are also adjustable. Barrels are threaded to accept Optima Bore HP Choke tubes.
The only pistol-grip version made is the all-black Tactical. It’s MSRP is $1,449. The more standard profile model comes in at $1,429. Flat Dark Earth, Olive Drab green and marine—with stainless look to the barrel and receiver—Tactical models will set you back $1,359, each.
There are two competition-specific models—the 1301 Comp and 1301 Comp Pro. Unlike the 18.5" barrels standard throughout the Tactical line, length is a choice of 21" or 24". MSRP on the former is $1,349, regardless of preference. The Pro model, along with its striking blue receiver, comes in at $1,549 whether you want the long or short barrel.