November 13, 2009 at 12:21pm
If you look for a sale, you can buy a brand new Beretta 390 12 gauge for about $600 from Bass Pro Shops or Academy. It is a black, synthetic-stocked, no-frills, 3", gas-operated gun. They used to be marketed as the Silver Mallard. Now they have deleted the light engraving, magazine cut-off switch and recoil pad. The magazine cut-off is a non-issue. You can addd your own recoil pad and have the gun dipped if you want camo. I shoot an original Silver Mallard and bought both of my sons the 390. They are still young but they will have quality guns when they are ready to hunt with a 12 gauge. I bought theirs at Wal-Mart a few years back for around $530. I don't think they have them anymore. As far as 3" vs 3.5" goes, I don't see the need for the 3.5" guns unless you hunt a lot of geese. When I go on a combo duck/goose hunt, I shoot tungsten BB's or #2's. I can buy a lot of shells for the price difference between the 390 and an Extrema 2. Of course, the guys that shoot 3.5" guns will try to convince you that it is necessary. Get the birds close and make sure you hit them and you won't be disappointed. Let us know what you end up buying for your son. Good luck this duck season.