Let’s say you have a friend who loves to hunt birds. This friend invites you on your first duck hunt. One problem: you don’t own a shotgun. You could probably borrow one from an accommodating buddy, but are you really going to pass up a chance to justify the purchase of a new gun? No. No you’re not.
At the same time, you don’t know if shotgun sports will float your ballistic boat; you don’t want to sink a bunch of disposable income into a firearm you may not use much. Never fear, the Stoeger P3000 is here.
If you’re in the market for a budget-priced scattergun, you have plenty of choices. Few of them, though, have the P3000’s Benelli/Franchi bloodline. Introduced last year, the Turkish-made P3000 has a 28-inch barrel that makes it a good all-around choice for both birds and clays. It’s chambered to accommodate 2 3/4-inch and 3-inch artillery and comes boxed with a single Mobilchoke compatible modified tube along with a wrench.
Nice to see in a sub-$300 gun: the full-length vent rib, a red fiber optic site and lugs for mounting a sling. More chokes would be welcome, along with a mid bead and maybe shims to adjust length of pull as well as cast on and cast off. But that’s part of the price you don’t pay for an ultra-affordable entry-level smoothbore like the P3000.
The P3000’s comfort is surprisingly good. Weighing-in at a scant 6.9 pounds, the Stoeger is suitable for hauling over hill and dale. Like any pump gun, the full force of your round is transmitted back into your shoulder. The P3000’s relative lightness of being means there’s less mass to soak up that jolt. Let’s just say the Stoeger’s soft rubber butt pad is a welcome addition.
Disassembly is as easy as you’d want it to be. Unscrew the end cap, slip off the barrel, slide the fore-end down the magazine and you’ve got access to the P3000’s rails and rotating bolt for easy cleaning.
If you have a punch, you can (almost) effortlessly drop the trigger group and give it a quick spritz of CLP.
The trigger’s better than you’d ever expect on a sub-$300 gun. Housed within a plastic trigger guard (which is big enough for gloved shooting), the P3000’s bangswitch breaks cleanly (if a little heavily) with zero take-up. While I’m a tang safety kinda guy, the P3000 sports a crossbolt safety mounted just aft of the trigger.
The best part: this thing shoots! That would seem to go without saying, but not all of the P3000’s competitors can make that claim with reliability. After breaking lot of clays, I put the P3000 in the capable hands of Liberte Austin who shot five-stand with it as well as dove hunt.
The P3000 came back well used and nicely rumpled after she’d significantly reducing the surplus avian population. Between the two of us, we shot the hell out of this gun (which you can see in the photos above) and all it did was beg for more.
Long story short, if you point it and pull the trigger, it will go bang. Every time. Even with fast follow-up shots, as long as you do your part and don’t short-stroke it (we didn’t find that to be a problem), the P3000 will put your pattern right on your bird, feathered or clay.
If you’re looking to dip your toe into the shotgun sports at a bargain price, Stoeger’s intro level pump should be top of your list. At under three bills a P3000 is also an excellent impulse buy. Keeping one in your safe to loan to a friend for a day of fun in the field is handy and convenient.
Specifications – Stoeger P3000 Pump Shotgun:
Chamber: 3 inches
Barrel Length: 28″
Overall Length: 49.5″
Weight: 6.9 lbs.
Length of Pull: 14.25″
Sight: Fiber optic front
Finish: Black Parkerized
MSRP: $299 (easily found for around $250)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit and Finish: * * * *
Excellent for a shotgun at this price. Seams in the synthetic stock were smooth, without flashing. And no tool marks inside the receiver. The finish jobs on both the barrel and receiver were good and even.
Reliability: * * * * *
Perfect. Whether we were hunting or shooting clays, smooth feeds and loud reports with each pull of the trigger.
Value: * * * * *
Nicely finished and goes bang every time. All for less than three Benjamins. Does it get any better?
Ergonomics: * * *
You takes what you gets. Not a lot of adjustment options on a sub-$300 gun. And it’s a tad front-heavy. That said, with its 14 1/4″ length of pull, the P3000 worked well for my 5’6″ frame right out of the box.
Customize this: * *
Not really. There’s a world of Mobilchokes out there to let you shoot everything from skeet to geese to turkey. But the P3000’s not drilled and tapped in case you were considering mounting an optic.
Overall: * * * * *
This workmanlike smoothbore does everything a shotgun should and does it reliably, comfortably and extremely affordably. If you’re someone who already own shotguns, you never know when you’ll want a spare for a friend. The P3000 is a bargain gun that’s worth every penny.