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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:

Gauge: 12
Chamber: 3 inches
Capacity: 4+1
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, sometimes less via Brownells

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.

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  1. I’m sure it works well, but, I picked up a Mossberg 500 with the 28″ ported barrel, came with a few chokes (& tang mounted safety) and was well below $400. Plus it’s made in the USA!

  2. Wait, you rated it 5 stars overall, but rated it 3 stars for ergonomics and 2 stars for customization? Did I miss something? I can pick up a Mossy 500 Field model for the exact same price, get that Mossy 500 reputation based on over 50 years of experience, better customization options, more chokes, an ambi-friendly safety…. I could go on. Or if I really want to pinch my pennies, I can get a Maverick 88 that’s essentially a budget version of an already budget-friendly gun.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see how you rate it 2-3 stars in 2 of 5 specified categories, and then give it a 5 star rating to finish with. If I’m gonna loan someone a “budget” pump, I’m going to loan them a Maverick 88 or Mossberg 500.

      • Fair enough. I just think at that price point, there are equally decent or better options out there.”Benelli/Franchi bloodline” doesn’t really cut it for me.

    • Yeah I got a Maverick88 on Black Friday. EZ to trick out. I can get a 28″ barrel too. And made in Texas. I don’t hunt but I could…I don’t get 5stars either.

  3. I would not recommend a light, cheap shotgun for clay sports. Shotguns like this are meant for hunting, where you carry it a lot and shoot it a little. They’ll work fine for that.

    On the trap or skeet range, you will by paying for this decision with the pain in your shoulder after about the third box of shells. An inexperienced shotgunner with less than perfect technique will be in even more misery. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

    Mass is your friend, and a gun that is customized to fit your body will make the clay sports pleasant, rather than painful.

    • So very, very true. I’ve seen more than a couple people turned off of clay sports by being loaned or having purchased a shotgun that beat their shoulder to a pulp by the second round of 25 clays.

    • Hook and Bullet at Bitburg AB in Germany had Remington 1100 for the house guns. That was the first time I ever fire a shotgun. Nice gun. Being a lefty I got used to the shells flying across my face pretty quickly.
      That was in 1982/3. Have picked up a shotgun since.
      But there is a sporting clays place not far from where we live now. Trying to talk the wife into it. 😀

    • The Benelli SuperNova I got (which this thing looks very similar to) is great for clays. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but it wasn’t that expensive. The recoil mitigation stuff they do seems to work. It’s much nicer to shoot all day than the expensive Beretta break open clay guns they rent at my range.

  4. Having some choices in the budget shotgun market is great. I can testify that this Stoeger is a quality gun for the money, and it doesn’t suffer the Mossberg “rattle” either. Well constructed and low priced guns are good to find nowdays. The Stoeger has quite a bit of the Benelli Nova in it’s heritage

  5. I have the stroeger in semi auto form and it’s a good gun. I mounted a rail on top. Does this also have a rail mount holes?

  6. Let me tell you about my mossberg 500. For 3 years now most of my shooting has been with my mossberg. Very cold. Very hot. Mountains. close to desert. Rain. And I don’t clean it. I’ve knocked some rust off the barrel but I don’t clean it.

    Rabbits. Squirrels. Quail. Dove. Crows. Yotes. Soon enough(hopefully) chukar.

    Low base. High base. short and long shells. Slugs.

    I’ve never used a Stoeger. It may be all that and a bag of chips. But when my mossberg gives it up, I’ll go to big 5 and get another.

    And my hunting partners say a hunt isn’t complete til I fall at least once. And my mossberg falls with me. It still works just fine.

  7. For all the Mossberg lovers who claim they are indestructible, my 500A with a very low shell count broke its plastic trigger assembly. The options were ship it to Eagle Pass TX for 50 bucks or buy the new trigger for 100.00 which is half of the guns cost.. Mossberg refused to ship me a new trigger assembly, I had to either ship them the gun or buy a new assembly out of pocket. If you want a cheapo shotgun thats built like a tank, get a Chicom made Hawk or Norinco. All this rah rah “buy USA” stuff is amusing. The same people who clamor for made in USA shotguns probably choose German made SIGS over USA made ones. Or wouldnt touch a USA made Glock. The Chicom or Turkish shotguns are probably more durable than any Mossberg/Mavericks for less dough. Gun snobbery in reverse is funny stuff.

    • Fred, not for anything but why should Mossberg send you a new trigger guard for free? The warranty covers defects, not damage to due drops.

  8. Lol at the Mossberg talk.

    Both the Mossberg and this Stoeger are budget shotguns. Why are you mad that someone wrote a review about something other than a dumb old Mossberg?

    I like Winchesters but I don’t go around getting mad when people write Remington reviews.

    And for the record, I’d have this Stoeger over another Mossberg any day of the week. Have fun tuning those cartridge stops and cartridge interrupters on that 500.

  9. Shotgun review by someone who has never owned a shotgun before??? Meh.

    If you want a deal look for used 500s, 870s, and 1100s.

  10. I’m dying of laughter. Here’s a review of a field grade, pump shotgun that runs $250 ($209 on sale at my LGS) which actually works, but the criticisms are it’s not made in the USA (Neither is a Browning Citori, but you won’t find much criticism of that gun), isn’t as good as a used, Mossberg 500 and you can get the “Made in Texas” Maverick 88 (Actually assembled in Texas from parts made further south) for less.

    Bottom line is this shotgun represents good value for the money. It’s not going to be as well finished as a USA shotgun that costs more, but you’re not going to be crying when it gets dinged up in the woods or duck blind.

    For Mossberg fans, the 500 is a great shotgun too and critics of it made the similar claims when it was introduced, i.e., you can buy a used 870 for the same money and the forearm won’t rattle around. (Go back further and the same thing was said about the 870 compared to the Winchester Model 12.)

    For the Maverick, great gun for the money too (Under $200), but don’t call it “made in Texas”.

    For full disclosure, I have a P3000. I’ve had 870s and a Browning BPS for pump shotguns. The current manufactured 870s aren’t as smooth on the pump stroke as the BPS, the P3000 or a Benelli Nova I tried. Plus, the P3000 breaks down a whole lot easier than an 870 for cleaning.

    Bottom line, the P3000 fits a price point and fills a need I have for a rough duty, reliable, field shotgun.

  11. I’ve owned multiple pumps over the years. A few 500’s, even a Western Field, and a couple of 870’s to name a few. Yeah, the Mossberg is a decent bang for the buck, but not worth all the hupla if you ask me… Clunky slides, horrible barrel port design (newer model) for the fella standing next to you in the field, and yes, even a few misfires and jams from a newer model (yes, I cleaned it). Has it killed critters? Of course it has. But I’m not impressed, and will not buy another. Want to stay in the traditional camp, get an 870, much better gun, always has been imo. As far as the Stoeger, they have my attention. I purchased the M3000 semi-auto a few years back and have ZERO issues with it, none.. True it doesn’t have Super Vinci ergonomics, but I could purchase three of them for the cost of one Benelli. I don’t own the P3000 yet, but after looking at one in person, I’d say it’s a Benelli Nova made in Turkey. My son will enjoy one this upcoming waterfowl season and I’ll enjoy the extra cash in my wallet.

  12. Good shotgun, easy to clean. The only problem I have is the finish on the receiver, black turns white when the oil gets on it? A washed out look. I use hopper gun oil, also we 4d 40

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