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At some point in time within the dim recesses of my pre-SHOT show past (heretofore known as “earlier”), I reported that Stoeger has finally brought the M3500 shotgun to the bird-blasting party. For the last four years, I’ve been thinking that fears of brand cannibalization accounted for the delay. The six-bills-and-change Stoeger M3500 offers the same inertia drive system as the $1k-and-up Benelli products. Better, in fact (the new improved inertia system has less rebound). When I asked Stoeger’s Product ManagerĀ if the M3500 was a fine young cannibal, Keith Heinlein looked at me as if I was a stranger in a strange land . . .

“No one will ever mistake a Stoeger for a Benelli,” he said. “They don’t look the same. They don’t feel the same. The M3500 is a workhorse. Benellis are thoroughbreds . . . We’re hoping that the Stoeger will turn people on to our technology and entice people to trade-up to the Benelli.”

It’s the exact same logic that led Mercedes to introduce the C-Class, a downmarket automobile that defiled the brand and sold like rolling hotcakes (if hotcakes sold more because they rolled). Only it’s not the same; the M3500 is not a Benelli. It doesn’t look the same. It doesn’t feel the same.

Ah, but does it shoot as well or better than a Benelli? Watch this space. OK, now go out and get a cup of coffee or something. White with no sugar thanks. Oh, and Keith identified the reason for the delayed launch: “We wanted to make sure it worked.” Fair enough.

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  1. If I can get an 8 round tube for it then it will be my next purchase (if I don’t buy something else sooner).

  2. My Benelli supersport and super black eagle would put this wanna be to shame, along with the new Kel-tec.

    • You do realize the only difference in this gun and the super black eagle is that the recoil spring isn’t in the butt of the gun. Other than that it’s mechanically identical.

    • Thats like comparing a kimber to a remington r-1 both are great guns but they do the same thing…. and if you can afford the frills than great but you “high rollers” forget that there is a working class too. I love it when people upgrade and think that what they had before was junk..

    • you do realize that the stoeger is a parent brand of benelli right? benelli actually helped stoeger create the m3500. plus your lookin at a much different price range a benelli usually runs 800-1850 dollars where as the stoeger is 650. more bang for your buck bud! yeah it might be a wanna be but it sure can perform like a bennelli. only difference is kick and the recoil spring thats it. so really you could have 2 stoegers for 1 of your little beneelis. idk who wouldnt want 2 guns for the price of one.


  4. I own both benelli, beretta, and stoeger shotguns, the stoeger m3500 is by no means a benelli or beretta it is a STOEGER……….. but IT HAS THE SAME GUTS. Come on people dont get all upset and down the m3500 just because its cheaper or call it a “wanna be” its the same company do the research. Just think about it, its just like GM they make a corvette and a camaro.(corvette being benelli and stoeger being a camaro) End the end there both great shotguns with the same drive system just a different body its just up to you which one you want to be in the blind with.

  5. I work at a store part time here in MD. Our gunsmith is very good friends with the head gunsmith at beretta, where they service all the companies owned by beretta. Stogers are the least serviced shotgun out of the berettas, benellis, and ubertis, according to the beretta gunsmiths. We had 2 stogers come into our store to have our gunsmith clean them up. They were to waterfowl guides and they had NEVER bwwn cleaned. It took him almost 2 weeks of soaking, beating and banging to get them apart, yet they were still shooting and cycling rounds. I hunt in the blind 4-5 days a week and i have seen my fair share of berettas and benellis jam. Mallardbootguides pretty much hit the nail on the head with the corvette and camaro comparison. No matter what gun you have, if you dont take care of it then its not going to take care of you….

    • burrrge haha was reading this just messing around at work, getting ready to go get a 3500 haha i knew it was you

  6. just received my stoeger m3500 during assy had difficulty putting barrel on spoke with stoeger he said slide on then tap rest of the way on (which i did) my concern is how much difficulty to be expected during break down for cleaning??? during break in will break down be easier?? THANKS for any info!!!

    • I bought my son the M3500 for this duck season. He’s been using my old school Browning A-5 and Remington 1100 so anything would have been an improvement. I noticed the bolt has to be closed in order to install or remove the barrel. Also the plastic forearm has to be guided into place when doing the install. It fits in a groove on the receiver and you must make sure it’s lining up properly. Once everything is lining up, it slides right into place with no tapping and very little pressure on the barrel. None of this is a problem, I just thought I’d throw the info out there. We didn’t expect the fit and finish of a Benelli for what we paid for the Stoeger. My son has shot several ducks already with no problems with the M3500. He loves it!

  7. Just purchased the M3500 and buddy a Beretta. Both guns worked flawless with the Stoeger outshooting the Beretta .. Ok it the better shot was using the Stoeger! Try one and you like it.

  8. I’m picking up my new 3500 tomorrow from a gun dealer at a gun show. He is bringing it up tonight.
    This will be my fourth Stoeger shotgun.
    We hunt over 100 days a year for anything with fur or feathers on it.
    We have duck hunted at minus 67. I have seen 870’s jam and refuse to
    eject remington ammo. I have seen super black eagles become single shots because some idiot over oiled them.
    We see all makes and kinds come into the blinds.
    Mossberg 835’s are a work horses that kick like mules.
    870’s and the express models are nothing like the old 870’s were.
    I’ve seen 45 year old a-5’s shoot in 40 below that were never cleaned in their lifetime.
    My favorite shot gun was a winchester x-2 but I shot it out after 5000 rounds.
    This is what my experience has taught me about Stoegers:
    You could take one of these guns today and use it for a jack handle and it would shoot straight tomorrow. They are tough, not a lot of thrills, work horses that function.
    I wish they were made in the U.S.A, but then they’d have to sell for about 3 times what they do now.
    I’ll let you know in a year after I put 5000 shells through the new 3500. I’ll bet this gun is as tough as the 350 pump I bought 2 years ago. Stoegers and Benelli’s seem to be the most popuar guns the clients bring into our hunt sights right now. That has to mean something.
    I think with all the mud, snow ice and sand that we contend with while hunting that I would know something by now about guns. I’m no paid field tester, I’m not paid any benefits by any arms manufacturers. What I do know is that Stoegers work, they are competitively priced and they shoot really good right out of the box. They are dependable, and tough.
    I haven’t found an american made gun that does the task these guns do.
    If someone finds one, send it my way and we will compare it to the Stoeger. won’t cost you anything to prove it, and Ill send it back in a year.
    Nobody has ever sent me one, so, I’ll keep trying to wear out the Stoegers.

    • i have a win sx3 for 5 years now and due to my own falt put a onion at the top of the barrel after 5 years of pounding birds all year round crows pigons put it through hell -30 below now i am going to try out the m3500 lets see if it can survive what i can trow at it.

  9. Well I got the new 3500 and a really cool stoeger pellet rifle that shoots out at 1200FPS. I traded for both of them with the same dealer I bought my p350 frm.
    This guy is about the most honest gun dealer I have ever done business with.
    In fact he is too honest…lol.
    The store is Platte Valley tire in Oshkosh, Nebraska.
    If anyone beats his prices I’d like to know.
    I cleaned the gun after reading the instruction manual 3 times.
    This gun is almost identical to the m-2 from bennelli.
    It shoulders well and I use benelli chokes in it, recently I purchased some extended range chokes from Carlson and they fit this gun and almost make it into rifle like accuracy with Winchester blind side BB loads.
    This gun is ever bit as good as my old Winchester X-2 and it fits my shoulder like it was a custom gun.
    The only draw back is the creep in the trigger and the 8lb.trigger pull, but like any other gun I expect all that will change through use.
    I’ll turkey hunt this spring with it, the real test comes next fall in the goose and duck blinds.
    I can’t afford the bennelli’s, so this thing fits my demands and expectations.
    The warranty from Stoeger is pretty easy to access and those people have been helpful in answering my questions. I’m just sold on these Stoegers because they work, are easy to shoot and the maintenace is minimal.
    A guy can make the recoil reducer tight by using the blue loc tite.
    There is always a simple solution to fixing things if a person just takes a little time to think about it.
    I just like the Stoeger brand of weapons, I just wish some American manufacturer could make guns affordable to those of us on limited incomes.
    I look at all the outdoor gear available out there , what I have found is that about 80% of it, is stough that is out sourced to foreign manufacturers. Look at the clothing sold by the worlds leading outfitter, most is made in China. almost all of their boots are foreign made. It’s just normal business.
    It is a shame, I think it’s just a sign of the times.
    Maybe the upcoming elections will change things and put us back on track. Till then I’ll use what I can afford.

  10. I took the 3500 apart the other day. All I had to do was read the instructions. I had no problem putting it together. This thing is made so simple it works!
    I cleaned it out, ran a half dozen saturated patches through the barrel, cleaned the bolt and reciever and then i lubed it up with Krol Oil and some really slick gun grease I got from a friend.
    I put it back together, loaded it up and shot the thing as fast as I could.
    Not a malfunction with a box of shells.
    Brought the gun back in and cleaned it again. Very little fouling any where.
    The gun shoulders really nice. The ramped rib really catches your eye and forces your cheek down on the stock. The large orange front day-glo bead just makes your eyes travel to it.
    I’ve heard some guys complain about the fat bead, what I find is it makes it easy to adjust to the target. This thing points and swings like somebody thought a lot about it before they developed it.
    To me it is identical to the 350 pump.
    My hunting cronies say they’ll wait till next season to see how it works out.
    I tell them they are nuts to wait. I don’t see how they can sell it so cheap.
    My buddies are going to be paying more for it this fall.
    I’ll just have to smile.
    This thing is made better than the Mossberg 935, and has fewer moving parts.
    It is every bit as dependable as the super black eagle, maybe just as refined!
    I have no doubt this gun will be working in perfect order for years to come.
    I’ll keep you posted. You can bet I’ll be shooting it all I can this spring and summer.

  11. i just got my M3500 two days ago, took it out today to shoot some skeet..out of 100 rounds of 7 1/2 shot 1 1/8oz it mis-fed three times, has anyone ran into this problem? all in all i still like this gun

    • I just bought my Stoeger M3500 from Cabelas a week ago. This past saturday I shot it for the first time. I was continously having issuses with the gun not cycling the 2 3/4 1 1/8oz. 7 shot rounds. It very rarely worked like it is supposed to. I am literaly speechless……

      • If you installed the recoil reducer, the gun will not cycle 2 3/4 in shells. Go up to 3 in and see if it doesn’t cycle with the heavier loads. Take the recoil reducer out if you are going to shoot 2 3/4 shells and it should cycle fine. At least mine does. Check the owners manual to see if it doesn’t tell you to do this.

      • I haven’t had a problem with my 3500, my suggestion is that you thouroughly clean and lightly lube the weapon and go buy 4 boxes of 3 inch shells to shoot through the gun. The tolerances on this weapon are fairly tight on the action componets and they need a break in period.
        This weapon is basically an M2 Bennelii, it just needs broke in.
        I’ve put about 200 rounds through mine just playing around without a hiccup.

  12. Let me know as well if after you break it in with the bigger loads if it will cycle those lighter loads. I have buy looking at buying a 1187 super mag for $659 from Wally world. It comes with Remington’s $75 mail in rebate. But I am now leaning towards this M3500 looks like a better gun? What is yalls thought???
    Between the two. The stoeger is $559 at Bass Pro.

  13. I had the same issue, $650 for camo Stoeger or $700 w/$75 rebate ($625) remmy 1187 supermag. Man, I grew up shooting an 1100, shouldered the stoeger & 1187 supermag, the 1187 just fit better. 3″ win #2s all weekend no noticeable recoil, cycled perfectly.

    • Don’t ever buy a Remington, they have serious barrel bulging problems behind the choke and then they scream obstructed barrel! My 1187 Special Purpose has only been used 6 times, is pristine and it has a bulge and the choke is permanently stuck when this happens! They wanted me to pay for a new barrel and tried to add other parts such as a mag spring and seal and I told them to get screwed! This is a common problem just Google it. Remington don’t want to fess up and fix it because they are cheap just like their guns! You’ll regret buying one I’m telling you!

      • There is a common problem with companies like Remington – the people that made them great and cared about making quality products have died or retired, new companies come along and buy up the names and sell crap to make a quick buck and figure they’ll dump the whole company in a few years after stealing the pension fund. Remember buying Craftsman tools because Sears would guarantee them for life?

      • Finally got rid of that stuck choke bulging barrel Remington 1187 Piece of Sh*t that Remington refused to do anything about and got my new Stoeger M3500 and let me tell you that Remington can’t even come close to this gun!!! I am buying 1 more next week for my son. Also Remington can’t touch the Stoeger warranty and superior cycling of this Shotgun! If you want a turd then buy a Remington!

  14. SOLD MY BENELLI NOVA and bought the M3500 wow very nice gun have shot abit of the diff guns very impressed with it if you are debating about it do it

    no jamming if it jams make sure you arent riding the bolt to close it LET IT DO ITS JOB AND SLAM SHUT it has a rotating bolt head to lock up

    wicked gun for the money yes it isn’t a benelli sbe 2 double the price and you can have it plus if your looking at a m3500 you cant afford a sbe anyway with your old goose shells

  15. I’ve owned one for a while now and being a Benelli owner before I bought the Stoeger made me feel a little more comfortable with the gun purchase initially. But any fears about quality or finish etc… were quickly dispelled when I started shooting it the first time. This gun eats whatever you feed it flawlessly, and after an initial break-in with heavy loads just as Stoeger recommends, I have not had a single failure with any ammo. When I got it I stuffed some cheap 2-3/4″ 1-1/8 Oz target loads in it fully expecting it to not feed properly. It would fail to pick up the next round about 1 out of 4. After a few rounds of that I stepped up to 1-3/8 Oz 3-1/2″ loads and it loosened it up perfectly. It cycles everything I throw in it and never misses a beat. I got mine for $500 and couldn’t believe the value. In my opinion nothing in this price range even comes close. Buy one, as Benelli hopes you may trade up to a Benelli after owning one. But in my mind I doubt that. I have a beautiful Benelli Legacy that is definitely nicer finished and lighter by a lot but it doesn’t shoot better, perform better, isn’t any sturdier, and probably won’t last any longer in the field. The M3500 is a perfect field gun because you will actually use it. I’m not worried about a small scratch that would make me cringe on a gun I had spent a lot of money on. I know that I can afford another one if I accidentally damaged this one somehow, so it definitely is a true hunters gun. Made to be easily serviceable and shoot well. As for comparison to other brands, it absolutely blows away Remington in the auto market. I have an old A5 which is probably one of the finest shotguns I’ve ever owned but I’m biased. It was my first auto shotgun and I learned to hunt with it. But the new A5 is the same inertia system that Benelli uses and not significantly different in design. I could buy 3 of the Stoeger guns for what I could buy the Benelli or Browning guns for and still have money left over. Try one!

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