Beretta's newest 300 series shotgun is a good one. It's not a great one, but it's better than most autoloaders made today and it's certainly not a horrible gun. It's just a bit too gimmicky, a bit too plasticy and a little too expensive for my taste. But if you're looking for an all-around 12 gauge that's as reliable as it is versatile, the A300 Outlander might be just what you want.
The Outlander is a gas-operated shotgun that uses pressure vented from the barrel to push an operating rod, disengaging the bolt and cycling the action. This is a simple and effective system used by nearly all semi-auto shotguns. The cylinder and piston are also self-cleaning to reduce fouling accumulation over time.
Like other current 300 series Berettas, the Outlander has a silver-nickel finished receiver and walnut stock and forend. While not as slender as the 1301 or as sleek as a Benelli Supersport, the Outlander has a smart, modern look and a comfortable feel in the hand.
The Outlander also features a rubber overmold and an enlarged bolt release button, something that's never been on a price-point Beretta before. This makes it easier to operate the bolt when wearing gloves and is a big help for duck hunters. The oversized load gate also makes it easy to push shells into the magazine. There are also rubber inlays on the pistol grip to add a tactile element during damp, cold or rainy conditions.