I’ve been testing out a new product from Mesa Tactical for my Beretta 1301 Tactical shotgun: The SureShell Aluminum Shotshell Carrier. Called a side-saddle by some, this piece of gear allows you to carry extra shells on the side of the receiver for quick access.
Before getting into the specifics of the Mesa Tactical SureShell carrier, it’s important to note the differences between the two basic models of the Beretta 1301 shotguns. The 1301 Tactical model has a shorter receiver consistent with its 3-inch chamber size. The 1301 Competition model uses a 3 ½-inch chamber and, therefore, has a longer receiver. The bigger chamber on the 1301 Competition is not for shooting more powerful and harder-kicking shells for competition. The larger chamber requires a larger loading port, which is something nice to have when winning or losing is determined by how quickly you can reload shells into the tube. All this nets out to the fact that the optics rail screw holes in the respective receivers are in different places, so there are two different models of the Mesa Tactical SureShell Shotshell Carrier.
Here, I’ll be talking about, and showing, the 1301 Tactical configuration. The important design elements are the same, but there are a couple of differences. The Tactical model replaces the short rail segment in front of the rear ghost ring sight. It mounts with two screws. On the 1301 Competition, the SureShell carrier replaces a longer rail segment as there is no ghost ring sight. It mounts with four screws.