Some time ago, we took a close look at the Beretta 1301 Tactical shotgun. It’s made for defensive use, and even the vanilla model might get a few funny looks on the skeet range.
Since that time, I’ve been experimenting with various customizations to the Beretta 1301 Tactical. I wanted to see, by trial, error, and plenty of use, what proved valuable over time. To do that, I sort of turned it into a Gunzilla. No, I didn’t hang all this junk on it as a result of playing too much Gears of War or doing a Walter Mitty Couch Commando thing. I just wanted to try a bunch of stuff in the risk-free environment of the plinking range so I could make informed decisions about what gear adds value and what doesn’t.
Pistol Grip Or Not?
I shot the Beretta 1301 Tactical – a lot – both with and without a Mesa Tactical Urbino stock with a pistol grip installed. Just to be clear, I’m talking here about a full stock, just one with or without a pistol grip. I can’t shoot those stockless pistol grip only shotguns for crap at anything more than a few feet away.
What did I find? I liked the pistol grip, but not for the reason you might expect. I don’t really care if it’s more tactical-er or not. What became apparent through use was the convenience of being able to control the gun with one hand. Not for shooting, but for simple things that require the use of your other hand, like opening a door, using the phone, retrieving more ammo, or whatever. I just found that the pistol grip made it a little easier to handle the shotgun “administratively” than the traditional grip.
I couldn’t detect much of a difference in recoil between the pistol and standard grip configuration, but that may be a personal issue. I’ve been battling some carpal tunnel issues in both wrists, and the standard grip causes me to hold my wrist in an awkward position, where the pistol grip keeps it in a somewhat less strained position. For me, and I realize this may go opposite to others’ experience, the pistol grip was easier and more comfortable to shoot.