AL DPS Chooses Beretta 1301 Tactical

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After having recently spent time discussing the tactical efficiency and trigger pull of the Beretta 1301 Tactical with a 17-year veteran of a nearby police department, the fact that the Alabama Department of Public Safety has chosen it as their new primary semi-auto shotgun caught my attention. Alabama DPS placed an order with Beretta for 657 units, and it’s easy to see why the state’s law enforcement would be interested in the operator-friendly shotgun.

The Beretta 1301 Tactical has more than one feature worth mentioning, but it’s the combination of its maneuverability (thanks to its compact size which is owed in part to its 18.5” barrel) and speed that make it a nice choice for law enforcement. Giving the shotgun that speed is Beretta’s own BLINK gas operating system which allows the gun to cycle 36% faster than the average shotgun. The aforementioned LEO praised the 1301 Tactical’s ability to fire as fast as the trigger is pulled, and although that kind of performance will depend on the shooter and a few other factors – we all remember the amazing flying Benelli – this is definitely a fast gun.

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Other user-friendly features include the way the 1301 Tactical is made for an easy, positive grip with checkering on the fore-end and stock, an oversize charging handle, and a textured bolt release, among others. It also has ghost ring sights, an adjustable stock, and a MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail.

So the Alabama DPS has chosen the Beretta 1301 Tactical as the shotgun of choice for its officers. This may be a small win for the venerable 500-year-old company, but it’s a win nonetheless as the Army considers replacing the M9 (you knew I was going to make a reference to the MHS, right?). What do you think? Is this the right choice for law enforcement or is there a better one out there?



katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


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  • DON KAY PUNCH

    It’s a great shotgun. Short rec 2-3/4 or the 3in. Who ever is issued this over older manufacturers product line should be happy. Unfortunately most PD want a patrol rifle. But you can’t shoot Brenneke slugs from an AR. Regional tactics will dictate. Or some one getting a palm greasing from Beretta. 675 units sounds like …….. It’s a great shotgun none the less.

  • Anonymoose

    What do shotguns have to do with handguns again?

    • KestrelBike

      Beretta’s livelihood, or at least market prominence. Their shotgun certainly will never replace the USDOD M9 as their breadwinner, but at least their corner on the Italian military will keep them in good stead.

      • vereceleritas

        I don’t know how true it is, but I had read that 80% of Beretta’s revenue comes from their shotguns. Makes sense considering how neglected their pistol and rifle lineups are.

        • 360_AD

          That may be so, but there is the ARX160 which is being used by several countries. “Neglected” is probably an exaggeration. Lack of presence in the US market doesn’t mean it’s the same for the rest of the world.

      • Katie A

        Nicely put, no need for me to say anything but “agreed”

  • vereceleritas

    As someone who hates pistol grips on shotguns, it’s refreshing to see a tactical shotgun without one.

    • I… I thought I was the only one.

      • Giolli Joker

        I join the club!

      • Steve Truffer

        No sir. To me, there is only one shotgun that should have a pistol grip – the saiga/vepr 12. All else should be designed as a shotgun first and foremost, and that means a proper shotgun grip.

        • nova3930

          Agree with the above with the addition of the SPAS-12. Otherwise pistol grip shotguns are an invention of the devil….

      • FourString

        Any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun with a traditional stock is a friend to a Californian :]

    • andrey kireev

      I tried really hard to like pistol grip on my Mossy… ended up getting Magpul stock 4 years later… I finally feel satisfied !

    • David Sharpe

      I hate the pistol grip only shotguns, I don’t mind M4 style stocks on shotguns

    • valorius

      Same here

  • iksnilol

    Is there a shorter version available or possible? Something with a 30 cm barrel or something. I am not a shotgun guy but I know that shotgun semi auto systems are hard to get working right due to low pressure of shotgun ammo.

    • Giolli Joker

      Get a Benelli Inertia operated shotgun and you can cut down the barrel as much as you want…

      • iksnilol

        About Inertia operation: Does it work suppressed? I don’t really know or understand much about the Inertia system. Just like the roller-delayed blowback system I have a problem completely understanding and visualizing the Inertia system.

        • Giolli Joker

          Just get on Benelli’s website for a video with animation, wikipedia page on firearms locking systems as a few useful drawings as well.
          Regarding suppression, it’s rarely a design requirement with shotguns; however the only limitation on a inertia operated shotgun is the weight of the suppressor that if too heavy could reduce too much the recoil of the gun…

        • William Johnson

          Yes, I had the chance to use the new Salvo suppressor on a Benelli and it worked fine, the Salvo is designed so you can “tune” it to your weapon and loads.

    • Tassiebush

      I had a gunsmith tell me he won’t trim guns below about 18 inches as it’d blow out the patterns. I think he meant turbulance from gasses upsets the wad. I’d be interested to know if that actually happens. I know from experience that a 20″ cylinder bore is pretty limited anyway. Not sure 30cm would be useful for much beyond extremely close shooting.

      • iksnilol

        I thought for supppressor use a shorter barrel is better + shotgun powder is pretty much pistol powder so little velocity loss. Thinking a shotgun with 30 cm barrel and a telescopic/reflex suppressor that extends 20 cm infront of the muzzle. Besides, I would use a choke.

        • Tassiebush

          Yeah without a choke the baffles would cop it! Shotgun moderators need to be pretty huge. Check out Hushpower Shotguns to see working ones. Sorry once again i can’t do links 🙁 I recall reading as far as velocity loss goes that 25 inches is maximum velocity for 12gauge but for each inch you remove the velocity loss is less than the variation between individual pellets.

  • 360_AD

    Does it cycle target loads?

  • Giolli Joker

    It’s not employing the ARGO gas system of Benelli R1, MR1 and M4, however they both seem to be reliable.

  • Tassiebush

    Haha yes i see what you mean about the crass language on that forum. I think the argument is pretty sound. I can’t really see how that short barrel problem as mentioned to me by the gunsmith could be right.
    Yeah sounds like those priorities are more important right now but make sure you fiddle round with it one day!
    One potential problem that needs addressing suppressing a shptgun is the shot cups in modern shells can catch on the baffles before it exits. A choke before the suppressor might prevent that. The hushpower ones are recommended to be used with old fashioned felt wads for that reason from memory. I think they also sell subsonic shells for it.

  • valorius

    I had a 1200fp and 1201fp, they’re both benelli m1 clones…is this one too?