Outdoor Skills - Hunting Q&A

I was hoping you might be able to help me with my decision on the best 3-1/2-inch 12-gauge shotgun for the money. I'd like an autoloader, camo, with a 26- or 28-inch barrel. I've looked closely at the Franchi 912 and Winchester Super X2. --C.

Both are good guns, but I'd personally choose the Winchester with a 28-inch barrel. (In fact, I already have, my lone 3-1/2-inch 12-gauge.) Franchis are nice guns, but lately I've heard of some repair-service problems, which you shouldn't experience with the American-made Winchester. A 28-inch barrel is noticeably easier on the ears when those big honking 3-1/2-inch rounds go off, even if you're using earplugs, as you should be.