In the upcoming October 2014 issue of SPECIAL WEAPONS FOR MILITARY & POLICE, author Robert Jordan runs and guns with the new Beretta 1301 Tactical, an extremely fast semi-auto 12 gauge.
Jordan writes, “The 1301 Tactical has a short 18-inch barrel, a fixed choke and ghost ring sights. I looked closely and found a few improvements from the old TX4. The 1301 Tactical has aggressive stippling in the stock and forend to help with handling under stress, when your hands are sweaty, bloody or the gun gets wet. The oversized safety is also larger on the new 1301. The ghost-ring iron sights sit slightly lower on the 1301 than the TX4, which makes it much easier to get a good cheekweld. Best of all, a large, tactical charging handle and a large, paddle bolt release come standard, right from the factory. On my old TX4, I had to buy these as aftermarket parts. Getting them standard saves about $100.
“The 1301 Tactical has a fixed choke that is bored out to 0.73 inches (or “cylinder”). This is very important on any tactical shotgun. If you put any choke more restrictive than cylinder, you risk splitting the barrel when slugs are shot out of it. Also, tactical shooters are not in the habit of changing or checking their chokes. I have seen more than one barrel ruined when a choke got loose and eventually fell out without the shooter ever knowing. The accuracy dropped off and the internal choke threads were ruined before the shooter realized what had happened.
“At the heart of the gun is the Blink operating system. First introduced on Beretta’s A400 Xtreme, Beretta says it is 36 percent faster than any other shotgun operating system. It has a rotating bolt, similar to an AR rifle and many Benelli shotguns. I already knew the Blink system was utterly reliable from running it on personally owned shotguns, but I had never checked its speed. I couldn’t wait to put it up against the shot timer. But first, I wanted to check its performance capabilities.”