View Full Version : Beretta a303 owners, a question
09-16-2012, 10:05 PM
I just acquired an unfired 1987 a303, and intend to shoot it, after a good cleaning.
I downloaded the manual, but one thing isn't totally clear. what does this lever do? I'm talking about the small black lever forward of the trigger guard. It pivots from right bellow that small roll-pin you see.
Anybody have a link to detailed take-down instructions, or hints on what I should look for in a 24 year old unfired gun. Somehow this is my first semi-auto shotgun, so I'm a bit lacking in experience, heck, I've never even shot an auto-loader.
09-16-2012, 10:10 PM
You have an early 303 with the cutoff lever from the A302.
Basically it's a magazine disconnect - it 'cuts off' the magazine tube and holds the bolt open, allowing you to manually eject a shell while keeping the shells in the magazine in place. You can use it to hold the bolt open, although it's easier to push in the little rod at the base of the lifter/loading port and then pull back on the bolt.
Later 303s don't have the cutoff; instead there's a disconnect button in the forend. Hell, you'll even find some 303s with both!
Cherish that gun - the old A300 series guns are awesome, read this if you get a chance:
I believe I worked off the online manual - was good enough to get me thru it the first time I disassembled mine.
I've got one 302 and one 303, and I love em.
Give it a decent cleaning with some CLP or Remoil or whatever suits your fancy and take her out for a spin!
P.S. punching out that cutoff lever is not a problem, but putting it back in takes a bit of finesse ;)
oh - how's your gun configured? barrel length, chamber size, field model or target model, etc -
oh and if it's unfired, then I assume the internals are just fine as is, but in case you need some replacement springs and what not in the future:
09-16-2012, 10:57 PM
That explains it. The manual on Beretta's site is for a newer model I guess, because it shows the cut-off in the fore-end, which mine lacks. Thanks for the info.
I'm pretty excited to go shoot it, I've found very little info, but have not found a single negative review in that limited info. The gun is an heirloom so it's value is somewhere between priceless and incalculable. My Grandpa bought it new, but due to health issues never got to shoot it, as far as I can tell by inspecting the gun anyway. My uncle has had it for the last 13 years, and recently handed it down to me.
Not sure how to tell what model it is, I know the year by the proof marks. The stock barrel (or I assume it's the stock, as it's proofed the same year as the receiver) is a 28" vent-rib with Mobil Chokes and a 3" chamber. It also came with a 30" "Special Trap" 2.75" chambered barrel with fiber-optic front sight, brass mid-bead and a fixed choke, proofed in 1985, and shows some signs of being fired, so I believe it was purchased after the rest of the gun. The barrel is marked "F" so I assume that's a full choke, but it measured .685" which would be much tighter than a full as, but not quite a Turkey choke, definitely tighter than I usually shoot trap with. The wood is very nice, though not ultra high grade as you'd find on the top shelf guns, and as you can see, there is no engraving.
Hoping I have time during the week to clean it and hit Oak Tree this weekend. Now to get my Great Uncle's Winchester, and maybe talk my uncle out of my Grandma's 20ga. It sucks when firearms ownership skips a generation, makes getting all the cool heirlooms much harder.
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