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    Review: Stevens Model 320 Security

    I was a little apprehensive about buying a Made in China gun, but this one being backed by Savage was enough to break down my own personal barriers, especially for the price. Around 50 rounds at the range, and the only complaints are from my shoulder. It is a hard-hitting 12ga. According to the almighty interwebs, there was a sport version, but it is not listed at Savage's website.

    • Caliber: 12ga
    • MSRP: $260 as reviewed
    • Paid: 229.95 +tax
    • Rating: 4.5/5

    • Price. For less than $250 OTD new, this is a great gun.
    • Rugged design. Admittedly, this can only be told by time, but this gun looks and feels very solid. Definitely not the flimsy stuff you found at walmart.
    • Sight picture. For an extra $20 (at least at Bradis on Saturday), you can upgrade from the standard bead sights to a rear ring sight and forward fiber optic neon dot. This is much preferable to the bead sight for home defense IMO, or for the sake of having the receiver pre-drilled for a scope mount, as were my intentions. The sight is very good in low light. Also, not too hard to shoot slugs using the ring and dot. See last picture.
    • Lightweight. This gun has polymer furniture, and the stock is pretty hollow, making for a light gun.
    • Well balanced. I have no problem holding this gun solely by the pistol grip in the butt-stock. Many guns that I've held that are lightweight are also very barrel-heavy. Not so with this firearm.
    • Cylinder (no) choke. Safe to use slugs or shot.
    • Apparently this is a Winchester 1300 clone, so upgrades for that *should* fit the Stevens 320. That is what the google-fu has taught me.
    • 5+1 for 2.75" shells 4+1 for 3". Mag extensions from Win. 1300 allegedly fit.

    • Controls are heavily right-handed. This is a right-eject gun that isn't sold in Lefty as far as I know. The safety is a right-finger push button safety that is impossible to maneuver holding it lefty except by moving your hand off the fore-stock.
    • The slide release is hard to get to. As shown in the pictures below, the slide release is impossible to get to without dropping the gun off your shoulder. This could delay clearing a jam/misfire, which would be bad in an emergency situation. Pictures 3+4 show the grip positions relative to the slide release; pictures 5+6 show the shouldered versions of 3+4.
    • The safe/fire indicator always seems to indicate fire. The red ring on the plunger is always visible from the shouldered position. Given that the safety is on the trigger guard at finger-tip location, I don't see this as a problem since the safety functions properly, but it could make others uneasy seeing an "off-safe" indication, even on a "safe" gun. The second picture illustrates my point quite nicely. See where the safety is clearly not off, but you can see the red band? This got me a couple of times at the range until I learned to check the safety with my trigger finger instead of my eyes.
    • If you fire this gun one-handed, the empty shell will eject. This is a problem, as it causes the next round to cycle from the magazine. Then when you fully cycle the slide, a second round will release from the magazine, jamming the action. I don't know if this will happen with 3" shells, but it does with 2.75" shells. I know you aren't supposed to fire the gun one-handed, but I was considering the possibility of dragging someone to safety while shooting bad guys. If you really foresee the need to do that, buy a semi-auto.
    • Foregrip covers breech. This makes clearing a jam difficult.
    • Choke is permanent. No room for interchangable chokes here. Could be a sport barrel that is 28" with interchangeable chokes out there, but its not listed on Savage's site. Could also be that Win 1300 barrels will fit, but that is not a gospel truth.
    • No picatinny rails. These can be added on for fairly cheap, but again, that is based on Win1300 mods fitting this. I haven't tested this theory out yet. This was also a factory option, along with a barrel shroud.
    • It is made in China. If you want to buy American, this is not for you.

    Generally speaking: This is a good overall shotgun. This is not your best home defense shotgun. If you want a better HD shotgun, get a semi-auto with picatinny rails. This is also not your best all-around hunting gun. The lack of interchangeable chokes makes it a straight bore only, and depending on what you hunt, you want the interchangeable chokes. The ghost-ring rear sight is also a lot less accurate at 25 yards than I'd really like for a slug gun, but maybe that is a matter of practice. There are a lot of reasons not to buy this gun: It's not great for hunting; Its not great for HD; Its not made in America. If you can get past the Made in China sticker and see that this gun is adequate for basic hunting and adequate for basic HD needs, then you will find a great gun. If you want the perfect gun, this is a good reliable starting point, but you will have to make upgrades.

    Bottom Line: This is the best value you will find on the shelves. The quality is up to Savage's standards, and the price is definitely in the "everyman" range.

    Now for the pictures!

    Attachment 30360

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    Last edited by Roadie; 07-22-2014 at 17:13.
    When the time has come to bury your guns, the time has come to dig them up. ~Anon.

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