Beretta A400 Xcel VS SKB RS300 | Shotgun Showdown

shotgun showdown May 26, 2022
   

Out of the many sporting guns that I've shot recently, these two have stood out to me. Today we're putting the SKB RS300, and the Beretta A400 XCEL head to head to see which one comes out on top. You can watch the showdown video above or if you prefer to read, we've broken it down and summarized everything for you below.

MSRP

RS300 - $1,169

A400 Excel - $1,979

As always, I got these shotguns from Reeds for less.

Shop SKB Shotguns at Reeds

Shop the A400 Excel at Reeds

 

QUICK SPECS

RS300:

  • 12 gauge Gas 
  • 30" Barrel 
  • 7lbs 14oz 
  • Length of Pull 13 1/2" to 14 3/4" (easily adjustable for a perfect fit)
  • Drop at Comb 1 1/2" to 2 1/4"  (easily adjustable for a perfect fit)
  • 5 chokes

A400 Excel:

  •  12 Gauge Gas
  • 30" Barrell
  • 7lbs 9oz
  • Length of pull 14 1/4"
  • Drop at Comb 1 1/2" to 2 1/4"
  • 3 chokes

TRIGGER

RS300:

  • 6lbs (Average)
  • Nice and Crisp - Feels a bit heavy

A400 Excel:

  • 5lbs (Average)
  • Feels a bit spongy but lighter than the SKB

Summary: When looking at the specs, I have to give the edge to the RS300 with its highly adjustable stock. I liked the trigger of the A400 Excel better but what good is a lighter trigger if the gun doesn't fit you well?

ERGONOMICS (A400 WINS)

RS300:

  • Forend and grips are sufficient - not as nice as the A400
  • Nice safety behind the trigger (My preference)
  • Very basic grip textures, nothing special
  • Bolt release is a bit tighter and smaller than the A400
  • Wood quality is nothing special
  • Loading port is kind of milled out
  • Balance is definitely rear heavy due to all the adjustable stock parts

A400 Excel:

  • The balance felt like it was right where it was supposed to be
  • This gun feels so natural in the hands
  • Nice little palm swell action going on
  • The oversized controls are always a win for me
  • Loading port was nicely milled out - The receiver is actually cut into a little bit to make loading that much easier
  • Sports the Kick-Off recoil reduction system which I totally like - and it looks good!
  • Bolt is blue...like really blue

Summary: Adjustability aside, the look, feel, balance, and function of the A400 Excel is a step above the RS300

QUALITY OF BUILD

Summary: Both of these guns are very well built. I salute SKB for their terrific design of the stock, but overall "Quality" goes to the A400 for just coming together tighter (Which you'd expect from a gun that costs $800 more

RECOIL/RELIABILITY

RS300:

  • Recoil cam up into my face more than the A400 (Could be due to gun fit)
  • No reliability issues

A400 Excel:

  • It was quickly apparent that the A400 was superior as far as recoil. It was light, and right back into my shoulder
  • No reliability issue

Summary: The A400 Excel was an easy win when it came to recoil. If I played with gun fit a little more on the RS300 I am sure I could lessen the perceived recoil, but still wouldn't be as light of a recoil as the A400. As far as reliability, I don't think you will have much for issues with either gun.

BREAKDOWN

RS300:

  • This gun is kind of funky to break down completely
  • A lot of moving parts going on

A400 Excel:

  •  Seemed a bit more ergonomic/efficient to break down the A400
  • The bolt, slide, follower, and spring all come off as one sturdy unit - super cool

SPEED SHOOTING

RS300:

  • I was able to accomplish shooting 3 hand thrown clays in 1.22 seconds 

A400 Excel:

  • I was able to accomplish shooting 3 hand thrown clays in 1.03 seconds
  • I may have released the clays just milliseconds before the timer went off but regardless, through this test I was able to learn that my follow-up shots, and recoil management came much easier shooting the A400. 

In summary, this was a fun showdown - both of these guns are great but in different ways. I love the adjustability and versatility of the SKB RS300. Gun fit is so important to consistent shooting. The A400 feels great in the hands and is so easy to shoot with a light trigger and light recoil. When it comes down to real money being spent and all things considered, I went with the Beretta A400 XCEL, but only if it fits you well. 

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on so live the #targetfocusedlife 

Stay Target Focused,

Steve

Get notified when we publish a new blog post

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.