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Stoeger M3020 Semi-Auto Shotgun Review | Great or Garbage?

shotgun review Jan 18, 2024
Stoeger M3020 Semi-Auto Shotgun Review | Great or Garbage?

Today we're looking at a budget sub-gauge semi-auto from Stoeger's line-up: The M3020 in 20 gauge. A lot of folks have been requesting this gun so we're glad to get hands-on with the M3030. Stoeger is owned by Benelli and is a budget-friendly inertia option if you don't want to spend the coin to step up to a Franchi or Benelli. Unlike Benelli, which is manufactured in Italy, Stoeger shotguns are manufactured in Turkey. But is the M3020 a quality budget-friendly option? let's find out!

If you have experience with Stoeger Shotguns please let us know on the TFL COMMUNITY!   


The Stoeger M3020 was designed to be a budget-friendly inertia option for waterfowl, turkey, and upland game.


  • Specs

    • 20-gauge inertia-operated shotgun
    • 3-inch Chamber
    • Comes with 3 chokes - Looking for aftermarket chokes? Check out Carlson's Chokes Use Code "targetfocused20" for 20% off.
    • The length of pull is 14 1/4"
    • Drop at comb 1 1/4"
    • Drop at heel 2"
    • This gun comes with a shim kit to adjust drop and cast.
    • Ours is the 26" barrel option - It's also available in 24" and 28". There is a tactical version as well with an 18.5" barrel.
    • 5.6lbs - You could walk all day with this thing.
    • 6lbs 3.3 oz average trigger pull weight.
    • MSRP is $559
  • Ergonomics

    • The first thing we noticed is that the grip points are nice, slender, and easy to grab a hold of. 
    • This is a synthetic version but a glossy walnut is also available as are a couple of camo options.
    • The pistol grip angle on this shotgun makes it a bit more difficult to get comfortable trigger contact.
    • The balance is very nice with the balance point being right between the forend and receiver. 
    • It feels good in the hands but may whip around more easily due to the extremely light weight of this shotgun.
    • The loading port is slightly milled out for easy loading.
    • Rear-mounted circular cross-bolt safety.
    • The bolt handle and bolt release are incredibly average. Pretty much what you'd expect at this price point - Nothing is oversized.
    • The rib is raised and sports a large red fiber on the front of it. (Why!?)
    • The trigger guard is plastic and rather small.
    • The 3020 comes sling-ready with swivel studs.


  • Recoil and Reliability

    • We'll keep it short and painless for you: This Stoeger did not cycle well from the shoulder. 
    • Cycling target loads was seldom easy for this shotgun. Yes, there's a break in period, but after the 5 boxes we went through, you'd expect a little bit better performance. 
    • With that said, we eventually got it to fire three consecutive shots from the hip. 
    • As far as recoil goes, it was a bit more noticeable due to the weight of the gun. Lighter guns translate to more felt recoil into the shoulder. (Add a FalconStrike for less recoil)
    • If you can speak to the reliability of a Fabarm Chesapeake please let us know how it's held up on the  TFL COMMUNITY!    
  • Breakdown/Quality of Build

    • We've always seemed to have trouble with the Stoegers when it comes to disassembly. Not sure why this is - Especially when Benelli makes it so easy!
    • However, with a bit of practice, no issue. Inertia guns like this are ussualy easier to break down than gas guns. 
    • A standout design difference between this Stoeger and its Benelli counterpart is that the recoil spring is located on the magazine tube vs. Benelli shotguns that have the spring in the stock.
    • We believe that the build quality is right where it should be for the price of the gun. If it cycled well, that would be great.
    • Unless you consider how finicky it is to put back together... That was rather special and frustrating.
  • Speed Shooting

    • In every review, we typically do a speed shooting test. This is where we hand throw 3 clays and record how fast we shoot them, as well as the split times between each shot. This is a fun competitive way to see how intuitively the gun mounts, shoots, and follows up on consecutive targets. Everything comes together in speed shooting. However, being that the M3020 has yet to cycle 3 shots from the shoulder, this was not a test we were able to complete.
    • After about 80 rounds of trying to get it to break in, we saw some improvement, but nothing too exciting. 
    • We would have loved to put hundreds of more rounds through this gun to get it broken in, but if that's how many shots it takes, you might as well have saved the money you spent on ammo and gotten a little bit better gun!


In conclusion, the Stoeger M3020 was a fine shooting gun; when the gun would cycle. We have a hard time believing that the break-in period needs to be as long as it was for our particular M3020. In the name of being optimistic, perhaps the Stoeger we received was faulty. Either that or it is simply incapable of cycling target loads. Heavier hunting loads may operate just fine, but we'll never know being that we spent our ammo budget on trying to get this thing to cycle! (just kidding) This is just another run-of-the-mill budget-line polymer shotgun. Pawn shops, raffles, and fundraisers are swarming with guns of this nature. We'd recommend saving just a bit more money for something more reliable. But that's just our opinion! We want to hear your opinions and experiences on the TFL community!  

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

Steve Gould 

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