My experience with semi automatic shotguns goes back several decades, when I purchased a

Remington Auto 5, a shotgun that was basically identical to the famous Browning Auto 5. I purchased

my Remington Auto 5, when 12 gauge pump action shotguns reigned supreme in the law enforcement

profession. While I readily admit that the bulk of my experience is with pump action shotguns, I have

always been interested in finding a semi automatic 12 gauge shotgun, that is relatively lightweight,

flawlessly reliable, easy to operate and comfortable to shoot.

One of the reasons I elected to field test the Stoeger M3000, is because I took the time to review 

several You Tube Videos, that featured this Turkish made semi auto shotgun. My favorite video on the

Stoeger M3000 was posted by Nutfancy. Whether you are a fan or not of Nutfancy firearms videos,

this Retired Air Force Colonel not only knows shotguns, but he is also very familiar with semi

automatic shotguns, made by Turkish firearms companies.

As far as a general description goes, the Stoeger Industries M3000 Defensive Model is a 12 

gauge semi automatic inertia operated shotgun with a Cyliner bore choke, that operates with either 2 ¾

or 3 inch ammunition. The Stoeger M3000 Defensive Model weighs 6.6 pounds unloaded, is a tad over

40 inches in overall length, has a 7 plus 1 round capacity, is fitted with a tactical rail, as well as a

protected rear peep sight and a protected fiber optic front sight. As far as “furniture” is concerned, the

M3000 Defensive Model is manufactured with a black synthetic stock and black synthetic fore-end.

The Inertia Driven operating system is a relatively simple, lightweight and rugged design, that 

provides for the fast cycling of the action. The issue of reliability involves the way the Inertia Driven

system operates; a design that utilizes fewer parts and functions without producing a build up of

expended gas and burned powder on the internal components. In an Inertia Driven semi auto like the

Stoeger M3000, the hot gas produced from firing 12 gauge shotgun ammunition leaves the shotgun

through the barrel. In a gas operated shotgun, the hot gas from fired ammunition is directed in such a

fashion to cycle or power the action. In the process of doing so, the burned powder/hot gas is also

deposited directly into the internal operating mechanism, the buildup of which requires cleaning to

insure reliability.

The simplicity of the Inertia Driven operating system, that is used in the Stoeger M3000, is 

evident by the fact that this design is made up of a minimal number of parts. These parts include, the

stainless firing pin, the firing pin spring, the patented Inertia Bolt Assembly with the extractor and a

rotating locking head, the Inertia spring and the firing pin retaining spring. According to Stoeger, this

system provides a positive steel component to steel component lock up of the Inertia mechanism under

operating conditions. This translates to the Inertia system being cleaner running and lighter due to the

use of fewer parts, to include fewer moving parts, all of which makes this an inherently reliable design.

This type of operating system also reduces felt recoil in the Stoeger M3000.

                     SHOTS FIRED

The first thing I noticed when I initially examined and handled the Stoeger M3000 Defensive 

Model, was the excellent weight and balance of this particular shotgun. The day I began to evaluate

the Stoeger M3000, I brought a variety of 12 gauge ammunition with me, when I headed out to the

wide open spaces to begin testing. The first rounds fired were Remington Reduced Recoil Law

Enforcement 12 Gauge 00 Buckshot. Accuracy was superb, with a very tight shot pattern delivered on

target, at a CQB distance of some 20 feet. Best yet, the felt recoil produced by the Reduced Recoil LE

12 gauge 00 Buckshot was very manageable. I also need to mention, that the Ghost Ring sights on the

M3000 are very user friendly and make it possible to consistently deliver accurate shot placement. Best

yet, even when standard velocity Federal 00 Buckshot and Federal Number 4 Buckshot was fired, the

Stoeger M3000 produced a tad more felt recoil, but nothing that wasn’t manageable.

During this T&E I also had my best friend Rick Batory, a Retired School District Patrol 

Sergeant, who also served in the sheriff’s department, assist me in evaluating the M3000. Rick also

found the Stoeger M3000 to be accurate, flawlessly reliable and about as “soft” shooting as a 12 gauge

shotgun can be.

 While conducting additional testing, I fired Remington 12 gauge Reduced Recoil Rifled Slugs, 

standard velocity Federal 12 gauge Rifled Slugs, standard velocity Federal 12 gauge 00 Buckshot and

Federal 12 gauge Reduced Recoil 00 Buckshot. Testing was also conducted at different distances.

During testing, the Stoeger M3000 continued to be an outstanding performer for a hard hitting 12

gauge shotgun.

Clearly, the issue of recoil is very subjective and will effect everyone differently.  As far as the 

results of this T&E are concerned, the Stoeger M3000 Defense Model produced less felt recoil than

various pump action 12 gauge shotguns. The best way to describe this difference, is to say that some of

the “snap” or “sharpness” is eliminated from the shooting experience, especially when you fire the

Stoeger, while using standard velocity 12 gauge ammunition.

       It is also important to note, that the inertia driven recoil system does more than just make the 

Stoeger softer shooting. The recoil mitigating qualities of the inertia system also makes the Stoeger

easier to control. This is a critical consideration, when you are compelled to engage multiple targets in

a Close Quarters Battle situation. Lastly, I found the semi auto Stoeger to be very easy to load and top

off with ammunition.


    While conducting this field test I also had the opportunity to evaluate several products made by 

SME or Shooting Made Easier. This included, a set of 5 different size neoprene stock risers, that are

designed to extend the length of pull on a shotgun stock. I also evaluated a SME neoprene ammunition

pouch/“sleeve” that is designed to slide on the stock of a shotgun and provide the operator with six

additional rounds of ammunition.

The SME Ammo Pal is a true 21st Century way to carry 10 extra 2 ¾ inch shotgun shells. The 

Ammo Pal is well made, versatile, ambidextrous and offers an alternative to using more traditional

methods, to transport shotgun ammunition. The Ammo Pal is designed to use its spring loaded

mechanism, to allow you to easily draw shotgun ammunition and execute a quick reload. The SME

Magnetic Shotgun Shell Stick Pole is a game changer when it comes to policing up expended

ammunition cases after a day at the range. Using this device enables you to complete your range

cleaning chores without having to constantly bend over.

                   CLOSING REMARKS

When you combine the relatively low recoiling and fast firing semi automatic operating system 

with a good trigger and an outstanding set of Ghost Ring Sights, the relatively lightweight M3000 can

be used to quickly acquire and effectively engage one or more threats, until it is safe to stop doing so.

The 12 gauge Stoeger M3000 is also designed to bring about peace through superior firepower, in a

package that is easy to operate, very affordable and easy to maintain. In fact, I liked this shotgun so

much, I hated to have to return the T&E sample to Stoeger Industries. As a result, my Plan B is to

purchase a Stoeger M3000 Defensive Model Shotgun ASAP.

Nick Jacobellis is a Medically Retired U.S. Customs Agent and a former NY police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent. To date, the author has published over 218 magazine articles and ten action-packed nonfiction, historical fiction, and fiction books: Controlled Delivery Books One and Two, The Frontline Fugitives Books I, II, III, and IV, Buck Banderas U.S. Marshal Books One and Two and A Special Kind of Hero. These books have received 5 Star reviews and are available on (US), and (UK). The K9 Academy is the author’s 10th book. The author was born and raised in Flatbush section of Brooklyn N.Y. and has an BS Degree in Police Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.