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Thread: Anyone with Beretta 1201 experience?

  1. #11
    AR-14 Enthusiast fatdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Central Alabama
    Have owned two, sold one (here on the forum actually). There was an incredible sale on those around the turn of the century at CDNN and once I figured out what it was I snagged a pair.

    It is really just a Benelli M1 Super 90, Benelli made, with a few modifications that Beretta sold as an OEM item before they purchased the whole company (Benelli), the biggest being difference is the cartridge drop lever was removed and there is a very small button on the base of the loading gate that replaces it and functions in exactly the same way. They also upsized the bolt release button, a needed improvement.

    Like an M1S90 it will not run light loads, forget those low brass or aluminum base "Walmart" birdshot loads, or any of the low recoil loads.

    Midwest gunworks was the last source of spare parts I knew of, but they used to have a lot of those parts available. Many M1S90 parts will work.

    As cited, support is limited. I kept one of the two I owned because I am at heart a M1S90 fan since the mid 90's. Most of the Beretta 1201's imported were during the Klintonista era of the AWB so they have limited 5 shot tubes and no pistol grip versions. If you remove the limiter ring stamped into the mag tube it will easily take 6 rounds in the 18" version. Mine have LPA peep sights on the rear and a nice front post. I found Benelli M1S90 stocks work as replacements and I installed a M1S90 stock I had shortened to a 12.5" LOP, no problems, fits perfectly.

    There is an interesting aluminum sleeve over the magazine tube. I was able to easily drill and tap mine to put a piece of pic rail on it to mount a light well out of the way of my thumbs/grip that that has worked out very well.

    When fed properly (full power ammo) mine has been 100% perfectly reliable, and I carried it on my recent trip out West as my sole long gun/camp gun/preferred bear defense gun, etc. Kept it loaded with 5 Breneke's the whole trip. In short, trusted my life to it in Griz country solo camping in the Absarokas a few nights early September. No doubts that it would answer the call if needed. It still lives in the truck vault in my 4runner, albeit with full power Federal tactical buck now instead of slugs.

    Only other mod's were a 3gungear side saddle (M1S90 version) and a GG&G M1S90 oversized bolt handle, which fits perfectly because this is a Benelli M1S90 bolt assembly, nothing more, nothing less, interchangeable.
    Last edited by fatdog; 12-20-2019 at 11:46 PM.

  2. #12
    I had a NC State Trooper trade in 1201 that I picked up for 250 at a gun show in Wilmington. It was Okay, very light and kicked more than I liked for rapid target engagement. Mine had a nice set of ghostring sights on it. Ended up trading it to a buddy for a Smith j frame he no longer wanted.

  3. #13
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Canton GA
    I had one - kicked like a mule. Sent it on its way and do not miss it.

  4. #14
    Member Erick Gelhaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    northern CA
    I've had one for quite a while. Having the stock shortened was a good thing. I would not choose it over a 1301.

  5. #15


    I do not have the1201 but do have the 1200 field. Love this gun. Have had it for years. Light weight, shoots great and I have always thought the recoil to be VERY light. Known for it's simplistic build, few parts etc.

  6. #16
    Member FAS1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    San Antonio, TX
    I have a 1201FP. I bought it new and it's still my home defense shotgun. It has been flawless, but I have always heard they are picky if you add weight to them. Back in the day when they were being produced, light accessories were huge compared to today. I would think you could mount a light on it now with no problems. The gun is light, cycles extremely fast, can ghost load an extra round, has good sights, and does everything well that I expect out of a home defense shotgun. Mine has the combination Choate stock and a 20" barrel.

    I paid around $600 new and I have seen some NIB ones show up for sale in the last couple years for around that same price. I think there's a used one on GunsAmerica for $450.00 currently. I think its a good buy at that price if it's clean.

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