Stoeger Sent Us the P3000 Pump Shotgun, So We Shot a Watermelon with It

The Stoeger P3000 is a no frills shotgun, and that's what we like about it.

There is no lack of premium, high quality shotguns available to anyone who likes looking at something more than they like looking at it.

But for those who simply need a gun that works, and don't have the guts to take out a new mortgage to buy an expensive one, Stoeger seems to have hit the bullseye with the P3000 Pump Shotgun.

The 12-gauge is almost as bare bones as you can get, with one skew and one interchangeable choke. It fires 2 3/4" and 3" shells, and does so through a 28" ribbed barrel. There's a red fiber optic front sight and the black synthetic stock will withstand a good amount of use and wear.

OK, so there's nothing too unique or special about those features, but now on to the really good part: the price. Stoeger lists the MSRP at $299, but the gun can likely be found for closer to $250 from a retailer. Read that again: a respectable, useable shotgun for less than $300. There's your selling point.

But after giving the P3000 ample range time, and testing it out on everyone's favorite exploding melon, we'd have to agree that not only is the gun worth the low price, but likely worth a little more when you take everything into consideration.

This would be an ideal first shotgun for anyone looking to use it for a variety of circumstances, from bird hunting to home defense. It would also make a good holiday gift for a younger shooter who isn't sure if they're dedicated to gun sports quite yet.

Drawbacks include lack of options (another choke would be nice, and maybe even a camo finish for waterfowl or turkey hunters), and a little difficulty disassembling it, but that could be written off to unfamiliarity and cleaned up over time. It's also worth mentioning we haven't had the gun for very long, so the durability and lifespan have yet to prove themselves.

Ideally, every gun you own is more fun to shoot and than it is to look at. The Stoeger P3000 fits that bill, and we can see how the appeal will likely spread. Stoeger might not make the highest end guns, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored. The P3000 should help make their case as a budget-friendly gunmaker that doesn't skimp on the necessities.