Don't believe the people who want you to spend too much $$ on a shotgun...
Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Since 2015, we've been competing with Stoeger shotguns. We have used them from 2015 – 2019 in 253 major shotgun or 3 gun matches. The gun I'm currently running has been shot by myself and my son Andrew since Dec. of 2014. I finally had to put a new barrel in this Sept., somewhere way past 20,000 , maybe over 30k rounds.
People keep asking us is what do we do to make our Stoeger M3000s, and M3Ks run at the top end of their capability?
List is below. I'm sure that I will add to and edit it in the future, but that's why I'm putting it here.
But before you read, for all you Stoeger haters - or just anyone who hates on guns they don't know how to set up for the specific end use - just know that our Stoeger guns have been on 4 USA teams for IPSC shotgun and helped win team medals, as well as placed in top 5 in ladies at IPSC World individually. Tim had 9 match wins in 2018 alone with his Stoeger. The match wins, top lady, junior, LEO and military...all of those finishes speak to these guns being able to perform at the top...for years.
Our guns load easier than anyone's I've tried. The two-part shell catch and Roth Performance loading port work is what makes the difference. I've never loaded anyone's gun that loaded as easy as these - from any gunsmith. It's just a matter of Stoeger guns having a design that facilitates loading.
We get asked ALL THE TIME about what we do to our Stoeger shotguns to set them up for the best performance for competition.
This is our list of what we do to them. Enjoy shooting your Stoeger more, and tell everyone who says you need to drop $1200-1400 to be quiet, you’re busy practicing with the $ you saved.
Basically it's cut, drill, grind.
- cut off 2" or whatever you need (be careful not to cut too far, if this is for a youth, you can order a youth stock through Stoeger)
- sand it perfectly flat/square
- drill the pilot holes inside the stock deeper
- drill holes in new pad to line up with holes in buttstock
- either screw buttpad on and scribe line, then remove and sand to fit, or screw it on, tape the stock to protect it and sand it to fit. Finishing it with a little buffing wheel work will blend it nicely.
If you use limbsaver, be gentle sanding, because the sander/ grinder will bite into it. Wear eye pro. The rubber will get all over your face, hair, and shop when sanding.
You can tailor the bottom of the recoil pad to an angle that you want for mounting the gun. Meaning, you don’t have to keep the butt pad angles factory; change/round them for faster/easier mounting.
Kickeez makes a "cheekeez" that some people like to cushion their face.
Work on action/ receiver:
- use a 3M wheel (green) and polish the ID of ring on the action bars (part that fits over tube). Polish all the contacting/riding parts on the action bar and bolt.
- go over the extractor and the cut for the extractor in the bolt head. Make sure there are no burrs ( extractor pin is a half-blind hole...look carefully taking it apart). Use an EZ lap or something that you can get in there with, and stone the sides of extractor and just dress edges of the cut to make sure there are no burrs.
- *extractor cut on barrel* Soften it!! I round ours with a tiny file and then sand smooth with 550 cloth. It doesn't need much, just take it down from being such a sharp edge. And I go over ours every few months - it gets dinged a lot more than you'd think.
We use Roth Performance’s safety and trigger job. And their one-piece extension tube or monotube. https://rothperformance.com/ We also run their xtra shell caddy, their QD sling mounts, and they do our loading port work. If you use a shell caddy or matchsaver, make sure the method used to secure it does not contact or interfere with the recoil spring inside the forend.
From the box:
When you get the gun, wipe all the packing grease off. It’s pretty nasty, and it not ideal. Get it all off. Re-oil the tube, bolt and carrier with light oil. The only place we use grease is on the inertia spring inside the bolt and on the camming surface of bolt head. We use Lucas Oil Outdoor Line Extreme Duty oil and their grease. We mix the extreme duty with the red hunting oil for colder temps. (The Lucas oil and grease are compatible, and will not break each other down.)
Get a smaller front sight so that you can see smaller targets. The factory front sight will cover a target because it’s too big. We love the HiViz Tricomp ( You get 9 fiber optics & 3 colors in the package to choose from).
Shotguns have more need to monitor springs than many people might want to admit. We replace our magazine tube springs with springs from Roth Performance https://rothperformance.com/ a few times a season. They locally source their springs and have good quality control.
Your carrier spring spring and inertia spring inside the bolt are others to check a couple times a year. I’ve seen inertia springs that were broken after people shot really hot ammo.
Extractor and spring: initially, we replaced from these from the beginning because the hook on old Stoeger extractors was not as angled. The engineers at Stoeger re-did them, based off feedback, and they re-designed the hook. We didn’t switch that out on newer guns, and think going over the extractor and the cut in the bolt head might be more important than what brand the extractor is.
The only other parts we have replaced are: 1) the shell catch pin on my gun, because I took it off repeatedly and was testing different things for a while and caused some wear. Roth Performance makes a threaded shell catch pin which is very smart solution to shotguns that have shell catch pins that want to “walk” out. 2) I replaced the plate that locks carrier spring on - this piece coming out is a common problem. We’ve only seen it on one gun in 5 years, and that’s mine with the most rounds on it.
Other common issues:
your gun won’t shoot 1145 fps ammo = you’re a baby, shoot 1200s. You can try to tune and polish every part you can think of, and trim the plastic spacer on your mag tube (the one that butts against receiver before your recoil spring goes on the tube), but you’ll still get a round, rarely, that won’t cycle, and it’s not worth it.
Slugs won’t cycle = get different slugs. The low-recoil slugs you might want to shoot might not run. Brenneke home defense slugs are about the most accurate we’ve found that will cycle reliably. And Rio makes one.