Stoeger M3000

7.9 score
[Editors rating (7.9) + Users rating (8.4)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (7.9)/10

Editor rating: 7.9 / 10
User's rating: based on 46 user ratings
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Stoeger M3000 Review Facts

Having a meal that you hunted for yourself is a point of pride for some hunters. Others compete for sport, and taxidermy their kills into trophies. In either case you need a reliable gun that will do the job properly. Knowing what the best firearm would be for what intended game is important, and once you have that down, knowing what firearm to select in an ever-growing pool of designs, companies, makes, and models becomes a challenge all its own. A well known company with a good reputation is important. A gun that has been around for a while is a safer bet than a brand new model, as it has had more time to be developed and tested out by the masses. These parameters by no means drive you to one obvious answer, but you can safely assume that one such answer to your needs is the Stoeger M3000.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Inertia-Driven system is cleaner and faster
Multiple versions for different kinds of hunters and different needs
Warranties available (depending upon your retailer)
Enlarged trigger guard for firing easily with gloves on


Not all variations come in all sizes
Must be ‘warmed up’ as soon as purchased

Primary Use

Every gun can be taken to a range, but most have another purpose. In the case of the Stoeger M3000, the purpose is hunting game such as water fowl, wild turkey, and upland game birds such as pheasant or quail. Some people out there might consider doing something like mounting a scope on it and adding deer to the list, but without Stoeger listing that as an official intended target it is probably safer to assume that this is not what you should expect from such a firearm. If you happen to make this modification work for you, more power to you, because venison is delicious, but be sure that you have properly considered all of your editing and rehashing when you modify the gun for deer hunting. Safety first is always the best way to go about things. If you can try it safely, enjoy your deer. Otherwise, consider sticking to the intended targets: feather-wearing game birds, water fowl, and turkeys.


There are several different barrels lengths to the Stoeger M3000 that range between eighteen and a half and thirty inches. Naturally, this variation affects the overall length of the gun. On the smaller side, the total gun length will be 40.25 inches long. On the high side, they can reach up to 51.75 inches in total length. Regardless of size the receiver is drilled and tapped for weaver-style scope bases, so size will not be a factor when you are choosing the specifications of your shotgun. They are all a non-gloss finish to avoid glare alerting prey to your presence in the field and will all serve you equally. They bear a standard stepped rib and fiber-optic front sight combination for acquiring your target quickly even in a low-light setting, but you are also able to add an after market sight if you wish, for more power. It cannot hurt to give yourself every advantage if the day is on its way to dusk and you still have not managed to bag your evening meal. Just be sure that whatever additions you might add are compatible with the M3000 shotgun, as not every scope or sight is compatible with every gun. Be sure to check into such things before purchasing, or you may end up having to request a return.

Stock Options

Like most Stoeger weaponry, the M3000 comes in quite a few appearances, and with several different shapes involving variations of the steady grip or pistol grip handles. Of those options, you have several different versions from which to choose: the standard Shotgun, the Compact, the Sporting, the Defense, and the Freedom Series Defense. They will be visibly distinct from each other, but you cannot always guess which ones are what name, so pay close attention to the aesthetic you seek in terms of shape, not simply finish. Certain grips are incredibly sleek, whereas others are far more pronounced with their second-hand grips. The parameters such as barrel length – and therefore overall gun length – or the finish of each of these versions varies, so be sure to check into the specifications for each option before making a final decision on which you have selected.


For those of us who might have some hiker or backpacker in our blood, the weight of every piece of equipment matters because it is going to feel twice as heavy when you are tired at the end of a long day. Add to the fact that, in a hunter’s position, you are going to be carrying back even more weight in meat (hopefully) and suddenly even non-hikers care when they hear how much some hunting weapons can weigh. If you do not bog down the M3000 with after market accessories over every inch of its surface area, you will be hefting less than ten pounds regardless of which length and design option you choose. The smaller guns weigh in at around seven pounds; the larger versions come in at about eight pounds.


It was mentioned previously that the receiver of this shotgun is sculpted and shaped with the intention of fitting a weaver-style scope base. There are also plenty of other accessories available – some of which might even be sold to you with your weapon, depending upon your retailer. Most often, the firearm comes with a set of chokes, a shim kit, and a ventilated, stepped rib and fiber-optic front sight on the barrel. In addition to those options, there are aftermarket accessories that are fairly easily obtained for this weapon. Those include extra flush and extended chokes, a recoil reducer, bipodal stands, sights, scopes, and even gun bags. No matter what kind of additions you like to add, something is probably available for this weapon.


This three-inch, 12-gauge shotgun can load up to 3 inch magnums without an adjustment needing to be made. The tubular magazine is small, fitting only 4 shell with one being in the chamber. There is also an enlarged trigger guard so that the gun can be safely fired with gloves on. Just be sure to break the gun in when you acquire it – this means cleaning and oiling it as soon as you arrive home with it, then fire some heavy load through it to get the gun warmed up, so to speak. After that it will fire true with as light a load as a 11/8 ounce with 3 drams of powder. As far as your patterns specifications, the Stoeger M3000 had the results of 2 inches left or right of point of aim, 6 inches above point of aim, and 1 inch below point of aim at roughly twenty yards.


Putting shells into the magazine is simple and straightforward. The way they load into the chamber is part of the Stoeger M3000’s claim to fame: The Inertia Driven cycling system. This system is the fastest, cleanest, and most reliable. The system was designed with no O-rings, no gas cylinders, and fewer moving parts overall, carrying out the four different parts of using the weapon all in a fraction of a second. First, chambering: as the bolt assembly mobilizes, the head pin travels alongside the bolt body’s curved track. The steel-made head of the bolt is rotated into contact with the extension of the barrel, which is also steel. At this time the gun's drop lever is oriented downward. Second, the firing stage: once you pull the trigger, the entire shotgun moves backwards, toward your shoulder - in other words, away from the targeting direction. The only portion of the weapon that is thrust forward instead is the bolt-action body, causing it to start pressing against the head pin. During this time the gun's inertia spring is being compressed between the bolt head and the body of the cartridge. During this time the drop lever begins to shift up to allow a new cartridge to slide into place from its former resting place in the magazine into the actual firing position. Third, during the recoil phase, the chamber pressure returns to a safe, less intensely pressurized level. The rearward motion of the gun slows and the inertia spring forces the bolt assembly in a rearward direction instead. This renders the bolt head unlocked,, pushing the used shell into ejection position. The final phase of the system is ejection. During this phase the moving bolt’s energy forces a re-cock of the hammer and adds pressure to the tubular magazine's spring. That spring forces the bolt assembly forward and lifts a new shell into position. This method is cleaner overall because the burnt powder is disposed of through the barrel with the shot you have just fired, and not out the action. This system does require a bit of warmup, as was mentioned earlier, so be sure to fire some heavy load shot first, in order to “break in” the system.


Stock options are one method of individualizing your purchase to suit your comfort needs; finish is all about the aesthetic you prefer. There are several different finish appearances to choose from. These include a standard black synthetic (with or without pistol grip option), the Real Tree (with or without steady grip option), the Real Tree Max 5, or the satin walnut. There are other listed variations such as the “M3000 black synthetic” but to the naked eye they may not appear much different from the standard listed black synthetic. It is possible that not all finishes will be available in all sizes and shapes of gun, so be sure to take all of these things into consideration before purchasing. If you have your heart set on the Real Tree Max 5, for example, you may not be able to acquire it in the maximum overall length option of 51.75 inches. Keep an open mind and try not to settle on a fully-chosen specific configuration of size and appearance before you look to buying your weapon, as you might find yourself disappointed in the availability of your desired product.


As with many firearms on the market today, the safety for the Stoeger M3000 is a button safety that comes in an extendable option, available on line. Other than that button, the safety is entirely up to the responsible handling of the wielder. Cleaning, storing, transporting, and carrying your gun safely are all safety measures to be taken in order to ensure the only thing that winds up shot is the turkey you were aiming at. With regards to cleaning, the recommendations from Stoeger are to perform maintenance cleanings at different points throughout the year based on which part of the gun is in question. The bore and exterior surfaces should be cleaned and oiled after every trip. The bolt rails and bolt carrier assembly should be oiled at day’s end so that it is ready for the next day. The bolt and trigger mechanisms should be cleaned of powder and debris as needed – this will be different depending upon factors such as your chosen kind of ammunition. The whole gun, including the recoil assembly, should be fully stripped, cleaned, and oiled at the endo f the season or after any instance that your gun takes a swim. If you drop it in a lake, or your duck blind takes on water in a bad way, or any other scenario wherein water even has the potential to get inside your gun, clean it inside and out. Negligence is likely not covered under your warranty, if you even have one. If you do not have a warranty, you are even less able to afford to take risks with your firearm’s care and safety. Keeping a gun clean and in good working order is one of the easiest ways to keep safe. Of course, in general, always assume a gun is loaded until you confirm that it is actually empty. Never point a gun at another person, even in jest. If you are hunting with a group and walking in a line, know the angle limitations and the scope of your view and firing area so that no one crosses with anyone accidentally. Wear your watch-vests and caps – they might the most hideous shade of neon orange you have ever laid eyes on, but they keep people alive. These are all just some of the general rules that will keep you and other hunters safe, and they apply no matter what sort of gun you are wielding, or what sort of prey you are hunting, or who you might have brought along on your hunting trip.


As with all things, the price of your gun is going to depend upon a number of factors. What, if any, accessories you purchase with the gun; if you opt to acquire a warranty; what retailer you choose to purchase your gun, and what deals they may have going on at the time, as well as any applicable taxes are all factors that will affect the bottom line. The general price range that you may see is anywhere from five hundred to seven hundred dollars. For the Inertia Driven firing and cycling system alone this would seem well worth the price, especially when adding in all the optional stocks and finishes, barrel lengths and add-ons available.

Key Features

-Inertia-Driven cycling system
-several combinations of stock, finish, and barrel length
-up to 3” magnums without adjustment

Bottom Line

You may not be able to acquire every option of this semi-automatic shotgun in every finish or stock option combination that, in theory, could exist. You may not be able to acquire the series version of this firearm in the size you choose, or with the handle grip you choose, and so on. As important as these various aesthetics can be – whether you happen to rely on camouflage when hunting to have your gun blend into the environment, or contrarily if you need a black coloration in order to find your gun instead of having it blend into the environment – you may need to have some wiggle-room on your decision. Once you have selected a look for your shotgun, however, the promise of a good weapon comes included: you have selected a reliable, fast cycling, cleaner firing, light weight, and overall well-priced weapon that will serve you well on all the hunting excursions you take. A quick reload, a built-in sight, and a functional readiness to attach something stronger all make this weapon a solid contender in the water fowl, turkey, or upland game bird category. Just always remember to keep the safety on when not actively acquiring a target, and to treat your firearm with respect, care, and due caution for your safety and the safety of everyone else around you, and you will be bringing home dinner in no time. As always, be sure to do your homework, prioritize your needs above your wants, and lay out the parameters based on what is available – these shotguns are not made to order. Realism is a key factor in selecting a firearm for your lifestyle and needs; if your needs are hunting feathered prey in style, the Stoeger M3000 is very likely the right shotgun for you.