American Rifleman - July 2011 - 62

DOPE BAG

More on the Web

www.americanrifleman.org/
p350

The new Model 3500 comes with five choke
tubes (above, r.): extra full (turkey); full; modified;
improved cylinder; and cylinder. A recoil-reducing
weight is housed in the buttstock (r.).

STOEGER MODEL 3500

S

ince its unveiling in 2001, the
Turkish-made Model 2000 has
served as Stoeger's flagship
semi-automatic shotgun, and for
good reason. When teamed with
modern, high-performance shotshells, the 3"-chambered, 12 gauge
handles nearly all tasks without
costing the proverbial "arm and
leg." For a marketplace increasingly dominated by more-versatile
3½"-chambered shotguns, Stoeger
recently introduced its 3½"-chambered Model 3500.
Like the M2000, the M3500 uses
what the company calls the "Inertia
Driven System" of operation, but
the M3500 has a fixed cam pin in
the bolt body and helical cam on
the bolt head, while the others, the
M2000 included, have a cam groove
cut into the bolt body and the cam
pin runs through the bolt body.
Upon firing, the gun, steel locking head included, move rearward;
Disassembly is simple, straightforward and typical for semiautomatic shotguns.

60 J

ULY

2011

WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

however, due to its mass the steel
bolt body temporarily remains in
place. As the locking head travels
rearward, the stiff "inertia" spring
is compressed, which delays opening of the bolt head until pressure
has dropped.
During firing, the M3500's
hammer spring also moves the
cartridge lever upward, which disengages it from the carrier latch.
This enables a shotshell to transition from the magazine tube onto
the carrier. By pressing against the
rear of the carrier latch, the shell
rotates it counterclockwise, preventing another shell from exiting
the magazine tube.
As the bolt body travels rearward, the locking head pin, in
conjunction with the angled cut on
the locking head, forces the head
to rotate, unlocking it, extracting-via a claw-type extractor-
the spent shell (hull) from the

chamber and pulling it against
the spring-loaded ejector. As the
bolt assembly moves rearward
the hull is ejected, the hammer
is re-cocked, and the action bar
spring, located on the magazine
tube, is compressed, which forces
the bolt assembly forward. This
lifts the awaiting shell into position
and chambers it, at which time the
locking head rotates to lock up the
action. Once the hammer spring
is compressed the cartridge drop
lever moves downward.
Since the system requires no gas
to function, the action, fore-end, and
barrel (exterior) remain cleaner,
thus contributing to enhanced
reliability and quicker clean-up. In
fact, even after shooting about 100
rounds of assorted 12-ga. shotshells
of various brands, lengths and types
during testing, a quick wipe down
with a silicone-impregnated cloth
was all that was necessary to clean
and preserve the M3500. Regardless
of length (from 2¾" to 3½"), when
using shotshells meeting the 2¾",
11⁄8-oz., 3-dram-equivalent minimum
the Stoeger functioned without issue.
Even with light, 2¾-dram loads, the
M3500 exhibited only a few hiccups.
Because it's a non-stressed
component, the M3500's receiver
is made of aluminum alloy to save
weight. The bolt head locks into


http://www.americanrifl http://www.eman.org/ http://WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - July 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2011

American Rifleman - July 2011 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 2
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2011 - 5
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