By James Lu
Shotguns have become synonymous with hunting, home defense, and car rides.
The shotgun is, by most accounts, an aged design, with first patents dating back to the mid-1800s. But without improvements to the existing “pump action” and “semi-auto” designs, shotguns have fallen by the wayside in favor of more modern platforms like the AR.
The 1301 is an extremely reliable semi-automatic gas-operated 12 gauge that comes ready to go right out of the box. With an 18.5 inch barrel, 5-round magazine tube, fully adjustable ghost ring sights, and a rail for mounting optics it’s already set up nicer than most factory guns. The compact synthetic stock has a 13-inch length of pull with aggressive texturing on both the stock and forend.
The Beretta 1301 is also lighter than most shotguns weighing in at 6.4 pounds. Even though it’s so light, this is an incredibly soft-shooting 12 gauge thanks to the Beretta “Blink” gas system and rotating bolt.
Beretta’s 1301 Tactical brings shotguns into the 21st century but, admittedly, still leaves some room for improvement.
Enter Adam Roth and Aridus Industries
Aridus Industries is new to the scene, but Adam Roth is by no means an amateur when it comes to the shotgun. Roth has worked with industry giants like Steve Fisher, and Rob and Matt Haught—more on that later.
When it comes to employing the shotgun in self-defense or “social” situations, Roth has done his homework, and he offers a number of products for popular lines such as Remington 870, Mossberg 500/590, and the Beretta 1301.
Improving the 1301
Back to front, Aridus has done everything conceivable to make the 1301 user-friendly and ready for action.
Starting with the stock. Shotgun stocks are notoriously long, too long for effective use in many cases for the defense role. Aridus takes full advantage of the Magpul ASA-1301 Stock Adapter to mount the Mossberg 500 Magpul Stock to the 1301 and still use the SGA receiver sling mount, if desired. This brings the length of pull from 13+” to a little over 12”.
Moving forward is the item that put Aridus Industries on the map. The Q-DC is the Aridus answer to another age-old question about shotguns: How do I carry more ammo?
There are several options out there for ammo carriers, ranging from plastic shell holders to elastic shell cards with Velcro backing, but Aridus has taken the concept a few steps further. The receiver adapter is machined from a block of 6061-T6 US-made aluminum with a durable type III hardcoat anodized finish. The parkerized steel latch and stainless steel torsion spring keep the carrier in place, and removing the carrier is as simple as depressing the torsion lever and pulling the carrier outward. Reattaching is even simpler, merely snap it into place along the receiver.
On the side of the ejection port, Aridus makes a small, yet almost invaluable addition to the 1301’s shell removal system. This Beretta semi-auto is an excellent shotgun, but the stock shell removal system drops the bolt if pushed down on one end and drops all the rounds in the magazine tube if pushed down on the other end. It’s a nice idea when you’re hunting, crossing fences, or working administratively on the gun, but it’s not as desirable in a defensive encounter.
Aridus developed the YT-1301 Latch and Shroud, which all but eliminates the 1301’s ability to drop all its shells, essentially turning it into a bolt release only.
Aridus boasts the lowest optic mount currently on the market: the CROM mount. Their proprietary mount allows the user to mount any Aimpoint (RMR too) or similar clone low enough to co-witness the ironsights—a high feat in the world of shotguns.
The CROM mount was designed with input from Rob Haught, and a “Haught Mod” is available, which modifies the ghost ring to make it faster and easier to line up the sights. Using the CROM mount requires removing the stock rear sign and optic rail and swap to Aridus equipment.
Instructions and an installation video by Roth himself walk the user through the simple process. Please note that, if using the clone optic route, it is recommended to double-check dimensions to ensure your optic fits and you can reach the mounting hardware with the optic installed.
The Beretta 1301’s stock forend is serviceable, but it lacks the ability to mount attachments. With a fair amount of engineering, Roth was able to modify the Zhukov handguard—originally developed for the AK platform—to create front and rear mounting adapters that allow it to integrate seamlessly onto the 1301s magazine tube. With the Zhukov, users can mount lights, sling points, extra shell holders, and more, as long as the M-LOK screws are cut or ground down from the to prevent interference with the 1301’s action. Some screws will clear, some will be long.
Beretta certainly hit a homerun with the 1301 series of shotguns, and Adam Roth at Aridus Industries helped them turn it into a grand slam and bring the 1301 up to the forefront of hard use gear.