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Newbie struggling to research M1/M3 S90s for first purchase


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Good Morning all,


My first post here so I apologize for the length.


I am trying to do my due diligence before posting but I am struggling to find the details I am looking for regarding the variations between HK/Non-HK, Pre-Ban/Post Ban, fixed/multi-choke, ghost load/non-ghost load, etc.


Is there any one database or source that will give me a clear picture of:


- Manufacture dates by SN

- Factory variations by date/marking

- When did changes in the feed ramp occur to not allow ghost loading (if that is true) and any other operating changes?

- Are certain date/markings more desirable?


Before I ask "which would you prefer, M1 or M3" a little background on my interest. I am more of a collector (overwhelmingly old military surplus weapons, not modern) and occasional shooter right now, but, I am considering getting into 3-gun.


I know there are better shotguns for 3-gun (M2 among others) but I don't want a competition gun I want a durable, "fighting" shotgun that I can use to have fun and get better with my own skills.


The M3 is intriguing for its versatility but perhaps not necessary?


How important is multi-choke for someone with my interests, I think not terribly?


Are there any tell-tale signs to look for when determining serviceability or correctness?


If you could own only one, which would it be and why?


Lastly, I know value is so hard but I see prices from @800~$1300. What causes the variation? Is "HK Marked" more desirable? What really is different about "pre-ban?" Is an M1 more desirable than an M3 or vice-versa?


I apologize for the long email, I will continue to dig through the forum and other sites but any help is appreciated.



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