Stevens 350 Field Model Review
When I first started looking at purchasing a shotgun it was after I was lucky enough to go on a guided waterfowl hunt at Pike Lake Outfitters. I didn’t have my own shotgun at the time so Pike Lake outfitters supplied a Beretta and a Benelli shotgun for my use while attending their camp. I hadn’t fired a shotgun in quite a few years but I couldn’t believe how smooth and comfortable these weapons were to fire. So of course I started to look at these two manufactures when I started to shop for a shotgun but they both had one major drawback... They both are an expensive weapons system. After the guided hunt I was hooked on snow goose hunting and wanted to get into the sport but I needed a shotgun and decoys. After I started shopping for decoys I realized that I was going to need to shop for a cheaper shotgun so that I could build up my decoy spread.
Then I came across the Stevens 350.
I purchased the Stevens 350 on sale at Wholesale Sports in Regina. It was advertised during their after Christmas sale and the purchase price was $179.99. I did do a little research before buying and I didn’t see any major negatives about the Stevens 350 so I drove over and purchased the shotgun. For the price if figured I couldn’t go wrong.
I definitely made the right choice.
Now I am not saying that the Stevens 350 is anywhere near the same firearms experience compared to the Berretta or Benelli shotguns. It is nowhere near the same quality but for the money you cannot go wrong.
The Stevens 350 is an entry level shotgun modeled after the Ithaca Model 37. Some say the Stevens 350 is a clone of the Ithaca Model 37 but I have no experience with the Ithaca nor do I advertise myself as a weapons specialist. What I do know is the Stevens 350 is one heck of a pump shotgun.
The Pump Action
The action of the Stevens 350 is smooth right out of the box and it gets better the more round you put through it. It is of course nowhere near as fast as a semiautomatic to feed in the next round but I have never had a miss feed or the action jam in anyway.
My Stevens 350 did not come with a magazine plug. Which I found out after I setup my decoy spread at 5am. Needless to say there was no hunting that morning until I went back in the shop and made a plug. You can either make a simple plug out of some doweling or you can purchase any number of different plugs online or in-store. Either or will work as long as you are legal. The Stevens 350 is chambered for both 2¾ and 3” 12 gauge shotgun shells.
The one problem I have found with the Stevens 350 is the magazine loading port. I find it difficult to load 3” shell while wearing gloves. It isn’t impossible but I tend to not wear gloves to cut down on loading times.
The Stevens 350 field model only comes with a bead sight. Not usually a problem but it is an unpainted bead and it isn’t easy to pick out in lower light conditions. I suggest buying some florescent red paint and coat the bead sight to make it easier to see. The Stevens 350 has no rail to mount any type of scope on it but I have heard there are aftermarket parts that you can add making mounting a scope fairly easy.
The Stevens 350 has a synthetic stock with a blued barrel. I have noticed that if I don’t clean the Stevens 350 after wet conditions that there is a small amount of rust that forms on the outside of the barrel. Once you clean and oil it the rust does go away but it is something to keep in mind.
This is the only feature that I dislike on the Stevens 350. The safety is mounted at the back of the trigger guard. While it is easy to switch the safety on and off I find that while carrying or waiting in a blind that the safety tends to dig into my finger. Again it might just be me but it is something I dislike about the Stevens 350.
Overall I do recommend the Stevens 350 but when purchasing this shotgun you need to keep in mind you are buying an entry level shotgun. There are definitely nicer and better made shotguns on the market but for the price tag you cannot go wrong. I rate the Stevens 350 as 4 out of 5 with the shotgun losing points on the magazine loading port and the location of the safety.