Both the Remington and the Benelli are very good guns. The advantage to these two brands are, they have lots of accessories available too! I shoot a Beretta Pintail, which is basically the same action as the Benelli 90. It is very rugged and I've given it hard use here.
The main difference between the Benelli Super 90 and the Remington is that the Benelli is recoil operated and the Remington is gas operated. This is a big difference, too. The Benelli will kick noticeably harder--all of the recoil goes straight to you shoulder. The gun is light meaning it is easy to carry, but there is less weight to "soak up" the recoil too. The Remington's gas operation takes the edge off the recoil.
I don't notice the recoil when I'm hunting since I shoot few shots and I tend to be wearing heavy clothing, but when I target shoot wearing only a t-shirt I have to shoot special reduced loads or it kills me after one box! Either gun will work just as well in the field. It really comes down to which one you like the "fit" of. Since you are already used to the 870, the Remington auto might have less adjusting for you. If you didn't like the 870's handling, then this wouldn't be true. You can buy special rifled barrels for either gun, but from what I've heard the rifled choke tubes are almost as good. Remember, you don't have to shoot 2-inch groups with the thing.
If you can consistently hit a 7 inch circle, you will kill a deer. I mostly hunt ducks and do it in the nastiest weather you can imagine. My Beretta sometimes gets filled with ice when it's 5 below zero and I'm hunting in a blizzard, but really I think any auto is going to have problems.
I end up knocking the ice out with a stick and use it as a single shot. In that sense, I'm not sure that using an auto instead of an 870 is an "upgrade." I still sometimes go pheasant hunting with my 870 20ga. that was made in 1972, and it works great! I like the Browning Gold 10ga. with steel T shot. The 10ga can also be used with 3 or 4 shot in one of the heavier non-steel (IE.
Federal tungsten, bismuth etc.) Shot and is great on large ducks. The gun is a bit on the heavy side but with 10ga. loads the weight greatly reduces felt recoil. If you are hunting from a stationary position the added weight shouldn't be an issue. In 12ga.
my first choice is the Beretta Xtrema-2 with KO in a camo pattern. Yes, I do feel that it is worth the cost. When you consider that all the other quality semi-autos are in the $1,000+ range the few hundred differences is worth it. The Beretta is arguably the softest recoiling water fowling shotgun available. My second choice is the Benelli S.
B.E. 2. In camo pattern. In contrast to the Beretta, (gas operated) it is a inertia (aka recoil) operated shotgun. There are several features to reduce felt recoil but in general it is a harder hitting (the shooter)gun than the Beretta.
However, the action is one of the most reliable and works very well in all waterfowl hunting conditions that may sideline the gas operated guns. For the money the Mossberg is a reasonable option and I would not be afraid to go that route if you would rather not spend the money on one of the three listed above. My guess is however that you will soon want a gun in the category of one of the top three semi-autos listed.
So. my suggestion is that if you can afford to make the purchase of the Benelli, Browning, or Beretta now, do so and you'll be set for a long time. Mossberg's reputation has improved greatly over the years and is good quality overall. Personally however, I much prefer the Beretta X2KO.
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.CombatCloth.info/. CombatCloth.info carries the best selection of combat clothing, gear, and accessories on the market.