Your uncle's Gold is probably suffering a known, common ailment for that model. Go to Midway (probably have them at Brownells and other places also) and get a new action spring, o-ring, and return spring. About $10-$15 bucks if I remember correctly, problem solved. In some cases, you might have to replace the universal piston assembly ($99), but not usually. Mine didn't need it. The difference between the old action spring and the new one was quite noticeable; the old one was about 2 inches shorter! Just the breakdown over thousands of rounds. Now it feeds everything again.Absolutely no ill-will towards your disagreement. The waterfowl heritage here in NJ is storied (yes, hard to believe). It's a religion here for waterfowlers and waterman and shotgun preferences are deep-rooted. One thing I will say, problems usually occur when guns are not cleaned/maintained, misused, or the user doesn't understand the operation of the firearm.
My uncle and cousin whom I am close with (they introduced me to hunting) are Browning to the core. Citori's, Gold/Silvers, and we actually just all bought matching X-Bolts. My uncle shoots an older Gold auto and I've always loved the gun. However, early last season on a field goose hunt. His gun wouldn't feed. His motto (along with my cousin's) was always "Clean it? I just shoot it clean." Well, that is probably the issue behind a lot of internet posts claiming they have a problem.
My A300 gets a bore snake after every hunt. Every 2-3 hunts it gets the bolt/carrier pulled from the gun along with the barrel and cleaned. Half way through the season everything gets disassembled. End of the season, full disassembly and the gas piston gets de-carbed and she's put away until September. The only issue I've ever had was the safety getting stuck off because some dried marsh mud from my hands got wedged in the safety plunger detent ball. Couple sprays of cleaner, followed with a dab of SLP oil, not a problem since.
With all that maintenance and cleaning...she always goes boom. Goes without saying, treat your equipment right and it will treat you right.
Spent 3 days in Alberta whackin' geese with a Gold 3.5 that I had to manually tap the bolt into battery after each shot. Still had several doubles. But it is frustrating having mechanical issues in the field. Now there's a spare set of these parts that probably won't be needed for another 10 years or so, but I got'em ready if needed!
Edit-be sure to get the right parts. The Gold 3" and the Gold 3.5" use a different action spring