The wood finish isn't the best on this Beretta Silver Pigeon, but that's what you get at this price!
By Jason Harris
Thursday, 03 March 2011
Beretta Silver Pigeon Grade 1 shotgun: If something is too good to be true then there's almost always a catch, and I reckon this maxim applies to Beretta's new Silver Pigeon 1 Sporter.
Beretta Silver Pigeon Grade 1
No question about it - there’s almost too much gun here for the money!
The fact this O/U represents such terrific value is down to the euro which has seen the price of Italian guns rise quite sharply in the last couple of years.
Beretta’s determination to remain competitive prompted them to look carefully at their range and come out with a number of new or updated models – this Silver Pigeon being one of them.
In mechanical terms the gun follows the tried and tested mechanism that started a little over 30 years ago with the company’s 680 series.
However one of the main features of this new gun is the Optima-bore system with flush-fitting chokes which until now has only been used on the higher grade Silver Pigeon 3 and the 682 Gold E.
The combination of these choke tubes and a slightly over-bored barrel results in exceptionally good shot patterns and a slight reduction in felt recoil.
The Grade 1’s engraving and brushed silver action finish follows the style of the Field gun with etched decoration in the form of a tight scroll.
All the action furniture is coloured silver, but the trigger has been given a gold wash by way of contrast.
The gun is supplied as standard with a manual safety catch but it’s not a difficult job for a gunsmith to make this automatic if the customer prefers.
And talking of choices, this Silver Pigeon can be had with 28, 30 or 32in barrels chambered for 3in cartridges, all with a top rib that tapers from 10mm at the breech to 8mm at the muzzles.
Thanks to the taper the gun does point nicely which leads to quick target alignment.
I’ve got to say that the wood used here is okayish but that’s only to be expected considering the price of the gun – it’s £1,300 selling price is about £300 less than some of the other models in the Beretta range.
The stock dimensions are standard for a Beretta Sporter with a length of 14.3/4in and drops of 1.1/2in and 2.1/4in at comb and heel respectively.
There’s a slight cast for the right-handed shooter but importers, GMK, tell me a true left hand stock will be available before too long. The stock finishes with a 1in pad which can be changed for others if the owner wants to fine tune the fit.
The Schnabel fore-end is elegantly shaped and carries contemporary chequering that affords a proper grip and looks good too.
The actual chequer is a traditional diamond pattern. The 30in test gun weighed 7lb 14 oz but this of course will vary depending on barrel length.
It comes with five chokes and an ABS travel case.
I think this gun offers a great deal for the money and will quickly build up a large following. And if there is a catch, then I can’t find it!
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