By Jason Harris
Wednesday, 01 February 2012
Beretta Outlander semi-auto shotgun: As if you hadn't noticed there's a real glut of new semi-auto shotguns coming on to the market at the moment.
Latest contender is the Outlander, an excellent value-for-money model that's going to get a lot of attention just on price alone.
Not long ago Beretta came up with a 'back to basics' programme where entry-level guns are concerned, in other words, good solid guns at affordable prices.
The highly acclaimed Silver Pigeon 1 over-under was first out of the blocks and now it's the turn of the Outlander, a gun whose trigger group and bolt design comes from the maker's hugely successful 300 series.
Its gas piston arrangement has been brought a little more up to date with a nod to the latest 400 semi-auto series from this Italian maker.
This up-to-date piston design ensures the gun recycles on the widest range of cartridge loads available thereby making it one of the most efficient out there in its class.
One of the very few problems the 300 range suffered was the hit and miss way they coped with very light loads - the guns simply weren't cartridge sensitive enough to cycle efficiently.
This problem of course has been addressed over the years and newer piston assemblies of this sort have proved much better at handling 2.3/4in 24 gram cartridges once it has been run in a bit, right up to the heaviest 3in loads.
The barrel and action have been subjected to special steel shot proof.
An added bonus with this newer piston system is that it allows the fore-end wood to be made slimmer and more rounded which means it sits comfortably in the hand and improves the gun's pointability and handling.
The Outlander can be had with a 26, 28 or 30in. ventilated barrel carrying a 6mm wide top rib; no matting has been machined into the rib but a matt black finish instead does the job of reducing glare in bright light.
To keep the price down the gun comes supplied with just one standard Beretta Mobil choke.
Its ½ choke configuration is fine for most shooting situations and you can always buy extra tubes if you need them.
"The Outlander is without doubt a field gun, but it has a strong all-round appeal and will be fine for shooting clays at club level. I can see this one creating a lot of interest among shooters looking for a Jack-of-all trades shotgun."
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