By Jason Harris
Tuesday, 01 February 2011
A combination of Italian and Spanish gunmaking skills has gone to create a well affordable semi-automatic for field use. Jason looks at what you get for your money.
The ES100 is an all new semi-auto from Beretta that promises to deliver great reliability and super value for money.
To keep costs down Beretta has used its factory in Spain to make the gun’s action frame and assembly, while the barrel and its receiver has been made in Italy.
Beretta of course owns the Benelli gunmaking company and this gun draws heavily on the proven Benelli design which relies on inertia from a fired cartridge to work the mechanism.
In fact the integral barrel and action frame that houses the bolt are the same as found in Benelli’s popular Super Black Eagle.
The design makes it a little bit trickier to put the gun together, but it does have the advantage of exposing the inner workings thereby making it easier to blast out any accumulated muck with a cleaner and powered airline.
Judging by the mechanism, this gun will hopefully suffer few problems as there is so little mechanism in there to go wrong!
The barrel is a standard diameter of 18.4mm with 3in chambers and has undergone Spanish magnum proof.
The fleur-di-lis mark indicate that it has been subjected to special steel shot proof which increases its worth as a wildfowling tool.
The narrow 7mm ventilated top rib has been cross hatched to reduce glare and a small brass foresight bead has been fitted at the muzzle end.
The 28in barrel and action are finished in a matt black to stop any reflection in bright sunlight and three standard Beretta multi-chokes come with each gun.
PRACTICAL BIT OF KIT
The wipe-clean black synthetic stock and fore-end will appeal to rough shooters and wildfowlers where dust and mud come with the job and knocks and scratches are a fact of life.
The 14¾in stock finishes with a Beretta rubber pad – a really useful feature because it means that other Beretta pads of various lengths (maybe even recoil absorbing gel-tek pads) can be fitted to fine tune the fit of this gun to the individual.
Drop at 2¼in and the cast is neutral to suit left or right-handed shooters.
One advantage with inertia operated semi-autos is that the fore-end is much slimmer because it doesn’t have to house any bulk from a gas powered mechanism.
The slimness of the ES100’s fore-end helps create an extremely pointable barrel that delivers precise alignment with the target.
The gun weighs in at approximately 7¼lb and comes with three chokes; ¼, ½ and full, and a key.
There's provision for the stock to be fitted with a sling swivel and a bracket that fits under the fore-end cap to allow a sling to be added is supplied as standard.
The list price for this gun is £835 but you will almost certainly find one on the shelves for less.
This is a very practical gun that handles nicely and shoots well. Whichever way you look at it the ES100 is a lot of gun for the money and the price tag alone is going to create a lot of interest.
I will be very surprised if it doesn't sell well.
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