By Jason Harris
Monday, 13 August 2012
Gun review: Beretta Silver Pigeon Combo: Jason reckons Beretta has hitting a winning combination with its two-in-one Silver Pigeon.
Beretta Silver Pigeon Combo shotgun.
Beretta’s basic grade Silver Pigeon has been a winner ever since its launch and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it’s now a worldwide best-seller.
The reason it has enjoyed such success is down to the fact that it’s versatile, solid, and sells at a value-for-money price.
Since its introduction in 2010 the range has steadily increased to include guns of all bore sizes and now a 20/28 bore combination has been added to the line up.
It would be good to see other bore combinations coming onto the market but the one on offer probably represents the best partnership as the sizes are relatively close together.
That said, they provide different challenges.
As a dedicated 28-bore the Silver Pigeon is made with scaled action that’s virtually the same width as the 20-bore, but is slightly shallower.
However the makers have chosen to put this combo set on the 20-bore field action frame.
Of course for a combination set of this sort the action frame of the larger bore must prevail so when fitted with 20-bore barrels it’s exactly the same as the standard 20-bore field gun.
This means the 28-bore barrels have been made slightly larger at the breech end to fit the bigger action.
The trade off here is that in 28-bore mode the gun is slightly heavier than it is as a 20-bore because there is more metal in the monoblock.
As a 20-bore it tips the scale at 6lb 4 oz – 3oz less than the 28-bore.
Both barrel sets are 28in long with standard multichokes. The 20-bore has 3in magnum chambers so it will take some hefty cartridges but bear in mind that the chamber length in the 28-bore is 2.3/4in.
Both barrels have 6mm vented top ribs.
Mechanically the gun is the same as all other Berettas in the Silver Pigeon series, and much the same goes for the dimensions of the woodwork.
Stock length – including the 18mm stock pad – is 14.3/4in with drops at comb and heel of 1.1/2in and 2.3/8in.
It carries a slight cast-off for the right-handed shooter but a left hand version is coming soon.
A wide range of pads are available to help a buyer fine tune the fit of the gun in terms of length.
Each set of barrels comes with its own Schnabel fore-end so a good wood-to-metal fit is maintained for each gun.
I would’ve liked to see the barrels and fore-ends marked in some way or other to make it less likely of fitting the wrong fore-end to the wrong barrels.
The 20-bore’s fore-end easily fits the 28-bore, but put the 28-bore fore-end to the 20-bore with too heavier a hand and the wood could split.
Mind you, even if Beretta made the barrels and fore-end red on the 28-bore, I bet someone would still get them muddled!
I reckon this gun will be a hit and, as I hinted earlier, it then follows there could be other combinations to come.
For the time being though, this is probably the best two bore-sizes to marry.
Some years back Beretta did make 20-bore barrels to fit a 12-bore action as an optional extra and I would love to see them make a return.
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