By Jason Harris
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Gun reviews: Bioto .410 shotguns: They might be heavy but these South American-made side-by-side and over-under .410s are soundly made and built to get the job done.
Bioto .410 shotgun.
South America is not the first place we think of as an area rich in gunmakers, though there are probably more there than we realise.
Bioto is one of them.
I’ve seen examples of this maker’s guns before but, until recently, not in any number.
Highland Outdoors, best known for Howa rifles and reviving the fortunes of Webley and Scott, are now distributing a range of guns from this maker.
Solid, rugged and functional is the best and only way of describing them.
There are certainly no frills to them; they are simply tools for a purpose and available as O/Us and side-by-sides in most bore sizes.
The two here are both non-ejector .410s with 26in barrels chambered for 3in cartridges, which have undergone superior Birmingham proof.
Chokes are 1/2 and full.
Both guns are pretty heavy with the O/U tipping the scales at 7.5lb and the sbs weighing in a shade under 7lb.
They certainly feel solid.
The tubes of small calibre shotguns are notoriously difficult to bore truly round and on some .410s the barrels are all over the place.
That’s not the case here – both these guns have barrels, which are round, true and well bored.
The O/U sports a ventilated top and side rib while the side-by-side is fitted with a broad, flat rib that gives the look of a double rifle.
The under rib on this gun is ventilated; I suspected more as a weight saving exercise then to keep the gun cool.
Each has a brass foresight.
Take a look inside and, as expected, the layout and finish is pretty basic but the fact everything is simple and solid bodes well for their longevity.
The sbs’s double-trigger is laid out in similar fashion to a conventional Anson and Deeley gun but the mainsprings and top lever spring are coils.
Again, all simple, solid and easy to replace if the need arises.
Outwardly there is no decoration, but then none is needed, just plain actions which have been nicely polished and blacked.
Woodwork is functional too; I think it’s walnut but at first glance it reminds me of the type of wood Baikal used to fit but the Biotos’ carry more figure and both sport a good dark colour.
Stock lengths are 14.3/8 (sbs) and 14.1/2in (O/U) with respective drops at comb and heel of 1.1/2in and 2.5/8in (sbs) and 1.3/4in and 2.3/4in (O/U).
The drops may be a little low compared to many other guns but they handle well for what they are and will cope okay for all round vermin and pest control.
I have decided to buy a labrador pup to train for shooting and hopeful...
SHOOTING GAZETTE: Driven shooting's finest journal
BRITAINíS BIGGEST & BEST SHOOTING MAGAZINE JUNE 2013 £3.60
Don't miss this week's Shooting Times (on sale Wednesday 22nd May)! Get your FREE BOOKLET containing 24-pages of top gundog training tips! Plus, Tim Bonner goes wildfowling on the Blackwater estuary! Buy your copy today!