Beretta’s only side-by-side shotgun – the 486 Parrallelo – gets a design makeover by Marc Newson

Marc Newson, an internationally renowned designer, has collaborated with Beretta to produce his re-interpretation of the firm’s 486 Parrallelo side-by-side. Newson, who has recently joined Apple’s design team, has introduced a number of novel design features to his gun which break from the traditional styling of the side-by-side.

Fifty-one year old Newson, from Australia, has designed many different things during his career, ranging from furniture to jewellery, boats and a spacecraft, but he is best known for the Lockheed Lounge chair. His work is shown in collections at the Design Museum and the V&A in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but his take on the 486 represents his first foray into the shooting world.

Shooting Times editor Alastair Balmain, who attended the launch of the new gun, said: “Marc Newson’s design work on the 486 has created a visually very striking shotgun that challenges many traditional preconceptions about the side-by-side. In particular the simplicity of the top lever and the graceful fluid style of the fences create a gun that is incredibly elegant. The shooting world and its products don’t have to be stuck in the past — this gun proves that point well.”

What’s different about the new Beretta 486 Parrallelo by Marc Newson?

Beretta 486 by Marc Newson

Points of interest on the new Beretta 486 by Marc Newson

Woodbridge
The traditional tail of the receiver has been lowered allowing the wood to separate the receiver and the safety/selector like a wooden bridge over the steel.

Edgeless receiver
The receiver is edgeless and the lines flow through the entire surface of the shotgun with no sharp edges or breaks.

Engraving
The engraving is an homage to Asia, the homeland of the pheasant. “For me it was important to somehow pay homage to this and incorporate a subtle Asian influence into the design”, said Newson.

Opening lever design
Specially designed to emphasise its independence from the shotgun.

Guard fixing
The fixing of the trigger guard to the receiver has been updated on the new Beretta 486. While most shotguns screw the guard to the bottom of the receiver, the 486 by Marc Newson inserts the trigger guard into a milled guide. The result is a perfect junction of two surfaces, which creates a higher aesthetic value.

Slim forend
The forend of the new Beretta 486 is leaner and more streamlined.

“The main focus for my design of the 486 was to simplify and rationalise all the surfaces, specifically streamlining the area of the action,” Newson explained.

“During the manufacture of my design in the Beretta workshops I got to observe the fascinating mix of traditional skills employed by Beretta’s craftsmen in conjunction with the most impressive state-of-the-art engineering processes including the use of intricate x-ray equipment, sophisticated laser technology and robotics. With these standards of ingenuity I believe that my vision to create an innovative and modern design while respecting the DNA of the product typology has been spectacularly achieved.”

This gun is available in 12 bore only. For full specifications, please visit the GMK website.

  • Julio

    “During the manufacture of my design in the Beretta workshops […]” I thought the 486 was made by Fausti, but it sounds as though Beretta are making this one themselves. Incidentally, I like the new gun, think it’s great Beretta are stepping outside the industry to create a new look, and am happy to see them inviting the nascent Chinese market to support this fresh take on shotgun design… but describing the dragons as “pheasants” is clearly misguided nonsense and is sure to dilute any (well-earned) admiration with (no-less-well-earned) mockery. Also, there is clearly a big screw head forward of the trigger guard, so the screw-less “guard fixing” aspect seems a little overstated. The truth is that there’s more than enough to like about this gun without the extra hype, and Beretta and Mr. Newson would have done their combined efforts more justice if they had resisted the temptation to over-egg their already rich publicity pudding.