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Beretta 682 shotgun review

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Beretta 682 shotgun: It seems incredible that Beretta’s most successful competition gun ever, the 682, has been with us for 23 years.

Since it was first announced in 1984 the sporter model alone must have won more major competitions than any other Beretta.

Aces like George Digweed and Barry Simpson have used 682s for many of their major victories, not to mention countless highly successful trap and skeet exponents.

In mechanical specification the gun has changed little in all this time. It has, however, been the subject of many detailed improvements in both technical specification and woodwork which have transformed it from a rather over-weight, ‘numb’ offering in the very early days to a gun which is still very much capable of winning competitions at the very top level.

The latest incarnations are the 682 Gold E, which comes in sporting, trap and skeet configurations, and the slightly more up-market 682 LTD, which is available in sporting and trap versions only. Sporters are by far the most popular versions in the UK.

The 682 is still quite a handful of gun, with most versions weighing in at 7.3/4lb plus. This might be a little heavy for some folks, but the weight does give the gun a very steady point and swing.

It also helps soak up recoil, a plus point in a100-target competition, and recoil is further reduced on the latest models thanks to the use of Beretta’s ‘Optima’ barrel boring system. This system, coupled with long forcing cones and extended multichoke tubes, also leads to improved patterning.

Current models can be ordered with adjustable stocks and left-handed woodwork. Engraving on all models is a relatively plain affair.

TECH SPEC

Barrel length can be 28, 30 or 32 inches. Sporters are all multichokes, and all barrel tubes are internally chromed.

All late-model guns have 76mm (3in) chambers.

Barrels hinge to the action on stub pins, and lock-up is achieved by a fork-shaped bolt with tips passing through the standing breech to engage with holes in the barrel shoulders. There are no barrel lumps.

All guns have single, selective triggers.

On almost all guns, trigger transfer to the second barrel is via a recoil-driven inertia mechanism, although there are a few early Gold models with a purely mechanical system.

WHAT’S GOOD?

Reliable and long-lived mechanism.

Long-established importer with excellent spares system.

Usually a good choice of guns on the second-hand market.

WHAT’S BAD?

Not much, providing the weight and handling characteristics suit you…

WHAT TO PAY?

Importers’ recommended retail prices for new guns start at £1,985, but there are plenty of discounted deals about.

Very well-conditioned second-hand Gold models are changing hands at prices from about £1,250 upwards. Older models are less than half that price – but remember that competition shooters fire a lot of cartridges, so with guns more than a few years old condition is everything.

UK IMPORTER
GMK at Fareham, Hants. Call them on 01489 579999 or take a look at their website www.gmk.co.uk

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