Beretta has a happy knack of building guns that invariably sell in prodigious numbers, but I suspect the ever-popular 687 is one of its biggest in terms of worldwide sales.

Add the earlier 686 to the equation and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear the total runs to several thousands over the years.

The good news is that if you were thinking of buying a 687 but wanted to stand out from the crowd a little, you now can – with a limited edition gun that’s not going to cost a king’s ransom to put in the cabinet.

This Silver Pigeon 3 model is being built in Sporting, Game and Trap versions with only 500 in each category. The gun I’ve been looking at is the Sporter which is supplied with 30in barrels but the Game gun can be ordered with either 28 or 30in tubes.

Beretta SP3 Ltd Edition.

It’s a gun that’s built for the right-handed shot but left hand stocks are available for each model. Mechanically this gun is the same as all other guns in the Silver Pigeon range so there’s little point in dwelling on the inner workings.

Instead, what really sets this gun apart is the engraving and wood quality. Both are extra special.

As you can see from the pictures this gun’s action and furniture has been treated to a silver finish which really does highlight the fine engraving that shows ducks on the left side, and partridges on the right.

There’s another partridge scene on the belly of the action and the rest of the frame is covered in very nice fine scroll engraving. This extends to the trigger guard and the Beretta logo is discretely done in gold.

Beretta SP3 Ltd Ed trigger

To be different the makers have fitted the gun with a silver – rather than gold – trigger blade. While the trigger shape is suited to the right-hander a straight blade trigger is included with every gun to cater for folk shooting off the left shoulder.

The Sport has been kitted out with Optima barrels and five flush-fit Optima choke tubes covering the spectrum from cylinder through to full choke. Optima bored barrels are slightly longer in the forcing cone and have a fractionally wider diameter than standard tubes – to help reduce recoil and improve the quality of the shot pattern.

Of more immediate notice to the shooter is the ventilated top rib that tapers from 10mm at the breech to 8mm at the muzzle and is matted to reduce glare. In my view the rib is an excellent width for Sporting use and the tapered design helps pointability.

With only a small white foresight at the muzzle end there’s nothing to distract the shooter’s view of a target.

As I said earlier, wood quality on this limited edition model is very good with the test gun carrying quite a dark stock with lots of eye-pleasing figure.

The butt-end is finished with a leather soled rubber recoil pad and there’s also an oval inlet into the stock for the owner’s initials to be engraved.

The fore-end contour has been changed slightly in that the usual 687’s Schnabel tip has been removed and the end smoothed and rounded in a classic English style. Very comfortable it is too.

Will it fit?

Stock length (including pad) is 14.3/4in with drops at comb and heel of 1.1/2in and 2.1/4in respectively. It carries a cast of 2mm. Overall weight is 7.3/4lb.

As you’d expect the gun comes in a better-than-standard ABS carry case sporting three combination locks, inner lining and an accessories compartment carrying choke tubes, stock key, trigger, screw driver, straight blade trigger and a spare gel-tek recoil pad.

Beretta SP3 Ltd action

JASON’S VERDICT:

This is a very nicely presented gun which should draw lots of admiring glances down at the ground or out in the field.

What it’s limited edition status will do for its long-term resale price remains to be seen, but there’s no doubting its design qualities and build standard.

PRICE:

£2,405

Build quality: 9

Handling: 8

Styling: 9

Value for money: 8

For more information contact the importers GMK of Fareham. Tel: 01489 587500

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