A reader is looking for a lightweight 12-bore
Beretta AL391 Light
- This semi-auto doesn’t appear on the importer’s website any more, yet there are still a few new examples available in the shops. These sell at around the £1,300 mark, so Fred’s budget of £1,000 should get him a good second-hand example.
- The gun weighs a mere 6¼lb, which is 1lb or more lighter than most O/U game guns. Fred, like me, is in his 70s, and it sounds as if he is reasonably fit, so he should be able to carry it all day.
- The lack of weight is achieved by using aluminium alloys for the action, the magazine tube, and the screw-on cap which secures the fore-end.
- For masochists, the barrel is chambered for cartridges up to 3 inches (76mm), and it is steel shot proof.
- The gas piston mechanism, according to Beretta, is constructed so as to blow out most of the carbon and muck during the reloading cycle. (Although my advice would be to clean it after each shooting session, because removing baked-on carbon from a semi-auto gas system is one of the most unwelcome jobs in shooting.)
- As supplied, the Beretta has a thin polymer butt plate, but thicker plates are available to increase stock length.
- Like all good semi-autos, the gun comes with shims to adjust drop and cast.
- A second-hand gun should have all these bits with it, plus an ABS case, five choke tubes and a spanner for servicing the gas system.Guns were supplied with either 26 or 28-inch barrels.