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Beretta DT10 shotgun: a dedicated clay-buster

Charles Smith-Jones on the Beretta DT10, a dependable heavyweight that would also serve you well on the pigeons and foreshore

Beretta DT10

Beretta DT10 Shotgun

Overall Rating: 85%

Manufacturer: Beretta

Price as reviewed: £2,500

Cons: Weight

When it was introduced in 2000, the Beretta DT10 shotgun was initially seen as an intermediate level competition gun that fell somewhere between Beretta’s more expensive ASE and the earlier 682 produced in the 1980s. Since then it has established itself as a serious performer in its own right, been used by top competitors such as Richard Faulds and AJ Smith, and has developed a devoted following among those in the know. Many rate it as one of the best shotguns that Beretta has ever produced, a real accolade for this respected marque. It was replaced in Beretta’s catalogue in 2014 by the DT11.

Also known as the Trident, the Beretta DT10 can be encountered in three main variants. Apart from the standard model, the DT10L has a higher level of engraving, and the DT10 EELL is a sideplate deluxe version. An adjustable stock is optional. The differences are all cosmetic, however, as the mechanics remain identical across the models. It has only ever been chambered for 12-bore and is a gun designed with the sole purpose of breaking clays.

DT equals detachable trigger

The DT in the name stands for detachable trigger. This is one of only a few Beretta shotguns that has a trigger unit that can be removed in the field. The operation is simple: push the safety catch as far forward as it will travel then push over the top lever and open the gun. This permits the trigger group to be pulled out, something not possible when the gun is closed or loaded, unlike rival systems offered by some other manufacturers, and making it very safe. This is a useful feature that not only facilitates uncomplicated trigger adjustment and cleaning but is also an effective means of disabling the gun when travelling or in storage. The trigger blade is fully adjustable to ensure that hands of all sizes can be accommodated comfortably.

Barrels are all built on the proven monobloc principle with 3in (76mm) chambers as standard. Internally, the forcing cones are so long and have such a gradual taper that they are not immediately visible when you look down the barrels. The top rib is ventilated and tapers from 10mm down to 7mm. Barrel selection is by Beretta’s standard and much copied rocking switch built into the safety thumbpiece. As is usual for a competition gun, the safety is manual. At first glance the top lever looks odd and slightly offset, but its unusual spade shape is surprisingly innovative and positively enhances rapid reloading. Transfer to the second barrel is through a recoil driven inertia system.

The internal barrels feature a format that Beretta calls Optima-Bore. This gives a slightly wider internal diameter, and the manufacturers claim that it improves shot pattern distribution, reduces felt recoil and optimises shot velocity. The DT10 was also supplied with Beretta’s Optimachoke competition choke tubes, which are noticeably longer and slimmer than standard tubes and have an internal profile formed to enhance the concentration and distribution of shot patterns. Protruding from the muzzle, they feature colour coded rings for quick identification and have an easy-grip slot pattern that assists fitting and removal. Flush-fitting chokes are also available as an option. Some models were offered with Extended Optimachoke tubes in the interest of improving patterning even further.

Solid feel

This gun has an extremely solid feel that belies its excellent balance and pointability. The action frame is based on a tough steel forging, on the basic DT10 having a brightly polished exterior embellished simply with the maker’s name in gold on the sides and the Beretta logo below. Engraving standards on the L and EELL models are far more ornate. Even in its most basic form, however, the DT10 has clean, attractive and business-like lines.

Though you might press it into service for the pigeon hide or on the foreshore, this gun is very much intended as a dedicated claybuster. Its weight reflects this and though it is rather more than most people might prefer to carry round during a day in the field, it is a very real advantage to anyone hoping to spend a day’s clay shooting without suffering the excessive effects of continuous recoil.

DT10s are still much sought-after so it is highly unlikely that you will be able to pick up a used gun at a bargain price. It’s still worth stretching the budget if you come across a good example though. This is a gun that was built to perform and will not disappoint.

Tech specs

  • Configuration Over and under
  • Choke Multichoke
  • Chamber 3in
  • Barrel length 28, 30, 32 and 34in
  • Ejector/non-ejector Ejector
  • Safety catch Manual
  • Weight (12-bore) 8lb 5oz (30in barrels)
  • Available in calibres 12-bore only
  • Cost new N/A
  • Cost used Upwards of £2,500, depending on condition and specification


Many rate it as one of the best shotguns that Beretta has ever produced