Latest Beretta 486 Parallelo reviewed by Shooting Times
Although change can be scary, this latest step up from Beretta not only looks beautiful but also handles incredibly well too, writes Jonny Carter
Beretta 486 Parallelo
Overall Rating: 94%
Price as reviewed: £5,450
There are two things you need to know about the latest Beretta 486 Parallelo. The first is that the 2022 update to the 486 Parallelo is an aesthetic one, with the engraving now being done in a much deeper and more modern style. Mechanically, the action has been the same since it was launched in 2012, and as we will discuss, this is a good thing. Secondly, this gun has a gravitational safety and so will not work upside down or on its side. So I’m sorry to inform you that this rules it out as your next trick shooting toy.
Engraving is subjective and so every time I hear of an update, I have mixed feelings. If it’s a gun that I find pleasing to the eye, my anxiety builds leading up to the release date, and I pray that it is better than, or at least the same as, the current model. When a gun is less so, I have nothing but excitement waiting for any scrap of information to drop on what it will look like.
Differences in the latest Beretta 486 Parallelo
The original 2012 engraving pattern was a classic, an inoffensive fine scroll with a bouquet or two of roses on its surface. I liked this, as did the market. We are used to rose and scroll after all, and back in 2012 that was what one probably expected on a side-by-side. But this is the brave and brazen world of 2022, so the fine scroll has been shelved and a more striking adornment added.
Both the old design and the new are done by a laser, but the technology used to engrave this new edition is superior, giving more depth and a continuous and complete covering to this round-action gun.
The action is predominantly covered in bold acanthus scroll, with a few floral adornments and some less usual bordering and basketweave sections. This is what laser engraving is for, making beautiful patterns in steel, inspired by the old ways but not making exact copies.
If you haven’t noticed this gun over the past 10 years, let me give you a rundown. It is available in 12-bore, 20-bore and 28-bore, with 28in and 30in barrels and options for fixed or multichokes. These barrels are made using the triblock method. Instead of sticking two tubes into a monobloc, or sticking two tubes with pre-prepared flats together (demibloc), this method joins the two tubes and the lumps together separately. This gives the seamless look of the more expensive demibloc barrels but with the economy of a monobloc. They also come fully steel proofed. (Read more on will my gun be safe with steel shot?)
The action is rounded and has a scalloped back, meaning the wood-to-metal fit at the back of the action has a much more pleasing shape to the eye than a square joint. The gun has a trigger-plate action, powered by two V-springs. The overall design is fantastic, and the gun has been extremely reliable since its release. Although the gun is an ejector, it is easy to turn it into a non-ejector for those of us who don’t fancy digging around in the briar for our plastic waste.
There are two main options for stocks, a straight-hand or English-style stock paired with a splinter fore-end, or a pistol grip stock paired with a semi-beavertail fore-end. Those who want tradition and looks will probably go with the former, while those who predominantly shoot over-and-unders will undoubtedly be attracted to the latter.
Need to know
- Manufacturer Beretta
- Model 486 Parallelo
- Calibre 12-bore (also available in 20- and 28-bore)
- Chamber 3in
- Weight 3.3kg (as reviewed)
- Barrel 30in (28in also available)
- Chokes Fixed and multichoke available
- Importer GMK; 01489 579999
- Price From £5,450
The gun provided was one of the straight-stocked options, and it was beautiful to behold from every angle. With a length of pull of 14½in, about 1/8in of cast at heel and a decent amount of drop (23/8in at heel), it came up well enough. I would always like to see slightly longer stocks with a touch more cast from manufacturers, but with Beretta’s pad system you can push it out to over 16in if required, and you can have guns cast with relative ease. I have shot a few 486s before and each experience has been a good one, with this being no different.
It is a side-by-side with a straight stock at the end of the day, and a much more natural gun to shoot. When shot in the manner appropriate to its design, it flows with ease from the classic on-peg stance to the shoulder and through the target. I could imagine hitting a lot of birds with this gun without having a clue how it happened, and that is never a bad thing for a gun to be.
Last year, I shot the pistol grip version and it couldn’t have been more different, so be honest with yourself about what you want from the gun before committing to one or the other. Recoil was something I was paying attention to. Some side-by-sides can be brutal, but this lightweight gun was very manageable indeed, with less muzzle flip than I expected using some punchier 28g loads. It does jump a little in the hand, but no more than other straight-stocked guns with splinter fore-ends.
So enamoured was I with my innate ability to hit things that I started to get a little silly, calling for random birds with an unloaded gun, seeing how far I could push my luck. The gun was magic, I was less magic, but I left the experience with a big smile on my face and the sudden urge to find a 28-bore version of this gun to bring home and join the family.
But where does this gun ultimately belong? The model on test is yearning to be used for traditional game shooting, be that on peg or walking-up. It’s everything beautiful about a side-by-side, but built for 2022, with chrome-lined rust-free barrels that are suitable for any type of ammunition that the future might throw at us. On top of all that, a quick change of woodwork turns this gun into a high bird or clay cannon that could match any over-and-under. Beretta rarely misses the mark, and it hasn’t this time either.
- Action and barrels 19/20
- Innovative design that looks amazing
- Handling Can be anything you want it to be 18/20
- Trigger A clever sear design ensures consistency 20/20
- Stock Fantastic-looking profile and feels good 19/20
- Value Certainly bolder than the competition 18/20
- Overall score The perfect blend of traditional and new 94/100
Beretta rarely misses the mark, and it hasn’t this time either.