This month’s test gun is a rather up-market Beretta – a sideplated, 30″ barrelled, game-scene engraved, 20-bore Jubilee.
It certainly looks quite flash on first sight with its silver polished action and well-figured and equally well-finished wood.
The action is a little bright for my taste but this is a very attractive gun. The Jubilee is quite similar, superficially, to a EELL grade gun, but there is a lot of extra work in the finishing.
The Jubilee is based on similar machined action and barrel parts, but there is more hand work by Beretta’s best artisans. This is immediately evident when one looks at the gun closely. The detailing is first class in all departments.
The handling also seems enhanced with more attention given to stock shapes and, in particular, to the gun’s balance. The result is a 6lb 4oz gun that feels lively in the hands and which is notably not too muzzle heavy, a characteristic further enhanced by its fixed chokes.
The grip and fore-end provide good purchase. The shapes are particularly good. The 6mm vented sighting rib presents an excellent and not too distracting picture to the eye though, as ever, I would have preferred a solid rib for practicality in the field. The plain metal bead is just the ticket.
There are no surprises as far as the basic design is concerned, although there are significant differences from the EELL. For example, the side-plates are keyed into position and not retained by screws, and the trigger guard has an elegant extended tang, which is located by traditional screws into the grip wood.
The Jubilee is built upon the classic 600 series action which looks especially good in any 20-bore form. This series already has the advantage of a low profile action, thanks to bifurcated lumps and a clever conical bolting system.
They look especially svelte in 20 and 28-bore. This comment applies to both the boxlock models and the ritzier side-plated guns.
This is a pretty gun by any standard, but my preference would be for the scroll-engraved version. You might react differently, but I think if you are going to have game scenes on a gun they must be the very best or they are likely to disappoint.
The styling of the gun is, however, first class. The slim, bright steel, trigger and the gold PB in the fore-end looks great, as, indeed, does the complete package.
The Jubilee is not cheap at something over £11,000, but nor is it unattainable. It would not disgrace itself in any company and one might bet it would give a lifetime of good service. A bit of bling, but a lot of bang as well. A pair of these would also make a lot of sense to anyone who uses their guns a lot and wants to combine style with reliability.
The test gun with its 30″ fixed choked barrels (1/4 and 1/2) certainly shot just as well as expected. Beretta 20-bores are predictably good.
The Jubilee is lively, recoil is moderate and the trigger pulls are crisper than on a more ordinary Silver Pigeon or EELL as one might expect with the extra care put into finishing.
Although there is no difference in the mechanism, save for the hand polishing of internal parts.
I especially like the shapes of the stock as already noted. The fore-end without the schnabel is elegant – the lipped fore-end may soon become a thing of the past. The grip and comb shape are exceptionally good.
Sometimes I find the grip on the Beretta 20 offers a little less purchase than ideal. This is not the case here. The radius is good and the neat hand-cut checkering is effective and well-executed.
The Jubilee is a hard gun to fault ergonomically.