With so many new guns coming out of Beretta at the moment the guys in its design department need to be careful they don’t put themselves out of a job as there will be soon nothing left to improve on!
So what has the team done to make the new 486 side-by-side better than its predecessor, the 471 Silver Hawk?
Just about everything!
The action frame has been re-shaped so that it’s now rounder and sleeker and the action back has been sculpted to allow the stock to flow into it – not only does this give it a distinctive look but it also imparts greater strength to the head of the stock.
New internal mechanics for the Beretta 486 Paralello
Also totally new are the internal mechanics which are built in trigger plate style with vee mainsprings placed behind the hammers and sears that connect to the inertia block with a lever for each side.
The sear lifter switches left or right to select the first shot by way of a button in the safety thumb piece, just as it does with an O/U.
Single triggers in side-by-side guns can be tricky things to get right as there generally isn’t as much room as there is an O/U for the mechanism to move and work easily.
In addition, on most side-by-sides with a separate trigger plate the head of the stock is held in place with a long screw connecting both top and bottom straps.
This means more regulation and fitting is required to get everything to connect and work correctly.
However the 486 draws on the design of an O/U where all the metalwork screws together and the last thing added is the stock.
The gun’s triggers might be powered by silky smooth vee springs but all the ejector work is driven by coil springs which can be switched off to make the 486 a non-ejector.
This can be an advantage in some field shooting situations such as wildfowling and pigeon decoying where spent cases can end up falling into difficult to reach ditches, water or hedge bottoms.
Another innovation is a gravitational safety lock that ensures the gun can’t fire when it’s held upside down in the near horizontal position.
This is good news should you ever find yourself standing behind some idiot incorrectly carrying the gun on their shoulder with the barrels pointing straight backwards.
It may also prevent an accidental discharge if the gun is dropped and falls trigger up.
These are built on what I call a modified monoblock whereby the tubes and monoblock are welded and struck off to give an invisible joint.
The lumps are made from a separate piece which is then joined to the monoblock in much the same way as dovetail lumps.
Beretta call this design ‘Triblock’ – the two barrel tubes forming one piece, then the breech block and the lumps making up the others.
Weight is going to vary depending on spec. but typically the 486 will be 7lb to 7.1/ 4lb, not a light weight but this is a gun built to cope with hard work and to stay comfortable under recoil.
The straight hand stock is perhaps made slightly thicker by having to accommodate a stock bolt running through the middle but it is, nonetheless, comfortable to hold.
The version that I think suits a single trigger gun of this type is a pistol grip stock with beavertail fore-end – and with 30in barrels it’s a gun that would make light work of high driven game and hold its own on a Sporting clays course.
“If you want a side-by-side that handles as near as is possible to an O/U then this is the one for you. It’s not cheap but it is a very well made gun, well designed and nicely styled.
The mechanics might be new but I see no reason why it won’t happily take all the work you might want to throw at it.”
Beretta 486 Parallelo shotgun
£3800 (fixed choke) and £3875 for the multi choke.
It’s not cheap but it is a very well made gun, well designed and nicely styled.