The Beretta 680 series has been enjoyed for more than 30 years, but will the newly updated 687 EELL model hit the mark? Rupert Blackwall investigates
The Beretta 680 series has been around since 1984 and it’s still enjoyed by many of us today. So, this newly updated 687 EELL model, with scroll engraving, has undoubtedly got a serious history of previous EELL’s to compete against.
This newly engraved 30in, 3in chambered, 12-bore EELL is elegantly engraved, in a way that the majority of us would find pleasing to the eye. This EELL is a game model, with a narrow rib and a fi xed chokes, which I always feel handles with more speed than the multichoke version.
This updated version has a rounded fore-end instead of a schnabel, which gives a slim/sleek profile. With this profile it provides a more comfortable hold for leading hand, if you hold a slightly longer grip, or at least I am pleased to see that they have not decided to put the self-tightening fore-end iron, which is on the Perennia. This can make the fore-end wood weak and rather clumsy to remove.
This particular gun has a good grade of wood. The grades can vary at times on these guns and it can be a gamble with what comes through the door. The wood finish has not changed, which is an
area that I think Beretta should look at.
A different market
The prices of these guns have increased quite a bit over the past six years. I have noticed the majority of the stocks have a similar sandy colour. I have found that refinishing hides a huge amount of the natural colour and figure. On this particular gun the metal-to-wood fit was not great, with a gap on the right-hand lock plate and the wooden heel plate being under size leaving a lip, which should be flush on a grade of gun like this.
The stock shape has not changed, but the drop on the comb is certainly higher, which is no bad thing. This gun’s drop measures 1⅜in at comb and 2⅛in at heel, 14¾in to centre plus a ¼in length at toe and a ⅛in heel. The stock length includes a ½in wooden buttplate. Cast is 3⁄16 in at heel and a ¼in at toe, all very sensible measurements for the majority of us.
The gun’s weight is 7lb and does balance on the joint pin with the 30in barrels. The gun handled well with the initial play around in the showroom. The trigger pulls are on the heavier side with the top barrel weighing 4lb 14oz and the bottom barrel 4lb 7oz. The trigger pulls are fairly crisp, but I think the trigger pull weights could do with a little sharpen up.
Beretta 687 EELL on test
I went up to the Oxfordshire Shooting School to test this gun. I was met by Tom Payne, who you might know as the pigeon shooting geek from Shooting Times! Tom and I put the EELL through its paces using a 28g Hull Imperial Game Cartridge, which is a classic little game load and perfect to break the gun in.
This is a new gun, so the opening and closing is on the tighter side. I initially fired a few cartridges in quick succession to test the ejector work and bed her in. Ejection has been an issue on some of the Berettas in recent years, but I can say this gun ejected the cartridges out a good metre from me, even when it was hot, so no problems there.
Next was to shoot the gun with a little more precision, with that I noticed those trigger pulls again. Being a game gun, which is lighter in weight than a Sporter, you could certainly feel it and it’s something that could pull you off line. The gun handled like any other 687 series and showed life. The cartridges were smooth and the gun was very comfortable to shoot.
Contact UK distributor, GMK Ltd, tel 01489 579999, or visit www.gmk.co.uk
I don't think this gun hits the mark!