Charles Smith-Jones revisits the Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon 1 Game Scene

Product Overview

Beretta Silver Pigeon I Game Scene

Product:

Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon 1 Game Scene: one of many Silver Pigeons to withstand the test of time

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,825.00 (New)

Over the years Beretta has produced a great many models under the Silver Pigeon moniker. The Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon 1 Game Scene is one of the more recent, specifically designed to reach out to the field shooting market.

Although its design remains similar to that of its predecessors, albeit with a few tweaks to the action, it is largely unchanged and for good reason. All of the 686 Silver Pigeons are strong, stylish and reliable shotguns. Beretta have wisely worked on the principle of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Visit any game or clay shooting event and the chances are that you will see Silver Pigeons of some description in use, practical proof that the policy is working.

Beretta Silver Pigeon 1 Game Scene 12-bore

Wisely, the design remains similar to its predecessors

Silver Pigeon 1 Game Scene in detail

  • The receiver is based on Beretta’s renowned 680 series shotguns with the strong locking mechanism based on dual conical-locking lugs.
  • The action is relatively simple but effective, and the overall profile is kept low.
  • An inertia-block system is used to select the trigger sear for the second barrel, which is selected by the pleasingly smooth sideways movement of the tang-mounted safety catch, which, in line with its main function as a field gun rather than a sporter, is automatic.
  • The single gold trigger breaks cleanly at around 4¾lb, and ejection of spent cartridges is positive and forceful.
  • As you might expect in any recently produced shotgun, the deep-drilled and cold-hammer-forged barrels are chrome-lined and fully proofed for high-performance steel, although the usual caveats about not using the latter through chokes tighter than modified apply. Available in lengths of 26in, 28in and 30in, they are topped with a slender 6mm ventilated and non-reflective cross-hatched rib, and finished with a steel bead.
  • The chokes are internal, pattern well, and a set of five are supplied with new guns along with a choke key.
Beretta Silver Pigeon 1

The game scenes – flighting ducks on the left side – fit well with the scrollwork on the action

As befits a gun intended primarily for the field shooting market, the 686 Silver Pigeon 1 Game Scene features an engraved action depicting game birds and wildfowl, different on each side, amid restrained scrollwork.

While expecting hand engraving would be unrealistic within this price range, Beretta uses a five-axis laser that executes flawless engraving of rounded surfaces and the results are tasteful and attractive.

Shape

The woodwork is oil-finished walnut (grades may vary), finely chequered at the usual hold points and, as you might expect from Beretta, the wood-to-metal finish is excellent.

Stocks are available in both right and left-handed versions. Butt length can be reduced by replacing the fitted recoil pad with a butt plate, also supplied with every new gun in its rigid, divided and padded ABS case along with a set of sling swivels, which are admittedly more likely to be useful in continental- rather than UK-shooting situations. Fore-ends come in both Schnabel and rounded versions.

The Silver Pigeon 1 fits most body shapes surprisingly well and its slim profile suits even those with smaller hands. Beretta also offers the option of its B-Fast adjustable stock, which can be fitted to both sporters and game versions (although only in 12-bore) and permits multiple comb adjustments to be made. It does, however, need to be professionally fitted and is certainly no DIY job.

While a game gun on the surface, this version of the Silver Pigeon would not look out of place on a formal shoot day, while remaining robust enough for a rough-shooting outing or sessions on the foreshore or in a pigeon hide. It is also versatile enough to take onto the clay grounds and will hold its own against the more specialised sporters. If you only want to own one shotgun and are looking for an all-rounder to meet most shooting circumstances, it will probably fit the bill perfectly while giving a lifetime of reliable service. ‘

Tech specs

  • Configuration Over-and-under
  • Action Boxlock
  • Choke Multichoke
  • Chamber 3in
  • Barrel length 26–30in
  • Ejector/non-ejector Ejector
  • Safety catch Automatic
  • Weight (12-bore) 7lb 8oz
  • Available in calibres 12, 20 and 28-bore and .410
  • Cost new RRP £1,825
  • Cost used From around £1,000

 

 

 

Verdict

This Beretta has something for almost everyone