Bettinsoli Sport shotgun: I am going to stick my neck out here and say the very latest Sporter from Bettinsoli of Italy is going to make a lot of people sit up and take notice.
The design brief from importers, Ruag Ammotec, was to create a high specification gun, yet keep it at an entry level price.
An impossible task?
You would’ve thought so, but the makers really have done what they set out to achieve.
For a start they have opted for a new thin-walled multichoke system which does away with that slight tulip shape flaring at the muzzle ends found on so many other guns.
The bulge doesn’t affect performance but it detracts from the looks of a gun and can be a source of never ending irritation to some shooters.
So the swelling has gone; what else?
Some good improvements
Well, the choke tubes have been lengthened to make them look better and also make them easier to fit and remove. Yet best of all, these longer tubes produce better shot patterns and also help improve the pointability of the muzzles.
Shooters might – or might not – like the fact that this new model is only available with 30in barrels, but it’s a good standard length for a Sporter and I can’t see there being too many complaints from the buying public.
The barrels have been fitted out with ventilated top and side ribs and then tweaked slightly… the top rib has been tapered for optimum pointability and to also make the barrels appear a little longer than they really are.
This is a first for Bettinsoli over-unders and a feature that shooters will certainly like.
Internally the bores are of standard dimension and have been chrome lined for durability and easy cleaning. A good gloss black has been applied on the outside and the barrels have been chambered to take 3in cartridges.
The makers have stayed true to their tried and trusted trigger mechanism. It should prove reliable – but only time will tell.
Mechanically the gun is pretty much the same as previous Bettinsolis, but the makers really have scored a few Brownie points in opting for a new trigger shape that is very much inspired by Perazzi. This new version fits the finger extremely well and gives the shooter a far better perception of the gun’s trigger pulls.
Everything feels very positive in this department. The actual frame is covered with very fine and ornate scroll engraving that surrounds raised side panels on both sides of the action. What’s unusual here is that the panels are removable and can be replaced with plates that have been colour hardened, or gold inlaid or any number of other colour options.
Shooters now have no excuse for not being colour co-ordinated when they appear in public: they can pick the colour of panel that matches their eyes, handbags, skeet vest, Wellington boots or even nail varnish!
Attractive engraving, crisp trigger pulls and decent wood set this gun well apart from the nearest competitor.
The 14.3/4 in stock has been redesigned with drops at comb and heel of 1.1/2in and 2.1/4in, good general dimensions which will suit most people. The stock can be ordered with an adjustable comb and both are cast, as standard, for the right handed shot. Left hand stocks are, however, available.
The standard stock is finished with a 17mm pad but direct replacement pads can be had from Ruag at 11mm and 25mm if you want something shorter, or longer.
I wasn’t all that keen on the shape of the pistol grip in that it seemed a little too big or maybe too square for my liking. That said, the oil finished stock carried a nice figure and the well cut chequering offered plenty of grip.
This really is a good gun from Bettinsoli, in that it offers all the features of guns costing around twice its price.
All things considered it has to be one of the best value for money Sporters on the market today.
Build quality: 7
Value for money: 9