The Bettinsoli Super Sport is a clay shooter’s dream in the quality of its build and the way it handles, not to mention its competitive price, says Charles Smith-Jones
The Bettinsoli Super Sport was based on the older Silver model and is an excellent example of its work. It became available in this country just under 20 years ago and was imported by RUAG Ammotec of Cornwall. Production ended only fairly recently.
As the name suggests, the Bettinsoli Super Sport is an out-and-out sporting gun, aimed specifically at the clayshooting market. It offers a lot of gun for a modest price. You may come across it wrongly described as the Tarcisio. In fact, the engraved Bettinsoli Tarcisio on the barrels is actually the full name of the company rather than that of the model, which appears nowhere on the gun.
- Both this gun and its successor, the Bettinsoli Super Sport II, were immediately recognised as astonishingly good value for money when they first appeared and considered the equals of guns costing double the amount.
- The early models were supplied in a smartly lined case, later becoming a more functional one made of impact plastic.
- A full set of chokes, an optional recoil pad and a compatible screwdriver were included in the price and, with luck, will still be with the gun when it enters the used market.
- Most should be proofed for use with steel shot, although it always pays to check proof marks carefully to be certain.
First look at the The Bettinsoli Super Sport
At first sight, this shotgun simply looks right. The raised ventilated top and mid-ribs immediately suggest a gun intended for clay shooting, as do the extended chokes, which are easily replaced by hand rather than requiring a special tool. The woodwork is of medium grade walnut and the action is extensively but tastefully engraved with scrolls and acanthus leaves. A discreet gold woodcock is engraved in gold just forward of the trigger guard, a curious choice of decoration for a clay gun, and maybe the makers realised this as the Super Sport II features a rather more appropriate gold clay pigeon instead.
- While the butt may be a little short for those with longer arms, the optional recoil pad provided, or another purchased off the shelf, should easily correct this and ensure a comfortable and well-suited fit for most people.
- The semi-pistol grip fills the hand nicely and chequering cut into the wood ensures a comfortable and positive feel.
- There is a single selective and adjustable trigger and barrels are selected with the safety catch that is not automatic, normal for a clay gun.
- In fact, Bettinsoli always seems to opt for non-automatic safety catches, even on its game guns, where you would expect the opposite to enhance safer field use.
- A bar, which can be fitted by any gunsmith, is available to convert most Bettinsoli guns to automatic safety, if desired.
Buyers of a Bettinsoli do need to be aware that about 15 years ago the company briefly developed an unfortunate reputation for shotguns that simultaneously discharged both barrels, an issue that was quickly and effectively addressed but which tarnished its image for a short while. It follows that any gun that was made around that time would benefit from an inspection by a gunsmith before you commit to buy.
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But don’t let this put you off. The Super Sport is an attractive and very well put together shotgun that oozes style for its class and has the looks and feel of something far more expensive. It stands out from the crowd, shoots well and remains one of the best value for money models on the market.
An out-and-out sporting gun, aimed specifically at the clay shooting market. It offers a lot of gun for a modest price.