The Editor of Sporting Gun puts this Italian game gun through its paces and discovers that Fausti's Class RD is a fast-handling gun whose performance more than matches its looks

Product Overview

Overall rating:

96%

Fausti Class RD

Product:

Fausti Class RD

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£3,300.00

The first thing that struck me about the Fausti Class RD was the orange butt pad. It stuck out like a sore thumb on what is otherwise a very pretty gun. It reminded me of shotguns farmers used when I was a kid, which invariably were side-by-sides with waxed orange rubber butt pads. I never knew why they were orange, but invariably they were. When buying a game gun you want it to look good and the orange pad detracted from the “wow” factor.

Okay, so the butt pad can easily be changed and that’s not a reason not to like this rather striking Italian shotgun. The version I tested was colour case-hardened and came with some rather tasty figured walnut. A low profile action and slender stock make the Class RD a svelte over-and-under game gun that will appeal to those who want to stand out on the peg. However, don’t just think this gun is for decoration because its performance matches its looks.

Quality

Everything about this gun indicated quality. The wood to metal fit was excellent, I liked the gold pheasant head on the underside of the receiver, a classy touch and I was impressed to see that the gun had a blacked trigger blade, rather than a blingy gold plated one. That’s something I know will please a lot of readers who don’t like it when the gold plating wears off, making the gun look shabby. The trigger guard and top strap were engraved profusely as was the opening lever and I liked the way the dark figuring of the walnut tied in with the colour case hardened action.

The Prince of Wales stock grip is typical of a game gun as is the beaver tail fore-end. The wood on both parts of the stock was well matched and the chequering was not too deep or sharp making the gun pleasing to hold and easy to control.

Practicality

Another factor to take into consideration when buying a gun for the field is weight. At 6lbs 4oz in the 20-bore version, the Class RD is light, making it is easy to carry on a walked up day. What is more that weight is evenly distributed with the balance point around the hinge pin. A well-balanced gun is easier to control and will not fatigue the shooter as much as a barrel heavy gun. A stock heavy gun is more difficult control and you can get a lot of muzzle flip when the gun is fired.

Conditions can be harsh in the field, even on a driven day and you don’t want to have problems with your gun, especially if you have paid a hefty price for a day’s shooting. Having been to the Fausti factory in Brescia, the gun making capital of Italy, I know the parts for this gun are forged from solid billets of steel using the latest high-tech CNC machines and the internal actions are tried and tested, using coiled main springs and rebounding hammers. Reliability is rarely a problem with a gun of this quality.

What is more, Fausti use a patented Four Lock mechanism on both its competition guns as well as its game guns to give the gun more stability and longevity.

Four locking points are made up of two bolts that engage a lug on the bottom of the barrel monobloc for vertical latch along with another pair of bolts in the side of the receiver to ensure a lateral lock-up.

Another sign of quality was the barrel selector and safety catch on the top strap, which is typically Italian. It moved with a well-engineered feel and it was easy to unset and reset the manual safety.

Often on game guns the safety is automatic, being reset by a pusher rod after each opening. This can be annoying and often end in preserving the lives of pheasants more than anything else. Also, another point to mention while we are on the subject of safety is that you should never trust a safety catch because many of them are just trigger blocks and can fail. So it was good to see that Fausti had thought this practicality through.

Shooting

When it came to put some cartridges through the Class RD I was impressed. It was incredibly fast handling. I’m used to chunkier 12-bore shotguns and at first I was waving this svelte 20-bore all over the place. However, I soon got used to its more slender dimensions and really enjoyed shooting it.

One thing that Fausti does really well is balance its shotguns. In most calibres the actions are scaled which reduces weight and the Class RD was no exception in terms of handling. It felt very lively and it came to the shoulder so easily that it made me think that this is the sort of gun I need for my walked-up days. The Fausti would be great for instinctive snapshooting; such is the controllability of this gun with its low profile action and great dimensions.

Fausti Class RD

The safety on the Class RD can be set to automatic or manual by Fausti UK

For me the comb was the right height and gave me a good sight picture. With a thick coat on the length of pull was just about right for my six foot plus frame as well. Usually 15 inches is about right for me, but the game shooting season is in the winter months and usually you are wearing quite a few layers, so a gun that fits well when wearing a shirt might be a little too long in a thick jacket and jumpers.

The trigger break was nice and crisp and the ejectors spat out used cartridges well behind me, so no problem there. However, reloading the bottom barrel was sometimes a little problematic because the gape wasn’t that wide. This is a problem that many low profile Italian shotguns have, so it’s not a reason not to buy the guns. After all, the low profile action makes the gun easier to control, so what you lose with the gape you make up for in handling. An experienced game shooter once told me to always shoot the top barrel first, so that if you only took one shot a cartridge could quickly be stuffed in the top barrel, which is one way round this minor irritation.

The model we tested had multi-chokes and was fitted with ¼ and ½ choke. Ideal for your average game day. Most shooters rarely change their chokes, but it’s nice to know that you can if the mood or the situation takes you. Multi-chokes also make the gun easier to sell second-hand because many like the adaptability.

Unlike many round body shotguns, the receiver of the Class RD is truly round and made by the company’s CNC machinery. A round action not only looks good, it makes carrying the gun broken over the arm much more comfortable.

The class RD is available in .410, 12, 16, 20, 28-bore versions. All are on scaled actions, apart from the .410 which is made with a 28-bore round frame action.

Fausti Class RD

The patented four lock mechanism gives the gun longevity. Long stroke ejectors spit spent cartridges cleanly from the breech.

Information

  • Scaled actions
  • Coin or colour casehardened
  • Choice of fixed or multi-chokes
  • Ventilated rib
  • All calibres
  • Supplier Fausti 
Fausti Class RDX

Fausti Class RDX

Having been asked to test this new gun, I was a little surprised to open the case and find a…

£4,550.00

In detail

  • Weight: 6lb 4oz
  • Overall Length: 47in
  • Barrel length: 28in
  • Length of Pull: 14 ¾ in
  • Heel to toe: 2in
  • Rib: Ventilated
  • Drop at comb: 1 ½ in
  • Safety: manual
  • Price from £3,300
Fausti Class RDX

Fausti Class RDX

Having been asked to test this new gun, I was a little surprised to open the case and find a…

£4,550.00

Editor’s verdict

The Fausti Class RD is a pretty shotgun that handles beautifully and is made to last. At under £4,000 it is good value and should give many years of flawless service. The 20-bore handled particularly well, but from my experience of Faustis, any calibre will be well balanced and will handle superbly.

  • Build quality: 24/25
  • Handling: 25/25
  • Styling: 24/25
  • Value for money: 23/25

Total: 96/100

 

Verdict

The Fausti Class RD is a pretty shotgun that handles beautifully and is made to last.