Zabala Beri-lux .410 shotgun: Not only is it one of very few to actually sport multichokes, it’s also an ejector – an unusual feature for a small bore gun selling at less than £600.
On these two counts alone this gun is likely to generate a deal of interest among the growing number of people with a fondness for shotguns in smaller gauges. And underpinning this, of course, is the traditional market for fathers buying a suitable first gun for their young son or daughter.
The design and mechanism on this model might be plain and simple but there’s a lot to be said for that – it’s soundly built and should prove reliable and robust for the job intended of it.
The 28in monoblock barrels are fitted with a flat, matted, top rib and finished with a small and neat brass foresight bead that’s in proportion to the rest of the gun. As I say, it’s fitted with multichokes – diddy little things that are hardly noticeable when screwed into the muzzles.
Each gun is supplied with a set of three tubes; 1/4, 1/2 and full.
To increase its versatility the makers have gone for 3in (76mm) chambers which have been magnum proofed.
From a gunmaking point of view I have to say the barrels on the test gun were very well made in that they were extremely accurate in terms of straightness and roundness. This is not an easy achievement when dealing with such small bore barrels.
The action of the gun is based on the classic Anson and Deeley format, but another nice touch is that it has been fitted with a single selective trigger. The safety catch button doubles as the selector and it’s a design that works through a gate in the same way as a Browning or Miroku.
Most imported guns these days are recoil operated, but in this case the trigger sets itself up for the second shot mechanically.
In my view this is a much better system for a small bore because the amount of recoil produced by the cartridge is sometimes not enough to work the selector system properly.
The safety, however, is manual which puts the onus on the user to return the catch back to its safe position before, or immediately after, the gun is reloaded. The action body is scaled nicely in width but is quite deep, presumably to accommodate the ejector work.
Overall weight is a little on the heavy side for a .410, at approximately 6.1/2lb, but we have to remember that this gun is very solid and is also an ejector.
The design of the action doesn’t add greatly to the weight but it does mean the gun has been given a deeper frame to allow free movement of the ejector mechanism’s various parts.
The action frame has a full covering of pressed scroll engraving which has then been finished with colour hardening to contrast nicely with the blacked barrels and furniture.
Considering the price of this gun it has to be said the woodwork is good, both in the way it fits to the metalwork, and its colour. The stock has been given a properly rounded pistol grip and is finished at the butt with a solid black recoil pad.
In shape the fore-end falls somewhere between a thin splinter and a very slender beavertail, which slightly wraps around the sides of the barrels. Either way it affords a very comfortable hold to hands large, and small.
The chequer pattern is pressed onto the woodwork and include decorations of fleur-de-lys. If I had a choice I would prefer to see it finished in a more traditional English fashion, but at this price, you can’t really complain.
The drops at comb and heel are 1.1/2in and 2.3/4in respectively which should suit most people, as will the 14.1/2in length of pull. The stock is made for a right-handed shooter with a slight cast off at toe to accommodate the user’s chest.
Overall this is a solidly made gun that offers very good value at just £545.
As a youngster’s gun it should prove very useful but, I suspect, it will also be well received by older shooters just wanting to potter around the hedgerows with a little shotgun again.
Build quality: 8
Value for money: 8
More information from the importers, York Guns on 01904 487180.