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Have Beretta produced a break-action semi-auto shotgun?

Mike George
I hope you didn’t wager anything much beyond a pint, because it is true.

It is called the UGB, and it is now available through a few outlets in Britain. It has been available in the USA for rather longer.

So, what’s it for?

It is a trap gun, and the idea is that the shooter can break the action, and thus show everyone that the gun is safe, while moving from one firing point to the next during a competition.

From the specification on Beretta’s American website it appears to be a very specialist tool, with recoil dampers and an adjustable cheek piece among other things.

The loading port is in the side of the action, while empty cartridge cases are ejected through the bottom – the exact opposite of all other semi-autos I can think of.

However, perhaps the most interesting technical innovation is that, unlike most semi-autos, it isn’t gas fed. Instead, the second cartridge is cycled into the chamber by a short recoil action.

One reader has already asked me if there is a Sporter version. No, there isn’t at the moment, so all I can say is “wait and see” – word on the street is that one will be on sale here next year.

The lightest trap version weighs less than 8 lb, so it would seem to be technically possible.

Whether there would be much of a market for a Sporter, I can’t say – particularly as there are plenty of Beretta gas-fed autos suitable for the discipline already available, and probably a lot cheaper than a UGB.

However I can see a definite market for this gun among pigeon decoyers because the empty shells are ejected downwards – not sideways – thereby making it easier to collect spent shells at the end of a day.