The Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I Sporting offers all the functional features of Beretta’s premium over-under competition shotguns at a particularly attractive price. It is built around the best-in-class 686 action, which is compact and low-profile while being extremely strong. The Optima-Bore, Optima-Choke barrels are light-weight and place the shotgun’s point of balance right at the hinge-pin, meaning lively feel in the hands and natural pointability. And with its select-walnut stock and tasteful scroll engraving, the Silver Pigeon I Sporting won’t fail to turn heads at the range, also thanks to its unmistakeable Beretta looks.
At the heart of the Silver Pigeon I Sporting is the legendary 686 action, a long-standing favorite among competition shooters and hunters. Over-under actions must have a strong locking mechanism, because the stress of every shot causes the action to “want” to open. For this reason, most manufacturers place the locking lug(s) at the top of the receiver, making it strong but also taller and bulkier than it needs be. Thanks to its long experience, Beretta uses instead two conical locking lugs at mid-action, right between the barrels. This gives the 686 receiver vault-like locking strength while keeping the profile considerably lower. The advantage is that the eye of the shooter is a lot closer to the plane of his supporting hand: considerably better swing and hand-eye coordination, more targets shattered.
Another advantage of the Silver Pigeon action is the fact that the locking lugs are conical. As the number of shots fired goes into the five digits, the receiver will still lock up positively: the conical lugs merely “self-adjust” by setting themselves slightly deeper into the barrel unit, without any compromise on strength. This means that the Silver Pigeon Sporting is a shotgun that will stand up to years of enjoyment and can be passed down from generation to generation.
While not as elaborately decorated as Beretta’s premium shotguns, the Silver Pigeon I Sporting has all the elegance that you can expect from a Beretta. The oil-finished stock sports a beautiful and crisp checkering pattern, and the schnabel fore-end adds to the classic flavor of this over-under. The scroll-engraved receiver is a functional work of art in itself, with its interesting geometry blending perfectly with the stock and contributing to the gun’s graceful lines. This is a shotgun that has all the elements of a treasured heirloom, without the price-tag to match.
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