By Michael Yardley of The Field
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
The Fausti style side-by-side shoots as well as some shotguns costing 20 times as much.
The barrels are monobloc, the joints are good and it shows some confidence in the product that the gun is 3in (76mm) proofed. This is, increasingly, the norm and expected in the US and on the Continent where heavier loads are more popular than they are here. Both bores are 18.5mm in diameter. The flat-file cut and tapered rib is my favourite side-by-side pattern and my preference over the classic concave.
The action is of modified Anson and Deeley box-lock type. The hammers and combined strikers are powered by traditional V springs rather than the helical springs seen in most machine-made guns. The stock, however, is attached to the action by a stock bolt as in a mass-produced over-and-under. The single trigger is of mechanical type, useful in a game gun, especially a relatively lightweight one in which one may use light loads on occasion.
I was really impressed by this gun. It felt good, balancing on the hinge pin with 26in tubes (the only option) and seemed lively between the hands. A hinge-pin balance is not a guarantee of good dynamics but it is usually a positive in a game gun unless it has particularly long barrels. The Style not only felt good, it shot exceptionally well, pointing better than most short-barrelled guns. Recoil was surprisingly light. It effortlessly broke all the clay birds presented to it at the Southern Counties Ground in Dorset, save for a couple of fiendish long crossers.
A similar Fausti side-by-side has given me sterling service shooting pigeon in Africa (and a spitting cobra for the various column). That gun is significantly heavier and has 30in tubes. It does not handle as naturally as this one, nor does it look as pretty.
I could quibble on some details of finish, but the Style shoots better than some guns costing 20 times as much. It has but one significant vice - it does not open quite as wide as I would like for speedy reloading.
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