By Mike Yardley of The Field
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Mike Yardley reviews a 30in, 12-bore, single trigger FAMARS Poseidon and reflects upon its finish, style and design.
FAMARS, also known as Abbiatico & Salvinelli
(A&S), is known in Italy for producing higher-quality, visually attractive,
guns at competitive prices. A .410 round body Abbiatico was one of the
prettiest guns that I ever owned. This firm has made guns for other, even more
famous Italian makers, and has been one of the great innovators in both
computer numerical control and spark erosion production technology.
A&S has made some extraordinary firearms
but its most intriguing guns have to be the four-barrelled Rombo (available as
a .410 or 28 bore), the hammer ejector side-by-sides and the "Zeus" side-lever
side-by-side (in bores from .410 through to 12).
Innovative, elegant and well finished though
they often are, Abbiaticos have had some quality control issues in the past.
There is no doubting the beauty of the products or their design brilliance.
Abbiatico guns nearly always look fabulous and are beautifully machined but
occasionally they have been let down by trigger problems and stock issues.
This sounds a bit negative, so let me start
by saying that our test gun, a 30in, 12-bore, single-trigger Poseidon over-and-under, upholds the FAMARS reputation for style. It's a bit blingy, but in this case
the bling really is beautiful. I like deep scroll when it is well done, as it
is here. I also like quality game scenes, and a very good one graces the belly
of the Poseidon.
The wood is spectacularly figured and
finished. We seem to pay excessive attention to figure today and less than we
might to grain structure and strength (happily, the grain on this Poseidon's
stock is fairly straight through the critical hand area). The solid, tapered sighting rib is impeccably presented, too. And I liked the simple metal bead and
the versatility of the Teague thin-wall multi-chokes.
The Poseidon is a sidelock with a new type of
detachable trigger plate. The mechanism - which is exquisite when removed from
the gun - has a separate lock on either side of a central plate. Powered by
V-springs, each incorporates an intercepting safety sear. FAMARS calls this a
drop sidelock. It is most unusual.
The Poseidon looks smart. The details of
finish - such as the elegantly curved trigger blade, the extended trigger
guard, the push rod fore-end fastener set in steel, the perfectly chequered safety,
the grip cap, gold serial number and gold oval - all befit a de luxe gun.
Action, fore-end iron and trigger guard are all silver polished.
The gun does not disappoint when mounted. The
stock shapes are sound. I liked the hand-filling but well-proportioned and
relatively open-radiused pistol grip. The stock comb was not too thin and the
rounded, near parallel-sided fore-end offered excellent purchase and was not
too big. The Poseidon seemed quite heavy in the hands, however, though it
balanced precisely on the hinge pin.
Is this as good a gun as a higher-grade
Perazzi or Kemen with which it competes price-wise at an RRP £18,999? This
question can only be answered after extended use.
had a problem on the test gun with a pin shifting in the trigger unit (fixed by
pushing it in with a fingernail but it prevented me returning the trigger unit
into the gun until I realised what had happened). With regard to finish, style
and design, the Poseidon was potentially the equal or, aesthetically speaking,
the better of its rivals. Nevertheless, the sort of small problem mentioned
should not afflict an expensive gun.
well-presented monobloc barrels bear Italian proof marks for 23⁄4in (70mm) cartridges. Forcing cones are
longer than average and bore diameters typical for Italy at 18.4mm
(18.6mm-18.7mm would be my preference). The barrels on the test gun are 30in
and, as such, well suited to high birds. They are equipped with solid side ribs
and there are subtle wings for the fore-end and a not-so-subtle, indeed, rather
ritzy extended fore-end iron, the top section of which extends back several
inches from the knuckle.
barrels, which are well polished inside and out, are better than average for
straightness, too. They have been hand finished to a good standard and are
richly blacked. The action is of Boss type to the front with Boss locking and
Boss-style draws and wedges. To the rear of the standing breech, the unusual
detachable trigger lock may be removed by bringing the safety back beyond its
normal position. There is no instant barrel selection option. Most guns with
removable trigger locks dispense with this (though there are exceptions). The
trigger is inertia operated, as with most modern over-and-unders. The pulls
were adequate but had a little creep.
Poseidon shot well. I have tested some great guns recently, so I am setting the
bar high these days. From the shooting perspective, this FAMARS did not
disappoint. It performed without significant vices and pointed naturally. It
was a little heavy, as noted, at a whisker over 8lb, but that weight will suit
some, notably those who combine high birds with the occasional clay-busting
outing. Considering the weight, felt recoil was a little above the average to
my face and shoulder, but not unpleasantly so. This was an exceptionally
attractive gun, too, and a straight-shooting one. It's cleverly designed but
FAMARS must sort out the little things if it is to achieve its true potential
as a great gunmaker.
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