The 600 series action upon which this gun is based is one of the world’s most proven. Low in profile, and especially rugged, it is one of the best ever conceived for an over-andunder. It may not have quite the trigger pulls of a true leaf-sprung sidelock but its total dependability makes up for this. The single trigger always works, the spring-loaded ejectors are simple and effective, the locking mechanism, based on conical bolts engaging round bites either side of the top chamber, is a work of genius. It is not only simple but it wears in with use.
The 600 series also offers a trunnion hinging system and easily replaceable bearing surfaces (all parts that are subject to wear are available in several over-sizes should the need for replacement ever arise). I know of a king and several wealthy men who use sideplated Beretta 600 series guns because they shoot so much and demand something that will never let them down.
By taking such a fundamentally sound gun and customising to the standards seen here, one ends up with the best of all worlds. Machines and human hands have both made what they are best at.
Shooting impress ions
The test gun shot consistently breaking all but a couple of clay targets that were presented to it. It was a little heavy for me – especially in the barrels. It was also a bit low in the stock (23⁄8in drop at heel), and a little long (153⁄8in including a neatly made, contrasting dark-wood extension of 1in or so).
The demonstration gun was built to shoot high birds with heavy loads. (Lighter guns are possible.) This custom Beretta is beautiful, however, and offers real value for money (the engraving alone would cost nearly half the ticket price). Tony will work on other makes of gun if required, and mentions Brownings and Perazzis as possible candidates for similar treatment. Delivery would be four to six months in most cases.