Beretta re­view

What’s in the box?

Field and Game - - ACROSS THE DITCH -

Field & Game Australia ex­clu­sive test of the Beretta Black Se­ries shot­guns

Mix­ing tra­di­tion with high tech ma­te­ri­als has been a nat­u­ral tran­si­tion in many in­dus­tries. How was this go­ing to work in shot­gun de­sign, where tra­di­tion is highly val­ued?

The three mod­els tested by FGA, the 690 and 692, and the DT11, are well known in Australia, sporters, con­fig­ured with Beretta’s tried and true sporter stock di­men­sions, 30 inch bar­rels, and vari­able chokes.

FGA as­sem­bled a mix of com­pe­ti­tion shoot­ers and hunters, some loyal to Beretta and oth­ers who have a dif­fer­ent brand al­le­giance.

First im­pres­sions

The DT11 po­larised opin­ions, those lov­ing the all black and car­bon fi­bre were usu­ally a fan of the ASE/DT se­ries of Beretta sport­ing shot­guns. Other Beretta own­ers wanted to like the mod­ern ma­te­ri­als; how­ever the tra­di­tion­al­ist won out.

Feel & fit

The 690 and 692 are very fa­mil­iar to any­one ex­pe­ri­enced with the 680 and 690 se­ries. Stan­dard stock di­men­sions en­sure a fa­mil­iar feel as the gun is mounted. The rounded semi-beaver­tail fore end is be­com­ing a stan­dard and was gen­er­ally pre­ferred by our testers. In­ter­est­ingly, we had ac­cess to a DT11 “sil­ver” for com­par­i­son, this model had a Schn­abel fore end.

Our testers spent a lot of time com­par­ing the DT 11 Black with our ex­am­ple of the orig­i­nal “sil­ver” DT11. Both had 30 inch bar­rels and vari­able chokes, and were stripped down to the com­po­nent parts for weigh­ing and com­par­i­son. The Black ver­sion weighed in XX grams less and the ta­ble tells that story.

The feel and bal­ance of each was markedly dif­fer­ent but our testers all had a pref­er­ence for the Black ver­sion of the DT11.

Tech­ni­cal changes

The Car­bon fi­bre top rib on the 692 and DT11 draws your eye. Fit­ted into slots and se­cured through the posts, it ap­pears seam­less.

Turn­ing over the DT11 you no­tice the car­bon fi­bre trig­ger plate, this is get­ting in­ter­est­ing. We com­pared trig­ger as­sem­blies from the Black and “sil­ver” DT11S and they ap­pear iden­ti­cal. With the no­table ex­cep­tion of weight, the DT11 Black trig­ger is housed in car­bon fi­bre and markedly lighter.

Chokes are sup­plied with ei­ther Op­tima or Op­tima Pro, de­pend­ing on the model. The chokes weren’t as­sessed, it was noted in our field test­ing that they broke tar­gets con­vinc­ingly.

Bar­rel weights are sup­plied with the 692 and DT11. Beretta Australia kindly sourced a set how­ever none of the testers wanted to change the han­dling dy­nam­ics of the un­weighted bar­rels, pre­fer­ring the faster swing and find­ing noth­ing lack­ing in steadi­ness on longer shots. Some Beretta own­ers who han­dled the guns pre­ferred more weight in the bar­rels, and would add bar­rel weights at the out­set.

On the Sim­u­lated Field

Ini­tial test­ing in­volved com­pre­hen­sive pat­tern test­ing, tun­ing the choke and car­tridge com­bi­na­tions for op­ti­mal per­for­mance. This fol­lows the prac­tices de­ployed in the Shot­gun­ning Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram, and is as ef­fec­tive for Sim­u­lated Field as it is for hunt­ing.

The pat­tern test­ing turned out some sur­prises. Ini­tial com­bi­na­tions for the 690 and 692 per­formed well. The DT11 how­ever, pro­duced pat­terns re­quir­ing sig­nif­i­cant tun­ing.

All three Beretta Black shot­guns were used at the Port Phillip Christ­mas shoot. Im­pres­sions were favourable, the guns per­formed well and shoot­ers shot around their re­spec­tive hand­i­cap. Brown­ing shoot­ers don’t tran­si­tion read­ily to the 690 se­ries, how­ever they gen­er­ally found the DT11 Black easy to adapt to and shoot well.

Ver­dict

The 690 and 692 pro­vide very fa­mil­iar han­dling and a fresh look.

The DT11 is a big shift from pre­vi­ous mod­els in looks and han­dling with a range of op­tions to fine tune the shot­gun for your in­di­vid­ual pref­er­ences. Or is that to make changes to com­pen­sate for a poor round of shoot­ing?

A blend of tra­di­tional and mod­ern tech­nolo­gies we re­ally en­joyed shoot­ing.

Per­sonal pref­er­ence will play a big role but on our as­sess­ment the DT11 is some­thing to be ex­pe­ri­enced, whether you al­ready shoot a Beretta or an­other mark.

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