Beretta Silver Pigeon I
Roger Glover tests out Beretta’s 686 Silver Pigeon I Game Scene 12-bore, an all-rounder that offers something for everyone at an excellent price
Ever keen to keep a fresh face on long-life models, Beretta has launched the 686 Silver Pigeon I with the new Game Scene engraving. The Silver Pigeon range has involved many models over the years. There have been some changes to the action, but essentially the heart of it all is close to the original design. It works well with little need to change it.
The engraving pattern on the cheeks of the action does offer a new take on the decoration of this gun. With rising pheasants on the right side and flighting ducks on the other, there is no question that this is outwardly a field gun with the best of sporting intentions. Clearly at this price point you are not going to see any handengraved work, but for rolled or pressed engraving these scenes do fit well with the scrollwork that abounds around the rest of the action.
With an action that has been in production for so long, it is fair to say the design is a proven one and renowned for its reliability. Lock-up is by Beretta’s famous tapered round lugs, two pins from the breechface engage with two holes either side of the barrels, creating a relatively shallow action as there is no locking bar lower down under the barrels.
The trigger-plate action, like most over-and-under guns with a single trigger, uses an inertia block system to select the trigger sear for the second barrel. I measured the triggerpull several times as I thought the scale was reading wrong; it really does break at 4lb 11oz, but you don’t feel anything like that on your finger. Though a bit heavy, it breaks with a crisp snap with only the slightest of take-ups. The barrel selector on the top tang safety catch is smooth and notch-free in use — a delight.
It is also easy to return it to the safe position if a shot was not taken.
The strikers are on the vertical centreline of the action, which means there is less stress on them than if they were set diagonally. The hammers are so designed to have ears to contact the strikers, and cut-outs so the offset ears pass each other. Simple and straightforward, the mark of good design.
The ejectors are tripped by the same rods that re-cock the hammers. Rib Length of pull Weight Features
“There is no question that this Beretta is outwardly a field gun with the best of sporting intentions”
The game scenes — flighting ducks on the left side — fit well with the scrollwork on the action