Tactical Enhancements & Versatility Make Breda’s B12i Shotgun a Solid Home Defense Option
Ferrari, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace are all names that represent the pinnacle of Italian design and luxury. Add to that list, Breda (pronounced BRAY-duh).
Chances are you’ve never heard of Breda, but it’s definitely a name you need to learn, especially if you’re looking to provide a solid line of defense against the bad guys for your family.
Although Breda is a quickly emerging brand in the U.S., it has a long-standing tradition of making top-end weapons since the mid-1920s. Europeans have long-cherished their Breda shotguns for their quality of materials, aesthetics and innovation. Most important for the home defender is Breda’s reputation for the innovation, durability and simplicity of its operating system. Breda leads the industry with innovations such as interchangeable chokes, semi-automatic shotguns that can be disassembled and reassembled without tools, and the rotating head inertia operating system. Most of these features are found in products offered by almost every quality brand of shotgun.
With the history lesson complete, let’s address the elephant in the room.
THE GUN UP CLOSE
The choice of a shotgun as your go-to home defense weapon is long debated. I doubt there will ever be a definitive resolution to the debate that will prove one platform superior over another, but there are many unique advantages to a shotgun specifically configured for home defense. The emphasis is on its proper configuration; for instance, a 30-inch shotgun, break-action, purpose-built for trap shooting will be a terrible choice for a home defense shotgun. Though semi-auto shotguns are great for protection, a lot require several modifications to make them more suitable for the unique requirements of thwarting intruders with maximum effectiveness. The B12i, however, comes “mission ready” straight out of the box.
The word “catenaccio” is well-known to Italian football fans. It very loosely means the deadbolt on a door, and refers to the way the Italians view game strategy: defense is most important element. The catenaccio is the last line of defense against attackers and therefore needs to be the strongest part of the team. This exactly describes how the Breda USA’s B12i fits into your home-defense plan. The B12i is a strong last line of defense that will allow you to confidently keep attackers at bay.
It’s no secret that no matter how much you prepare and practice defending your family, when it becomes a reality, the stress and adrenaline diminish your fine motor skills. Because of this, manipulating the firearm must be as easy as possible and require as little thought as possible. Every element of the B12i’s 3-gun competition-inspired design make it ideally suited for the stress and anxiety of home defense.
“EUROPEANS HAVE LONGCHERISHED THEIR BREDA SHOTGUNS FOR THEIR QUALITY OF MATERIALS, AESTHETICS AND INNOVATION.”
In every aspect, Breda has paid close attention to the ergonomics required when shooting a shotgun on the move and under pressure. Immediately upon picking it up, you’ll notice how the gun fits in your hands. While I’m sure I could look up the exact dimensions and tolerances to which everything is designed, I’m just as sure you’d find that would make for a snooze-worthy article. Suffice it to say that the balance and hand feel of
the B12i is as close to custom as you’ll get, without having to sell an organ or two to pay for it.
From your strong hand, everything is immediately accessible. Extending your trigger finger very naturally forward takes you to the easy-to-find, oversized bolt release. When you hear that bump in the night, a smooth, easy touch pushes a round into battery and the bolt into place. Having shot a wide variety of shotguns, I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the rotating bolt moved forward. Smooth doesn’t mean slow, however. It will take you by surprise if you’re used to a weightier gun in which the bolt slams forward after wrestling with a small, hard-to-find and equally hard-to-press “traditional” bolt release.
If your shotgun is stored with an empty chamber and the bolt forward, no worries. An oversized charging hand eliminates the need to find a small lever to move the bolt back. Large and knurled for easy tactile recognition and positive grip, you can charge and be ready to engage the threat, even with gloves on. Why you’d be wearing gloves indoors is another question, but
“MOST IMPORTANT FOR THE HOME DEFENDER IS BREDA’S REPUTATION FOR THE INNOVATION, DURABILITY AND SIMPLICITY OF ITS OPERATING SYSTEM.”
if you find yourself in that situation, charging the Breda will be the last of the worries.
In the stock configuration, the B12i’s round capacity is 4 plus one. But one of my favorite standard “enhanced ease of use” features is the enlarged loading port. For just about every other home defense shotgun, you’d need to go to an experienced gunsmith to open the loading port as wide as Breda’s. An enlarged loading port allows for rapid reloading without having to use the fine motor skills needed to insert the shells into a narrow opening, which includes sticking your thumb inside the port to make sure they are well into the tube. Again, with the enlarged port, you can reload single shells or four at a time, even with gloves on, should you so choose. Other standard enhancements show just how attentive Breda is to making a shotgun that is easy and quick to manipulate in high-stress situations. The front of the trigger guard slopes directly to the loading port to ease reloads. Likewise, the handguard slopes away from the loading port so your hand doesn’t get caught on an abrupt edge when moving through the reload. A large triangular-shaped push-through safety is easy to find with your thumb or index finger position, just behind the pro-tuned trigger. Additionally, the receiver is predrilled for the addition of a rail and optics.
Even though the B12i is ready out of the box, I chose to further enhance the tactical usability of it with a few top-end upgrades from TACCOM. I installed a +2 extreme extension tube
to up the capacity from 4+1 to 6+1. Because of their unique design, TACCOM tubes can be used individually or stacked together. Getting an additional +4 extreme tube, my capacity options became 4+1, 6+1, 8+1 and 10+1. To help cut through the target and make sure the gun is on target, my tactical package isrounded out with a TACCOM tube-mounted rail on which is mounted a Sightmark LoPro green laser/ flashlight combo.
An 18.5-inch barrel is the preferred choice for a home defense or tactical configuration. However, Breda also sells individual barrels in 21-, 24-,
28- and 30-inch lengths with a hand-mounted step rib, as well as
24- and 26-inch barrels with rifle sites. Because removal and installation of barrels does not require tools, you can use your B12i not only for home defense, but also for competition or hunting. Each barrel is diligently and slowly drilled at the Breda factory, each one taking close to an hour to complete to ensure consistent and predictable patterning with each choice of choke.
Overall, with Breda, you’re getting much more than you’re paying for. High-end tactical enhancements straight out of the box, performance-centered near-custom craftsmanship and versatility promise to make Breda’s debut tactical shotgun a highly sought-after scattergun for home defense and beyond. HD
“… STANDARD ENHANCEMENTS SHOW JUST HOW ATTENTIVE BREDA IS TO MAKING A SHOTGUN THAT IS EASY AND QUICK TO MANIPULATE IN HIGH STRESS SITUATIONS.”
For the addition of a rail and optics, the receiver is predrilled.
Bottom Right: A +4 tube extension from Taccom not only increases your capacity to eight rounds, but it is also designed to accept additional tubes, allowing you to customize the amount of ammo you have on board.
For rapid reloads, the B12i features an enlarged loading port.
Bottom: The large triangular safety, just behind the trigger, is quickly released when the time comes to put rounds on target.
Top Right: The B12i comes with fiber optic front sights and an 18.5-inch barrel, which is the preferred choice for a home defense or a tactical configuration.
Top: An oversized charging handle and bolt release are easily accessible in high-stress situations.
Shown with a Taccom +2 tube extension, the
Breda B12i 18.5-inch 12 gauge has many features that are not only well-suited for home defense, but for sporting use, as well.