Un­der game gun a svelte over-and-

“A low-pro­file ac­tion and slen­der stock make the Class RD that will ap­peal to those who want to stand out on the peg” 96/ 100

Sporting Gun - - Gear Editor’s Test - JAN­UARY 2019

At 6lb 4oz in the 20-bore ver­sion, the Class RD is light, mak­ing it easy to carry on a walked-up day. What is more, that weight is evenly dis­trib­uted with the bal­ance point around the hinge pin. A well-bal­anced gun is eas­ier to con­trol and will not fa­tigue the shooter as much as a bar­rel-heavy gun.

Con­di­tions can be harsh in the field, even on a driven day, and you don’t want to have prob­lems with your gun, es­pe­cially if you have paid a hefty price for a day’s shoot­ing. Hav­ing been to the Fausti fac­tory in Bres­cia, the gun-mak­ing cap­i­tal of Italy, I know the parts for this gun are forged from solid bil­lets of steel us­ing the lat­est high-tech CNC machines, and the in­ter­nal ac­tions are tried and tested us­ing coiled main­springs and re­bound­ing ham­mers. Re­li­a­bil­ity is rarely a prob­lem with a gun of this qual­ity.

What is more, Fausti uses a patented Four Lock mech­a­nism on both its com­pe­ti­tion and game guns to give more sta­bil­ity and longevity. Four lock­ing points are made up of two bolts that en­gage a lug on the bot­tom of the bar­rel monobloc for ver­ti­cal latch along with another pair of bolts in the side of the re­ceiver to en­sure a lat­eral lock-up.

Another sign of qual­ity was the bar­rel selec­tor and safety catch on the top strap,

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which is typ­i­cally Ital­ian. It moved with a well-en­gi­neered feel and it was easy to un­set and re­set the man­ual safety.

Of­ten on game guns the safety is au­to­matic, be­ing re­set by a pusher rod af­ter each open­ing. This can be an­noy­ing and of­ten ends in pre­serv­ing the lives of pheas­ants more than any­thing else. Hap­pily, the Fausti’s safety can be set to the shooter’s pref­er­ence at the time of pur­chase, or by a gun­smith.

Shoot­ing

When it came to putting some car­tridges through the Class RD I was im­pressed. It was in­cred­i­bly fast han­dling. I’m used to chunkier 12-bore shot­guns and at first I was wav­ing this svelte 20-bore all over the place. How­ever, I soon got used to its more slen­der di­men­sions and re­ally en­joyed shoot­ing it.

One thing that Fausti does re­ally well is bal­ance its shot­guns. In most cal­i­bres the ac­tions are scaled, which re­duces weight. The Class RD felt lively and it came to the shoul­der so eas­ily that it made me think that this is the sort of gun I need for my walked-up days. The Fausti would be great for in­stinc­tive snap shoot­ing; such is the con­trol­la­bil­ity of this gun with its low-pro­file ac­tion and great di­men­sions.

For me the comb was the right height and gave me a good sight pic­ture. With a thick coat on, the length of pull was just about right for my 6ft-plus frame as well.

The trig­ger break was nice and crisp and the ejec­tors spat out used car­tridges well be­hind me, so no prob­lem there. How­ever, reload­ing the bot­tom bar­rel was some­times a lit­tle prob­lem­atic be­cause the gape wasn’t that wide. This is a prob­lem that many low-pro­file Ital­ian shot­guns have, so it is not a rea­son not to buy the guns. Af­ter all, the low-pro­file ac­tion makes the gun eas­ier to con­trol, so what you lose with the gape you make up for in han­dling. An ex­pe­ri­enced game shooter once told me to al­ways shoot the top bar­rel first, so that if you only took one shot a car­tridge could quickly be stuffed in the top bar­rel, which is one way round this mi­nor ir­ri­ta­tion. The model we tested had mul­ti­chokes. Most shoot­ers rarely change their chokes, but multi-chokes also make the gun eas­ier to sell sec­ond-hand be­cause many like the adapt­abil­ity.

The Class RD is avail­able in .410, 12-, 16-, 20- and 28-bore ver­sions.

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