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
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,
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.
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.