New From Beretta: 692 Over/Under Competition Shotgun

You have to give credit where it’s due. The Italians know their food, wine and shotguns. Some will argue cars, too. RF’s better equipped to pronounce on the the relative merits of Ferraris and Lamborghinis, but the same country produces FIATs, which seems to counterbalance anything at the other end of the scale. But back to shotguns. Beretta’s updating their venerable 682 with, strangely enough, the 692. As you’d expect they’ve upgraded a few features and while I’ve never shot its predecessor, the 692 is one of the sweetest-shooting smoothbores I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting . . .

They’ve widened the receiver block by a couple of silly little millimeters, something they say helps to balance the gun better. If that’s what did it, those were two of the best-spent millimeters in gunmaking history. The 692 is one of the most comfortable, naturally-swinging guns you’ll every point at an orange Frisbee. Or anything else for that matter. And felt recoil (they’ve lengthened the forcing cones a little) with the light target loads they were feeding me at the range yesterday was, at most, a gentle nudge.

Call me a geek, but besides how damned well the thing shoots, what impressed me most was the fact that you can convert the ejectors to extractors with the turn of a screw.

All this excellence comes, as you’d expect, at a price. And a hefty one. As in right about $5,000. Which made me cry a little when I heard it. But for a gun that will more than hold its own with the Perazzi MX-8s and Krieghoff K-80s of the world, this damned thing is worth every single penny. Maybe someday.