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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.

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  1. We are approaching the time that if you want to be a gun owner in this country an expensive break action is going to be one of few options. Seperates the nobles from the peasants.

    • High-end boutique shotguns and big game rifles are a world unto themselves.

      Holland&Holland have some entry-level stuff in the $15K range, but when you get into the big-boy toys, you’re looking at $100K and up. I think Longthorne, and Boss have some entry level stuff, but I don’t remember about Purdey.

      It’s much akin to high-end watches, $8K for a relatively pedestrian mass produced Rolex or IWC on to the rarefied air of $100K-$500K Pateks, Jagers, Breguets and the like.

  2. I have driven both street and race spec Fiats that, to put it mildly, did not suck. They made crap cars in the past, but a lot of their current line is competitive on the world stage.

    That 5k price tag is exactly what I’d expect: splits the difference between a $2.5k “nice shotgun” that you’ll find on the racks at BassPro/Cabelas, vs a $10k heirloom-grade gentleman’s shotgun. Doesn’t mean I’m eager to pay 5k for something that goes bang twice (personally, I’d rather spend that on a 1000m rifle system) but I can see the market for such.

  3. $5K isn’t high in that market. It’s actually on the low side of the average.

    Look at Perazzi, Ceasar, Franchi, et al.

    If you want to see a better “bang for buck” in SxS or O/U shotguns, look at that Basque guns from Spain.

  4. Just got one. Shoots good but is NOT a mechanical trigger as advertised as it did not reset .410. Also, the mid bead fell off the rib the first day. All in all, a very nice gun just in need of a few minor fixes. I have a feeling it’s going to be a big seller.

  5. I am looking to get better @ trap shooting. I was looking to the 692 to replace a 686. I also had a front bead fall off 600 rounds later. I guess that part of the gun needs improving since the action has the same serial # as the barrels.question when is the trap version coming out.


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