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Well, it’s one of the reasons.

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  1. Four grand for a O/U sporting shotgun is middle of the road. Good sporting O/U shotguns range from about $2500 up to about $12K for actual performance features, balance, durability, longevity without adjustment or tightening.

    If you folks got out a bit more, you’d see that this isn’t a wildly over-priced shotgun in the market segment it occupies.

    • Really like my silver pigeon. It just always works.
      For the job I bought it for, it is a pretty darn good tool.
      Chukar and pheasant, beware!

    • What are your thoughts on the new Ruger Red Label? According to my wife, I don’t have $4K to spend on an O/U shotgun.

      • One of the guys in our “cast n blast” group has been hunting with his Red Label for a good many years.
        One of the first things we tell him on every trip is that if he croaks we’re taking his shotgun and leaving him.
        It’s a terrific shotgun. I’m thinking of getting one in 20 gauge. It’s lighter so I can carry more ammo.

      • The Red Label is a great choice, especially for the money. Just like anything else Ruger makes, there’s nicer guns, and there’s cheaper guns, but Ruger always seems to strike the right balance between cost and performance.

  2. Another good example would be the Krieghoff K-80. The base models are around 9k and the top-of-the-line versions range upwards of 70-90k. The only differences? Engraving on the receiver and the wood used. That’s about it. The basics are all almost identical and even the base model is worth every penny.

    • Here’s the ultimate irony about the K-80 line:

      The K-80 has its roots in the Remington Model 32 O/U shotgun, made here in the US.

      Remington got to a point where they were seized with the idea that making nothing but cheap guns was the road to riches, so they discontinued the Model 32. O/U shotgun folks in Europe took up the design and Krieghoff started making 32’s, which then evolved in the the K-80. Remington could have had that high-end gun business, but noooooo.

      Today, the K-80 is one of the most predominate high-end competition guns out there, and for very good reasons. You can see it in the quality of the steel, the tight manufacturing tolerances that allow parts produced today to fit into guns made 20+ years ago with almost no fitting of the part(s). When you own a K-80 and you want to be sure you’re ready to compete, you send it into Krieghoff and they will check the entire gun over, and the internal parts will be checked against gages and precision measurements. They don’t just eyeball your gun for functionality, they really check the parts against specifications for wear and fit.

  3. Thanks for posting this. I’m glad we still have some craftsmen (and women) left on this planet.

    • close tolerances are achieved by machine – scanning, 3D modelling and laser cutting -not by some half blind aged craftsman bodging a piece of metal to a lump of wood and never getting the same fit twice. The sooner these “craftsmen” are removed from the equation the sooner we can expect some consistency

  4. Well, I don’t know how they’re able to churn out 6″ semi-auto NEOS pistols in 22lr for just $235 or so retail, but those are the best, most sure shooting trainers I’ve ever had the good fortune to use. Just a tremendous joy of a product. No idea how they can do it for only that, even if their production is less labor intensive than for these. Even the spare magazines are reasonably priced.

  5. I wondered if the photographer noticed the gun pointing at him, or her, briefly as it was being transported from the rack to the scale.

    • OK, here’s the deal in gunsmith shops: There’s no way to avoid sweeping people. That’s the reason why there is no live ammo on benches or loose anywhere in the shop.

      There are some shotgun fitting procedures where I check the shotgun for being unloaded and empty, I have the customer mount the gun and then I get on a block or stool, then I put the muzzle under my eye and I sight back down the rib. I’m looking back down the rib to see how the customer’s head mounts on the gun stock and where his/her eye is in relation to the rib.

      People who have an issue with where the muzzle of a gun is at all times, even when unloaded, would crap kittens to see gunsmiths work on guns at times. In this case, they’d see a shotgun muzzle about 1″ from my cheekbone under my eye.

  6. Name just two people you know who could tell the difference between the before, and after, balance of that gun. Ya, I thought so. This is for people who have more money than A) brains, B) they know what to do with, or C) both A and B.

    • You do know that a comment like this makes you just seem like a real chump?

      If somebody has the money and wants to buy a super-high quality shotgun like one of these, what concern is it of yours?

      • Tell you what sporto, try reading, comprehending, and commenting, in that order, about any comment you see. Then you won’t sound like a chump. Nothing in my comment says anything about a persons right to spend outrageous amounts of money on a gun. Interesting that you somehow thought it did.

    • I’m one and I’ll guess there is probably someone else here as well.
      For skeet and trap, gun fit, balance and feel can’t be overstated, it is key when you shoot hundreds of thousand of rounds through a shotgun.

      But none of it makes any difference if you don’t view practice, practice, practice as the most important component to consistent shooting.

      1st bird, 250th bird, it’s still a miss if you’re not on it.

      • And you don’t have to be a top competitor to understand this.

        Pick up grandaddy’s double barreled and go skeet shooting, then try out an $8,000 piece of art and … yup, you’ll get it.

      • I have a matched pair of skeet guns I’ve been using for about 31 years. They are not works of art, but were very well made, with coil springs, removable trigger groups, barrel selector on the housing above the trigger, chromed barrels, and wood that was cut to fit me. The metal fitting was excellent: They still are not loose. In today’s dollars they cost about 5,100 a piece. These are basic guns. If you saw them from ten feet away you couldn’t tell them from a basic 1,000 dollar double, or nearly so. For twice the price you get a top competitor’s gun. (No, I’m not a top competitor. Laugh. I use the guns for bird hunting more than skeet some years.)

        Consider Kim Rhode’s previous competition gun, a Perazzi MX-12: She shot 500-1000 rounds a day most days of the year from1992-2008, winning Olympic medals with that one gun through four Olympics, winning a medal in each one, two golds, a silver and a bronze. Using the low side of her round estimate, she put more than 2.4 million rounds through that one gun and nothing ever malfunctioned or broke. That’s probably worth $12,000, no? Then when the gun was stolen she bought a pair of MX2000’s, and won gold in a fifth Olympics, 2012. (She had to switch from double trap to skeet when the Olympics dropped trap.)

        These guns are cheap compared to the elegant guns of the pheasant-hunting set, or the “only a double rifle for me” big game hunters. But they deliver incredible reliability, durability, and excellent fit and balance. (She shoots Winchester pre-64 Model 70’s in .30-06 and .375 for hunting with a rifle, BTW.)

        • I really don’t know how many rounds I’ve put through mine. I’ll shoot trap and skeet for a few weeks before upland bird season. Usually a case a week. Then during hunting, another case.
          All I’ve ever done is clean it, and oil the stock and smile at the new ding.
          You just can’t beat quality.
          And yes, count me as another who can tell the difference in a well balanced, stock fitted to you, shotgun.

        • Someone will think “two of them? If it’s so durable and reliable, why two?” My brother-in-law from time I was 28 until now, at 62, kept a suitable gun for me in his country and I kept one for him and other visitors here. So one has always been a loaner, though fitted for me. We’re about the same size and pull length. I just switch off to even out the wear. And if it doesn’t fit him perfectly? Good, it gave me an edge. Laugh.

    • Ever handle a break-action shotgun much?

      When you have a break-action (O/U and SxS) shotgun, where the shotgun balances is an issue which people can easily determine. Break open the shotgun, hold it near the hinge and you’ll know if it is off balance rather quickly.

      In the video above, they’re attempting to get the shotgun to balance at the hinge pin. It started being “barrel heavy.”

      • Balance on a comp gun is critical. The issue is that wood density varies and so the guns are manufactured to be nose heavy, then adjusted by adding weight inside the stock. A gun starting out as tail heavy is not as easy to adjust.

  7. For sports like trap and skeet where 1 target can be the difference between a championship and 50th place, stuff like this really matters

    • That’s the single most succinct and basic but practical comment I’ve seen on this topic of price points.


    • Agree with the reality that very high-level competitors know what they shoot best, know exactly what performance-related customizations must be obtained, and know what the items should cost. They don’t shoot highly engraved guns, typically. I also note that several of the very best trap and skeet-gun makers are little known to the U.S. hunting public. Both Canadian and Kazakh olympic medalists have shot Renato Gamba guns for gold. Who’s heard of them in the U.S.? Of Rizzini? Perazzi and Beretta are obviously popular, but the 692 is not the Beretta model that top competitors shoot. The sweet spot in price seems to be about 9,000 for a top competition gun. Balance, furniture customization, and enormous durability cost money.

    • Have you ever shot skeet, trap or field clays?

      How you point, swing and follow matter and balances makes it easier to bring it your shoulder and adjust.

    • In International Skeet you call for a bird with the gun butt just below your hip. The bird is released with a 1-3 second random delay. You can’t lift the gun until the bird appears. It is going 65 mph. It is 110 mm in diameter. You have only (approx.) 7/8 oz of shot. It is reasonable to accept that good gun fit and balance really matter.

      • And people laugh at me when I start a run of regular trap or skeet in that position.
        Because it’s how I’m carrying it when those smart alecky birds flush from behind a blade of cheat grass and head down a 2,000 foot drop that I spent half the morning climbing.

    • I disagree with all of you (lol). I personally feel if you consistently use the same shotgun you will get a good feel for it. The only benefit I see for having consistent and precise balance is if you are shooting more than one shotgun and need the feel exactly the same between them. Honestly the benefit of balance for 0.5cm towards the back end is of little conseqence in my opinion. Moving your hand 0.5cm forward on a particular gun when shooting is not a big deal.

      • I agree with you. That exercise in balancing probably raises the cost by another $500, just because they “balance it perfectly”. Exactly what is “perfect balance”? It’s different for every shooter, and that $500 could be much better used to buy (partially) a set of tubes (which will change the balance considerably), or buy a bunch of targets and practice. That tiny amount of weight in the stock won’t make a hill of beans difference.

      • If you’re close to the average size, yes, you might become used to a rack shotgun with the standard pull length, drop, etc.

        A petite woman or a taller man will never be able to “get used to it.” It just won’t work.

  8. Yep, that little exercise probably increases the cost $500, and 99% of shooters wouldn’t know the difference. And no, that won’t make the difference of one target. It will make the difference of about $500, though, which could be much better spent on targets or part of a tube set (which negates that whole balance exercise, anyway). Gimmick.

  9. I compare this to my primary hobby, photography. I have lenses that cost 2000-3000 bucks. There are equivalents for consumer budgets that cost 10% of that. I can easily tell the difference and use them enough to justify the spend. 95% of people can’t.

    This gun would be a total waste on me, but my lenses….

    That’s the beauty of a relatively free market.

    • That is a perfect comparison.
      I saved for years and traded in a bunch of gear to get my first 70-200 / 2.8.
      Good Lord was it worth it.

  10. Obviously most of you fella’s haven’t heard of my newest “acquisition to be” in scatterguns. Take a look at Arrieta.

    New puppy coming and she’s been named Arrieta… so I get a new toy named the same 🙂 Did the same thing for the other dogs, one name Remington Woodlands, and the other Weatherby Bear.

  11. What does Dick Cheney shoot? For all that money, I’ll buy a Remi at Wally World and ask the auto dept to spin it and add wheel weights.

  12. Back in the day I shot sporting clays competitively. Between practice and tourneys I was shooting about 20,000 shells a year. Of course I was reloading my own (Remington STS hulls are the best bar none) , all patterned and tested in the field. And through all of this I had a regular job! It was a blast and I learned a lot.

    You have no idea what that did to my quail hunting 🙂 and still does. Still have the guns in 100% condition and they have appreciated about 500% in 10 years. Good investments.

    Shotgun sports are incredibly competitive. Compete at the high end like I did, and if you miss one or two birds you’re done. The guns are incredibly well fitted to your own person by experts. Out of the factory, not so much. Shotguns are like tailored suits, If you eat a lot and gain a few pounds it no longer fits and you start to miss. Think about it. – your cheek and you shoulder get fat and so on.

    It’s all instinctive shooting at that level, and I’m talking about shooting clay targets traveling at 90 degrees from you at full speed and the shot out of the barrel only sees the edge of the bird. All this from sixty yards away. And you have to hit 7 out of 10, or you lose the tourney. Everything closer in you better not miss any. Winning scores are always in the mid 90’s out of 100. It is that competitive. I even used computer simulations to pattern my chokes!

    All this said, my favorite quail gun is an older style engraved Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon in 28 gauge, with 28 inch barrels. I do not miss with that shotgun. It is just pure bliss! And it’s even better at the dinner table 🙂 .

    Then again, I shot a lot with a Beretta 687 EELL Diamond Pigeon 12 gauge (back in the day it was ~$3700 – God knows what they go for now) and I could never make it fit me. I missed a lot. I did not want to alter it so I sold it. My best fit and my main comp gun was and still is a Browning 425 Sporting Clays, custom fitted of course.

    In short, shotguns have to fit YOU. They are like tailored suits.

  13. Very cool stuff.

    I don’t know why some people here get so uppity about expensive firearms. $4k is a drop in the bucket really compared to class 3, long range precision bolt guns, military collectables like oh for arguments sake a HK PSG1 or Walther 2000, tanks, artillery pieces, etc.

    Heck an FN Scar17 that a poster above was bragging about with an Acog LaRue mount for said Acog, and a light on it is right at $4k…. Throw on a silencer, a nice sling and over $5k you go. So I have no idea what he was referring to really.

    Nice things cost money, and in certain sports you need good equipment to compete. You wouldn’t show up to a three gun competition with a $100 Mosin now would you?

    • I have a similar thought when people say “thats overpriced.”

      A Beretta 692: Two well-regulated 30 inch (or your choice) barrels, extremely strong locks, well-polished and extremely durable fire control group, two big pieces of very attractive wood. $4,000

      A Wilson or Brown mid-level 1911: One short somewhat fitted barrel and bushing, machined small parts with a bit of fitting, a slide fitted and lapped, little grips often made of synthetics. $3,000.

      And I just gape in wonder at how the shotgun can be seen as expensive.

  14. Your buying the name. Face it there custom built rifles which A Ruger 77 can shoot just as good it just doesn’t have the fancy Euro name on it.

    Don’t think im snubbing Beretta I love there pistols though.

    • Many serious hunting pros still shoot off-the-rack Winchester Model 70’s or similar, perhaps a Ruger.
      No expert clays competitors shoot off-the-rack $1,000 shotguns. There’s probably a reason.

      The average plumber or skilled bookkeeper can afford one Perazzi, if clays is their devotion. It might take a few years of scrimping, but they only need to buy one for a lifetime. Ammo and clays? That’s a different question.

    • You can’t compare shooting rifles to shooting shotguns. Been there, done that, learned the difference the hard way.

      You can shoot a rack grade rifle which does not fit you well (or even at all) because rifles have a rear sight. You can contort yourself into nearly absurd positions and still get a rifle to shoot on target… all you need to do is line up the sights, maintain the sight alignment on the target, manage your breathing, then squeeze the trigger. Job done.

      You can’t do this with a shotgun. Shotguns have no rear sight – your eye is the rear sight. If you don’t get the shotgun to mount to your shoulder the same, ever time, if you don’t achieve the same cheek weld, ever time, you’re going to have mounts where you miss.

      This is what all the gun fitting, the balancing, the fancy adjustable combs, the adjustable lengths of pull, the finicking about the grip length, the width of the comb, the drop at the heel, the cast off, toe-out, etc, etc, etc – all of this adds up in shotgunning to one thing: Being able to shoot 500+ rounds per day and achieve hit after hit after hit with different presentations… this takes a shotgun that literally becomes part of you.

      Talk to some very good shotgun competitive shooters. Ask them how they swing. Most of them will tell you “What swing?” They don’t sense a “swing.” They see the target, their head remains up, they’re looking at the target non-stop and suddenly… the gun is “just there” and then the target just “isn’t there.” That level of rapid mounting and hitting of a moving target doesn’t happen without failure for hundreds of targets in a row unless the gun fits at least reasonably well.

      • What about using a rear sight? Something line a peep? I regularily use peep sights and can’t sense them (just look at target, pull trigger, no more targetk).

        • You’re not aiming a shotgun. You point it. If a target is crossing, you have to lead it, not aim at it. Sights, other than a rib and beads, on a shotgun don’t work for shooting clay targets.

        • Just what I said. Front AND rear peep (diopter) sights aren’t really aimed with, just looked through (you look at target, not sights). As long as it isn’t too heavy or light it points well, don’t know whether that translates well to shotties.

        • There are things like a mid-rib bead on shotguns, and that’s the closest anyone gets to a rear sight. The mid-rib bead is used to make sure that you’re holding the gun correctly (you want to see a “figure 8” or “snowman” presentation to insure you’re holding the gun vertically). Other than that, a rear peep won’t work because your real focus isn’t on the rib, it isn’t on the front bead, it is “out there” on the target. A rear peep will simply reduce your ability to see the target.

          Good trap shooters have their eyes “out there” from even before the moment that the target is launched. They’re looking about 20 yards out (assuming they’re on the front line), not at their barrel(s).

      • Could not say that any better – thank you! The difference in competition comes to 1 or 2 misses. At that level if the gun doesn’t fit just right you’ll miss a lot more than one or two birds.

  15. My EELL .410 cost a pretty penny, and is worth every one of them I spent on it. There is just something about owning a fine O/U……….

  16. For those who think $4k is a lot for this shotgun, do the math. That is the retail price, so wholesale is about half that typically. Mark up on wholesale is anywhere from 50-100% so that leaves as little as $1k to build the gun. Material cost is probably a couple hundred dollars and then add labor and overhead. Another way to look at it is to ask yourself how much would it cost to make a shotgun of this quality yourself? Answer: at least $20k for materials and necessary equipment.

    A Caesar Guerini is a better gun in this price point anyhow.

  17. I am a college student right now, without a lot of money. I competitively shot trap all through high school. My first two years, I used a field grade Remington spartan O/U 20 gauge. Junior year, I had enough saved up to buy a used 12 ga. Beretta 682X for $900. It was built in 1990, so its 4 years older than I am! But it still locks up like a bank vault, and has beautiful balance.

    The difference between my two shotguns is night and day. You can’t shoot a shotgun well if you have to think about it. It had to become an extension of yourself, always perfectly parallel with your line of sight. And that costs money. 4 grand is nothing compared to what many people spend on their guns. And 4 grand is even more nothing compared to the price of the shells that will be shot through your shotgun.

  18. Something I can do in my garage with a 1/2 inch drill bit and some metal rod for pennies makes a shotgun worth 4 grand, I think not.

  19. When the only guns available for purchase are 4K double barrel shotguns, Bidens goal will be reached.

  20. Hopefully my experience with this exact gun helps people understand why it’s worth it.

    I purchased my 692 Skeet B-Fast 32″ mid last year after really getting into competitive skeet shooting. I started January of last year with my Benelli Vinci field gun and in my first registered shoot a month later, broke 88/100 in 12ga singles; I was hooked. After two more competitions, plus regular league, I decided to invest in an O/U. A lot of local club members had lower-end Berettas (682/682 for about $2K) so I invested in a slightly higher end, but not the DT series (starting at $10K), since I’m just beginning. My justification is I hate buying lower end, only later to want higher end and end up paying twice – I figure just spend the money once.

    3 days after the gun arrived, I was so excited to shoot with it, I decided to use during the current spring league (already a few weeks in) and the next registered shoot. I learned really quick how important gun fit is, and why the adjustability is so important on these guns. The club pros helped me line up the beads and adjust my stock (looking down barrel as you mount) and I figured that was all I needed. Even with their help, I was still missing 2-3 more targets per round in league and in my next competition, I dropped over 20 targets from normal high 80’s to low 60’s. I could not figure out why I was missing because sight picture was same as my other gun.

    A national champ was squadded with me during that registered shoot and after, noticing my frustration, suggested I pay for professional gun fit. I decided to take his advice and had a 3-hour fit and shooting consultation with a pro shop (custom stock makers and certified trainers). It was $175 for consult, $75 for the custom recoil pad work; they even talked me out of the adjustable pads I was going to buy as I didn’t need them.

    They had be bring both guns and first watched as I mounted and shot my Benelli. They then did same with my Beretta. After that we did pattern board shooting and they kept making slight adjustments, adding shims to the recoil pad, moving the comb, and finally had me place full choke in gun and shooting clays from their thrower. They kept adjusting until I was consistently dusting clays with full choke, finally building a custom recoil pad to match the gun (shaving and polishing rubber). They even helped me with my stance and mount, with exercises at home I can do.

    The end result was my next registered shoot I regained my 20 lost targets; I couldn’t believe it, but made it so much more enjoyable. A few weeks later I started breaking a couple more targets than my average in league. A few practice sessions I started breaking 24s, and then my first 25 straight. By end of my first season I broke 91/100 in my last registered skeet shoot, and my second 25 straight during practice.

    My 692 skeet b-fast has the same “steelium” barrel as the DT11 ($11K and up) and felt recoil is noticeably less than those spending $2-3K on the 682’s. The extra long forcing cone (over 300mm vs. normal 65mm) in the premium barrels makes a huge difference in pattern consistency and felt recoil. I shot some others’ 682 and compared to the lower recoil of my Benelli auto loader, your shoulder was sore after a few boxes. With the 692 I regularly shoot 200 rounds in a day, or singles/doubles during registered shoot in a day, and zero shoulder issue or even bruising; it’s as easy to shoot as my auto-loader. You can ask some shooters and they often shoot 20ga instead of 12ga because of recoil causes a slight “flinch” and affects their scores; they are shooting cheaper guns. The higher end guns reduce the recoil and that is never an issue.

    I spent $4300 for the gun at a local Sportman’s Warehouse, with no extra charge for using credit card, and they ordered direct. The best price I could find online was about $4500. Next spending $2500 more to add 3 sub-gauge tube sets and case. Other guys are spending $10-20K for higher-end competition guns (Kolar, Kreighoff, Perazzi) at the club but one of the top state champs and regular winner still shoots the same 682 Gold E; he’s just had it rebuilt a few more times than the others that are designed to run millions of rounds through them. Only my 2nd year in the sport but I don’t regret spending the extra money from 682 (retired now 686) to the 692 line; it’s well worth the extra couple grand.

    • Nice write up Mike. Not picking on you, however WRT your comment:

      “My 692 skeet b-fast has the same “steelium” barrel as the DT11″

      is not quite correct as the DT11 barrels have 120mm (4.72”) longer forcing cones than the 692 barrels, not that it would be noticeable.
      I run a standard 692 which I am starting to get used to now, having shot a CG Magnus Grouse Sporter for a couple of years. Much prefer the dynamics of the 692….

      • Thanks. No worries. They are both marketed as “steelium” this same type but length of forcing cone (another attribute) is indeed different. I believe the DT11 receiver is slightly larger as well but I don’t thing I implied that they’re the exact same, just same “steelium” lineup. Sorry if any confusion and glad you like yours.

        Last Fall I sent mine off to Briley and got the Ultimate Ultralight Tubeset for sub gauges. Love it! I now shoot 20ga and 28ga more for league and practice instead of dealing withbarrel weights and 12ga

      • the beretta 692 is a lower grade gun in several areas starting with the barrel, the dt 11 has longer forcing cones and back boring, the dt 11 has the best barrels beretta makes, the barrel in the 692 is the same as the 682 gold e barrels, next is the receiver and trigger assembly, the dt 11 has a better drop out trigger with a crossbolt locking reciever the 692 does not, basically everything that makes a gun better is of higher quality on the dt 11 trigger barrels receiver even the stock on the dt 11 is different, i own both a beretta dt 11 trap combo and the beretta 692 trap as a back up, i shoot the 692 ok but it has more recoil, its lighter and to me and most trailsp shooters the dt 11 feels better, especially when shooting 300 or 400 shells a day at ATA shoots, the 692 is a nice gun, but i never shoot it i always use the dt 11 its just that much better,

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  22. Have a chance to buy a used DT11 for $6500 vs a new 692 at $3900. Am I better off getting the DT11 for $2600 more?

    Thank you,

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