Italian Design

Italian gun design, like Spanish, has looked to England, albeit with more decorative engraving and gaudier wood. Now, things are changing, some radically, some more subtly.

For the radical, see Benelli’s re- imagining of the over and under. I cannot warm to this angular- lined gun, but you should not bet against Benelli. Years ago, it brought out autoloaders that cost more than any others but the obscure Cosmi, which I thought was an unlikely direction to follow. But when T. McGuane bought a Black eagle, followed by Pat and Carol Hemingway after they had their gun collection stolen, I knew that people were paying attention.

I like the mechanical inventiveness- I am less than pleased with the angularity…

Which is not the problem with the Mark Newsom- designed, limited edition Beretta 486, a $25,000 gun that may be the ultimate refinement of the round action. Newsom had not designed a gun before; as far as I know he didn’t even shoot. This one is odd, but I see no reason it wouldn’t work..

Still, if your taste is more traditional, how about their “Parrallelo”? This one reminds me of the unsuccessful but mourned Ruger round action a few years ago. Maybe Beretta’s slightly higher price, around $5000, will allow it to find a permanent niche.

My own preference is a little 28 bore, the least expensive (though hardly cheap) of these new guns. The F.A.I.R. Iside looks not unlike the Beretta, but its innovative boxlock action is forged in one piece, with integral tangs, which may be what brings its price down to an almost affordable $3000.

9 thoughts on “Italian Design”

  1. I do like the Benelli's action, but I agree, the angularity is off-putting. Like the FAIR also – might be nice price for a good gun. Tobin

  2. Well, that is surprising. Just when you thought double design was dead someone does it.

    That one piece action is particularly interesting.

    The dragon gun must mean the Chinese are into shooting now.

  3. Most of my most serious hunting pals have bought Benelli over the last decade or so, but for me its ugly and not even good ugly like you find sometimes with cars and boats.


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