Where can I find the A304 Silver Lark from Beretta, short of taking an airplane ride? I am looking for a lightweight, gas, 12 gauge for ruffed grouse hunting and that one fits the bill best.
I’ve called Beretta in NY where they have had Italian Berettas before, but no luck. The A390 is too heavy for me in 12 gauge. I have tried other conventional means, i.e. Gunlist, but no luck. Your my last shot before I give up and shoot my other 10 perfectly good grouse guns.
Thanks for all your help, you do a great job of spinning the words of shotgunning for people desperate to hear them.
I don’t think that the 304 is going to be a whole bunch lighter than the 390. Beretta lists all sorts of fantasy catalogue weights. I don’t think that I would trust that 6.6# catalogue listing too much. Their field guns are heavier than listed and their target guns are lighter than listed.
The 304 has the same gas action as the 300,1,2,3. All the Beretta receivers are alloy, so I don’t really see how the “special alloy” used to reduce weight is anything more than the same aluminum used in the older design. The 304 only comes in 12, so you don’t have the 20 gauge option. If you are determined about the 304, try <www.joeletchenguns.com> and <www.colegun.com>. If the 304 is around, one of those two will know about it.
I think that a used 303, 302 or 301 field gun will be the same as the 304 (other than the receiver profile). Easier to find and cheaper too. I could be wrong on this as I haven’t ever shot a 304, but the similarity of the gas actions makes me think so.
If you like the semis for grouse, the gun that I would look at very carefully is the new 391 in 20 gauge. I did a gun review of the 391 30″ 12 gauge sporter for my column in The Clay Pigeon. It was an impressive gun and definitely had a superior feel to the 390. I haven’t shot the 391 20, but I handled one at the SHOT Show and was really taken with the modest weight and its long, light feel. The 390 and the new 391 are equally happy with 2-3/4″ or 3″ in 12 or 20. The older 300 series guns give you the choice of one or another, but not both with good reliability. If you like grouse hunting with large loads in open chokes, a 3″ shell in the 20 ga 391 is worth considering.
Ten other perfectly good grouse guns? I only have four or five, so I guess that I have some catching up to do. Now if I could only find magic boots which would help me scuttle up those hills easier, I’d be in business. Why do grouse always live uphill?
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC