Orphaned Brands


I saw a Bernadelli Sporting Clays over and under the other day for a nice price. The gun is brand new and seemed to fit me quite nicely. The trigger was overly heavy, but I liked the way the gun swung and mounted more than the Browning 425 Sporting Clays and Beretta 682 Sporting Clays I also looked at.

I did a little searching of Usenet, the Web, and used gun price books for the model in question. The only reviews I found where of the side by sides guns Bernadelli built, however those reviews were quite positive. The only used price I found for the model I saw was actually more than the dealer wanted for the new gun. This seemed a little strange until I learned the dealer was actually the original importer of the gun and has had it on his shelf since mid 1995.

My questions are: 1) Would you consider a gun purchase where you know the manufacturer is out of business already? I believe Bernadelli went out of business some time ago and parts are hard to come by 2) How important is a nice light crisp trigger on a target shotgun? The Browning 725 and a Beretta 682 Gold E I felt for comparison were much lighter.

Thanks in advance,

Dear James,

There are Bernadellis and there are Bernadellis. The name “Bernadelli” must be like “Rizzini” in Italy. Either it’s very common or everyone in the family went into the gun business. According to the most excellent Fjestad’s “Blue Book of Gun Values” (from whom I constantly plagiarize) there were three Bernadelli makers imported into the US- Pietro, Vincenzo and Santini. Fjestad’s says that in the ’80s there were quite a number of Pietro Bernadelli guns “dumped” on the US market and that these guns were not up to the same quality level as the Vincenzo B’s.

I do remember looking over a number of V. Bernadelli SxS guns, especially some higher end Romas, and felt that they were very nice indeed. I handled a V.B Holland model that was just exquisite. I just don’t remember the V. Bernadelli model 115 and 190 Target O/Us that you may be looking at.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the trigger crispness. That can always be stoned crisp by any good gunsmith. What I would worry about would be replacement parts for a discontinued gun. Hunters don’t usually wear their guns out mechanically, but clay target shooters do. Spare parts are a fact of life. You can usually get spare parts for current or recent Berettas and Brownings.

A good clay target gun is a tool. It has to be reliable and repairable. Both the Beretta 682 and any Browning Citori have enviable track records of reliability. If you could possibly shoot one of these brands for your target gun, you would be wise to do so. If you don’t like the lighter barreled Beretta 682 Gold E or the Browning Citori 725 or 625, then you have my permission to look at a less well-known discontinued orphaned brand. Just don’t go asking for trouble. Look at it like buying a car. Would you buy a car you couldn’t get serviced just because it was a better deal up front?

Now you’ll have to excuse me. I have to go tinker with my Cosmi and Baikal MU-8.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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