Fixed Choke Beretta


Dear Technoid,

I have recently acquired a Beretta 12 ga. o/u shotgun from my brother who bought it new in Italy when he was deployed overseas with the Navy circa 1971. I can’t tell exactly the model, but it has 30 inch barrels with full over modified fixed chokes. I’m told it probably hasn’t been fired more than 100 times and that it kicks like a mule (in part because it has no recoil pad). I want to leave this gun in it’s original configuration and do some hunting with it. I’m sure the barrels are not compatible with steel shot, but this gun might be good for turkeys. Can you tell me what other hunting uses this gun might be good for. Also, I’m not interested in skeet, trap, or sporting clays.

Dear Joseph,

A gun of that vintage with Mod/Full chokes probably isn’t suitable for steel, but there are other types of non-toxic shot that you can use on ducks and waterfowl and still be legal. Kent Tungsten Matrix is legal for waterfowl as it is non-toxic and is said to be just as good as lead. It’s expensive, but you can’t shoot all that many shots at ducks and geese before you limit out.

You might also consider the gun for pheasant and other upland game birds. If lead is legal where you hunt, then use lead shot. If not, use the Kent Tungsten Matrix. If the birds are close flushing and you think that Mod/Full is too tight, you can always get spreader lead loads. RST Spreaders, PolyWad Spred-Rs, and Fiocchi Interceptors come to mind, but there are others. Spreaders will open your Mod/Full patterns for closer range shooting.

I don’t think that a gun of that configuration would be good for quail, grouse or woodcock, but for pheasant, chukars and Huns, it could work out.

Half the fun is the experimenting.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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One Response to Fixed Choke Beretta

  1. William Eddleman says:

    The Technoid’s advice is as usual spot-on so following it will serve you well. Don’t let anyone fool you, there is nothing wrong with older, fixed choke guns if you use the right ammo as outlined by Sir Technoid. In fact, some prefer them to the usually heavier made for steel, screw choke models now available. A friend has a very old (1905), but shot very little, Remington Automatic shotgun based on the Browning A-5 patents. He intends to use it for ducks and geese in Stuttgart, AR next January using Kent Tungsten Matrix. It will be a deadly combination if he does his part. You might also satisfy your curiosity on what model of Beretta your shotgun is by looking through and comparing pictures on internet auction sites like Gunbroker, Gunsinternational, Gunsamerica, etc. It is very possibly one of the “S” series Berettas that were the first imported into this country and re-designated the “BL” series in the US. Excellent shotguns! If it is a sidelock gun then it is an “SO” series and those are superlative (and expensive) shotguns in every way!! Good luck searching, and thank your brother because regardless of model, he acquired a nice shotgun for you to use. Enjoy.

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