Barrel Selector

Dear Bruce:

Your advice in the past has been great. I had the stock completely customized on my “hard hitting” 686 trap gun as you suggested, and the recoil no longer bothers me at all.

But here’s a question my local Beretta dealer couldn’t answer. The gun is chambered imp-mod in the lower barrel and full in the upper. The safety has no selector feature; it seems the bottom barrel will always go off first. However, I occasionally shoot a trap-based game at our club that involves some very great shooting distances, and I’d love to shoot the full choke barrel. Is there a way to do it? I know I can load the top barrel, pull the trigger to “fire” the empty bottom barrel, then bang the stock on the ground to “cock” the inertia mechanism of the top barrel, but I doubt my compatriots are going to appreciate this practice.

Your help, as usual, very much appreciated.


Dear David,

This is a puzzler. I am not familiar with any Beretta 686 which does not have a barrel selector built into the safety button. Every 686 that I have ever seen had a small block built into the center of the safety button. It could be moved left or right to select the barrel. When it was moved, it revealed red dots. One dot meant that the lower barrel was selected, two meant the upper.

However, given the situation, on most inertial trigger guns that I have used, you can reset the other barrel by firing the first barrel (on a snap cap) and then flicking the safety on, then off. Usually, this will reset to the unfired barrel. It is a much less disconcerting method than banging the stock on the ground or with the flat of your hand.

A 686 without a barrel selector? I learn something new every day.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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