Hundreds of gun writers from around the world shot thousands of rounds downrange in Boulder City, Nev., at the 2014 Media Day at the Range. This annual event, sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation the day before its annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, invites gun media to get their hands on new and/or improved guns – and to experience the energy and firepower within the designs. Writers and broadcasters also get an opportunity to meet some of the gun designers and ammunition engineers.
Beretta did not disappoint with its new offerings.
Beretta took all the features of the A400 series to make the A400 Xplor Action 28 gauge, a beautiful semi-auto shotgun that features a handsome walnut stock paired with a bronze-toned aluminum alloyed receiver. A gas-operated shotgun with the Beretta Kick-Off system, the Xplor will reduce recoil by at 44 percent more than its nearest rival because it employs 2 hydraulic recoil dampers in the stock’s spacer unit.
Other features of the gun include a ¼-inch-by-¼-inch ventilated rib, and adjustable shim system. The gun weighs 5.5 pounds without Kick-Off and its receiver can accept optics and other aiming systems. MSRP: $1600
Waterfowlers will wonder at this gun. Some might wonder why they haven’t purchased this gun yet, and others will wonder at the gun’s reliable performance. Along with a 70-percent recoil reduction, thanks to the patented Kick-Off MEGA system, this gun also offers the self-cleaning system called Blink. Within the Xtreme’s gas system, a piston equipped with a gas scraper works like a gasket and scrubs the gun with each shot. On the outside, Aqua technology provides a corrosive-proof layer of protection.
This A400 offers several length of pull options with the addition of Beretta’s spacers.
Hunters will appreciate the 60-degree rotation it takes to undo the fast-locking B-LOK forend cap, which comes with a bright green circle on its inside rim so that you can find it faster if it falls, or if you set it down, while afield.
The A400 Xtreme comes in Gore Optifade Concealment Marsh, Realtree Max-4 and Black synthetic. MSRP: $1800 for camo finishes, $1700 for black
Hello, again, side-by-side technological beauty with a vintage look! Beretta introduced the gorgeous Parallelo in 12 gauge in Old World round body action. At the same time, it also launched its new Triblock Technology, which makes the barrel stronger and free of visible welding lines. Hunters may shoot any type of shell, including high performance (and non-toxic loads), thanks to an Optima choke. Another introduction, of a redesigned trigger with a brand new trigger guards, keeps all moving parts captive. Paired with the trigger, the first-ever leafspring on a side-by-side allows for faster and more precise firing pin engagement.
Made from select Turkey walnut and available in 26 and 28-inch barrel lengths, the MSRP is around $5,000.
Whether you’re in law enforcement or interested in personal defense, this gas-operated, semi-automatic shotgun makes it easy to manipulate when seconds count. Offering tactical features such as an oversized charging handle, along with a large textured bolt release and larger-than-average reversible safety button, this shotgun also comes with the Blink system – which keeps the gun cleaner and lets it cycle 36 percent faster than any other shotgun, at 4 shots per second.
Always important to personal defense shotgunners, the 1301 Tactical is built with sights that include a ghost ring rear and a front blade, which can be removed for aftermarket sight installation. MSRP: $1100
Hunters who like the stalk will love the SAKO 85 Finnlight because it combines the light weight of a stainless-steel-barreled action with a sturdy synthetic stock, made of reinforced black polymer. Yes, it’s sturdy, but it got the soft-touch surface treatment in a gray patterned grip surface.
The 85 Finnlight comes in 12 calibers and various barrel lengths. Action length and magazine capacity depend on the caliber. MSRP: $1725 to $1775
SAKO also manufactures ammunition in the same factory where its guns are produced in Finland. The ammo is designed to work compatibly with SAKO rifles. It comes in about 30 different calibers and 110 different loads. “We are one of the few rifle manufacturers in the world manufacturing the rifles and the ammunition in the same company. We have the luxury of matching the two, ” said Juuso Austin, a representative from SAKO.
Tikka T3 Lite Adjustable
Hard to believe, but Tikka thought there might be a little room for improvement in T3 Lite Adjustable, so it created an adjustable cheek riser with a flush adjustment know. A shooter can quickly adjust the piece for perfect alignment and to accommodate a change up in scope or sighting systems. This gun features a bolt action with 2 locking lugs and comes in 21 calibers.