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Old December 4, 2012, 10:40 PM   #1
stephen426
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New Beretta A400 Unico inbound!!!

I friend of my father is going to be taking me duck hunting in a few weeks. We were talking about the gear I should get and what stuff to avoid. I am usually not one to over buy on gear and be equipment dependant. I try to build up the quality of my equipment as my skill goes up. I looked around at my local Bass Pro and saw a few semi-auto shotguns as low as $400. The sales person recommended Franchi and told me that it is made by Benelli. The problem was they didn't have any in stock and did not know when they were getting any.

To make a long story short, the guy who is taking me duck hunting recommended a Beretta Urika. I was watching one on Gunbroker but I missed the bid. I started looking around some more and ended up getting a new Beretta A400 Unico with the KO recoil system for under $1400. The retail on this gun is over $1700! I figure if I get a good gun to start with, I won't need to upgrade. I guess that is how I am going to justify it to myself anyways.

What do you guys think of this gun and how did I do price wise?
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:24 AM   #2
PJR
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You did fine on the price and have an excellent shotgun. If I didn't have two Urikas already I'd own an A400.
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Old December 25, 2012, 05:57 PM   #3
stephen426
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Sorry for the delayed update...

First impressions. This gun is much lighter than I expected and weighs in at only 7 lbs. 6 oz. I thought the gun would be black, but the receiver is actually a dark green. The gun comes with 3 chokes in a nice lined hard case. The gun is super easy to assemble and disassemble with it's B-Lok system. According to the web site, it only takes 1/6 of a turn to remove the forend cap. The gun came with extra shims and a shoulder stock extender. The trigger is light and very crisp. The front sight has an orange fiber optic dot so it was very easy to aim.

I finally got it out to the range last week and did a little trap and skeet shooting. I have only gone trap shooting once before and that was many years ago, so I'd say this was my "first" real time doing it. I am much more of a pistol shooter so shooting at moving objects is quite a change of pace for me. In my first round of trap, I shot 14 out of 25. They told me that was very good for a first timer. After the initial nerves wore off, I shot 20 out of 25 (80%) my second round! I even out shot some of the guys who have ben doing it for a while.

I moved on to the skeet range was quickly humbled. It is much harder than trap since there is much more lateral movement. That required me to adjust my lead a bit. I missed quite a few more but I got the hang of it after a while.

The recoil was much less than I expected for a 12 gauge and I didn't really notice it until after I was done shooting. I didn't shoot the other guy's gun so I don't know how much of a difference it makes. Beretta claims it reduces felt recoil by 60%. Later that day, my shoulder was a little sore as was my jaw. We were shooting 2 3/4 so I'm sure 3" or even 3.5" would have hurt a bit more. Regardless, I'm pretty sure the Kick-Off system helped.

Overall, I am very impressed with this new gun. I am not much of a shot gunner, but I think I will definitely get more into the sport. I also feel much more comfortable going duck hunting now and am sure I would have bagged a few based on how I did at trap and skeet.
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Old December 25, 2012, 06:16 PM   #4
BigD_in_FL
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I have the A400 for my wife for sporting clays - she likes the 7# weight, and I use it now and again as well. What amazes me is that a semi designed to shoot 3.5" shells will easily handle my 3/4oz 12 reloads for clays with ZERO malfs of any kind. This is through a little under 5,000 rounds so far over a little better than a year

I would recommend any of the A400's for anyone shooting clays of birds
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Old December 26, 2012, 08:14 AM   #5
CurlyQ.Howard
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Nice to hear your evaluation as I thought that it was a fine gun.
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Old December 28, 2012, 10:14 AM   #6
BigD_in_FL
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Quote:
Later that day, my shoulder was a little sore as was my jaw.
THAT should not be happening. Either your form is somewhat incorrect, or the gun needs adjustment to fit you more properly.

The buttstock should be in the "pocket" between your collarbone and shoulder, and your cheek should be just slightly resting on the comb. If you are mashing your cheek down in order to eliminate seeing rib, then use the shims to adjust the stock for a better fit
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Old December 29, 2012, 05:53 AM   #7
stephen426
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Hi BigD,

I'm pretty sure my form was off. I had the range master and my friend (experienced hunter) check the fit for me. I was able to see straight down the rib from the normal shooting position. I was nervous the first time so Iprobably forced my face down on the shotgun. I will definitely be more aware of that next time. Thanks!
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Old January 20, 2013, 11:42 AM   #8
stephen426
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Well guys... I went duck hunting several times already! It is a lot tougher than I imagined, but mainly walking through the muck and dragging a heavy canoe around. I watched my friend at first since I am not a good judge of distance or lethal range. After watching him shoot a opulent of ducks, I started shooting at them too.

The first day, we didn't get in until late and there weren't too many ducks flying. I walked out a little distance and had a duck fly almost overhead. I turned and nailed it when it was about 15 feet in front of me. My friend was watching from a distance and saw me pop it right in the head. It was pretty cool getting my first kill. I walked around a little more and had a coot fly put of a grassy patch in front of me. It was a low crossing shot but I nailed it and tumbled it. We were short on time so we called it a day.

We went the following day and got in right away. He nailed 2 ducks almost right off the bat and then nothing for the next hour and a half. I heard a lot of commotion about 100 yards away. My friend told me it was probably a bunch of coots. Since there was nothing else to do I decided to stalk the coots. I skirted the edge and got all to way over to them undetected. A stupid crow that was sitting right by them started cawing and I saw them move into the thicker grass. There was a second group right behind them that did not move. I was within 25 feet when I ripped off 2 shots side by side. I was pretty sure I hit about 4 or 5 of them. When I got over there, I saw that I nailed 11 coots! Out of the 11, only 3 of them were moving. I finished them off and gathered up the coots. It was rough carrying everything back to the canoe, especially through the muck. Too bad I didn't know coot tastes so funky. Oh well, at least I got to experience stalking prey. I also got a crazy story about taking out 11 coots with 2 shots!

The Beretta A400 functioned flawlessly. I shot Remington's HyperSonic 3" #4 shot. It is advertised to shoot at 1700 fps which is at least 150 - 200 fps faster than other high velocity rounds. I tripped while wading and partially submerged the shotgun. I shook it out and checked to ensure the barrel was not obstructed. The gun functioned perfectly. Overall, I am very pleased with the Beretta A400 and believe it would make an excellent duck gun. I am thinking about getting a slug barrel for it and going boar hunting. I can probably just use my Sako 70 in 30.06 instead. I'm looking forward to it!
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