View Full Version : Barretta Silver Snipe

Old Guard Dog
April 19, 2009, 08:06 PM
A friend of mine has an old (late 1950's) Barretta Silver Snipe 12 ga O/U. He has problems with the trigger not setting for the second barrel when using light target loads. He has talked to others with newer guns, same model, and they have no problems with the lighter loads. He says he took it to a gunsmith, had it professionally cleaned, and they can find nothing.

Any ideas before I look at it?

Dave McC
April 19, 2009, 08:46 PM
There are mechanical triggers on doubles and there are inertia triggers that need a bit of a thump to reset for the second shot.

My Beretta O/U is about two years old and has that same problem at times with my superlight 7/8 oz loads. It's fixable, just haven't bothered.

Taking off the stock carefully and lubing the action may help.


April 19, 2009, 10:41 PM
If it is a mechanical trigger you can tell by pulling the trigger once then deliberately taking your finger off the trigger to reset it and then pulling it again. If it will not work this way it may be an inertia trigger. Or it may be a broken mechanical one.

The moral of this story is if it is a mechanical trigger and you are not letting off the trigger after the first shot it will not fire the second barrel. This problem is more common than you might think as fundamental as it is.

If the trigger is inertial than you may have to bump up the loads that are being used or get a smith to modify it so the trigger will reset on lighter recoil impulses. There arent too many smiths out there that like working on single triggers IME. This is part of the reason why I no longer own any single trigger guns.

April 20, 2009, 01:09 AM
Since it's been professionally cleaned, we may assume it's not just half a century of grime (perhaps not). I've owned inertia operated single trigger comp O/Us for decades, and a well tuned inertia trigger is a joy to shoot. However, reduced loads may fail to cycle the internal selector, connector or whatever it's called in the gun in question. On the up side, there's usually an easy retrofit if you want to shoot light loads.

Every year, inertia trigger comp O/Us are tubed to shoot 4-gun Skeet. Somewhere along the line the reduced recoil of the smaller gun loads may fail to set the second trigger. Typically, it's a minor problem and easily remedied: the mass of the selector/connector's inertia block is increased. If they can made to shoot .410s reliably, light 12s should be no problem. Unfortunately, the Beretta trigger is more complex than some of the others.

I'm a Beretta O/U owner, but not an historian. Since the newer Silver Sniper will set the second trigger on light loads, the question is what, if anything is different? It may be a change in the inertia unit design or something as simple a lighter return spring. Also, after 50-years, there may be some corrosion impeding the inertia unit's travel. Perhaps a little polishing and light lubrication will put a new life into the old Beretta.