Beretta rolls out a Champ.
The Italians have a gift when it comes to building delightful over/under shotguns. It’s in their blood. It’s in their culture. They simply have an innate flair for making lively, aesthetically pleasing shotguns.
The house of Beretta is a case in point. Little did Bartolomeo Beretta know in 1526 when he received an order for 185 arquebus barrels from the Doges of Venice that 486 years later his family would still be making guns under the Beretta banner in rural Gardone and be known for being the oldest family owned business in the world. That’s the pedigree Beretta’s new competition DT11 line brings to range.
The DT11 line can be thought of as an evolutionary refinement of the already durable and match-winning DT10 series of competition models. Beretta’s DT11 is designed to go head-to-head with Krieghoff’s and Perazzi’s in international competition, and it’s being hand assembled by Beretta’s craftsmen in the Premium Gun Group, who even balance each individual gun around the hinge pin by adding lead to the stock.
At Beretta’s Shooting Grounds in Dover Furnace, N.Y., I had an opportunity to shoot with and speak at length with Dr. Niccolo d’Amico, the Product Manager of Beretta’s premium gun line about the development of the DT11. Dr. d’Amico was the pivot man in the development process of the DT11 and responsible for bringing together the experience and recommendations of seasoned shotgun competitors with the engineering, production and marketing expertise of the company.
What Dr. d’Amico stressed was the final design of the DT11 was very much driven by the end-users, shotgunners like ourselves, who are engaged in the sport for fun, fame or money. He commented, “The DT11 is a gun from a shooter to a shooter.” I couldn’t help but observe that Dr. d’Amico’s favorite sport is bunker trap and that the new DT11 trap gun is without question the most refined model in the whole line.
Beretta’s use of the acronym “DT” stands for “detachable trigger.” Actually what we’re talking about is a completely hand-detachable lock assembly. By pushing the safety fully forward and then breaking the gun open, the shooter can simply withdraw the compact lock assembly from the bottom of the action. Beretta stresses the safety factor in their design in that the shooter must break open the gun before the lock assembly can be removed.
What are the advantages of a detachable lock system? First and foremost, if the shooter were to experience a lock failure in the middle of a tournament, he could replace it in seconds. The ability the system gives the owner to clean, lubricate and otherwise service the lock is obvious. On a more esoteric level, if the shooter desired to use a release trigger, for example, in a particular event, he could swap out locks.
By Holt Bodinson
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