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					                                  GUNTEST




                                            BERETTA 687EELL
                                         DIAMOND
                                          PIGEON


                                                A HANDSOME GUN THAT SHOOTS
                                               WELL AND SHOULD LAST A LIFETIME
                                                      SAYS TOM CERETTO


                                  In almost three score years of           Faskell’s is no longer there and
                                  shooting, fondling, testing,             neither, unfortunately, is my friend
                                  admiring and writing about               Bud. He is in that great skeet field
                                  shotguns, few really stand out.          in the sky running 100 straights,
                                  They are for the most part a blur of     time after time, with a .410 bore –
                                  mechanical contrivances for the          something he rarely did when he
                                  taking of game and breaking clay         was with us!
                                  targets. Some were good, some                What first impressed me about
                                  were bad, some were outstanding          the 687EELL Diamond Pigeon was
                                  and some were memorable. In the          how graceful it looked. It was long
                                  memorable category is the Beretta        and slender with a low profile and
                                  687EELL Diamond Pigeon.                  looked almost delicate. The lovely
                                      The first time I laid eyes on this   scroll engraving on the false side-
                                  gun was during my skeet shooting         plates was outstanding. The demo
                                  days more years ago than I care to       gun I am now shooting is even
                                  remember. A long time squad-mate         better looking than Bud’s was.
                                  of mine, Bud Wittich, brought his            One of the first things I noticed
                                  new EELL to Faskell’s Gun Club           when I looked closely at the
                                  outside of Waupaca, Wisconsin to         Beretta EELL for the first time was
                                  baptize it to registered skeet.          that the bolts that locked the action


40   C L AYS H O OT I N G U S A
                                                                                                     GUNTEST




                   …WHAT FIRST IMPRESSED ME ABOUT THE 687EELL DIAMOND
                 PIGEON WAS HOW GRACEFUL IT LOOKED. IT WAS LONG AND
                 SLENDER WITH A LOW PROFILE AND LOOKED ALMOST DELICATE.




                                                                               engraved with a scroll motif.           competition. I am willing to give
                                        There is absolutely no slack and       Pushing on a small button               Beretta a little slack on this point
                                        both barrels briskly release at 5.1    protruding through the receiver         because extended choke tubes do
in place looked awfully small and       pounds. Because the trigger was        faceplate releases the top lever for    take away from the aesthetic
delicate for the job they were          so crisp I didn’t think trigger pull   storage. To put it succinctly, the      appeal of the shotgun. But I am
intended to do. They were then,         would be quite that high, but it       entire receiver and false side plates   sure that most sporting clays
and still are, a truncated cone with    was. The trigger is adjustable fore    are almost a work of art.               shooters who purchase a 687EELL
flattened sides. I no longer dwell      and aft about 10mm. A small                The barrels are hammer forged       will purchase aftermarket
on how delicate they look. I have       screwdriver to loosen and tighten      and do not have a ripple in them.       extended choke tubes. The lack of
friends who have put over 100,000       the setscrew on the trigger is         The bottom barrel measured 0.730        a light modified choke tube of
rounds through their 687 series         included.                              and the top barrel measured 0.729       0.015 constriction kind of rubs me
Berettas and their shotguns still            If you are going to equip a       bore diameter. The sides of the         the wrong way too. A gun that
perform admirably. The locking          687EELL Diamond Pigeon, or any         monobloc are tastefully machine         costs $6,495 should have a fuller
bolts on the 682, 686 and 687 series    687 series Beretta target gun, with    turned and add to the aesthetic         compliment of choke tubes than
Berettas are self-adjusting for wear,   sub-gauge tubes you might need to      appeal of the shotgun. The              those shipped. Maybe I am getting
but I have never heard of one           have a gunsmith install a .410 bore    687EELL sports a 10x8mm tapered         too picky in my old age, but I don’t
shooting loose for any reason.          recoil block in order to engage the    ventilated top rib and a solid side     think so.
                                        second barrel. Whoever you             rib. The checkering on the top rib
                                        purchase the sub-gauge tubes           is very well executed. Five 2 3/4"
TECHNICAL DETAIL                        from should be able to inform you      long Beretta Optima Bore flush          HIGH GRADE WOOD
Like all Beretta over and under         if that would be necessary or not.     choke tubes and a choke tube            The wood on my demo is of a very
target guns the receiver is CNC              The safety hangs from the top     wrench come standard. The               high grade with quite a bit of
machined out of a solid block of        strap and snaps firmly into place      barrels have factory installed long     marble cake evident on the stock
steel. The machining is flawless        when operated. The barrel selector     forcing cones that are spot on          and forearm. Metal to wood fit
and there is not a tool mark visible.   also snaps to the right or left with   concentric.                             around the side-plates and receiver
Not even on the bottom of the           authority. It would not be easy to                                             is very well done with nary a gap
receiver or where the twin cocking      accidentally move the safety or the                                            showing. The wood stands slightly
rods fit in the recessed groves         barrel selector. The machining and     CHOKE ISSUE                             proud of the side-plates and
machined out for them on each           checkering on the safety and           The only issue I have with the          receiver and is sufficient for a
side of the receiver floor. The         barrel selector are well done.         687EELL is with the choke tubes. I      refinishing if necessary. The stock
trunions on either side of the               The engraving on the side-        firmly believe all shotguns that are    has a hand rubbed oil finish and
receiver that the barrels pivot on      plates and receiver is a very          sold as sporting clays target guns      highly compliments the almost
are replaceable. The trigger on my      tasteful English scroll. The top       should have extended choke tubes        exhibition grade wood on the
demo is about as good as it gets.       lever and trigger guard are also       to facilitate changing during           stock.


                                                                                                                                           C L AYS H O OT I N G U S A   41
                                          GUNTEST

     I searched very hard to find a
blip on the fine 16 lines per inch
                                          and engraving on the receiver.
                                          First class. A Deeley and Edge
                                                                                    ON TEST                                SPECIFICATIONS
checkering, but I didn’t find a           improved style fore-end latch             To me the acid test for a sporting     MANUFACTURER:
single over-run or blemish. I like        attaches the fore-end securely to         clays gun is how it swings onto the    FABBRICA D’ARMI PIETRO BERETTA
the right hand palm swell because         the barrels. The fore-end snaps on        second target on a true pair. With     GARDONE VAL TROMPIA (BRESCIA) ITALY
it is not overly done. Many               firmly and is rigidly attached to the     its almost perfect balance my          U.S.A. IMPORTER:
shotguns have very large palm             barrels without an iota of wobble. I      687EELL demo gun was easy to           BERETTA U.S.A ACCOKEEK, MARYLAND
swells that are a bit too large and       have tested more than a few over          transition to the second bird. The     ACTION:
almost uncomfortable. The palm            and under shotguns that have had          minimal, but adequate, palm swell      LOW PROFILE IMPROVED BOXLOCK
swell on this gun is just about perfect   fore-ends that moved a bit side-to-       and the well-shaped fore-end made      SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE:
– not so large as to be obtrusive,        side when attached. To me that            it easy to acquire targets coming      $6,495
but large enough to be comfortable        exhibit’s a lack of attention to detail   from any angle. It was fun to shoot    GAUGE: 12
and let you know it is there.             and makes me wonder about                 even though I knew I would have        SAFETY: MANUAL
     As everyone knows by now, I          where else corners may have been          to return it. An owner of a            GUN WEIGHT: 7 LBS 9 OZ. (WEIGHED)
am not a big fan of Schnable fore-        cut.                                      687EELL Diamond Pigeon gets a          LOP: 14.7 INCHES
ends. But I have to admit that the            When I first mounted my friend        very handsome gun that shoots          DROP AT COMB: 1.50 INCHES
Schnable fore-end on this gun is          Bud’s 687EELL Diamond Pigeon              well and should last a lifetime. It    DROP AT HEEL: 2.36 INCHES
tastefully done. Probably the best I      way back, my first thought was            doesn’t get any better than that.      BARRELS: 28” (TESTED) 30” AND 32”
have ever seen. The fore-end              that I could shoot it well. Every 687         At $6,495 it is not an             RIB: VENTED 10MMX8MM TAPERED
tapers down and smoothly segues           series Beretta I have shot since I        inexpensive shotgun, but anyone        CHAMBERS: 3”
into a nicely shaped Schnable. If         have managed to shoot reasonably          that purchases one will have a         BORE SIZE: 0.730 AND 0.729 (MEASURED)
everyone manufactured a                   well, right out of the box. I think       shotgun that has the sex appeal of     CHOKES: CYLINDER, IC, MODIFIED, IMP.
Schnable fore-end as nice as this I       part of that has to do with the fact      a Las Vegas showgirl and is built to   MODIFIED AND FULL
wouldn’t get into a hissy-fit over        that Beretta has done their               a very high standard. If I had that    TRIGGER: SINGLE SELECTIVE
most of those that I see. The             homework well and from the                much loose cash burning a hole in      TRIGGER PULL:
slender fore-end fits very nicely         beginning have stocked their guns         my pocket I would order one            4 LBS 1 OZ AND 4 LBS 1 OZ. (MEASURED)
into the palm of your hand. Like          to American tastes. Beretta knows         tomorrow. I
the stock, the fore-end also              their markets and caters to each
exhibits some nice grain, but not         market well. That’s why they have
quite as nice as that on the stock.       been around for almost half a
     The machining and engraving          millennium.
on the fore-end iron is
commensurate with the machining




                                                 AN OWNER OF A 687EELL DIAMOND PIGEON
                                                 GETS A VERY HANDSOME GUN THAT SHOOTS
                                                      WELL AND SHOULD LAST A LIFETIME. IT
                                                     DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT…
                                                  IF I HAD THAT MUCH LOOSE CASH BURNING
                                                 A HOLE IN MY POCKET I WOULD ORDER ONE
                                                                TOMORROW…


42   C L AYS H O OT I N G U S A

				
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