Like a lot of shooters who participate in the clay target games, I will often shoot with over/unders some days and semi-auto shotguns other days. I thoroughly enjoy shooting my over/unders. They fit me well, are comfortable to shoot (primarily because they do fit me), are attractive and, admittedly, there is a level of pride I feel when shooting an over/under. But, if I had to be brutally honest, and someone asked me which design I shoot better, I would have to say the semi-autos. Why is that?
Probably the one question I have been asked more than any other has to do with what design and gauge of shotgun I would recommend when trying to get someone started in shotgun shooting, in particular, a young person with little or no experience in shotgunning. Better than 80% of the time, my suggestion is a soft-shooting, semi-automatic in 20 gauge. The rest of that response normally includes the names of Beretta, Winchester, Remington or Benelli as the gunmakers who can help you along your way if you follow my suggestion.
How much would you pay for a good semi-automatic shotgun? $500, $1,000, $1,500, $2,000?
At the recent 2017 SHOT Show, Fabarm, the Italian gunmaker known for their unique flair in the design and appearance of their firearms, debuted a new model over/under shotgun that is gathering considerable attention. Officially, the full moniker of this new model is the Fabarm Axis Allsport QRR (Quick Release Rib). However, for the sake of saving ink, in this review we will call it the Axis Allsport.
While attending the NSCA Nationals in San Antonio, Texas, in October of last year, I took a few moments to visit the Perazzi building. I was greeted by Perazzi USA’s Managing Director, Al Kondak. We spoke for a few moments, and I asked what new item he might have we could review. He took but a moment to consider his choices. Then Al showed me what I thought was a unique looking over/under. I held it in my hands for a better look and something about it just looked a bit…off. Aha! There was no ventilated rib atop the barrels. Hmm. What’s the deal?
Syren, a division of Caesar Guerini, the Italian gunmaking firm, continues in its production of over/under shotguns designed specifically for women. The latest model in the line of Syren offerings is aimed to attract the female trap enthusiast, the Syren Tempio Trap Combo.
The buttstock and forearm of Mossberg’s new 930 Sporting are made of American walnut. Color is medium brown with good, strong grain. It’s not likely you will ever see one of these stocks or forearms crack under the stresses of normal use. The areas of the wood typically checkered are laser-etched with what I would call a stippled effect, sort of thousands of tiny, shallow craters. This effect works rather well, as I had no trouble holding onto the 930 Sporting under recoil or even with slightly sweaty hands. A 1” medium-soft, black rubber recoil pad is mounted on the rear of the buttstock.
As for the trigger group of the 930 Sporting, I found my test sample’s sear initially broke at just under 6 pounds. However, with just a few boxes of shells, it broke consistently afterward at just over 5 pounds. This might seem like a heavy trigger, but while take-up was a bit longish, it was smooth and offered no hitches that proved detrimental to the feel or consistency of the trigger. One feature I liked was the cocking indicator housed within the trigger guard. The indicator is a small pin that protrudes when the hammer is cocked and sits virtually hidden within the trigger housing when the hammer is uncocked.