• Review: Beretta A400 Xplor Shotgun

    The A400 is an extremely well-built gas-operated auto loader. This new Beretta is quite light, but it is designed to shoot a very wide range of loads from 24 to 64 grams. It cycles 2 ¾”, 3” and 3 ½” cartridges.

    The action has a new self cleaning piston.

    The A400 also has a magazine cut off.

    Beretta’s patented Kick Off recoil-reduction system houses two hydraulic dampeners to reduce recoil by up to 60 percent and a third shock absorber in the stock bolt to further reduce recoil and mechanical stress during cycling.

    With this gun, hunters and shooters can go for longer periods in between cleaning sessions as the amount of gas from the barrel is half of what is present in previous Beretta’s semi-autos.



    COMPANY FACTS:

    - Recoil with the A400 has been reduced by a massive 70%.
    -All-load top performance (24g - 64g)
    -It boasts the world’s fastest firing and recycling time - 36% faster than any other semi-auto out there.













    Technical Specifications:

    Category: Firearms-- Shotgun
    Make: Beretta A400 Xplor Unico
    Type: Gas-operated semi automatic
    Gauge: 12
    Chamber: 3 inches
    Capacity: 3+1
    Barrel Length: 28 inches.
    Weight: 6.6 pounds
    Choke: Three Optima choke tubes included
    Sights: Vent rib w/front bead
    Stock: Oil-finished X-tra Grain walnut wood
    Finish: Green anodized receiver, blued-steel barrel.


    Packing:

    Xplor comes in a beautiful green plastic carry case of superior quality. Inside the case following items are included with the gun;

    - 3 Optima chokes ( F, M, C )
    - Shim
    - Beretta oil
    - Choke key
    - Sling swivel studs



    Finish, Looks & Quality:

    The gun is pretty good looking and is made out of the best raw materials available.
    The Xtra wood has an oil finish and a checkering pattern.
    The fore-end is even more dramatic, as the eye-catching trident trademark of Beretta is placed front and center on the bottom of the fore-end.






    Grip & Stock

    Beretta has redesigned the butt stock and fore-end for enhanced handling and gripping qualities. Beginning with select walnut, Beretta uses a proprietary process called X-tra Grain to enhance the grain, and it's really effective.





    Action & Barrel:

    The barrel is made from a new material which Beretta call ‘Steelium’ (a very tough modern steel) and for which they claim all sorts of advantages. The feed system on the A400 has also been modified. The new gun will digest High Performance steel shot as well as regular lead loads.

    Unlike other commercial steel, these barrels are deep-drilled and cold-hammer forged in a production line with nine hammering machines.

    One of the shortest receivers on the market - and it's colored green!

    Xplor features the third generation of Beretta’s Optima Bore High Performance (HP) barrels and Beretta Optima Choke HP choke tubes that work with traditional lead shot, standard steel shot and high performance steel shot.

    A ring between the barrel and receiver is designed to reduce barrel vibration and enhance pellet pattern.






    Trigger:

    The trigger is smooth and crisp


    Balance and Recoil:

    Unico's recoil reduction system comprises of three shock absorbers - one fitted to the inner stock bolt and the other two contained within the stock and recoil pad.

    The KO3 is a small hydraulic cylinder in the butt stock that the bolt intentionally impacts at the end of its travel, providing shock absorption and cushioning that no plastic bolt buffer can provide.

    I must admit that it has a very soft recoil, that of a 20 Gauge.






    Sights:

    Front Sight: Metal bead.



    Magazine:

    The Magazine capacity is 3+1. The A400 does not support a magazine extension tube as the piston sits on top of the magazine tube mouth.



    Safety Mechanism:

    The gun comes with a beautiful newly designed reversible safety.



    Reliability:

    Extremely reliable gun. Took it out NIB and fired around 700 shells on 4 hunts with no FTF & FTE at all. Also had a chance to shoot with it during heavy rain, with no problems again.



    Maintenance:

    The internals of the gun have been made very simple and that is why I find the cleaning of this gun the easiest as compared to any other shotgun.

    The piston is made so simple that it takes seconds to clean it.



    Price:

    The gun is currently selling under 300k.



    Pattern Test:

    A little about patterns first.

    Pattern test is conducted to check the shot density, which is very important.

    We need to determine the range at which we most often take, or would like to take, our game and go for the optimum pattern at that range.

    Shooter......................Kakar
    Shotgun:....................Beretta A400 Xplor Unico
    Ammo:.......................Shaheen # 4, #6 Super, BB & SG
    Choke:.......................Cylinder, Modified & Full
    Distance:...................20, 30 & 40 Yards
    Technique:.................Standing
    Target:......................Chart paper ( 44'' x 30'' )



    Pattern # 1
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # 4
    Choke:.................................Cylinder
    Distance:.............................20 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.............200
    Pellets in 30'' circle:...............145
    % of pellets in 30” circle.........73%

    At this 30 yards distance the pattern is wide open with a good percentage of 73% pellets in the 30” circle and is capable of harvesting all duck sizes out to the 20 yard mark. The high pattern count would make it particularly effective on small and medium sized ducks.





    Pattern # 2
    Ammo:.................................Shaheen # 4
    Choke:.................................Modified
    Distance:.............................30 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell..............200
    Pellets in 30'' circle:................144
    % of pellets in 30” circle..........72%

    At this 30 yards distance the pattern is wide open with a few pellet free areas but we should not be overly concerned about them as long as they don’t dominate the overall pattern picture. The pattern is capable of harvesting small, medium and large size ducks.





    Pattern # 3
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # 4
    Choke:.................................Full
    Distance:.............................40 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell..............200
    Pellets in 30'' circle:................109
    % of pellets in 30” circle..........55%

    At this 40 yards distance the pattern is wide open with a few pellet free areas. Pellet percentage in 30” circle is a bit low but the combination is capable of harvesting large size ducks. However, the relatively low pellet count does not make it a good choice for small and medium ducks.





    Pattern # 4
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # 6 Super
    Choke:.................................Full
    Distance:.............................40 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.............340
    Pellets in 30'' circle:...............177
    % of pellets in 30” circle.........52%

    This is a wide balanced pattern with though a low percentage of pellets in the 30” circle. The pattern is capable of harvesting small size birds. This combination is not advisable for large birds as the pellets of load # 6 are small and won't be able to penetrate to the vital areas to make a kill and would just injure the large bird.





    Pattern # 5
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # BB
    Choke:................................Full
    Distance:.............................40 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.............76
    Pellets in 30'' circle:...............51
    % of pellets in 30” circle.........67%

    At this 40 yards distance the pattern is wide open in the middle with only a few strikes around the edges of the 30”circle. The pellet percentage of 67% is acceptable and the combination is capable of harvesting large size ducks. However, the relatively low pellet count and quite a few bigger pellet free areas does not make it a good choice for small and medium ducks.





    Pattern # 6
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # 4
    Choke:.................................Modified
    Distance:.............................30 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.............200
    Pellets in 30'' circle:...............144
    % of pellets in 30” circle.........72%

    This pattern has been discussed above. A teal duck has been placed to show a real type situation. A duck of this size if hit by this combination ( modified + Shot # 4 + 30 Yards ) will be easily taken down. Even large and medium size ducks can be harvested with this combination.

    Pattern # 7
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # 4
    Choke:.................................Full
    Distance:.............................40 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.............200
    Pellets in 30'' circle:...............109
    % of pellets in 30” circle.........55%

    This pattern has been discussed above. A teal duck has been placed to show a real type situation. The pellet percentage of 55% is relatively low and the combination is capable of harvesting large size ducks. However, the relatively low pellet count with quite a few pellet free areas does not make it a good choice for small ducks.





    Pattern # 8
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # 6 Super
    Choke:.................................Full
    Distance:.............................40 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.............340
    Pellets in 30'' circle:...............177
    % of pellets in 30” circle.........52%

    This pattern has been discussed above. A teal duck has been placed to show a real type situation. A duck of this size if hit by this combination ( full + Shot # 6 + 40 Yards ) could be taken down with 1 or may be a follow-up shot. However bigger ducks may fly away with taking 1 or 2 non-fatal pellets as the energy of small pellets of shot # 6 at 40 yards is quite little.





    Pattern # 9
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # SG
    Choke:.................................Cylinder
    Distance:.............................20 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.............9
    Pellets in 30'' circle:...............9
    % of pellets in 30” circle.........100%

    At 20 yards the pattern with 100% pellet percentage is very constricted. The combination is capable of taking down a big wild boar size animal instantly. However it is not advisable to be used on a halal animal like deer or hog deer as it will ruin the meat as well as the trophy.





    Pattern # 10
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # SG
    Choke:.................................Modified
    Distance:.............................30 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.............9
    Pellets in 30'' circle:...............9
    % of pellets in 30” circle.........100%

    At 30 yards the pattern with 100% pellet percentage is wide open. The combination is capable of taking down a wild boar, deer, hog deer size animal instantly with pellets hitting the head, chest and back.





    Pattern # 11
    Ammo:................................Shaheen # SG
    Choke:.................................Full
    Distance:.............................40 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.............9
    Pellets in 30'' circle:...............6
    % of pellets in 30” circle.........67%

    At 40 yards the pattern with 67% pellet percentage is very wide open. The spread is not ideal as it is almost vertical within 12 inches of width. A precision shot is required to take down an animal of medium size as the horizontal cousin for error is not available.





    Mistakes generally made by new shot gunners:

    Choosing more choke ( e.g modified instead of Cylinder ) than is actually required for a specific application is the single most common mistake made by those who are new to shotgunning.

    It is best for a beginning shot gunner to start with less choke than he thinks he needs and then work up to tighter chokes as required.

    The two most common mistakes inexperienced shot gunners make are lifting the head from the stock as they fire and stopping the swing as the trigger is squeezed. Keeping your cheek glued to the stock as the gun fires is an absolute must as failing to do so will usually cause you to shoot over the target. Stopping your swing just as you pull the trigger will cause you to shoot behind the target.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Review: Beretta A400 Xplor Shotgun started by Kakar View original post