The New Beretta 694
The new 694 from Beretta has already enjoyed resounding success. Now with the launch of the DTL trap version we look in detail at the features that make this gun really stand out!
Beretta being the oldest gun manufacturer certainly know a thing or two when it comes to producing some top quality shotguns in all shapes and sizes. Over the years they have produced some famous models such as the Silver Pigeon. After such successful models they wanted to produce a gun which was truly different, pushing the limits even further with improved ergonomics, handling and technical aspects. After years of research, testing and development the Beretta 694 action was born.
So what is different with the 694?We take a look from the muzzle to the stock.
Starting with the barrel profile we have seen some vast changes. The barrels on the 694 feature the newest technology in the shape of the Optima High Performance bores. These have also been shared with other latest models and releases from Beretta. This barrel profile sees gradual tapers to give an even pattern not matter what the load being shot. The Sporting and DTL versions have a tapered rib with an 18.6mm bore diameter and a 3” chamber with multi chokes. The Trap gun has a parallel rib with 18.4mm bore diameter and a 2 ¾” chamber with fixed chokes ¾ & full. These varying specifications give the shooter full flexibility of what will best suit their needs and therefore maximize that all important score.
Beretta shotguns last for many years so to keep the 694 going for future generations a revolutionary new two point contact of a self tightening forend mechanism has been designed and implemented. Unlike anything else on the market it will allow the gun to remain tight long after plenty cartridges have been put through the gun.
Moving towards the action itself there have been a few changes from previous guns. The top lever and safety catch have a brand new design allowing for a more seamless and comfortable operation of the gun in general. This means that even on long days at the clay range fatigue is well and truly a thing of the past. The shape of the action has a modern twist but one which still retains the distinctive Beretta shallow profiled appearance. I’m sure this area will feature lavish gamescene engraving in future field model releases.
Now onto the woodwork and we have seen some vast changes on this side. The head of the stock has groves channeled alongside the tang, giving the shooter un-rivaled peripheral vision for a flat rib gun, something very important for picking those targets up quickly. The grip and palm swell as a whole are Worlds apart from anything Beretta have done before. The stock comes into the hand with ease and instantly feels at home, helping maintain a consistent hand position on both the mounted and pre-mounted stages. It appears that this setup definitely appeals to a wider range of shooters as on previous models the grip was reportedly quite small. The woodwork on all the guns we have seen so far have all been of a good quality and figure for the price bracket.
Lastly we come to something that you can’t necessarily see on a gun but it is certainly one of the most important aspects, the balance. The new 694 is fitted with the full B-fast stock and barrel weighting system. This gives the shooter full control of how they wish the gun to respond being fast handling, stable or maybe even front or back heavy.
The sure thing is after a big backing in research, investment and developments Beretta have certainly produced a top level gun at an affordable price point. There is one thing for certain….you certainly can’t blame this gun for some bad shooting!