by Karen Mehall - Friday, October 30, 2009
After three years of development, 8,000 hours of engineering, 2,000 hours of testing and 100,000 rounds fired, Beretta has launched what it has dubbed “the fastest shotgun in the world”—the revolutionary A400 Xplor Unico. The 12-gauge semi-automatic field gun takes the already impressive A391 and Xtrema a step further, sporting features that represent the next generation of the Beretta semi-auto shotgun line.
Dubbed “Unico”—the Italian word for unique—the A400 Xplor Unico is designed as an all-purpose shotgun, featuring the weight and dimensions of a 3-inch upland gun while performing consistently with 2 3/4-, 3- and 3 1/2-inch shells, making it a prime choice for waterfowlers. And because it handles shot sizes from 7/8 to 2-1/4 ounces (24 to 64 grams), hunters have numerous ammo choices.
A group of writers representing 16 nations convened in Italy earlier this month for a first-hand look. We found the A400 Xplor Unico extremely fast, light and easy to shoot—even when firing heavy loads, thanks to an upgraded recoil reduction system that Beretta claims reduces recoil by as much as 70 percent. In step with the gun’s green receiver, the A400 Xplor Unico is being touted as the green monster of technology, which explains the mysterious monster/dinosaur foot you’ve no doubt seen in Beretta’s advertising campaign. Waterfowl (synthetic) and sporting versions will be the next step in the line. In the meantime, explore what’s behind the Xplor.
·A shortened receiver (3 inches instead of 3 1/2-inches) decreases overall gun length and enhances balance.
·Beretta’s patented Kick Off recoil-reduction system—housing two hydraulic dampeners to reduce recoil by up to 60 percent—was upgraded to “Kick Off Cubed,” utilizing a third shock absorber in the stock bolt to further reduce recoil and mechanical stress during cycling.
·A new Micro Core butt pad enhances shooter comfort and proper shouldering.
·Beretta’s new gas system—“Blink”—is comprised of a new rotation bolt system, improved feeding system and a new gas valve to enable the gun to shoot “36 percent faster than other shotguns.” This gas-piston design prevents gas from leaking out of the valve so pressure immediately increases allowing the gun to shoot in a blink.
·Blink’s new sealant system lets hunters and shooters 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.
·Xplor barrels have been upgraded with new “Steelium” technology featuring “trilegato” steel (comprised of nickel, chromium and molybdenum). Unlike other commercial steel, barrels are deep-drilled and cold-hammer forged in a production line with nine hammering machines.
·Hyper Vacuum Technology enhances barrel reliability and resistance.
·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 lengthened forcing cone, exclusive to Steelium barrels, minimizes the stress of steel shot.
·A ring between the barrel and receiver is designed to reduce barrel vibration and enhance pellet pattern.
·A redesigned stock enhances shooter comfort and grip, featuring select walnut wood treated with its new X-tra Grain oil-finish technology.
·A redesigned fore-end makes for better positioning and handling. A reshaped fore-end polymer cap also improves grip and corrosion resistance. The space between the barrel and fore-end cap has been closed to prevent debris from entering while in the field. The Beretta logo is positioned on the bottom of the fore-end for a more futuristic design.
·The trigger guard, built from technopolymer, suits the gun’s modern look and features an engraved Xplor logo.
·A green aluminum-alloy receiver further ties the gun to hunting pursuits. A new anodizing process ensures the new color maintains corrosion resistance.
“The A400 Xplor Unico is a step ahead in technology and design, a pure expression of our devotion and passion for the hunting world,” said Franco Gussalli Beretta, Beretta Vice President & Managing Director, at the Beretta press conference in Italy. Carlo Ferlito, General Manager of Beretta Italy added, “Our dream was to invent the all-utility gun to satisfy the need for sophisticated, affordable enjoyment. Today we are proud to present the result of our work.”
Manufacturer: Beretta; (301) 283-2191; Beretta.com
Action Type:Semi-automatic featuring Beretta’s new gas system “Blink”
Chamber:2 ¾”, 3” and 3 ½”
Barrel: 26”, 28” and 30” Optima-Bore HP featuring new Steelium technology
Front Sight:Metal bead
Safety: Reversible safety button designed for better grip
Stock: New X-Tra Grain pistol-grip stock with oil finishing; new fore-end
features checkering with the Beretta logo; available with Kick-Off Cubed (enhanced recoil-reduction configuration); length: 14½” (14 1/4” with Kick-Off) with new ¾” Micro-Core pad
Weight: 6 lbs., 6 ozs. (28" barrel)
Extras: Case, 3 choke tubes featuring Optima-Choke HP technology, adjustable
drop spacers kit with spacers to change stock-drop, quick detachable swivels, wrench
Suggested Retail Price: $1,625 (without Kick Off Cubed), $1,725 (with Kick Off Cubed)
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