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Beretta A400 Xplor Light video review | Gunmart
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Beretta A400 Xplor Light

Mark Stone tries out the Beretta A400 Xplor Light semi-auto, regarded rightly or wrongly as the Xplor Unico’s ‘little brother’

The Xplor Light is what you might refer to as the slightly more deft and graceful member of this new Italianate brotherhood of Beretta guns. Where the Unico is perfectly at home chambering 3½” ammunition, the Light requires nothing longer than 3” to get the job done whilst saving its new owner £200 in the process. That said, just because it weighs less doesn’t mean the new Light is any less a true, high performance semi-auto and more than worthy of carrying the Beretta name forward.

Fashion statement

Beretta’s new hint of green first seen on the Xplor Unico continues with the Light, the new look travelling case taking on the new hue in place of Beretta’s more familiar blue. Open the case and beside the three Optima multi-chokes, key and oil, your presented with an extremely smart looking semi-auto, the silver receiver blessed with an almost imperceptible hint of… yes, green. Bristling with Beretta’s latest technology all of which has been granted a distinctive patented name, the first notable components are the stock and fore-end.

Well grained and finished off with a durable, glossy lacquer, the slim semi-pistol grip highlighted with three discrete panels of chequering is fully ambidextrous. From the heel of the grip a line carves its way into the main body of the stock culminating in this instance in the optional Kick – Off recoil reduction butt – plate that eliminates a further 60% of recoil in addition to the third damper located within the stock itself. One of the most unobtrusive of its type and first seen on Beretta’s Perennia O/U shotgun, this twin-hydraulic damper system is concealed within the stock and dials out all but the most severe recoil.

An optional extra on the Xplor Light, the additional £90 it adds to this gun’s basic price is neither here nor there, whilst in my opinion it makes a significant, beneficial difference. The fore-end itself echoes the stock’s sculpted profile with the addition of the Beretta Trident forming part of the chequering design and excess gas vents that culminate in a stylised shroud and outsized mag cap.

Green meanie

Able to save a little space due to the shorter 3” chamber, the Light’s receiver is most definitely Beretta in profile. Manufactured from new, ultra – lightweight aluminium with a soft matte finish, the bolt release is in the usual position just below the loading gate with the magazine cut – off directly opposite on the left with the bolt lock to the rear of the loading gate. Situated to the front of the sculpted, black anodised trigger – guard, the broad triangular stippled cross – bolt safety falls easily to the shooter’s trigger finger as does the smooth conspicuously arched trigger – blade that sits well back inside the guard’s aperture.

From here ‘Blink’ takes over, the new gas cycling system that combines the new single claw rotating bolt and the new three piece, self-cleaning and self-sealing expanding band intelligent valve that is not only considerably faster than what went before but is the reason the Xplor Light can happily cycle such a diverse range of load sizes without jamming. Remove the fore-end and the recoil spring now sits inside a fixed slide that’s wrapped around the magazine tube. From the shooter’s point of view this means the entire action is more refined and far quicker whilst ‘Optima Bore HP’ and ‘Steelium’ play their part in the barrel’s technology, the loose translations of which are Beretta’s own version of internal boring adding to the reduction in recoil along with a variation on cold hammer forging and barrel extrusion.

Fast and flat

With four boxes of Express Supremes and ½ choked screwed in the Light’s muzzle, I was off to tackle fifty of Rishton SG’s sporting targets. But even before the first clay was thrown it was more or less a given that the Xplor Light was going to shoot well; the 3” chambered, 28” chrome lined barrel and 6mm cross-cut vented rib lining up exactly where I was looking, a minute with the Arrow Laser Shot confirming my initial impressions. Likewise, Beretta have always produced a semi-auto with good dimensions, the Xplor Light no exception. With drops at comb and heel of 1 ½” and 2 3/8” with a decent length of pull measuring 14 7/8”, this is a full sized gun for full sized people although the 7lbs average weight of trigger pull would benefit from lightening up a little.

Tipping the scales at 7lbs 2oz the weight is more or less bang on, the Light being heavy enough to promote a smooth swing whilst the distribution of the bulk and balance point directly beneath the loading gate ensures the Light is lithe enough to produce the fast, fluid handling, the gun pivoting centrally yet neutrally between the shooter’s hands, only minimal effort required to drive the Light in the required direction.

The quality of patterning is also more than worthy of Beretta’s Optima chokes, these extended length tubes having proven their worth in numerous of the Beretta range. Although my preference when shooting any single-barrelled shotgun is to remain with ½, loading up with 28 gram Express Supreme 6½ sized shot produced truly impressive kills in excess of forty yards, the Light’s flat shooting attitude allowing for measured, smooth shooting at extended ranges - a point the Light emphasised on an afternoon’s pigeon shooting. Increasing the load size to 34 grams of 5’s, the Light’s attitude remained exactly the same, the gun displaying a notable ability to recover for the second and third shot the Kick – Off system cushioning these and even more powerful rounds.     

The cream will rise

It can’t possibly have escaped any shooters notice that the number of new semi – automatic shotguns has increased significantly, nearly every week a new one announced. And whilst some of them are very good indeed you need to remember this one particular fact, they’d all like to lay claim to Beretta’s market dominance. But the moment some get close Beretta shift the bar and introduce their latest creation, the Xplor Light being a prime example.

So step back and take a good close, clinical look and see what you’re getting. Its attractive, well made, works well, is comfortable to shoot especially with the Kick – Off system fitted, employs the most up to date technology which makes the Xplor Light extremely efficient, handles and recycles loads from 24 to 64 grams, comes with useful accessories including a resilient travelling case, benefits from a decent warranty and good back – up… and is all yours for £1,385. Still want to know why Beretta is still top dog when it comes to gas operated semi-autos? Then go shoot an Xplor Light for yourself and the answer will become glaringly obvious.

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Technical Specifications
Name Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Calibre 3
Barrels 28”
Action Gas operated semi – auto
Stock Walnut sporter
Weight 7lb 2oz
Chokes ¼, ½ & Full Flush – fit Optima
Price £1,385 srp

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

Gun Mart Shooters Forum - Get Involved in the Discussion!
User Comments
  • It's obvious that this gun is flat and smooth enough to provide a really nice shooting!

    Comment by: rifleman     Posted on: 07 Feb 2011 at 11:15 AM

  • First time I bought or tried a semi Auto, nice gun but have to say using Gambore Blackgold 32g I had 7 misfires (not cycling problems but the firing pin hitting the cap without the cartridge going off) in 214 shots,

    Really nervous about taking the shell out after this, if problem persists its back to an O/U for me

    Comment by: pigeon magnet     Posted on: 24 Feb 2011 at 10:30 PM

  • a good shot gun i like it ....when i got money i will buy it ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,my fevorite choice

    Comment by: naseer ahmad     Posted on: 08 Mar 2011 at 05:48 PM

  • You have got the weight WRONG both in your report and in the following specs. Its 6lb 2.5oz... Its a very basic report too. You dont tell us if the stock is wood or what.

    Comment by: urika user     Posted on: 05 May 2011 at 11:27 PM

  • Apologies for the misunderstanding with the weight. Beretta quote 2.85k - 6lbs 2.5oz for the 26" version as you rightly say, but the test gun had 28" barrels and the optional Kick-Off reduction system. As for the stock, the author states that it is a Walnut sporter in the Tech Spec. Walnut is wood.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 06 May 2011 at 12:29 AM

  • bought one of these guns two weeks ago looks well have not fired yet waiting to try gun out at pigeons at the end of july the only thing i was disipointed with was the chokes i think there should have been 5 chokes with this gun

    Comment by: paul     Posted on: 09 Jun 2011 at 07:06 PM

  • What; you have had a new gun for over two weeks and have no shot it yet, is there something wrong with you?

    With the chokes it's probably more about economy of scale, so it works out cheaper for Beretta to just offer the three major restrictions. OK that seems a bit tight, but unless you are a shotgun wizard who can get the best out of the more intermediate restrictions then three is probably more than enough. If you feel the need for something else then they will be out there, but I'd bet you won't need to!


    Comment by: peter moore     Posted on: 10 Jun 2011 at 08:08 AM

  • finely got a shot out of new gun very well plesaed

    Comment by: paul     Posted on: 15 Jun 2011 at 11:20 AM

  • You got the weight of cartridges WRONG for this version. The 3.5" shoots from 24 to 64, but the light 3" version shoots from 21 to 50 cartridge weights !!
    I have the 28" barrel too, but my version came with cyl, modified, and full, so I bought an extry imp cyl to compliment them.
    I use the cyl for boar hunting with slugs, the imp cyl for close decoying, the modified for general rough shooting and roost shooting, and full I haven´t found a use for yet except maybe clays (DTL and Trap).

    Comment by: Redditch     Posted on: 18 Aug 2011 at 12:32 PM

  • The review in the most recent issue of Gun Dog lists the weight at 6 and 1/4 lbs. What is the correct/accurage weight?

    Comment by: Ross Lund     Posted on: 29 Apr 2012 at 05:36 PM

  • Beretta list the weight as 6.28lbs

    Comment by: pat farey     Posted on: 30 Apr 2012 at 11:20 AM

  • Beretta list the weight as 6.28lbs - please read comment above dated 8 March 2011 and answer dated 05 May 2011

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 30 Apr 2012 at 11:24 AM

  • The XPLOR Light is the best shotgun I have ever owned. Superbly fast cyling, extremely fast handling, and very pointable. Who needs the 3.5 inch chamber, even for wildfowling ? I find 3 inch magnum is enough for me, after all, I used to do wildfowling with 2.5 inch, later 2.75 inch, and even later 3 inch, and I must say I don't see the need for 3.5 inch except perhaps on very high geese !!
    As previously stated, I love this gun, and it fulfills 99% of my shotgun needs !!

    Comment by: Redditch     Posted on: 30 Apr 2012 at 09:26 PM

  • Hi! what is the latest price of the said gun as i am interested in buying one. Which country shall be providing Berretta A400 Xplore light to Pakistan.

    Comment by: Moeen     Posted on: 22 Nov 2012 at 09:56 AM

  • Depends indoing on which stock and finish you go for, the price in the UK is £1,100.00 to £1,650.00 at the gunshops. However this is UK price and am unaware what the price would be in Pakistan.
    Easiest would be to email Beretta (either Beretta USA or Beretta Italy) and ask them for the RRP, and the importers. The importers would then be able to give you a list of official stockists.
    However, if its like the UK, any registered firearms dealer can order one from the importers

    Comment by: Redditch     Posted on: 22 Nov 2012 at 10:18 AM

  • Try the following web page for answers too


    Comment by: Redditch     Posted on: 22 Nov 2012 at 10:21 AM

  • This is perfect gun I want to buy this in pakistan

    Comment by: Saeed Khalid     Posted on: 22 Jun 2015 at 07:02 PM

  • I have this gun about 4 months now, I bought it brand new without the kickoff system, i don't personally like the kickoff as it felt odd having the gun move back and forth on my cheek bone, its a soft recoiling gun anyways. I had the brilliant Fabarm xlr5 sporter which i traded in and got a good chunk of money my way with he deal. The Fabarm was just to heavy at 9.2bls. My A400 light weight 6.25lbs which is very light but still heavy enough to for a good swing. its a super semi auto for rough shooting and I'm glad i purchased it, I've put nearly every 3" round through it without a problem, A light durable gun that looks and performs great, what more could you want. mine was 1,700 euro and worth every penny.

    Comment by: Adrian Morris     Posted on: 01 Nov 2016 at 03:00 PM

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Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Beretta A400 Xplor Light
Beretta A400 Xplor Light
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