By: Mark Stone
A walk down memory lane, Mark Stone hunts pigeon with Boito’s Reuna, a singlebarrelled hammer gun all the way from Brazil
If you can remember owning, using or even desiring a singlebarrelled 12 gauge like Boito’s Reuna then you’re giving your age away. Problem is I can remember such a thing, like many youngsters of my age, the introduction to shotgunning started with a single-barrelled .410 that after a degree of profi ciency had been attained was replaced by an almost identical gun but in 12 bore. Interestingly, if you decide to head down Boito’s Reuna route you can do both, the simplistic little external hammer-gun from Highland Outdoor being available in both 12 bore and .410 for the exact same price of £225.
But why I hear you ask? Well I’ll tell you. Strange as it might seem this style of old fashioned shotgun still enjoys a small degree of popularity. Ironically, the Reuna is also more or less a copy of an old Webley & Scott design, a brand that’s also part of Highland Outdoor’s portfolio. So to a degree, whilst the manufacturer and name have changed, instead of bearing the W&S name, it’s now more or less a complimentary brand that sells alongside. Where Boito seems to achieve success though is in the fact that their shotguns place form, function, affordability and reliability over looks to a degree aesthetics don’t actually figure in the design.
The Reuna arrives in three sections namely – the action, a barrel with a screw sticking out of it and forend. What you’ll also fi nd is a yellow handled screwdriver that lets you screw the Reuna together.
A hard wood sporter stock complete with a thick soft rubber recoil pad and nicely curved pistol grip lose their curves as they expand into a square section where the stock head engages with the angular receiver, the remarkably curvaceous forend located into position courtesy of the aforementioned screwdriver and what looks remarkably like a countersunk engineering screw. Measuring just over ¾” this in turn attaches the forend to the ribless steel proofed barrel via an extension braised onto the underside of the black anodised tube.
Apart from the brass bead that’s let into the fi xed full choke muzzle, the only other barrel protrusion is the combined 3” chamber and lump that stands proud where the two are swaged together. Providing the shooter with an extractor, opening the gun results in the shell case being lifted a good ¼” out of the chamber making removal of the empty an easy, fumble free process.
The old fashioned steel action is remarkably elongated and squared off in appearance. Finish with a satin brushed effect with the manufacturer’s name of ER Amantino stamped on the left, Boito, Brazil and the serial number on the right, that’s your lot in respect of ornamentation. Internally, a full width hinge pin allows the barrel to attach and pivot with a full width bottom bolt to lock it all together. The standing breech features a disc-set striker whilst the crossbolt safety is located within the action’s main body just above the stubby trigger. Opening the Reuna is achieved by gripping the trigger-guard the metal ring hinging rearwards and upwards from the front which in turn allows the barrel to fall forwards.
Now whilst none of the woodwork displays the remotest semblance of chequering, the hammer has quite deep grooves to ensure the shooter’s thumb has excellent purchase. One point of note though, the safety has to be disengaged before the hammer can be cocked and once clicked backwards the safety cannot then be reapplied. Also there’s no half-cock position, the Reuna either ‘fully live’ or completely dormant.
Once it’s been assembled (a remarkably easy process) the Reuna is basically what the Americans would refer to as a ‘Knock-About’ gun. In other words a shotgun that cost so little you don’t give a damn about it; one you’ll stuff across the seat of your pickup along with a box of cheap 3” shells or jam inside a tractor’s cab along with a few BB magnums in your pocket perchance an unexpected ‘Charlie’ pops into view whilst your cutting hay. Not I hasten to add you should treat any shotgun in this fashion or take wild shots from behind the wheel!
Overall the Reuna weighs just 6lbs 1oz and measures 44¼” from muzzle to butt that includes the 28” barrel. Drops at comb and heel are 1 5/8” and 2¾” with a 14¼” length of pull and a rather hefty, not overly predictable 6lbs 10oz weight of pull. However, whilst it might not be perfect the Reuna isn’t actually a bad fi t, the rather waif like mass in its favour, the fact it balances directly beneath the chamber making it quick and precise between the hands. Add in the fact that once you’ve practiced a few times you can open the gun by just curling you middle fi nger around the front of the guard, fl ick out the empty with your other hand and stuff in the next round and cock the hammer within a few seconds, you’d be surprised just how effi ciently you can work with the Reuna.
One at a time
Heading over to Bond & Bywaters evening shoot with a new consignment of 28g Eley VIP Sporting fi brewads, after I’d reminded the trapper to throw just one clay at a time it wasn’t long before the Reuna was breaking clays with the best of them. Bearing in mind the fi xed full choke and a consignment of 6½’s, long distance kills became enjoyably easy whilst the external hammer and lively characteristics of the Boito did add a distinct level of involvement into the proceedings. One serious point of note though, the quality of the patterns was as good as most other far more expensive shotguns, the clays not so much broken more powdered, proof the Reuna is more than up to its primary function.
Next up a few squirrels and pigeons on my friend’s estate and it was like being a youngster again, a box of 30g Eley Pigeon load full of 6½’s and a dry seat in the middle of one of the copses was all that was needed.
A fun gun
The Reuna provides you with a modern 3” chambered magnum shotgun that’d been designed and built to handle modern ammunition at what ostensibly isn’t too bad a price. Please note though, chamber up a 3” Eley Alphamax full of 3’s and those who are recoil sensitive will most defi nitely know they’ve dropped the hammer on a big magnum load. The Reuna will happily deal with heavy duty cartridges, you however might not. And with fixed full choke, don’t be tempted to use steel or lead alternatives, the Reuna isn’t designed for it. Do the maths, most magnum 3” shotguns are big and heavy or have serious recoil reduction systems built in. The Reuna is lightweight, simple and basic which in turn means you’re the recoil reducer.
But treat it as a fun gun, handy knock-about pest controller or something to teach junior the basics of shotgunning with, and you won’t go far wrong. Similarly, the Reuna will teach all concerned about the concept of one-shot accuracy since it doesn’t allow you the luxury of a quick second shot. Basically it’s down to you.
I personally found my time with the Reuna to be interesting and entertaining, the resultant kills testament to the fact that I can still use a 12 bore of this type. But as to whether I’d want to keep using a single barrel hammer gun remains to be seen since I graduated to double - barrels at the age of twelve, forty or so years ago! GM
|Calibre:||12 – bore|
|Price:||£225 srp (For both 12g & .410)|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates