Fabarm Elos C Sporting
Having tried out the game version of Fabarm’s new Elos 12 bore, Mark Stone now gets to grips with the competition version - the C Sporting
With the game version already launched, Fabarm importer’s Viking Arms are now rolling out the competition version of the Elos. Designed just like the game gun from scratch and priced to attract more shooters into the Fabarm fold, it’s the combination of looks, features and price that should enhance the Elos C’s appeal to those looking for something that’s slightly different from the norm. Similarly, whilst still exhibiting certain cues that are noticeably Fabarm, the manufacturer’s famous art deco influences have been kept to a minimum, the scallops, cutaways and filigree detailing reserved solely for the Axis range of shotguns, the B and A grade equivalents even more minimalist.
Keeping the price down means the Elos C arrives in a rather distinctive yet still a noticeably cardboard box. Within the buyer will find either of the two ‘C’ options namely a fixed or adjustable oil finished stock along with Fabarm’s take on the Schnabel forend, the finish lifting the grain, visual appeal and durability of the C grade timber. Whilst the narrow forward taper of the wood may not be to my taste, the nicely chequered diagonal influences of the forend’s twin panels are echoed on the semi-pistol grip, all of them soft to touch yet providing adequate grip when shooting.
Finished to Fabarm’s usual standards, the sporter style stock also employs the company’s new 22mm deep soft rubber recoil pad, a smooth rounded section eliminating any potential drag against clothing. My one concern is that whilst the angle and fit of the stock head to the receiver is excellent, the radius of the grip is to my mind slightly oversized especially for those with slightly smaller hands.
Utilising a low profile forged steel boxlock action with distinct round bodied influences, the brushed titanium finish is complimented by panels of a floral and scroll design, the short throw black anodised top-lever and broad manual combined safety-barrel selector complimenting and contrasting with the action. Driven by the inertia generated by the first shot which transfers the sears from the first to the second barrel, the action itself utilises a newly conceived 29.7mm deep bottom locking lug to secure the matte black anodised 30” barrels into position, Fabarm once again ensuring both tubes and action are over-proofed to 1,630 bar.
Complete with the now familiar 3” chambers; both chrome lined monobloc barrels feature Fabarm’s tried and tested Tribore hyperbolic sectional back-boring so reducing felt recoil, a technique Fabarm are past masters of. Interestingly whilst the standard set of four extended Exis HP multi-chokes are more than adequate, Fabarm have built in a commonality of threads allowing the facility to fit Fabarm’s longer chokes so adding a tad of extra weight to the muzzles.
A noticeable addition and a feature usually found on far more costly shotguns, the forend incorporates an adjustable tension system. This means that where most guns tend to loosen up through usage, a device within the Elos forend automatically counteracts and takes up the slack, so ensuring the gun remains as taut as it did the day you bought it. This doesn’t mean the Elos doesn’t ‘shoot – in’, the gun as a whole gently relaxing as the number of rounds increased, what it does mean is that the familiar signs of wear will be cancelled out for far longer.
The size is right
As soon as you heft the Elos C you instantly become aware that the gun feels right. Weighing in at exactly 8lbs with a balance point 1½” in front of the hinges, the mass and distribution is that of a well thought out sporter. Combine these attributes with a length and weight of pull measuring a good, man sized 15” and 5lbs 6oz average with drops at comb and heel of 1 ½” and 2 5/16” the collective measurements are particularly well suited to a good, purposeful sporting 12 bore with smooth handling characteristics.
Similarly, a Laser Shot evaluation confirmed my initial flat shooting predictions, the view along the 7-10mm cross-cut rib and high visibility bead homing into my focal point whilst the factory position of the adjustable trigger blade was exactly where I needed it to be.
Heading off to Rishton CS and loading up with 28 gram Express Supremes the Elos C instantly revealed rather unusual traits, namely muzzle flip. Basically this means after the first shot is discharged the end of the barrels bounce more than usual making recovery and acquisition of the second target noticeably more difficult. Is there a cure? Yes and it’s really rather simple.
Forget the Supremes and load up with 24 gram Excel Olympians plus a box or two of 21 gram High Velocity and problem solved. From there on in the Elos C shot faultlessly, swing mount and all round performance exactly what you’d expect from Fabarm, mixed in with the physical sensation of a new, ultra modern shotgun. Similarly, although the Elos C is fitted with 30” barrels, the ‘in the hands’ traits give a feeling of much shorter tubes whilst the dynamics as a whole are altogether different.
After shooting a total of a hundred and fifty sporting clays the Elos C Sporting leaves you with one overriding sensation. If you want to get serious with this gun you’re going to have to retune your shooting a touch. Fabarm’s ‘start from scratch’ concept has resulted in a 12 bore that requires a different approach if you’re going to get the best out of it, the entire feel of the gun markedly different to what has gone before.
Apart from the two minor details that don’t particularly appeal to me, everything else about this Elos would indicate that it should shoot no differently to any similar shotgun. But as we’ve seen it is different but interestingly so, presenting the shooter with the opportunity to follow in Fabarm’s footsteps. Just as they have to a degree reinvented their own concept of the o/u shotgun so too can the end user start afresh any maybe dig themselves out of the mid-ranking rut they maybe currently entrenched in.
Stuffing the same old ammo into the chambers year after year can have its advantages but it can also count against you. Equally, the owner of any new shotgun should run a series of cartridge evaluations to find which the best are for them and the gun. With Fabarm’s Elos C Sporting combined with smaller loads such as those mentioned, you may just find that the Elos’ seeming peculiarities may just play to your advantage or become the ideal full sized 12 bore for any lightweight adult or junior looking to move up. At just a fraction over £1,300 it could be well worth giving Fabarm’s new Elos C a try.
|Name||Fabarm Elos C Sporting|
|Calibre||12 – bore|
|Barrels||30” over – under|
|Action||Steel boxlock inertia|
|Chokes||Extended Exis HP multi|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates