Fabarm Elos O/U
By: Mike Yardley
Mike Yardley tries the Fabarm Elos C and an interesting gun with modern looks
We’re putting a Fabarm Elos C sporter through its paces this month. It is Italian made, of course, and has a competitive r.r.p. of £1,450. The gun is imported by that dyanamic outfit Anglo Italian Arms, and I had the pleasure of testing the Elos with ex-Olympian, Kevin Gill who is a director of the firm.
This gun might well be summed up ‘plain but good’. It’s a modernistic design, superficially at least, like many from Fabarm. The action has a brightish coin finish and has a streamlined appearance (though the internal design is conventional). The 30” multi-choked barrels (and there are 28 and 32” options) are bored on Fabarm’s interesting Tri-bore scheme.
The action is quite sparsely decorated, meantime, there is only partial machine scroll engraving coverage on the action walls, the belly is left plain save for ‘ELOS’ in capital letters and an italic ‘C’. I thought the bottom of the action looked quite smart, nevertheless, and the sides are inoffensive. The modern styling will appeal to some more than others. What is clear is that Fabarm take their styling very seriously. All their guns are notable for a smart and distinct appearance.
Mounting the Elos confirms the first impression of a solid gun. It comes up without a glitch, but the 30” test specimen felt a little muzzle heavy – the balance point was significantly forward of the hinge pin. Some people prefer this, generally it is my preference in long barrelled guns, with 28 or 30” tubes my usual balance preference is for something close to the hinge pin. The Elos comes up quite flat with regard to sight picture, but the stock shapes are comfortable. It has a slight palm swell – less pronounced than in some of the (excellent) Guerini competition guns also imported by AIA.
The stock on this Fabarm was functional. The Italians have long been trap shooters and this influenced them profoundly. They are beginning to understand sporting better now though. The length of pull with the pad supplied was about 14 7/8”. Drop at the front of the comb was 1 1/2” and 2 5/16” at heel – a bit low/flat for me. But the stock was well made with excellent wood to metal fit too, and well finished in oil with neat chequering of good size.
The full, quite short, pistol grip is quite tightly radiused and secured the hand well with a subtle palm swell – as mentioned previously. The grip moreover, was fairly even depth front to back (so the hand is not encouraged to slip forward in recoil). This is a feature I always like to see. The stock which is fitted with a recoil pad just under 1” in length is made from quite nicely figured, but lightly coloured, wood finished in matt oil with neat chequering in conventional panels (much to be preferred to strange squiggles and squirls). The schnabel forend - which has a self-adjusting mechanism to allow for wear at the knuckle - was less waisted than some with a reduced lip to the front. It looks a little chunky in profile, but feels comfortable.
The barrels themselves are monobloc - what else? As in a Browning, there is no band of engraving around the joins between tube and monobloc. And, as in a Browning, the joins are barely visible. Fabarm evidently have confidence in their quality control (though, I can’t understand why more makers don’t laser weld the joints as Beretta used to do on their side by sides). There are full length, vented, joining ribs. The Elos comes with four chokes, offering quarter, half, three-quarter and full. They are of Exis pattern, matched to the hammer forged and deep drilled Tri-bore barrels. The 10mm vented top rib presented a good picture to the eye, was true - i.e. flat - and well machined on its top surface. There is a translucent red rod front sight. The gun is proofed for 3” (76mm) shells at the high pressure figure of 1630 BAR (as high as anything in the industry). The bores are marked 18.7mm for diameter, but, as discussed, they are built on a special plan. This ‘Tri-bore’ system combines a lengthened forcing cone with a back-bored section in the first part of the barrel. This narrows to 18.4 behind the choke area, however. The chokes are of the parallel bore type (with the usual cone leading to the parallel section). This is the essential pattern favoured by British gun trade, though the chokes here have exceptionally long forward cones, they are about 40mm, leading to a parallel section of 10.
Fabarm claim that these features combine to create significantly more efficient patterns. I am not an overly enthusiastic ‘pellet counter’, but the kills of the test gun when fitted with half and light full chokes were certainly good. The barrels pass muster for straightness and general quality as well. I have visited the Fabarm factory, and note that apart from the fact that the company was founded by a man with an obsession for barrel making, that the barrel department is atypical of the rest of the facility with still a great deal of hand work in evidence (multi axis CNC and similar is the norm elsewhere at Fabarm).
Interesting barrels and chokes apart, there is not that much to report with regard the mechanical design of the gun. The action, though almost rounded in form, is of typical Italian mid-market pattern under its surface, with stud pins at the knuckles and a full width bolt meeting a bite beneath the bottom chamber mouth. It is a trigger plate design (as most) with hammers powered by the usual helical springs. The safety and barrel selector on the top strap are well proportioned, the top lever is short but efficient in operation. The grey coated trigger blade of the inertia activated mechanism is adjustable.
I shot the gun with Kevin at the Fennes Shooting Ground in Essex, my usual test venue. It was a solid performer like most Fabarms. It did not recoil excessively, everything functioned as it should. Overall weight, just under 8lbs, was about right for a 30” clay buster. The kills produced with the unusually bored barrels and special chokes were good. It is also impressive that this is one of the few steel proofed guns that the makers guarantee for use with tighter chokes. Normally one is restricted to half when using steel – not with the Fabarm, should you wish to, threequarter and full constrictions may be used with the makers endorsement (not that I would because steel being hard does not usually need as much constriction as lead to achieve similar effect within its range limitations). Overall, I would rate the Elos C as a solid gun at a fair price. It is one with some interesting features too.
|Model||Fabarm Elos C|
|Action||Trigger plate with stud pin hinging and full width single bolt|
|Barrels||30” on test gun (28 or 32” optional)|
|Chokes||Multi – 4 supplied (¼. ½. ¾, full)|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates