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- Last updated: 15/12/2016
Fausti Stefano is owned and run by three sisters from Italy’s famous Val Trompia region. Fausti’s range of shotguns have at times been something of an unknown and at times mystifying quantity to UK shooters. Part of Sportsman Gun Centre’s ever burgeoning portfolio it’s probably true to say that both the game and competition guns have appealed more to shooters in the south of the country than elsewhere, the geographical fact that ease of access has to a degree limited hands-on availability.
With a range of shotguns both single and double-barrelled in each and every gauge along with the fact that there’s a model and a grade that caters for whatever type or preference each individual shooter might be seeking, it’s an undeniable truism that there’s probably a Fausti for everyone. However, whilst the core pedigree of all Faustis cannot be denied, they’ve never quite shaken off the reputation of being a simple Italian shotgun with an upmarket finish.
Open up the carton and all you need to break sporting clays is contained within; a full set of flush-fit chokes and key housed in a small plastic case, along with two velvet sleeves that protect the action and barrels.
Slide the two parts from within their black, Fausti emblazoned jackets and you find some rather attractive semioiled walnut, nicely grained, well presented and most importantly exhibiting a high standard of fit. Whilst not the biggest fan of the Schnabel forend, the Pro Comp’s is slightly longer and fuller than normal with two large panels of fine cut checkering and a scroll engraved Deeley style latch. With an ideal amount of cast, the stock is a good, full sized sporter finished off with a solid soft rubber recoil pad; my only concern being the semi-pistol grip. Complete with a sensible angle and radius and finished with two large panels of close checkering it’s definitely hand filling, the palmswell of sufficient size to locate the hand, yet small enough to keep the gun articulated when required, it may well be slightly too large for the hands of smaller shooters.
In An Instant
The looks of the basic mechanical steel boxlock action are specific to the gun’s purpose. The brushed satin finish is broken by the gun’s Pro Comp name being engraved against an oval background, the gun’s full nomenclature of Fausti Pro Competition in more formal script on the base. These designations are in turn complimented by simple border scrolls that replicate on the forend irons and trigger-guard. And it’s the trigger blade itself that is noteworthy, what appears to be exaggerated curvature actually very user friendly and allowing for a far more deft deployment and sensitivity. Enhancing the trigger’s striking looks is the fact that by depressing the small detent on the left, the blade can quickly be moved within five predetermined location that allow the shooter to reposition the blade and so instantly alter the overall length of pull by 5/8th of an inch.
Move onto the top tang and you’ll find my only dislike. Echoing the stippling of the double-scalloped fences, the long top-lever has been finished with a filigree effect where the thumb presses against it. To my mind it doesn’t look right on this gun or others who insist on using this effect. I find it unpleasant against the side of my finger irrespective of the fact I wear gloves. On a competition shotgun nothing beats good, old fashioned deep cut cross-hatching such as that on the Pro Comp’s broad sliding safety come barrel order selector.
Looking inside the action a full width flat bolt that extends from beneath the action face locks into two slots that are located beneath the 3” chambers monobloc barrels. These 30” blacked tubes are joined by a vented mid-rib and a similarly vented 10mm top rib that culminates in an extended red bead. Internally the area of note is the extended rear forcing cones that allows the shot more room to develop and ease the transition into the main bore of the barrels. Apart from that the barrels are the usual well struck tubes you’d expect to be supplied from an Italian gunmaker.
Balance of Payback
Once you’ve assembled the Pro Comp you immediately realise that you’re holding for want of a better term, a big gun. That said you’re also instantly aware of the fact that although it is on the large side, it has an inbuilt physical poise and balance along with a flat shooting attitude more than confirmed by the Arrow Laser Shot. Weighing 8lbs 8oz that balances a fraction in front of the hinges, drops at comb and heel work out at 1 13/32” and 2 3/32” with the adjustable trigger proffering lengths of pull from 14 1/8” to 14 ¾”, the longest setting the most comfortable for my own personal dimensions.
Add into this an average weight of pull of 5lbs 4oz on both barrels and the Pro Comp was working with me before I’d even loaded the first round. A hundred sporting clays and a goodly selection of Express World Cups and Supremes all filled with 28 grams of 6½’s shot through nothing tighter than Cylinder and ¼ chokes and the Pro Comp was making friends all round, certain colleagues who were also shooting a Fausti for the first time as equally impressed as I was.
For me, the view out over the red bead, the rib almost imperceptible just as it should be, along with the overall fit and handling was actually akin to my own custom built sporter, the final scores emphasising just how well the Pro Comp performed with no pre-shoot familiarisation whatsoever. As I’ve already commented, the style and dynamics of the Pro Comp are based around a tried and trusted design, a format that if set up correctly produces a shotgun with negligible felt recoil, excellent handling characteristics and a sensation of purposeful intent between the hands, all of which the Pro Comp is imbued with.
Make Me An Offer
The ticket price of the Pro Comp is a penny short of £1,600 which in itself makes the gun relatively attractive. However, I’m reliably informed by Sportsman that the gun regularly undergoes special offers which, given the company’s ability to proffer some significant discount, will see this Fausti on the market at a price that’ll seriously undercut the competition. And it’s this overriding reason why the Pro Comp represents good value for money and to my mind an excellent introduction to a genuine competition 12 bore.
Yes, it’s physically a large shotgun but once you’ve handled it and more importantly shot it you quickly realise that the physical format is perfectly suited to the job in hand, to a degree that I can’t especially fault it, the gun being everything a competent sporter should be. The Pro Comp was on the money in every respect from the word go, it mounted exactly as it should do, was extremely comfortable to shoot, hit virtually every target asked of it, the misses purely down to me, whilst the overall looks of this Fausti single it out as a genuine clay breaker.
Pros and Cons
If the Pro Competition has a failing its that instead of its manufacturer saying that this gun will suit both beginners and experienced clay shooters alike, and is more than capable of growing with you and achieving some excellent results at all levels, the Faustis as a whole have suffered from being slightly over hyped by their maker in what I consider to be an attempt to make them appear to be what they aren’t.
To that end, if you look beneath the supposed glitz, glamour and Italianate flummery, what you end up with is an honest, basic 12 bore that delivers the results. Add into the equation that Sportsman will be able to put a Pro Comp into your cabinet at a price far more inkeeping, and you end up with a capable no nonsense, multi-discipline clay breaker that deserves consideration. Whether you’re considering buying your first competition 12 bore or looking to make a change to a shotgun with specific sporting intentions and within sensible financial boundaries, Fausti’s Pro Competition could well be the ideal choice. GM