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- Last updated: 14/12/2016
We have tested a few Fausti guns in GunMart recently. It’s no accident, I know and like the Fausti sisters and would like to see their guns becoming better known in the UK, because they are a decent family outfit who work extremely hard at both marketing and improving their product. Of their budget guns, I have been particularly impressed with the sub £1,000 30” Warwick 20 bore over and under (I often like these 30” Italian stack barrels), and some 26” barrelled Fausti side by sides were imported by the Sportsman Gun Centre which were very good value for money considering their shooting qualities.
This month we look at a Fausti competition gun – the Pro-Comp. It is a 30” barrelled gun with an adjustable trigger. At first this gun seems quite utilitarian in the looks department. I like to keep things plain and simple in a clay buster, however. There is a little bit of neat border engraving on the silver finished action – and the name of the model in a central stippled panel. The Pro-Comp is multi-choked of course, and the stock is quite amply proportioned and has a palm swell.
Although the gun is not heavily decorated, it not only looks, but feels solid when handled. The action, which has an unusual extra locking system (more on which shortly), is well presented and the butt and forend wood has some figure. The forend is of Schnabel pattern – my preference is usually for a rounded design in a competition gun – but, it all looks business-like. The gun weighs in at 8 pounds which is just about right for this sort of clay buster (though women, and anyone with less upper body strength may benefit from something a little lighter - especially at the front).
Considering the gun in more detail, the barrels are quite heavy, which gives the Pro-Comp a steady feel which some experienced shooters prefer (my preference is usually for long but fairly light barrels). The point of balance is a little forward of the hinge pin. The barrels are well constructed on the monobloc system as are 99% of modern, mass-produced, doubles. The joins between tubes and monobloc are competent and disguised with a little engraving as is common (save on Browning and Mirokus).
The barrels have ventilated joining ribs and there is also a ventilated 10mm sighting rib that is well enough presented. You can’t go wrong with a 10mm rib on a competition gun – but an 11-7mm taper works well too, or, a simple narrow rib as usually seen on game guns (these have the advantage of cutting down barrel weight too - especially a simple 6mm ‘game’ pattern). At the muzzles, there is a small, rod type red translucent foresight in a skeleton carrier. It is perfectly acceptable and not too big.
The barrels bear Italian proof marks for 3” (70mm) cartridges (which I always think is a sign of confidence by the manufacturer). Both tubes are marked up at 18.3mm which is a little tight. I usually prefer slightly larger barrel diameters in a 12 bore competition gun because they have a positive effect on felt recoil. Many manufacturers are now moving to 18.6 or 7 as a standard measurement in their clay guns (Browning opting for back-boring in their game guns too). Forcing cones are of medium length (again my preference along with a bigger bore, is for extended cones because I think it smooth’s everything out).
The action of the Pro-Comp is interesting. It is well made by CNC (Fausti like many other Italian manufacturers have made a huge investment in this sort of equipement). It has evidently been over engineered. Like a Woodward, Perazzi or Beretta (or, indeed a dozen other Italian over and unders), it has short trunnion pins for hinging which are located on the inner action walls near the knuckle in the normal way. This is teamed up with a Browning style bolt under the bottom chamber. Some makers prefer a Boss style bolting system, Beretta, of course, have their clever conical locking bolts (which dispense with a lot of complications).
The Fausti does not quite conform to the Italian euro-gun norm, however. As well as the mechanical features described, it has a clever additional bolting system. On each side of the engine turned monobloc, there are wide slots. On the inner action walls there are large studs which engage them when the gun is closed rather like the draws and wedges of a Boss – but more belt and braces. Nevertheless, it all looks very strong. Fausti only use it in their 12 bore guns (and it is seen in most of them now).
The rest of the action passes muster. I liked the adjustable trigger which requires no Allen key. You only need to push a button to move it. There are four positions and the blade of the trigger is nicely shaped. The trigger recoil activated and coil springs power its works as is almost universal at this price point. The gun has a barrel selector combined with its safety copying the Beretta style but in larger form. The thumb piece of the top lever is pierced. Considering the plain character of the gun, a simple, solid, design might have worked just as well. But, this is no big deal.
The Fausti’s stock was quite full as noted with a palm swell. I noted the grip seemed well suited to those with larger hands. The wood was of reasonable quality and the chequering was better than the average. The laser cut diamonds were good size and the borders neat. The length of pull was a bit short at 14 3/8”. A thin black recoil pad is fitted. There is 14” of wood if this is removed, so by means of a 1” pad you could push this out to 15” with minimal work. The length to heel was 14 ½” (an extra 1/8”), and 14 5/8” to toe. So, at toe, there was an extra 1/4” rather than the usual 3/8”. This will suit many middle aged men better than the standard modern dimension (I often ponder whether the new standard should become 1/4” and 1/4” - that is 1/4” extra on LOP at both heel and toe).
The dimensions for drop were 1 3/8” to the front of the comb and 2 1/8” to rear. This is now the clay gun norm for many manufacturers. The Fausti sisters asked me about standard dimensions a while back – and I advised them (as I have others) that this is an ideal shelf measure for a competition gun. Some guns still have too much drop at heel. I have no great issue with 2 ¼”, but more than this in a fixed comb gun is too much in my opinion (on a standard gun).
I did not put this gun through my normal extended field test. I broke some birds with it at Southern Counties with Terry Palfrey of the Sportsman Gun Centre. The trigger pulls were fine, felt recoil was a little higher than expected considering the guns weight. The Fausti was well finished. It has potential for development and is on offer at a reasonable price.
PRICE: £1,450 (RRP)