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- Last updated: 02/07/2019
Hands up, Breda are a new one for me; yes, they have been around for ages but for whatever reason they have passed me by. There is no denying those classic Italian looks and feel, and Breda have a fantastic pedigree for shotguns and all manner of technological industries too.
This 930i is definitely a clay competition model, although suitable for game or pigeon but I have to say that there is something very appealing about the Breda’s light alloy action, anodised colour coded features, extended chokes and spilt action design.
It has a real air of quality for a fair price of £1875 and, when held, feels incredibly assured with really excellent handling properties and natural pointability. It feels more like a well-crafted double than a semi.
The Breda uses a typical inertia or recoil type action operation, where the recoil or back pressure from firing is utilised to operate the bolt and cycles the action without any need to vent gases or use of pistons.
It’s a simpler and cleaner system but can be hold sensitive. I have to say, though, this Breda seemed very un-fussy.
It has that Italian split action profile with a polished black upper casing that can be easily separated from the rest of the action with the barrel removed; this allows very easy cleaning and access, so all the salient internal parts, the major ones, are nickelled plated.
The lower action chassis houses the trigger, bolt and mag follower and is made from a light aluminium alloy called Ergal and is finished in a satin polished state; very classy! It is nicely scalloped for interest and accented with Breda, model and serial number highlighted in black lettering. It is a really nice, quality action with excellent finish and this model sports some true sporting clay accents of red or blue anodised parts. These include the trigger guard, which is that enlarged type that seem popular on Italian guns; good for gloved hands and access but a bit bulbous- looking for me. The extended bolt handle is long with a cotton wheel profile and really gives superb hold and the final anodised blue accented piece is the bolt release. Again, a large, grooved and highly tactile unit for easy use in the field.
The bolt itself has a twin rotating lug lock up and brightly polished bolt surface. The operation is incredible smooth; it feels almost honed and polished and the bolt runs very easily and holds open on the last round. The magazine follower is polished steel and ventilated and there is enough room for a speedy reload via a red anodised magazine end plug.
You also have a cocked indicator that drops in down the right side of the trigger guard and, if you push it in when cocked, it locks the mag follower to eject a chambered round only if you wish.
The trigger itself is a thin, smooth affair and has a very good pull of 3.85lbs with very little creep. The safety is just a small cross bolt safety behind the trigger blade and stops its movement when set in from the left is on.
The magazine is a three shot and the end plug that secures the forend on has an extension that is weighted, and you have a choice of four suppled with the Breda. They are individually 55-grams or 2-ounces and perfectly the balance for your own individual requirements (they fit into the stock too)
The barrel is available in 28- or 30-inch lengths but both are 3-inch magnum chambered.
The barrels are also very handily back-bored to an 0.728 internal dimeter for improved patterns and better velocities. The chambers have also had the treatment with 9cm forcing cones that ease the shot column down the bores and thus reduce felt recoil.
The rib is a tapered type, fatter at the action end at 10mm and then 8mm at the muzzle end. This leads the eye down the rib and on to the target very naturally. It has a single steel bead mid-way down the rib and at the muzzle has a red fibre optic.
To finish off, three extended competition type chokes, ¼, ½ and ¾ of 9cm length and have long cone super steel construction with a nice deeply knurled end that sticks out of the muzzle by 2cm. Overall finish had a beautifully deep blued and highly polished that matches the upper receiver piece and complements the rest of the Breda.
Again, a really nicely thought out and handling stock. It feels very tactile and natural to hold, very unlike a semi-automatic shotgun. I think it’s because the pistol grip is large, as it has a wide girth without palm swells but allows a really good hold. It is also angled so that the hand allows a correct positioning in the shoulder and thus keeps the eye looking down the rib. It is adjustable with shims and also has weights that can be fitted under the recoil pad. You can also adjust the cheekpiece height and angle on this model with twin small adjusters accessed via the right side of the stock. The recoil pad is a solid black affair but with enough give to reduce recoil but tactile enough to allow a speedy mount and then grip.
The forend is large at 12-inches but quite slim, as there’s no gas system beneath it. As with the pistol grip, it has two differing panels, one of traditional chequering to the top and then a stippled panel below. It looks good and works really well too. Finally, the quality of walnut is really good for a £1598 quid gun and is classified as a semi fancy walnut and has a very good dark colour and deep well figured veins running through it. It is rubbed oil finished that complements the overall air of quality in my view.
I cannot emphasis enough how really good the handling and fit is with the ability to further customise the fit to your stature. It’s not that heavy either and, to me, those added weights to stock or forend are not just for show; they really do distribute the weight and balance the Breda. Keep it in the shoulder and she sings a sweet song with loads from 24- 36-gram; with 21-grams, I had a couple of ‘not quite’ ejects.
However, being a Comp gun, I shot several pattern boards, of which the Eley Titanium Strike are a phenomenally good load. The No. 7.5 shot 28-gram load has a plastic wad and, with the Breda fitted with the ½ choke tube, I had a total of 244 shot hit the 30-inch pattern board. Distributed with 138 outer strikes and 106 inner hits to the 15-inches, with a really superb overall spread and even distribution. Quite tight for ½ choke.
Hull’s High Pheasant Extreme were tested, as they are a brisk load and I wanted to see how the Beda handles a classic game load. The High Pheasants Xtreme shot for extended range and less deformation and the special propellant used gives top velocities but with reduced recoil. In the Breda, it functioned 100% and was mild to shoot; perfect. The 70mm 36-gram load with No. 5 shot on the pattern boards with the ½ choke had a total of 186 pellets.
110 pellets to the outer 30- inch circle and I had 74 pellets in the 15-inch inner ring and again really uniform patterns; nothing would escape through this load.
The Gamebore Blue Diamond is a great all-round clay load and is really good for competitions or simulated clay days where a lot of shots will be fired as it is extremely mild to shoot.
I use fibre wadded 24- gram loads of No. 7.5 shot size, which actually is a great squirrel load too! I had 232 pellets hit the pattern boards, with 91 inner and 141 outer strikes
It functioned perfectly through the 930i and was very light on the shoulder.
There is now another real contender to the semi auto market, this Breda 930i is a cracking semi with superb handling and patterning abilities and just has that indescribable whiff of quality without bragging about it. At just under £1900, it seems a bargain to me, especially with the extra weights, shims and chokes as well as that really nice walnut.
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