Revo Duo Pump/ Semi Auto
- 3 Comments
- Last updated: 16/12/2016
Single-barrel shooters as a rule tend to be dedicated to one the three cyclic actions be it gas or inertia driven semi-auto or the good old fashioned pump-action. Granted there’s also break open single-barrel guns but these tend not to be over popular these days even for beginners.
Shotguns that combine both semi and pump modes aren’t in theory anything new, but are usually reserved for military spec shotguns for the purposes of breeching or close quarter battle. The ability to switch between both cyclic modes is a facility soldiers are supposed to prefer, although for many the pump remains the preferred option due to the reliability of the system.
The downside to a shotgun that combines both systems is that the actual gun tends not to be overly accomplished in either mode, the basic design being at best a compromise. However, for all you sporting shooters out there who desire such a facility, the Sportsman Gun Centre is now offering their Revo Duo, a single barrelled 12-bore that is a pump-action and inertia semi-auto all in one. Where the Duo differs is that unless you specify the Section 1 5-shot version it’s to be had as a standard three shot 12-bore whilst the retail price is just £480 for the Mossy Oak synthetic camo version, £440 if you opt for the plain black model.
Once you’ve unpacked the Duo the first thing you’ll notice is basically nothing, the fact this is a 2-in-1 model having little if any impact on the appearance. In the case of the Duo Mossy Oak as tested, the camo is only applied to the sporter style stock complete with a thick rubber recoil pad along with the short rounded forend that also acts as the pump mode slide. Apart from that the Duo is predominantly matte black, the profile of the alloy receiver broken only by two polished black decorative inserts and the white Revo and Duo script. The bolt utilises the familiar rotating bolt head, the cross-bolt safety and bolt latch located in the front span of the ovoid shaped trigger-guard whilst the bolt release sits below the ejection port. Where the difference comes in this part of the Duo is that even in pump mode you still have to depress the bolt release for the slide to move forward and the first shell into battery.
To assemble the Duo and insert the 28”, 3” chambered barrel complete with 7mm vented rib and a set of three flnGunsonics Hearing Protectionush-fit choke tubes, like many modern semi-automatics the bolt must be in the battery position before the barrel extension will site correctly. By lining up the extension and barrel ring, the barrel will locate whilst the ring will slide over the mag tube and push against the mode selector and forend. Simply drawing the bolt backwards allows the extension and barrel to slip into place in the receiver; all you then need do is push the mag cap into place over the tube and screw into place.
Where the Duo does differ is in the fact a forend slide guide runs along either side of the mag tube in addition to the usual action springs located in the usual place. Also there’s the aforementioned mode selector, the wing nut allowing the Duo to convert from one cyclic method to the other literally by little more than quarter of a turn. With the bolt in battery all you need do is turn the collar and by pulling the forend forward. With the slide is tight up against the selector the Duo is in inertia semi-auto mode or by once again turning the collar and pushing the forend rearwards by about half and inch, the gun is then a pump-action. It really is as simple at that.
Physically the Duo is relatively heavy in comparison to more familiar semis or pumps, the gun tipping the scales at 8lbs with an overall length of 49 ¾” and a somewhat off kilter balance point a good inch forward of the receiver. Drops at comb and heel are a slightly low 1 17/32” and 2 7/16” although the length of pull to the 6lbs 10oz release trigger is a comfortable 14 ½”. More agreeable if wearing a thicker shooting jacket certain users might find they need to fit a comb lifter if they’re to maintain a repeatable view over the back of the receiver otherwise they find the Duo could well shoot low for them.
Hooked up to the Arrow Laser Shot and with a minor adjustment to how I located the thick rubber recoil pad in my shoulder pocket it soon became possible to mount the Duo so it offered a flnat shooting attitude. The other physicality that was instantly obvious was that the bulk of the Duo sat firmly in my lead hand. Whilst this obviously allows for precise guidance of the muzzle whilst shooting it also meant the Duo could well become tiring to use over extended periods of time.
Big Is Best
Fitting ¼ choke the idea was as always to shoot the Duo on sporting clays using my usual 28gram Eley VIP Sporting loads and to start off with the Duo set to semi-auto. Whilst the Duo shot relatively well loaded with the 28gram Eleys it soon became apparent that to ensure the inertia system was correctly cycled the load size needed increasing if the sporadic stove piping was to be overcome. Changing to 32gram Eley Grand Prix instantly cured any cyclic problems. I retained the VIPs for pump-action evaluation.
A more than adequate pump gun, what you have to watch out for is that the Duo needs to be cycled rather slowly to ensure the empty case is ejected correctly and that the next live round is extracted from the mag and lifted into place. If you try and speed up the process you’ll find that whilst the empty case will be ejected you’ll beat the shell lifter and slide the bolt over the next live round.
Apart from that the Duo hits what it’s aimed at, the short choke tubes patterning well, whilst further testing highlighted that even up to 50gram Alphamax the Duo remained comfortable to shoot. It swings relatively well even with the bulk of the mass sat squarely in the leading hand, the only handling trait being overhead shots take slightly more effort since the Duo has to be hefted skywards, the gun not automatically rolling to the vertical as the shooter bends backwards. The other noticeable aspect is that whilst the forend is more than adequate whilst the Duo is running as a semi and that the rounded profile fills the hand, it’s a touch on the short side when pumping the gun, the physical length giving no room for error. In other words you must be holding it correctly, if not it’s more than likely your hand will lose grip especially when pulling the slide and bolt out of battery.
Without doubt the Duo is a better gun to shoot as an inertia driven semi although the pump option will allow anyone using it as a vermin gun the option of quickly changing rounds - a distinct bonus. Similarly for the shooter looking for something that’s that little bit different with a decent dose of novelty value thrown in for good measure, once again the Revo Duo could well be the 12-bore they’re looking for.
The Duo is easy to use and shoot, whilst the transition from one mode to the other can be carried out in a matter of seconds even down to being able to change from one to other between shots.
Basically, Revo’s Duo does what it’s meant to do when it’s meant to do it. But I guarantee that within a short period of time the shooter will elect to use the gun primarily in one or other of the two settings, my own preference being inertia semi. Equally, when you work on the theory that ownership of a 12-bore that does the both can at times be both complicated and at times rather expensive, this Revo is a positive bargain. Likewise, for the duck shooter in need of a weapon that can take out unwanted beasties at the drop of a hat yet instantly return to a sporting weapon once again the Duo is about the only viable option. All I’ll say is try a Duo for yourself; it could well be the single-barrelled shotgun you’ve always been looking for. GM