Beretta A300 Xtrema 12g
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- Last updated: 19/01/2017
It was only a short while ago that Beretta decided it was back to basics by reintroducing the A300 in the form of the Outlander, a model of semiauto upon which they’d built their reputation for producing some of the best and most reliable guns of their type. A down to earth, no-nonsense gasser that attracted existing Beretta enthusiasts along with a whole new generation of A300 owners, it was more or less a natural progression that a slightly more powerful version would eventually make an appearance. And so it came to pass, with the A300 Xtrema offering shooters the same fundamental values as the Outlander but this time with a 3½-inch chamber and a slightly re profiled forend, plus it can also be had in camo.
Presented in one of Beretta’s new-look blue cases, besides the A300 the shooter gets a set of three flush-fit Optima choke tubes, two stock shims and a set of sling swivels. In other words, everything you might need to head out to either break clays, thin out the vermin, flight a few ducks, or an evening on the foreshore. And in matte black there’s no chance whatsoever of the this Xtrema reflecting any stray light meaning even if you stand out, this Beretta most definitely won’t.
Currently only available with a matte black anodised, fully steel proofed 28-inch barrel complete with a stippled 5mm vented rib and red bead, the unusual aspect is that the barrel extension forms the better part of the aircraft grade alloy receiver’s internals, a significant plus when it comes to keeping the Xtrema clean and lubricated. For those who want to fit an optical sight of whatever variety, the top of the receiver is ready dovetailed finding this Beretta more than suited to their physical needs.
It’s here that I must now quote from the supplied handbook where it says, and I quote, “Due to the precision machined tolerances on your Beretta shotgun, some wear-in may be required before your new gun will function reliably with light 28g load…” And it goes on a little bit more but finishes off with: “…we recommend that you fire three or four boxes of standard field load to facilitate the break-in period.” In other words Beretta have covered their back when you find, as I did, that the Xtrema stovepipes until you pulverise the system with the largest loads you can find.
Now I’m far from mean and stingy with ammo, Eley more than generous with my much varied annual allowance. But as far as I’m concerned I’m not in the habit of more or less wasting 50 or so expensive cartridges all for the sake of slackening up a semi-auto’s cyclic system. The answer was ½ choke, long range Huntroyde crows and a couple of boxes of 42g Eley Alphamax+ shells plus a generous application of Ballistol Universal oil. I’ll say one thing, some of the long distance corvids I knocked out of the sky seriously impressed even me, whilst the general rattling the Beretta was subjected to certainly eased the action, although even after 40 or so Alphamax the gun still occasionally stumbled when the load had been dropped to 28g Eley VIPs.
Don’t get me wrong, the general behaviour of the A300 Xtrema and ability to shoot is without question. It shoots flat (a fact confirmed by the Arrow Laser Shot), it mounts and swings with ease, is comfortable to shoot even with 42g Eleys onboard whilst the general build and finish is what’s made Beretta semiautos the guns that they are. This new A300 has been built to withstand nearly everything the demanding shooter will ever ask of it or throw at it and still come out the other end ready, willing and able. And, given it’s a Beretta, you can relax knowing it’s probably the most reliable 12g you’ll ever own.
In black the A300 Xtrema on review will set you back £1300, the camo version just £50 more. So whichever version suits your purposes the pricing of either is sound and sensible. Whilst the running in period may (as it did with me) prove annoying, my suggestion is to get in touch with your nearest dealer and ask them for the cheapest big bangers they have. A case of dirt cheap 40g or larger loads won’t cost that much and far less than a case of Eley Alphamax+. But since I only use Eley I was loathed to keep blasting an excess of these top-end cartridges through, the only real outcome being to loosen up a gun.
My combined advice therefore is to get a case of big bangers, a can of Ballistol and a pair of leather shooting gloves and go and get used to Beretta’s new A300 Xtrema. Once all four components have come together you’ll realise that the time, effort and expenditure were all worthwhile. Beretta has never made a bad semi, the A300 Xtrema more than continuing this most enviable reputation. So if you do decide to go down the A300 Xtrema route, bear with it, it’ll come good, all to the enjoyment of your all-round shooting.
PRICE: SRP £1300
CONTACT: GMK 01489 587500 www.gmk.co.uk
THANKS TO: Eley Hawk Ltd: www.eleyhawkltd.com, Huntroyde Estate: www.huntroyde-estate.co.uk, CENS Digital: www.censdigital.com,