Shotgun Review: Beretta's 694 Sporting - A Bold, Winning Look!
Designed hand-in-hand with Beretta's Shooting Team, the 694 Sporting was designed with only one thing in mind, increase the shooters success rate and that is exactly what they accomplished.
A long time in the making, the 694 Sporting accomplishes two things, firstly a perfectly balanced over and under field gun, but also fills Beretta's competition line gap between the 692 and the DT11.
Right off the bat, when first handling the 694 you quickly notice how natural and immediate the shouldering is, much like the DT11 from which the stock borrows quite a bit. The design/ergonomics of the stock were redesigned taking influence from both the 692 and the DT11 and the results are tremendous.
Beretta redesigned the way the action is bedded into the stock in order to reduce any obstacles within the field of view when shouldering the firearm by accompanying the profile of the action with two progressive grooves. It also allows the shooter to avoid raising their head from the line of sight, increasing consistent accuracy. Now the 694 is already incredibly balance, but for those who need to go the extra mile, it is possible to add 20 g and 40 g weights inside the stock to personalize the shotgun's balance.
On particularly the sporting version, Beretta has also incorporated a widened blade and comb as well as a lengthened pistol grip with palm swell in order to provide maximum comfort while ensuring the position of the hands is extremely natural and stable. The 694 comes available with drops of 35/50 and 35/55 with the latter also featuring a B-Fast adjustable heel and a round forend. Bother versions, however, sport a 375mm length of pull with 18 mm MicroCore® recoil pad and centrally positioned trigger.
Beretta did not stop at the redesign of the stock, they also incorporated a new forend iron system which allows the user to maintain the opening load constant over time and paired with Steelium Plus barrels, you are guaranteed a dense, uniform pattern every time. More on the Steelium barrels, deep drilling, cold hammer forging and vacuum distension provides the steel with internal characteristics that are ideal for superior ballistic performance. It doesn't stop there, the Steelium barrels are also outfitted with an internal tube profile with a highly elongated progressive triple cone that provides several advantages including:
Denser and uniform patterns with very high penetration and target hitting performance
Quicker and more accurate second shot
Reduction in perceived muzzle jump
With 500+ years of experience, Beretta has perfected their closing system and that is what the 694 is outfitted with. It features trapezoidal shoulders and two rugged pins that protrude from the breech face and are inserted into their respective housings on the sides of the breech, while the front part of the action is fitted with two hinged studs that are inserted into the respective housings on the monoblock.
As for the grip, the 1.5 pitch checkering along with the swelled pistol grip allow for the best possible grip. As for the aesthetics, the 694 is elegant, bold firearm featuring a 2.5+ grade wood that is treated with natural oil for both the look and the increased water resistance.
Lastly, we have the trigger group, Beretta went with a three-position adjustable trigger. The firing selector is located inside the safety lever that features new checkering and ergonomics.
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