& Harris - Gun
Reviews - Archive - Beretta 687 EL Gold Pigeon 2
need little in the way of introduction. They are one of the biggest
gun manufacturers in the world and are certainly the oldest, being
established in 1526. They are, in fact, the oldest company in the
world that is still run by the same family. They have one of the
most comprehensive ranges of guns available, with something to suit
most tastes and disciplines.
guns that are seen most commonly are the 680 series. This series of
gun was started in the late 70's and has evolved into what we know
today as the 686 / 687 etc. Over that time the guns have changed
enormously in their styling handling and appearance. Though
mechanically, the guns have remained virtually the same throughout.
the higher end of the series are the sideplate guns. Today the
starting point for these is the 687EL also known as the gold Pigeon.
Originally the first of this model did have a light game scene
engraving, with the birds and dogs highlighted in gold. The new
model has a very distinctive engraving pattern with no gold at all.
is the engraving that grabs the attention with gun. The action frame
itself has a covering of bold yet light scroll engraving. The side
plates which are the focal point of the gun have game scene carved
in a very heavy style. On the left plate are pheasants, whilst on
the right we have a dog and partridges.
The engraving work is very good and is of a style that shooters will
either love or hate being as deep as it is in contrast with the
lighter work on the frame. I think it set the gun apart from the
rest and very well done.
side plates are really just that. Plates added to the sides of the
gun purely for decoration, though they do give the gun that higher
class look of a sidelock gun.
the gun is the same as all other Beretta's in the series. The
Beretta has always been a very reliable and strongly built gun. The
action is what is best described as a trigger plate action. By this
I mean that the firing mechanism of the gun is held complete on the
trigger plate, which is removable from the gun should the gun need
to be worked on by a gunsmith.
most guns when the trigger is pulled, the sear is lifted clear of
the bent in the top of the hammer. The Beretta is different in that
the trigger by way of levers that pivot, push the back of the sear
downwards. This pivots it away from the hammer so releasing it to
fire. In the Beretta, the sear is located directly behind the
or the inertia from the recoil is used to select the second barrel.
The inertia throws back a second barrel lifter block on the front of
the trigger. Being thrown back the block disconnects it from the
inertia block lever. This inertia block lever as it is released from
the inertia block itself is allowed to drop forwards behind the
fired hammer. The inertia block can then come forwards slightly
forwards to pick up the sear of the second barrel to be fired.
hammers are powered by coil mainsprings that are captive on rods
that allow the hammers to rebound slightly so preventing striker
drag on the primers, and a clean opening of the gun.
Either barrel may be selected to fire first by a button held in the
middle of the safe. This pivots from side to side to select the
required barrel. The safe will also automatically return to the safe
position on opening.
gun has independent cocking rods; one on each side of the action for
each barrel. These rods are pushed back on opening by the forend
levers, and work spring loaded levers in the back of the action
frame. These in turn lift the hammers as they are pushed back, into
the full cocked position.
Ejection is activated when by firing the gun, the cocking lever is
held forwards by the weight of the fired hammer spring. As the gun
starts to open, this resistance makes the forend lever pivot and
pick up under the hook at the front of the extractor.
extractors themselves work in dovetail slide ways in the barrels and
are directly powered by spring loaded guides.
the gun continues to open the cocking rods are pushed back and the
forend levers work against the floor of the cocking rod holes to
pivot back into their working position and release the extractor at
a point fractionally before the gun is fully opened. It is an
ingenious system, yet one that has stood the test of time for
Beretta as they have been using this design for many years.
gun is locked up by a U-bolt that is cammed back by the top lever to
open the gun. Once open there is a hold over mechanism which keeps
the U-bolt retracted until the gun is closed. This again has proved
a very good system for Beretta and certainly will keep the gun tight
for many years. Should the gun become loose in years to come, then
Beretta make U-bolts in 3 steps of oversize to extend the life of
the gun many times.
the trunnions or discs on which the gun hinges open are made in over
sizes as well.
All furniture on the action i.e. top lever, safe button, trigger
guard as well as forend iron are finished in bright silver. This is
a very attractive finish and appears very resilient though in the
past side plate Berettas have been susceptible to discolouration
unless kept slightly oily to protect them from the elements.
barrels are made on the usual Beretta monoblock system. They are
28" or 71cm long with 3" chambers and magnum proof to make
it capable of all cartridges but for the heavy steel loads.
The chokes are ¼ and 1/2, perfect for all round game shooting and
pretty acceptable for the odd clay or two as well.
has a 6mm game rib that is ventilated to keep weight to a minimum
and cooling to a maximum. The foresight is a small silver bead.
is very pretty on this gun. A nice golden honey colour with plenty
of figure as you would expect from a gun at this level. Both forend
and stock match well for colour.
chequer pattern is good, of a classic design that is easy on the
eye. It is also very fine and so precise that it is almost certainly
machine cut, yet has the appearance of hand workmanship.
The stock is also furnished with a gold oval for initials to be
engraved if desired.
to metal fit is also very good all round. And the shape of the stock
and forend are well executed and proportioned.
wood is finished with a light gloss varnish. This and the butt plate
are my only real gripe with this gun.
don't really care for gloss finishes which may just be me, but most
of my customers prefer the varnish removed to a traditional oil
finish. One, because it looks so much better and two, because the
high gloss finish marks so easily and soon becomes a little rough
butt plate I take issue with simply because the fit is so appalling
for a gun of this price bracket. It looks really good being wood,
but it is a shame it cannot be fitted to flow with the lines of the
stock to fit flush.
from this minor point, I think this gun is really attractive and the
mechanical virtues of Beretta are well proven.
back to top