& Harris - Gun
Reviews - Archive - Bettinsoli 20g
Bettinsoli as far
as the UK market is concerned at the moment is a name of the past.
Uttings of Norwich were the last distributor of these guns. Though
unfortunately they closed their retail shop about 2 years ago. And
finished with the brand sometime before that.
Fortunately as far
as I know the company is alive and well still in Italy.
On the whole they
are pretty good guns. Not quite to the level of, say, a Beretta, but
certainly better than some of the cheapest guns coming from Italy.
This month's used
gun is a 20 gauge from this stable. I am not sure of the model
exactly as it doesn't have it engraved on anywhere that I can see.
But the previous owner tells me that it was one of the top in it is
range. And certainly the gun is very attractive with its silver
action that is fully engraved.
Finish on Bettinsolis is generally very good with action crisply
machined and finished. Usually they will have plating on the action
to protect from the outside elements that can quickly take their
toll on guns. All the inside surfaces that are not normally seen by
the average shooter will be as well finished as those that you can
The mechanics of
the action follows the proven principles of hammers at the bottom of
the trigger plate with the sears suspended from the top of the
action. The hammers are powered by captive coil springs that give
the hammers a rebounding property so that there is less chance of
striker drag when the gun is opened after firing.
The single trigger
is reset by inertia of the first shot being fired. And a simple
selector block picks up the sears. Selection of the required barrel
is by moving the entire safe from left to right.
The safe appears to
have no provision for an auto safe kit to be fitted this is a shame
as many shooters prefer them on a game gun of this type.
The firing pins are
simple and strong. With very strong return springs, so strong in
fact that I replaced them on gun in the past to cure misfiring. This
is because the strength in the return spring is such that it will
take away much of the striking energy of the mainspring, resulting
in a reduced powered firing action. Few guns, in fact no other that
I can think of, have firing pin return spring quite as powerful as a
The top lever
spring is also slightly unusual in that it is a torsion spring that
is wrapped around the top lever pillar. The spring is tensioned up
to its correct working strength by means of a small screw at the top
of the action. These will sometimes come loose, so it is always
worth checking if the top lever spring does not seem as lively as
you would expect.
Lock up of the
barrels to the action is achieved with a full width locking bolt
that is housed in the bottom of the action. This engages with a full
width bite in the bottom of the lump.
The ejectors are
tripped by rods that run backwards and forwards with the travel of
the hammers. These engage with a trip in the forend iron. The
extractors themselves are directly sprung by coil springs housed in
the barrel mono block.
The barrels are the
more common mono block construction. With 70mm chambers and
multichokes have been fitted as standard making the gun flexible for
all types of shooting.
Blacking is still
very good, and looks pretty much as it would have looked from new.
The bores are chrome lined and with this protection certainly look
as good as new. The top rib is approx 6mm wide and is file cut to
reduce glare and reflections on sunny days.
The stock and
forend still have their original finish, and appear original in
The wood itself has a pleasing darker colour that most shooters
favour, and has gained few marks in its short life. The wood is
finished with a lacquer which give the wood a nice shine and would
probably benefit from being stripped off and then an oil finish
applied. But it would be a shame to do this at this stage as the gun
is generally in very good condition.
The chequer is of
the stamped type rather than hand cut, but this is quite normal on a
less expensive gun. And the pattern used is of a more traditional
The stock is
finished with a small black ventilated recoil pad. It is maybe a
little short for most adult shooters at a fraction over 14",
but would certainly suit any young shooter starting out. And because
the whole gun is scaled down as a proper 20 gauge action, rather
than a 12 with 20 gauge barrels, so the whole thing looks well in
At around 6 ¾ lb
the gun is on the heavy side for a 20, but is reasonably well
balanced, so it tends to hide this weight and handles well.
Prices; this one is
little used and in top condition, I have it for sale at £400
More used older gun about £3-350. poor examples perhaps around
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