Beretta proudly touts itself as, “born from the dream and capability of a renaissance craftsman.” It’s hard to argue against the statement.
The Italian company has become renown for its ability to merge form and function to produce firearms of superior aesthetics and performance. This holds true for Beretta’s latest addition to its shotgun catalog.
Earlier this month, the oldest firearms manufacturer in the world unveiled the 690 Field III. And at first blush, the 12-gauge appears to have the delightful lines and mechanical genius of previous Beretta over-under shotguns.
Dick Jones was in Tuscany when Beretta revealed its new creation. The Gun Digest the Magazine contributor will have a review of the firearm in an upcoming edition. But he publish some initial observations of the shotgun on Outdoorhub.com:
When I heard Beretta had a new shotgun to introduce, I feared the new gun might be the replacement for the 686 and that it couldn’t possibly be an improvement on what’s been a truly great design. The compact receiver on the 686 line has made for an easy to carry and graceful gun that proven as reliable as a rock. The new 690 Field III that Beretta recently revealed to the public on a writer’s retreat in central Italy is a functional improvement of the 686 rather than a completely new design with improvements in weight and function. The forearm hardware on the 690 is aluminum, and the locking system is improved for better wear resistance. The locking lugs are now curved and with a larger contact area for extra strength. The hinge pin is larger for longer wear and there’s a new ejector system that uses something called the Eco Ejectors that can be converted to work as extractors. These changes have been made without increasing the depth of the action, though it is slightly wider.
Jones mainly looked at some of the functional and material aspects of the over-under shotgun. But there are also a number of other features Beretta incorporated into its new smoothbore.
Perhaps the most eye catching is new roll marked game scene engraving on the receiver. The artistic addition is worthy of a legacy shotgun and is enhanced by a stunning high-grade walnut stock.
The 690 is a hunting version of Beretta’s high-end trap gun, the 692. Thus, the gun has a couple features making it more rugged. The barrel is made from Beretta’s durable nickel/chrome/molybdenum/steel alloy – Steelium. And the stock is hand oiled to create a more resilient moisture barrier.
The 12-gauge is available with 26-, 28- and 30-inch barrels and with either 35/55 or 38/60 stock drops, in both cast on and off. Models with Beretta’s Optima-Choke HP system come with five different chokes. Fixed-choke models are available upon request. Beretta’s main website did not have an MSRP listed on the 690.