November 2006

Mid-Grade Sporting Clays Guns: Beretta Versus Blaser/Sigarms

There are plenty of guns in the $1,000 to $3,000 range. When most shooters who have become serious about the sport look to upgrade to something fancier, they usually end up searching in the $10,000-and-up range. Why? Because there just aren’t a lot of offerings in the midrange price class.

However, we found two 12-gauge sporting-clays guns in that midrange price zone—the Blaser F3 Competition Sporting, $5,195; and Beretta’s 687 EL Gold Pigeon II Sporting No. J687526, $5,495. Though both were worth the bucks, we favor the Blaser, for reasons we detail below.

We shot several hundred rounds through the guns on several different sporting clays courses offering a variety of difficulty levels. The subtle differences we found in handling and balance are factors that experienced competitive shooters will appreciate (it’s hard to imagine a beginner competitor would start with one of these, so this line-up isn’t aimed at them), especially those looking to get out of the Browning 525-class of guns without dumping $10K or more into a Kreighoff or Perazzi.

For accuracy, we shot the guns standing at 40 yards as measured by a Bushnell rangefinder (as if for patterning) and from the Shooter’s Ridge Steady Rest on Midway USA’s MTM portable shooting bench for point-of-impact tests, using the National Target Company’s shotgun patterning target (both proved accurately regulated). Trigger pulls were measured by an RCBS trigger-pull gauge provided by Midway USA. Here’s what we found:

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