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Bourjaily: Update on My Beretta A400

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December 18, 2009

Bourjaily: Update on My Beretta A400

By Phil Bourjaily

Beretta’s A400 semiautos  – which I saw in Italy earlier this fall -- are trickling into the country. I have one and have been putting it to good use. Thus far, I like almost everything about the A400. Through a flat of target loads and an assortment of hunting loads, it has worked almost perfectly. Its one failure to fire came on the second shot of skeet doubles. I was using 2 ¾ dram, 1 1/8 ounce target loads, and the second round chambered but the bolt didn’t close 100% of the way and the gun went “click.” I think the loads were a little light for this 3 ½ inch gun, although it may eventually cycle them with complete reliability after I shoot it more.

Starting from a low gun I shot 24x25 at skeet the first time I tried it. I blew my straight by choking on high six (Idiot!) proving that, for me, the A400 fits, points and swings well, and re-proving that no gun, not even the latest, greatest high tech wonder, can break targets you are determined to miss.

The Kick-Off recoil reducer does take a lot of the bite out of heavy loads. I’ve been shooting 1 3/8 ounces of HeviShot at 1450 fps in the field. Normally in a gun this light (7 pounds for mine, not the 6.6 pounds Beretta lists) would rattle my teeth with such heavy loads, but recoil is remarkably light with hunting and target ammo.

Just a few days ago I got to abuse the A400, laying out in a cornfield for ducks and geese in the early stages of a blizzard. At one point my friend Mike looked over to my blind where I was taking the gun apart to clear the barrel. “You’ve got duck blood all over your pants and snow in your barrel,” he said in a way that suggested life doesn’t get any better.  Back home, the A400 cleaned up with ease. It’s very convenient having the action spring on the magazine tube where you can get at it without removing the stock.

So far the A400 seems to be a heck of a gun but, of course, for $1600, it ought to be.

Comments (36)

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All Comments
from ckRich wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

No dinosaurs yet? Dang

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I did kill a giant Canada that weighed 14 pounds. That's probably as close to a dinosaur as I'm going to get in Iowa in the winter time.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I hate you.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dneaster3 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Ahh, the High-6... my skeet nemesis.

Good looking picture you have there Mr. Bourjaily. Pheasants and Teal are both fun to shoot and both fun to eat!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Low 5 was designed to vex me.

$1600 for an auto is.....well, it takes me breath away.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JD wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Funny how I somehow managed to survive w/o a Beretta all these years! Always was happy with my good old American shootin' irons as they never failed me.

Not to say some folks can't get by w/o one of these; who would want to pull out some old Remington or Winchester from their new Cadilac Escalade??

Sorry not trying to be a grouch but this old economy has not even started to recover here with additional job cuts every few days. Even the strongest businesses are buckling now. Guess if I had extra jingle in my pocket I'd prefer that it stays in the Homeland.

Remember the Holidays and our troops far away from home, keep them in your thoughts this season!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ricefarm wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Southern Illinois used to be a mecca for goose hunting but I don't know anyone who bothers to go anymore, they just weren't seeing anything. The new sport around here seems to be urban goose hunting. A lot of these geese that live year round in cities with lots of small ponds fly out to farm fields during the day, and I am seeing more and more blinds popping up in the middle of harvested corn fields. If the city is along an interstate a popular spot seems to be the non-town side of the interstate, catching them as they fly across looking for somewhere to land. Is anyone else seeing this?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from earlyriser81 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Where is the T-Rex?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Phil: Is it time to sell my Xtrema 2 in favor of the Xplor?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Phil: Is it time to sell my Xtrema 2 in favor of the Xplor?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Phil: Is it time to sell my Xtrema 2 in favor of the Xplor?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Yikes; not sure what the hell happened with all the posts.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Yikes; not sure what the hell happened with all the posts.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

1600 dollars? maybe not this year.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Well I had 2 Beretta's 390 & 391, went back to my 1100, should I try one of those?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from louismanka wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Blah! Right handed only shotguns! They could cost a hundred dollars and I would not buy them. Oh well, Benelli has me covered with the SBE II and the Montafeltro.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from louismanka wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Blah! Right handed only shotguns! They could cost a hundred dollars and I would not buy them. Oh well, Benelli has me covered with the SBE II and the Montafeltro.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Phil,
If you really want a dinosaur, you need to draw tags! The huntings easy, basically the same as sasquatch hunting, except, dinosaurs ain't attracted to Kentucky bourbon the way sasquatch are! The little dinosaurs will eat Snickers bars though.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from green pond mike wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

That is a nice gun Phil, but I would be afraid of dropping it if one of my knees failed me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

whered you get a teal and a phesant at the same time

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert C. Turpin wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I have hunted duck, geese, swan and doves with my 12 gauge Winchester Model 50. It works great. Jim Carmichel said the Model 50 was about as good a shotgun as a person would want. My father-in-las spent less than $200.00 for it new. Problem: That was sixty years ago!
Silvertip

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Well Robert, that was the equivilent of $1600 in todays "Frazzled Reserve Notes" :(

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from green pond mike wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Makes me wonder what my Ithaca 37 is worth. It is the only shotgun I've seen where you can hold the trigger down and it will fire as fast as you can work the pump. The only other gun that I know of that will do that isn't a shotgun. It is my dad's winchester 61 .22 pump. Both are in fair shape after meeting the teenage version of myself. After taking care of other obligations, I would like to get both of them restored--LORD willing. If I ever have kids, I'll try to keep history from repeating itself.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

$1600 for another version of the latest second coming? I'll stay with my Model 12, thank you very much. Have shot skeet without a problem and everything else that up to turkey and geese. Have a Model 50 20 ga. that was a quail hunting partner for three decades. I have a problem with retiring something that still has what it takes. Kinda' like a fellow I knew who was looking for the perfect woman. When he finally met her, turned out that she was looking for the perfect man.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Wow. Nice shotgun. But have you noticed just how much it looks like an 1100, in that shot anyway. The line of the receiver and stock...and all for $1600.00. I'll stick with Big Green.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

green pond mike-
The Winchester Mod.12, Mod.42, Mod.97 shotguns will fire with the trigger held down, as will the Mod. 62, 62A and 90 pump rifles.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ChevJames wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

The high prices you pay for European firearms isn't all for quality materials and labor. It's also for currency exchange and the very high taxes of the European countries. Of course, labor is a big component, because European workers are generally paid very well. All of that said, I will love to have a new Beretta stackbarrel in 28 gauge. Those are the lightest, best looking, most naturally pointing double-barrel shotguns I have ever handled. I do think $1,600 is a little steep for an auto, but maybe not so much when you consider what an Omega or Rolex is selling for. You could get two of those shotguns for what one Omega Seamaster now costs. But I've still got my Remington 1100 Tournament Skeet, now made more versatile with a new barrel and assorted screw-in choke tubes. By the way, the new barrel was to replace the barrel with the "exploding problem" for which I received a check some years ago. Remington changed the composition of the steel. I did a very intense Internet search, and found out that over 1,000 shotgunners had problems with that barrel "giving way." Glad I finally got a new barrel!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Jackson wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

For everyone who chokes on the cost of a new Beretta do what I did, buy a used Beretta. Picked up a 391 sporting for $650.00, dropped in a new recoil spring and a 390 carrier for $80.00 and have cycled through everything from 7/8oz handloads to 3" turkey loads with no adjusting springs or gas pistons etc. Things that my dad's 1100 or my father-in-law's Browning Gold can't do.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Cycling light loads to turkey loads?

Never gave that a second thought since the old Smith & Wesson 1000 Super 12 Waterfowler digests everything from 2 3/4 light trap handloads to 3" heavy magnum waterfowl loads with no adjustments or malfunctions. This is the only autoloader I have ever owned, so I must be missing out on some of the angst y'all suffer with fancier autoloaders....

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I think I will stick with my 1100. I also have a Rolex I bought in the PX in An Khe viet Nam for $65.00 in 1966, I have it serviced every 10 years.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mock1 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I have a lefty SBE that I would never sell. It shoots anything. I do have a stack barrel Ruger, side by side Lefever, 870 pump slug only. That being said, I don't think I'll ever need another shotgun. I'll have those for the rest of my life and will probably never need another.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

This latest marvel of Italian gun-making cunning leaves me underwhelmed, especially at $1600. Robert Turpin's Mod. 50 Winchester, green pond mike's Mod. 37 Ithaca and WaMtn Hunter's Mod. 1000 S&W fit my style better. Proven performance, nostalgia, and you can buy all three of the above and have $800 dollars left over.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from green pond mike wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Thanks duckcreekdick, glad to hear of someone else who likes the ithaca 37. Thanks also crm3006, I recon all those older pumps did the same thing. I got that shogun confused with dad's 61 rifle one time when I was a teenager. I was shooting straight up in a tree trying to make a hiding squirrel come out in the open. Both guns are smoothe on the back of the receiver. I figured that because it was "only a rifle", I'd hold it a certain way while firing. Didn't take long to remember which gun I had. My nose stung and itched for the rest of the afternoon.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

jacksjb_44-
I don't know what kind of 1100 you have, but mine (LH 3" magnum) will cycle everything from heavy magnum loads to trap loads without a new recoil spring or an $80.00 whatever. Cost considerably less than $650.00, too.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bman wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Phil, What is your pick between the Maxus and the A400
Thank you

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from borrath wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Thanks for this nice post about the Beretta A400.

iddaa tahminleri

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I did kill a giant Canada that weighed 14 pounds. That's probably as close to a dinosaur as I'm going to get in Iowa in the winter time.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

$1600 for another version of the latest second coming? I'll stay with my Model 12, thank you very much. Have shot skeet without a problem and everything else that up to turkey and geese. Have a Model 50 20 ga. that was a quail hunting partner for three decades. I have a problem with retiring something that still has what it takes. Kinda' like a fellow I knew who was looking for the perfect woman. When he finally met her, turned out that she was looking for the perfect man.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

No dinosaurs yet? Dang

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Low 5 was designed to vex me.

$1600 for an auto is.....well, it takes me breath away.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from JD wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Funny how I somehow managed to survive w/o a Beretta all these years! Always was happy with my good old American shootin' irons as they never failed me.

Not to say some folks can't get by w/o one of these; who would want to pull out some old Remington or Winchester from their new Cadilac Escalade??

Sorry not trying to be a grouch but this old economy has not even started to recover here with additional job cuts every few days. Even the strongest businesses are buckling now. Guess if I had extra jingle in my pocket I'd prefer that it stays in the Homeland.

Remember the Holidays and our troops far away from home, keep them in your thoughts this season!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ricefarm wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Southern Illinois used to be a mecca for goose hunting but I don't know anyone who bothers to go anymore, they just weren't seeing anything. The new sport around here seems to be urban goose hunting. A lot of these geese that live year round in cities with lots of small ponds fly out to farm fields during the day, and I am seeing more and more blinds popping up in the middle of harvested corn fields. If the city is along an interstate a popular spot seems to be the non-town side of the interstate, catching them as they fly across looking for somewhere to land. Is anyone else seeing this?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

1600 dollars? maybe not this year.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from coho310 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Phil,
If you really want a dinosaur, you need to draw tags! The huntings easy, basically the same as sasquatch hunting, except, dinosaurs ain't attracted to Kentucky bourbon the way sasquatch are! The little dinosaurs will eat Snickers bars though.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

whered you get a teal and a phesant at the same time

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert C. Turpin wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I have hunted duck, geese, swan and doves with my 12 gauge Winchester Model 50. It works great. Jim Carmichel said the Model 50 was about as good a shotgun as a person would want. My father-in-las spent less than $200.00 for it new. Problem: That was sixty years ago!
Silvertip

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Jackson wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

For everyone who chokes on the cost of a new Beretta do what I did, buy a used Beretta. Picked up a 391 sporting for $650.00, dropped in a new recoil spring and a 390 carrier for $80.00 and have cycled through everything from 7/8oz handloads to 3" turkey loads with no adjusting springs or gas pistons etc. Things that my dad's 1100 or my father-in-law's Browning Gold can't do.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Cycling light loads to turkey loads?

Never gave that a second thought since the old Smith & Wesson 1000 Super 12 Waterfowler digests everything from 2 3/4 light trap handloads to 3" heavy magnum waterfowl loads with no adjustments or malfunctions. This is the only autoloader I have ever owned, so I must be missing out on some of the angst y'all suffer with fancier autoloaders....

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

This latest marvel of Italian gun-making cunning leaves me underwhelmed, especially at $1600. Robert Turpin's Mod. 50 Winchester, green pond mike's Mod. 37 Ithaca and WaMtn Hunter's Mod. 1000 S&W fit my style better. Proven performance, nostalgia, and you can buy all three of the above and have $800 dollars left over.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from dneaster3 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Ahh, the High-6... my skeet nemesis.

Good looking picture you have there Mr. Bourjaily. Pheasants and Teal are both fun to shoot and both fun to eat!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from earlyriser81 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Where is the T-Rex?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Phil: Is it time to sell my Xtrema 2 in favor of the Xplor?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Well I had 2 Beretta's 390 & 391, went back to my 1100, should I try one of those?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from green pond mike wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

That is a nice gun Phil, but I would be afraid of dropping it if one of my knees failed me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Well Robert, that was the equivilent of $1600 in todays "Frazzled Reserve Notes" :(

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from green pond mike wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Makes me wonder what my Ithaca 37 is worth. It is the only shotgun I've seen where you can hold the trigger down and it will fire as fast as you can work the pump. The only other gun that I know of that will do that isn't a shotgun. It is my dad's winchester 61 .22 pump. Both are in fair shape after meeting the teenage version of myself. After taking care of other obligations, I would like to get both of them restored--LORD willing. If I ever have kids, I'll try to keep history from repeating itself.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Wow. Nice shotgun. But have you noticed just how much it looks like an 1100, in that shot anyway. The line of the receiver and stock...and all for $1600.00. I'll stick with Big Green.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

green pond mike-
The Winchester Mod.12, Mod.42, Mod.97 shotguns will fire with the trigger held down, as will the Mod. 62, 62A and 90 pump rifles.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ChevJames wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

The high prices you pay for European firearms isn't all for quality materials and labor. It's also for currency exchange and the very high taxes of the European countries. Of course, labor is a big component, because European workers are generally paid very well. All of that said, I will love to have a new Beretta stackbarrel in 28 gauge. Those are the lightest, best looking, most naturally pointing double-barrel shotguns I have ever handled. I do think $1,600 is a little steep for an auto, but maybe not so much when you consider what an Omega or Rolex is selling for. You could get two of those shotguns for what one Omega Seamaster now costs. But I've still got my Remington 1100 Tournament Skeet, now made more versatile with a new barrel and assorted screw-in choke tubes. By the way, the new barrel was to replace the barrel with the "exploding problem" for which I received a check some years ago. Remington changed the composition of the steel. I did a very intense Internet search, and found out that over 1,000 shotgunners had problems with that barrel "giving way." Glad I finally got a new barrel!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I think I will stick with my 1100. I also have a Rolex I bought in the PX in An Khe viet Nam for $65.00 in 1966, I have it serviced every 10 years.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mock1 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I have a lefty SBE that I would never sell. It shoots anything. I do have a stack barrel Ruger, side by side Lefever, 870 pump slug only. That being said, I don't think I'll ever need another shotgun. I'll have those for the rest of my life and will probably never need another.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from green pond mike wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Thanks duckcreekdick, glad to hear of someone else who likes the ithaca 37. Thanks also crm3006, I recon all those older pumps did the same thing. I got that shogun confused with dad's 61 rifle one time when I was a teenager. I was shooting straight up in a tree trying to make a hiding squirrel come out in the open. Both guns are smoothe on the back of the receiver. I figured that because it was "only a rifle", I'd hold it a certain way while firing. Didn't take long to remember which gun I had. My nose stung and itched for the rest of the afternoon.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

jacksjb_44-
I don't know what kind of 1100 you have, but mine (LH 3" magnum) will cycle everything from heavy magnum loads to trap loads without a new recoil spring or an $80.00 whatever. Cost considerably less than $650.00, too.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Phil: Is it time to sell my Xtrema 2 in favor of the Xplor?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Phil: Is it time to sell my Xtrema 2 in favor of the Xplor?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Yikes; not sure what the hell happened with all the posts.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Yikes; not sure what the hell happened with all the posts.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from louismanka wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Blah! Right handed only shotguns! They could cost a hundred dollars and I would not buy them. Oh well, Benelli has me covered with the SBE II and the Montafeltro.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from louismanka wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Blah! Right handed only shotguns! They could cost a hundred dollars and I would not buy them. Oh well, Benelli has me covered with the SBE II and the Montafeltro.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bman wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Phil, What is your pick between the Maxus and the A400
Thank you

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from borrath wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Thanks for this nice post about the Beretta A400.

iddaa tahminleri

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I hate you.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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