The search for lightness in guns designed for walked-up hunting is a constant for companies that seek to offer hunters a firearm that is comfortable to carry and reliable when fired. Walking for hours in search of game is the norm in many types of hunting and when the coveted moment of encounter comes, the hunter's tiredness and emotion must be compensated by the easy handling of the gun, that must be fast and precise in its swing so as to allow a quick and completely natural shooting motion. Up to now, all this has been achieved through a compromise using special aluminum alloys instead of the more rugged steel in the manufacturing of actions. Beretta, however, in this year 2021 introduces a successful project with the Ultraleggero over-and-under. The new shotgun exploits the strength and solidity of steel for the receiver, reducing the overall weight of the gun to 2.8 kg – less than 6.2 lb, which for a 12 gauge is an unsurpassed result.
Beretta Ultraleggero, lightweight yet sturdy
Thanks to the most modern engineering techniques, it has been possible to skeletonize the steel receiver including only the structural elements that are essential for the solidity and performance of the gun ("Ultraleggero" means in fact "Ultra-Light" in Italilan).
The result is a lightweight yet sturdy firearm, as confirmed by the testimony of some French journalists during the live presentation event, who already started testing with different types of ammunition. After careful studies and field tests, the receiver of the Beretta Ultraleggero have been carved out, keeping only the amount of metal actually necessary to guarantee reliability and resistance for the continuous shooting of any type of cartridge, even magnum ones, making the Ultraleggero surprisingly lighter, without compromising its robustness. Derived from the 690 series, the Ultraleggero's receiver is no exception in terms of elegance and slenderness. Special technopolymer inserts have been designed for the hollowed-out areas of the receiver, featuring floral motifs created using a cutting-edge technology that replicates the visual effect of light reflection typical of steel engraving.
Rotating the receiver, the floral motifs and the name "Ultraleggero" appear and disappear with a pleasant effect: this aesthetic detail, together with the matte black blued receiver and the glossy black pins, characterizes the new over-and-under in a unique way.
Again with a view to reducing weight, the Ultraleggero has been fitted with a number of aluminum components, including the trigger group and the forend iron system, and the side ribs have been eliminated.
All this results in an overall weight saving of about 404 grams compared to the classic 690 series, bringing the total weight of the shotgun to 2.8 kg (with 61 cm barrels). The Extralight recoil pad is 30% lighter than a standard recoil pad and much more resistant to abrasion, ageing and atmospheric agents, thanks to its closed-cell structure that prevents the absorption of liquids. To further reduce weight, the cavity inside the stock has been increased – this allowed to save 129 grams compared to a classic Beretta shotgun. The pistol grip stock and forend are made of select class 2.5 walnut wood with an oil finish that allows easy restoration from scratches or damage in case of particularly extreme use. The stock is available with a 35/55 drop (also for left handers) or in the Vittoria version, with a 35/45/55 drop.
Trigger is single selective with the selector incorporated into the safety catch. In addition, there is a double single trigger kit that allows to switch the firing sequence of the over-and-under's two barrels without removing the finger from the trigger: the first trigger fires the no.1 barrel first and then the no.2, the second trigger fires the no.2 barrel first and then the no.1, allowing you to decide and select quickly the right combination of barrel, choke and cartridge according to the distance of the target.
The double single trigger kit can also be purchased separately for all 680 and 690 platform shotguns and be fitted by a specialized gunsmith. The automatic cartridge case ejectors, feature the same design and mechanism as the 694 series.
The Ultraleggero uses Steelium Optima Bore HP barrels, made of Beretta tri-alloy steel and available in 61 cm, 66 cm, 71 cm and 76 cm lengths, characterized by deep drilling, cold hammering and vacuum distension. The 6x6 solid upper rib has an anti-reflective checkering and a bead steel sight. The barrels are fitted with 70 mm-long Optima-Choke HP internal chokes, that can also be used with steel shot.
The Ultraleggero can also be equipped with the Paradox OCHP choke (available aftermarket), a rifled choke that features rifling in the last 50 mm, allowing larger patterns on short ranges especially when hunting in the woods.
Beretta Ultraleggero main features
- Extralight recoil pad
- Select class 2.5 walnut wood stock with increased cavity
- Steel receiver carved on the sides and bottom
- Technopolymer inserts with innovative floral motifs featuring inclined surfaces to optimize light reflection
- Aluminum trigger guard
- 76mm (3") chamber
- New aluminum forend iron system derived from the 694 model
- OBHP barrels without side ribs
- Weight: 2,8 KG with 61 cm barrel