Talking about F.A.I.R. side-by-sides, the reference to the Iside family is immediate: a successful shotgun series that has been highly appreciated by hunters. The different versions available are able to satisfy lovers of classic break-action shotguns, from small migratory birds up to big ungulates hunting with the Express double rifle models.
F.A.I.R. Iside Prestige side-by-side: details and available gauges
The "made in Italy" style is recognizable in the shapes and in the selection of high quality materials of the Iside side-by-side shotguns, whose action bodies are machined from solid forged stock and scaled to gauge. The clear result is represented by sturdily built, easy-to-swing guns. In our case, we tested the Iside Prestige 20-gauge side-by-side, an elegant version suitable for walked-up hunting.
The round body is characterized by a silver-colored finish and long side plates with laser engravings that faithfully depict wild animals in flight and floral motifs. Partridges on both sides and a woodcock on the action bottom capture the attention of the observer, especially when the light catches the details of these engravings, which are appreciable but not excessive or showy. Metal surfaces are well matched to the wood of the English style stock and fore-end, which are made from select walnut and oil finished. The particularly grippy checkering enhances the ergonomics of the gun which, in any case, with its fore-end shape provides a solid base for a firm purchase during hunting actions. The agility of the gun and its speed in instinctive shooting are finally facilitated by the well-balanced overall gun's weight that in this 20-gauge model does not exceed 98.76 oz/2.8 kg. Trigger is a single selective, with the selector placed on the receiver tang, behind the elegant pierced opening lever. The 76 mm (3”) magnum chambered barrels are available in three different lengths – 26 3/4”, 28” and 30” (68 cm, 71 cm and 76 cm – and offer different possibilities: hunters can choose to enjoy the Iside Prestige shotgun both in walked-up hunting or from a hide.
These side-by-sides are manufactured by F.A.I.R. in all the main hunting gauges, from the largest 12 gauge, through the intermediate 16 and 20 gauges, in 28 gauge, up to the smallest .410. Some technical details create a marriage between classic and modern in F.A.I.R. shotguns, such as the internal and interchangeable chokes that are supplied with the gun, allowing the hunter to adapt the choke value to the cartridge or the hunting situation. Case ejection is automatic thanks to long-stroke ejectors. The barrels chrome lining allows consistent shot patterns over time, while preventing lead residue build-up and maintaining performance unaltered.
Hunting with the F.A.I.R. Iside Prestige side-by-side shotgun
It is a pleasant November day the one that sees us in the field testing the Iside Prestige side-by-side. I'm the guest of Luca Trivellato for a day of hunting with pointer dogs on the Vivaldi Estate in Minerbe, in the Po Valley, Italy. I have a young 15 months-old English setter that I hope will confirm the good qualities it showed so far. The rape leaves are full of dew and don't help the work of the dogs in finding and intercepting the pheasants that are in good numbers and often manage to escape, flying away from dogs and hunters. Cultivated land alternates with uncultivated fields and ditches that break up the monotony of the plain, forming a rich and varied mosaic that is enjoyable to explore. Among the five chokes available, I opted for the classic combination of 4 stars in the first barrel and 2 stars in the second, loading Baschieri & Pellagri Balistite, MB Tricolor and Rottweil Weidmansheil cartridges with number 7 and 5 shot. The Iside side-by-side – without a sling during this test – is pleasant to the shoulder both when swinging and during the walk, where I often tend to break it to cross the ditches in complete safety. A couple of shots are needed to get immediately acquainted with a gun that has proven to be reliable and fun to shoot at both short and medium ranges across open fields, on a day of hunting and training no doubt to be remembered. Enjoy the video.