In the double-barreled guns of the Dea series, a hunter who is fond of break-actions can recognize the distinctive features of Fausti guns, classic firearms that can be customized – that is, fully functional in dimensions and in technical and aesthetic details.
Available in all the main hunting gauges, these guns perhaps express their appeal even more in the small gauges, for which the Italian company has always stood out in its offerings. On the warm day that sees us gathered with the Fausti staff at the shooting range, we have the opportunity to test two 28-ga shotguns that are different in their details but similar in their basic mechanical solutions, such as the steel receivers machined from solid steel billets and scaled to gauge to favor ballistic performance, component couplings and aesthetic results. The Dea model, which comes to us in a color case hardening finish, is also available in old silver. The floral engravings can be customized to the customer's taste and are made using the deep laser technique. Hunters can also choose the barrel length, which start from 63.5 cm up to 76 cm, the values of the fixed or interchangeable chokes, and the stock length-of-pull and drop, which can thus adapt to the anatomy of the body and everyone's personal favorite hunting types. Obviously, all this requires a turnaround time, which means some waiting must be taken into account.
Video: 28-ga Fausti Dea and Dea Upland SLX side-by-sides at the shooting range
The same customizable features distinguish the Dea Upland SLX model, a more distinctive and visually striking double-barreled shotgun, thanks to the long side plates available in color case hardened or old silver finishes and handmade engravings with the different colors of gold, silver and copper to compose hunting scenes and wildlife on the hunter's personal requests. The trigger guard is wide and elegant, which favors a quick and safe grip when firing even in small gauges. The trigger is single for both double guns, and a two-trigger version is also available on request for the more traditionalists. The new Fausti logo fits nicely on the metal surface of the trigger guard and at the rear end of the opening lever. The wood that makes up the buttstock and forend of the double-barreled guns is select European walnut, oil-finished and fine-pitch checkered. All Fausti guns come to customers with a pattern test to guarantee ballistic performance. We were invited to directly test their feel when fired and their effectiveness on clay pigeons in the sporting, Skeet and Olympic pit courses at the various ranges and velocities of these disciplines.
Our shooting test
The two Dea and Dea Upland SLX side-by-sides were waiting for me on the firing line inside the hard cases on which the new Fausti logo is recognizable, reproducing two mirrored letters F and clearly resembling the image of a deer antler. During the skeet session I alternated the two 28-ga guns using the same RC cartridges with a 24-gram payload and lead number 7.5. A few shots were needed to become familiar with the stocks, which in this case have standard sizes, while the 70-cm barrels with 3- and 1-star chokes fit the distance of the shots well. Ballistic performance is evident in the farthest shots with the pit vertical clay pigeons where I could afford beyond-30-m shots by slightly setting the gun at the shoulder and getting clear and accurate breaks. Given the quick and unusual series of shots for these hunting break-action guns, recoil is to be considered mild and manageable, undoubtedly helped by the small 28-gauge that once again proves to be perhaps the most balanced or at any rate my favorite among small gauges.
The choice of the semi-beaver forend is definitely functional to the purpose, because the hands grip the gun firmly without hindering sighting and aiming along the barrels. The English-style stock, certainly befitting these elegant guns, also facilitates instinctive and precise swinging. The weight of the Dea and Dea Upland SLX side-by-sides is within the standard for those who want a stable gun, not heavy but also not excessively light and vibrating when firing. In the larger 12-gauge these side-by-sides do not exceed 3 kg to obviously drop in weight in the smaller gauges to about 2.5 kg in the 28-gauge we tested. Double-barreled guns capable of serving both the hunter in the more traditional hide hunting and walking hunters who will appreciate their elegance and safety avoiding any unnecessary weight. At the end of a pleasant shooting day I can't say that I noticed any particular differences between the two Dea double guns that, as described, are built on the same mechanical platform. The difference between the two models is above all in the elegance of the workmanship and aesthetics that undoubtedly distinguishes the Upland SLX model with its long side plates and engravings made by master engravers to make it a product for those who seek a distinctive gun and not just a reliable hunting companion.
The prices of the two models vary depending on gauges and finishes, starting from about 3,800 euros for the Dea and 5,800 euros for the Dea Upland SLX model (Italian MSRPs – prices may be different in your country). We leave you to find out all the details and pictures from our field test in the video. Enjoy it.
Fausti Dea and Dea Upland SLX specs
|Model:||DEA||DEA Upland SLX|
|Gauges:||12 - 16 - 20 - 28 - .410||12 - 16 - 20 - 28 - .410|
|Barrel Length (cm):||63.5 - 65 - 67.5 - 71 - 73
- 76||63.5 - 65 - 67.5 - 71 - 73
|Chokes:||Fixed or interchangeable||Fixed or interchangeable|
|Trigger:||Non-selective single –
double ||Non-selective single –
|Stock:||AA+ (oil finished)||3A (oil finished)|
|Forend:||English 12 - 16 - 20 –
semi-beaver 28 - .410||English 12 - 16 - 20 –
semi-beaver 28 - .410|
|Engraving:||Laser made||Signed, hand-made|
|Finish:||Chrome – color case
hardened||old silver – color case