Beretta’s Silver Pigeon I over-under shotguns have just been updated for 2019. The gun remains the classic styling and tight lockup but gets new barrels and updated engraving.
Steelium Optima-Bore HP
Beretta has upgraded the barrels for the Silver Pigeon I to their Steelium Optima Bore HP. The Steelium (nickel-chromium-molybdenum) barrels are deep-hole drilled then cold hammer-forged and finished off with vacuum relieving. They claim that this process makes the most consistent, accurate and durable barrels.
Optima-Bore HP describes the geometry of the barrel. It is designed to yield perfectly uniform shot patterns even as the shot and loads change. Even steel shot flies more uniformly. A big contributor to the improvement is the extended forcing cone.
The forcing cone is the part of the barrel immediately downstream of the chamber where the shot is forced to fit the diameter of the rest of the barrel. Many guns forcing cones are under 1 inch long, but Beretta’s Optima-Bore barrels give the shot a generous 80mm, more than 3 1/8 inches, to taper and gather the shot together.
This longer forcing cone helps the pellets group better and it may also reduce felt recoil to help you keep on target better. In fact, a gunsmith could extend the forcing cone on your current gun cheaper than you’d expect.
The barrel is finished off with the Optima Chokes, which are 2.75″ long. The 12 gauge and 20 gauge versions come with the Optima-Bore and Optima-Chokes standard, while the 28 gauge and .410 caliber guns are fitted with traditional Beretta barrels and Mobil Chokes.
New 5-Axis Engraving
In addition to the barrel upgrade, the Silver Pigeon also gets a new engraving reminding owners of the manufacturer’s roots in Italy. A floral pattern with grapes is the new design, and it’s made using Beretta’s 5-axis laser engraving tools that allow the design to flow smoothly even around curved surfaces.
Same Great Gun
The Silver Pigeon is still the same great gun with the same low-profile receiver and the same great fit for right- or left-handed shooters. It’s still chambered for 3″ shells and the reliable ejection system is the same used on more than one million guns over the last 30 years. The safety is still on the tang with the barrel selector switch on it. It’s still an “affordable” option for sport shooters and hunters alike. Full MSRP is around $2,300.
- Gauge: 12, 20, 28, .410
- Barrel length: 26″, 28″, 30″
- Chamber: 3″
- Choke: OCHP for 12 & 20ga, Mobil for 28 and .410
- Rib: 6×6
- MSRP: $2,300