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This visually stunning shotgun impressed Vic Harker with its endless adjustability and outstanding shooting performance in this detailed test and review
The good quality off-the-rack shotgun has only one major disadvantage - the stock either fits the shooter or it doesn't. This problem can be overcome in most cases, of course, and just about every kind of stock alteration can be carried out, from lengthening to shortening, changing the height of the comb, making adjustments to cast, and even alterations to the grip.
The benefits of these modifications will, however, depend on the skill of the stocker employed. The other option, and one that is becoming increasingly popular, is the fully adjustable stock. I have been evaluating this development incorporated into Beretta's DT11 Trap Black Edition Pro.
A feature that is now taken for granted by the majority of clay shooters around the world is the hand-detachable trigger group. The advantages it offers are obvious: if a main spring breaks during a competition, the problem can be solved in minutes if the shooter has a spare trigger group. Even if the shooter doesn't have this facility, the lockwork is easily accessible and a spare spring can be fitted in minutes, meaning the shooter can continue with the competition.
The DT11 is Beretta's top-of-the-line clay target gun which, with its detachable trigger group, has for some time been viewed as a viable alternative to the Perazzi MX8. It does, however, come in a very different form from the Perazzi's droplock option with a cross-bolted locking system - a mechanical contrast to the Perazzi's Boss-style bolting. The Beretta is none the worse for that and, like the maker's fabled SO sidelock, replaceable trapezoidal bearing surfaces above the bottom barrel further reinforce the action's lock-up.
As to the matter of gun fit, the DT11 Trap Black Edition Pro incorporates a fully adjustable stock. Manufactured by TSK Italy, this company specialises in metal surface treatments and design of the highest quality.
The TSK stock incorporates what the company describes as "auto-adaptability to the individual contours of the shooter's shoulder". Almost every aspect of the TSK stock can be altered to accommodate any kind of physique and stance. The stock is almost certainly the most sophisticated of its type to date, with the adjustments visibly calibrated on the component parts to ensure each adjustment is accurately made.
The grip's design is more sophisticated than any I've seen on any other off-the-rack stock. Apart from the aforementioned adjustability, it holds the hand firmly in position by way of an integral spur that locates between the thumb and forefinger, ensuring the hand cannot move under recoil and so the shooter's finger maintains a constant pressure on the trigger's adjustable blade.
The TSK stock, as it is designated, has been very carefully designed to provide optimum gun fit in every aspect, and it works extraordinarily well.
The 76cm (30") barrels tip the scales at 1.495kg (3lb 4.6oz), which proved too light for me. That said, the Beretta balanced right on the trunnions. This is certainly due to the composite materials employed in the design of the adjustable stock.
The makers have, however, ensured that the tactile areas that include the comb and the grip are made of wood. Beretta also provide a set of magnetic weights, 12 in all, which with three mounted each side of the centre rib under the forearm saved the day for me. The DT11 Trap's barrel weight was now 1.55kg and with extra weight in the leading hand, it made all the difference to the gun's handling characteristics.
The fore-end wood, though simple in design, lies comfortably in the leading hand and is of sufficient depth to keep both hands in line for coordinated movement.
As with any gun selected for a gun test, when judging handling qualities it should be understood there is no set of dynamics that will please everyone; that being the case, the reader must understand that the gun tester's verdict is entirely a subjective one. With this in mind, the fact that I had to employ no less than six of the 10g magnetic barrel weights supplied with the gun to get the DT11 to handle to my satisfaction, does suggest the barrels could have been a little heavier to begin with. However, after a period of trial and error, I did achieve a set of dynamics for this 30" Trap gun that was outstanding. Now, with an all-up barrel weight of 1.55kg, this Beretta still had to be handled gently, but the results were worth it. Just to point and shoot with my leading hand gently cradling the forend was all that was required to break some quick Ball Trap targets very consistently. I am really very impressed with this outstanding Trap gun - I want one, but that's another matter!
Model: DT11 Trap Black Edition Pro
Bore size: 12
Barrel Length: 76cm: 30"
Action: Hand detachable boxlock
Chamber: 2 ¾"
Chokes: Fixed - ¾ Full
Rib: 10mm parallel
Stock: TSK fully adjustable
Trigger: Hand detachable
Weight: 3.878KG 8lbs 8oz
Suggested retail: £10,595
UK Distributor: GMK. Telephone: 01489 579 999. Website: www.gmk.co.uk
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