If I had to pick one double for all my bird hunting, it would this 12 gauge Beretta/ Cole Custom 686 Onyx Over Under. With 28″ barrels, screw-in choke tubes, and double triggers, it could do it all from grouse in Maine to pheasants in the Dakotas.
Cole Gunsmithing in Harpswell, ME, has been turning out custom Beretta O/Us for a while now. If you went to them and ordered one like this today, it would probably run you $3,500- $4,000. That means this one is a pretty good deal at
Ninety percent of the double barrel British shotguns we come across are standard UK 12 gauges. They weigh 6 1/2 – 6 3/4lbs, they have 2 1/2″ chambers, and they’re proofed for 1 1/8 ounces of shot.
That’s what makes this double barrel special. With original 2 3/4″ chambers and being proofed for 1 1/4″oz of shot, it’s was built for heavier loads. Think of it as a British light-magnum, and at 7.5lbs it weighs about as much as regular American 12g like a Fox Sterlingworth.
A shotgun like this Jeffrey was probably made for shooting wood pigeons and smaller wildfowl. Today, it would be a great gun on wild pheasants or sporting clays.