Back when I first got interesting in nice shotguns, I played hooky from work one day to take a drive up to a little gunshop in Harpswell, Maine. At the end of dirt roadI drove by 3 times before I found it: Cole Gunsmithing.
This was the late 1990’s, and Cole’s was a small place then. They had 4-5 used shotguns for sale at the front of the shop (nothing really special), and out back a couple gunsmiths worked away on various projects.
Today, Cole Gunsmithing is one of the biggest Beretta dealers in the US. They have two shops — one in Harpswell, ME, and another in Naples, FL — and they offer a wide range of great guns, including Cole Customs.
Cole Customs are upgraded version Beretta OUs, and most of the ones they sell today feature upgraded engraving and fancy stocks. But the one you see is one of the nicest looking models they ever offered. Its plain finished, color-case hardened action looks plain sexy, and the sleek straight-gripped stock adds to the affect, too.
Beretta Cole’s Special 20ga/28ga OU Combo: Serial # RC0105. Original owner. Lightly used upland gun. Gun is in excellent condition showing only minor handling marks. The high grade wood is beautiful receiving many compliments. Checkering is in perfect condition. Color CaseHardened Receiver. Includes two barrels. One 20ga. and one 28ga. custom fitted to the 20ga. frame. Both are 28″ with 2 3/4″ chambers and bright and shiny. Five multichokes are included with each barrel. The gun weighs 6lbs. when used with the 28ga. barrel and a little less with the 20ga. Nice and light for upland hunting. Two custom fitted wood butt plates are included. The one that is currently installed provides a LOP of 14 3/4″. When the other butt plate is installed the LOP is 14 1/4″. Other dimensions are approximately 1 3/8″ DAC, 2″ DAH. Price:$4395.
Cole Gunsmithing in Harpswell, ME, is one of the nation’s leading Beretta gunsmith. For over a 20 years now, this company has been the go-to source for top-quality work on the Italian gunmaker’s full range of shotguns – over-unders, side-by-sides and autoloaders.
Along with repair services, Coles also offers customized shotguns. The Beretta 686 Onyx you see here is one of those doubles. With upgraded wood and a straight-gripped stock, it’s a great looking O/U. Add in the double triggers and the choke tubes and you a very unique, and versatile, shotgun Even though it’s a 12 gauge, it weighs less than a lot of American-made 16 gauges. It also has high, shootable dimensions and a decent length of pull.
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