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Article 3 – 2023 (April)

Australian Shooter Magazine

Question and Answers

Article 3 – 2023 (April)

Question: I have come back into clay shooting after an absence of many years, I have a dilemma. Forty-five years ago I purchased a Beretta S58 Skeet 28” Barrels with a set of 30”barrells choked half and full. Skeet was my preferred discipline along with a lot of field shooting. I never really concentrated on DTL because of the configuration of the gun. At the time an S58 was considered a very “lively” gun.

I have contemplated a new Beretta DT10 or DT11 with an adjustable stock or the alternative is to get an adjustable stock made for the S58, which to date has had probably something like two hundred thousand rounds through it and I have never had a malfunction.

Do the newer guns shoot significantly better than the older ones, in particular with less apparent recoil? Has gun technology improved much over the past 45 years? A lot of people have told me no and if my S58 still works then use it.

Col Howkins, Brisbane QLD

Answer: About forty five years ago you probably owned a XC Ford Falcon or a VB Holden Commodore. Both great cars. Both more than fast enough. Both reliable enough. Nearly five decades later today’s modern cars still don’t really get you from point A to B any quicker, but arguably are far more comfortable, safer and of course offer many extra features. Some of these extra’s you certainly don’t need, but never the less once you have experienced them its hard to give them up.

Let’s compare a Beretta S58 as opposed to the DT11. The S58 was a notoriously light shotgun and as you correctly pointed out it is “lively” because of this fact. It will also recoil more. Not in perceived recoil terms, but in actual recoil because it is simply half a kilogram lighter. The S58 has a standard 18.4mm (or even 18.3mm) bore size barrel whilst the DT11 has a much larger “over bored” tube which will help make the perceived recoil feel much softer.

The DT11 offers a “drop out” mechanism, adjustable trigger positioning, leaf trigger springs, custom weighting and a few other added features that the S58 won’t have such as the metal quality of the barrels. Steel quality has come a long way over the past few decades.

In saying all of that will the DT11 shoot any straighter than the S58? No, it won’t. Will it feel better to use? Provided it fits you then yes it will.

My wife drives an Audi Q8. I drive a Ford Ranger. Both deliver us to where we need to go, but on a five hour trip she will arrive far more relaxed than I will. It’s the same with your S58. If I was shooting in a one hundred target competition and had a choice which of either of these two shotguns, I would select the DT11 every day of the week, but again on the assumption it was fitted to me correctly.

Two hundred thousand rounds is a lot of shooting and to not have a misfire in that amount of time is a great testament to your shotgun and of course to the ammunition you have been using, but to be honest there would be a multitude of shotguns in the trap shooting world that have fired far more shot shells than this. High grade shotguns like the DT11 are made to last and they will of course eventually need tightening up in time, but the way these guns are made this is a simple enough task. What I am trying to say is I doubt you will be able to wear out a DT11.

The bottom line to this argument of course is the cost. If you want a replacement to your S58 with two sets of barrels a new DT11 with a dual pair of tubes would require a special custom order, close to a one year wait and a price tag around the 15K mark give or take a grand or so. Alternatively, simply upgrading your stock on the S58 with an adjustable comb could cost you as little as two hundred dollars. I suggest you don’t discuss this with your wife or partner because if they don’t really understand shotgun shooting you will have your work cut out convincing them the DT11 is getting you on the plane to represent Australia at the next Olympics.

My advice is this; Tell your partner you are thinking of buying a new shotgun. They will become angry on hearing this news. Buy the gun anyway. Of course, they will still be angry, but you will have a new shotgun. It’s no good you both being angry.

Good luck with your choice.

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