I was fortunate enough to win a A400 Extreme (Optifade) back in August. My last experience with a Beretta Shotgun was a Pintail and I had good luck with it. For the past 17 years I've carried a SBE I that I back-bored when I bought it new. I've literally drug this thing from Alberta to Savannah several times and have shot over 60K rounds (documented) and the only thing I've done to it is change the firing pin, extractor & recoil spring (@40K). I prefer the recoil-operated system (I carried a M2 on-duty for 25 years) due to its simplicity, maintenance, and reliability.
Fast forward to the A400. I was hesitant try the thing because I thought I'd like it whenever I shouldered it the first time. After deciding to keep it and shooting 500 flawless rounds through it for cycle testing with WM Federal Dove loads to 3.5 hand loads, I was kinda convinced enough it would function to begin finding the right load/choke recipe for teal season and take to Alberta. After another 630 rds., I was ready for hunting season and made the A400 my primary gun. After a generation with the SBE, it was quite a leap.
After teal season and 2 weeks in Alberta, I was now at 1633 shots fired without a hiccup. As the season continued, I hunted all but 8 days from the Montana opener 9/28 until today. I encountered Ohio snow, sleet, and ice. Illinois & Missouri rain & mud. Arkansas & Louisiana rain and ALOT more mud. And to finish, earlier this week it was -5 to 7* hunting on the Tennessee River. I have 2718 rds. through it, (415-2.75, 1460-3.0, 843-3.5) and I encountered 1 ammunition malfunction.
My wader jacket was knocked to the floor of the boat as we put out the decoys and hid the boat. I loaded the A400 from the shells in the pocket (which were now damp). The chambered shell froze to the bore and after firing failed to extract. IMHO, this was not the fault of the A400 as I had to take a cleaning rod and hammer the shell from the bore.
All in all, the A400 did everything I demanded of it flawlessly and proved to be as reliable as any Benelli or 870 I've ever triggered. The only adjustment I'll make is back bore it when the season is over. While it's my opinion it is a grand hunting shotgun and I'll gladly grab it tomorrow morning, I think it's a stretch and a bit too soon to say it's the best there is.
Hope this helps and Good Luck to you all,
Last edited by nitram
on Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or f-ing beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back.- Al Swearengen