Posts Tagged ‘shotgun’

Fausti family foto

I LOVE my new Fausti DEA SL shotgun! Sisters Giovanna, Barbara and Elena Fausti pulled out the stops at the factory to produce a beautiful gun that I’ll use this season, then give away as a prize in our upcoming “TruckVault Cares” initiative (more on that later).

Out of curiosity, I finally got around to measuring the length of pull and it is a good 1/2″ longer than my second-favorite gun. I shoot “instinctive style,” and a short LOP is helpful. Now I could just leave it longer and have a built-in excuse for my bad shooting this season but that would be the easy way, not the Upland Nation way.

Bringing the LOP back to what I’m used to should give me a couple more birds per day (so I hope). So, time to take off the rubber butt pad. I consulted gunsmith Tom Nitcher of Sun Mountain Gunsmithing, who pulled out a ton of examples:

We actually settled on a simple, elegant and smooth plastic option until Tom called back after digging through his wood inventory:

From ebony to walnut, rare South American varieties and even bison horn … we had a myriad of choices. Tom suggested we fabricate a butt plate worthy of the incredibly figured wood of the Fausti’s stock and fore-end and I agreed – wood it will be.

The ebony we settled on actually has a bit of visible grain (pardon my ignorance re: terminology) but is dark enough to make a nice contrast with the stock’s wood, to my eye more so than the rubber pad shown here:

So, to work Tom goes!

I’ll keep you posted.

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Taking a break between training sessions - the start of a memorable day

Progress on Manny’s force-fetch training under blue skies, with a big mug of espresso-strength coffee on the fence post. This is gonna be good, I thought. What a weekend. And, by guacamole-and-merlot time, it was.

In fact, it only got better as the clouds built to a muddled gray mass, heavy with rain. Here’s how:

The new Fausti DEA SL 20 ga. had languished unshot in the safe since arrival, mocking my office work. The imagined laughter finally shamed me into a couple calls, a frantic search for ammo and batteries for my electronic earplugs. Central Oregon Sporting Clays was the destination, Spence Tabor’s labor of love that has exceeded shooters’ expectations in all respects.

I chose to walk alone, the beautiful desert course winding among dense junipers. The sandy soil reflected last night’s critter traffic, and for a bit mine were the only shots. By the third station I was dialing in the DEA, and actually hitting targets consistently. It’s a lithe, light and stylish gun, all of 5-1/2 pounds. While it takes work to hit the long crossers, instinctive shots through small windows between lava rock and juniper limbs are its forte. The wood and case-coloring are stunning as it settles comfortably into the gun rack at each station, and I’m again struck by the aesthetic sense of Italians … so organic, so elegant, yet practical in every respect.

I was gobsmacked at the variety of targets Tabor has wrought from rock, sand, and gnarled junipers. A featureless desert, it’s not: cliffs, knobs, twists and turns in the topography make for a creative course that measures up to many “professional” courses the big boys compete on.

The first shots not from my Fausti came from several stations over and as I walked toward the pair of shooters, I was hailed by one, a member of our training club. Pleasant Surprise #3. We shot the bulk of the course together, enjoying an easy camaraderie that comes when scores aren’t kept.

Drops started at the second-to-last station, tumbling in earnest onto sandy soil, making miniature dust clouds. We were squeezing the last targets out of our shot card when the deluge let loose. Another lucky break in a day full of them.

Settling up in the office, I was invited on a quick walk to the house where a box full of day-old field-bred cocker spaniels became the icing on a cake full of what the Cajuns call “lagniappe,” little extras that when totaled, will be recalled with a sigh many times in the days to come.

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Sweeeeeet. Or should I say “dolce?”

That’s what everyone said down at the Nosler Shooter’s Pro Shop when I took delivery on the next item to trick my

The Fausti sisters ... grazie!

truck, a Fausti Stefano DEA SL 20 ga. side by side. In a nutshell, this gun is a very clear reflection of the Fausti sisters: Giovanna, Barbara and Elena … lithe and elegant.

Well-balanced and light at 5-1/2 pounds, it’s a perfect chukar gun, if I’m willing to risk it. Case-colored receiver with gold accents (for maximum TV exposure!), the wood has lots of horizontal grain, then a stunning series of vertical striations that capture the eye long after you’ve put it in the case. I’ll be hunting with this gun on the show starting in the fall and you’ll see it on Wingshooting USA as soon as September. Then, stay tuned and learn how to win it … once I’ve broken it in, that is. I promise to be careful.

Get more information and specs here. (By the way, “DEA” is Italian for “goddess.” And this gun handles like one.)

Leave it to the Italians to make the case as stylish as the gun – streamlined and very Euro. Here are a few photos.

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Short SHOT: [More later.] Remington has taken a leaf from its handgun counterparts, introducing a shotgun with polymer frame and other components. Called the “887 Nitro Magnum,” this 12-ga. pump still has a steel barrel and receiver, but that’s where the similarities to the reliable 870 end.

The external polymer shell protects the guts of the gun from corrosion. Ditto for the trigger plate, made from the same polymer.  And though the TPA contains the fire control and carrier – similar to the 870 fire control – it also, uniquely, contains the right and left shell latches.

Gotta go! More to come from Orlando, FL.

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