The experts in Ian Coley’s gunroom go over some shotgun options for women shooters.
BERETTA 691 VITTORIA
The first gun in the Beretta range to be designed specifically for women, the 691 Vittoria is a nicely finished and detailed gun that would make a great addition to any gun cabinet.
The reduced radius of the pistol grip and Monte Carlo stock make it a comfortable gun to handle, and the balance is excellently distributed, resulting in fast and reactive handling. Trigger pulls are smooth, crisp and responsive, while recoil is impressively well-controlled.
The Vittoria comes in 12 or 20g with 28” or 30” barrels and a choice of scroll or game scene engraving. The latter is a nice option, as the narrow top rib and auto-safe means that the Vittoria also lends itself well to game shooting. Overall, this is a sweet gun and very enjoyable to shoot.
The 691 Vittoria comes in a blue Beretta ABS maker’s case, with five Optima HP chokes, a choke key and a user’s manual.
BROWNING LIBERTY LIGHT
The Browning Liberty Light is a genuinely smooth gun, with its balance where it should be, between the hands. Trigger pulls are crisp and responsive, and felt recoil and muzzle flip, even with heavier weight cartridges, is negligible.
The Monte Carlo stock offers a good initial fit, with height that suits the higher cheek bones of female shooters. The pistol grip is well shaped and feels comfortable in the hand. As you would expect from Browning, the gun is nicely finished and detailed, with scroll engraving.
Browning were the last of the major manufacturers to release a gun for female shooters, but the result shows the benefits of holding back, as it encompasses all the good aspects of its forerunners. The Liberty Light comes in a black hard-shell ABS case with 4 extended chokes, 2 spare pads (20mm fitted and 12mm and 25mm spare), choke key, trigger lock and user manual.
CAESAR GUERINI SYREN TEMPIO LIGHT
The Tempio Syren Light is, as its name suggests, lighter than its counterpart Tempio Syren, with 28” barrels and an alloy action to reduce the weight of the gun. Whilst the weight is kept out of the muzzle end of the gun, the Tempio Light is still well-balanced and we experienced no muzzle flip when firing.
The gun felt steady and smooth to shoot, and there was no recoil using 28-gram cartridges. The Monte Carlo stock and slender pistol grip offer a good initial fit, and the trigger is adjustable for length of reach, which is beneficial.
The Syren features a hand polished, oil finished Grade 2 Turkish walnut stock, and intricate floral scroll engraving, with rose detailing picked out in gold. This is echoed with a further rose detail on the stock.
Caesar Guerini were the innovators of the Ladies gun, and it shows that they took a great deal of care to ensure that they got the details right. The Tempio Light comes in a white ABS case with velvet cushioned lining and plenty of extras, including 8 competition chokes, tools, locks and accessories.
The Tempio Light is also covered by Caesar Guerini UK’s 10-year mechanical warranty.
The Bella is a lovely gun to shoot, with good balance, smooth trigger pulls and little felt recoil. Featuring a patented ‘between the hands’ balance adjustment system within its pistol grip, and a Monte Carlo stock with an adjustable comb, the Bella will appeal to those looking for out-of-the-box customisation options.
The pistol grip felt shallow, but this will suit some. Available in three barrel lengths, the Zoli offers a parallel or tapered top rib option on the 28” and 29.5” barrels. The aesthetics will probably polarise opinions – the addition of Swarovski crystals to the minimal engraving was one which we felt might limit the market for the gun.
The crystals are small, so overall the effect is relatively restrained, but to suit a wider audience it would be nice to see the diamante decoration offered as an option rather than included as standard.
At a little over £6,000, the Zoli Bella is clearly aimed at the higher end of the Ladies market, but serious competition shooters might find it too flashy. It comes in a white, slimline ABS case with a cushioned blue lining, branded boxes of tools and spares, and a user manual.
FABARM ELOS N2 SYREN SPORTING
The Fabarm Elos N2 Syren is a radical upgrade from its already successful predecessor. The floral, gold inlaid engraving has been replaced by a smart, satin black action with purple two-tone logo. Thanks to extensive modifications, the stock offers a good initial fit for most, and also features an adjustable ‘Micro-Metric’ rubber comb.
The comb and recoil pad make this a very comfortable gun to shoot, with minimal felt recoil. Nicely balanced between the hands, the Elos Syren has a short, shallow pistol grip that suits Juniors and Ladies of a slighter build. Trigger pulls feel slightly more resistant – a feature shared with its big sister, the Caesar Guerini Syren.
The stock has a Triwood finish – a process that uses ink and semi-gloss acrylic varnish to give the impression of high grade wood and means that the stock is entirely waterproof.
The disadvantage is that the stock is subject to showing white marks when scratched or dented. The N2 is very competitively priced and comes in a lockable Syren ABS case.