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 Post subject: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:35 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 10:36 am
Posts: 242
Just bought an A400 28G with 28" barrel.

* Overall the gun handles nicely - light between the hands (5#) and a quick pointer.
Stock fits me well off the rack at 5'8"/165lbs build (size 40 jacket). Might be a bit short on LOP for taller and bigger shooters - but easily fixed with a thicker pad (not included).

* A bit light for competitive target shooting. Looking at some homegrown weight mods for the magazine tube and stock. No end cap weights yet available from Beretta or after market suppliers - don't hold your breath. In contrast the Remington 1100 Premier 28G weighs in at 6.5# and handles more smoothly IMHO (no composite or plastic parts).

* Quality Exterior - not a big fan of wood/polymer composition for stock/fore end, nor faux wood grain surface markings - truly ugly. But I do like the anodized bronze/brown receiver - much better looking than the aqua blue finish on the A400 12G target version.

* Quality Interior - I've owned Beretta jamamatics since the A303, and will go on record with the prediction that the 391 series will the last in the line for longevity of action parts. The A400 employs the Benelli rotation bolt design, and uses plastic material for the magazine tube sleeve which attaches to the bolt - a most unfortunate choice for cost savings. Hopefully that plastic will hold up over many rounds of target shooting and cleaning that its 12G big brother will have to endure.

* The Really Bad Design News - the gas piston design includes a separate thin toothed metal ring that holds the piston inside the cylinder via friction tension. This ring also has tiny teeth that serve to clean the cylinder of carbon buildup during action movement. However, this ring IS NOT securely attached to the piston, but rather floats near the top and is very loosely held on by four small metal arms which extend horizontally around the the top of the piston. Two potential problems come to mind - 1) that ring could be lost during a full cleaning breakdown, and 2) the ring is fragile enough to become bent or boogered up otherwise if the piston is jammed into the cylinder during re-assembly (which in fact did happen to a friend of mine). The result was his new semi-automatic became a single shot version until he gets a replacement 28G piston ring from Beretta (good luck with that in short order?).

Nota bene my fellow Italian semi-auto fans - you must gently pinch that ring as you carefully insert the piston into the cylinder - capisci? Like an Italian lover - not an Irish one :D

OK enough of my small rant on the piston - I believe semi-automatic parts should not be tender in design or material such that they could be easily deformed? Leave it to the Brescia designers to over engineer the solution.

The gun shot very well - we banged 30 - 40 yard sporting targets with 7.5s and MOD choke!

Overall I like the gun, and would advise all owners to be extra careful handling action parts during disassembly. I am going to use it for quail hunting and sub-gauge sporting (with some weight mods).

Ciao - Chef K




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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Cape Cod
Bought an A400 28ga. with a 28" bbl. from Joel Etchen back in Feb. and it's been runnin' like a clock. To date I've put about 2000 rds. (factory and reloads) thru it with no failures at all.

The gun is light but well balanced and has that "between the hands" feel which the Benelli 28 ga. does not. I added a C&H Recoil Suppressor end cap to make it just a bit muzzle heavy, which I prefer, to smooth out the swing on long crossing shots. Any end cap weight threaded for a Beretta 391 should fit the A400. Briley is making end caps specifically for the A400 28. I also filled a choke tube case with shot and put it in the butt stock. My gun now weighs 6 lbs. 6 ozs. and feels just about right. Might add a longer recoil pad.

The gun came with three flush mounted Optima HP chokes (C, M and F). C was fine on Skeet and Sporting but some the hits on longer SC crossers were a little chippy. I did order a set Briley extended chokes in SK, IC and LM over a month ago but haven't received them yet - time to give them a call.

The stock is Xtra wood and is OK but I lucked out and got a GREAT forend.

Take a look at one and shoot it if you can....smiles all around!!

Saltydog055


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:42 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 10:36 am
Posts: 242
Saltydog055 wrote:
Any end cap weight threaded for a Beretta 391 should fit the A400.
Saltydog055


As my friend used to say "The first place you go blind is in the eyes!".

I just tried my 391 12G fore end cap weights from C&H and Graco. They snug up and fit perfectly. (I thought they would be too large in diameter for the more slender fore end of the 28G). Also inserted a 6 oz recoil suppressor from my old skeet gun barrel clamp into the stock of the A400, with some cloth wrap for tight fit.

The gun swings and shoots beautifully. Thank you Saltydog...Chef K


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Cape Cod
No worries!! That's what this BB is for - sharing info. And on that note, I called Briley yesterday to inquire on a delivery date for the extended choke tubes I ordered back at the end of FEB for the A400 28 ga. and they said they were "almost" finished with them and they'd be along shortly, so......if anybody out there is thinking about ordering some chokes for their A400 28ga. from Briley, now might be a good time. Just as long as I get mine first :wink:
Saltydog055


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:53 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:03 pm
Posts: 574
Picked one up a couple of weeks ago. Absolutely a super-fun piece.. Beretta guy at G cup said they were back ordered for quite a while, so if you find one and are in the market ya better snatch it up. Briley ext chokes were shipped yesterday. I added about 6 oz. weight in the butt of mine, helped the dynamics. Shoot well. ...j.


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:42 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Cape Cod
Also got an email yesterday from Briley saying they shipped my extended chokes. Again, might be a good time order some if you are in the market, that is if you can find an A400!! No doubt these little guns will continue to sell like hot cakes.

I added a Beretta 1 1/32" pad (MGW $27.00) and with the extended chokes, the gun will be PERFECT !!

Saltydog055


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:44 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:22 pm
Posts: 67
Location: Los Osos, CA
I recently bought one of these as well (also have an A400 12 Ga Parallel Target). As is, I agree it's too light for target shooting. As you folks have done, I added a medium weight on the magazine cap and put some shot in the end of the stock (filled a 12 ga empty shell with shot, secured it in place). Added maybe 2.5 oz to the rear and 3.5 oz to the end of the magazine. I really like the way it handles now.

Briley had a skeet choke to me in less than a week from my order. Haven't tested that yet, but even with the cyl. choke I was breaking almost as many skeet birds as I can with the 12 ga (low 20s, typically). My 14 year old son loves the thing and it's hard for me to get time with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:26 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:25 am
Posts: 44
I bought a 28-ha a400 when they first came out in February 2014. I use it mostly for sporting clays with a mod choke and only shoot factory loads. When it is working the gun points and shoots like a dream - i LOVE it. But lately I have been very disappointed with its reliability. I have had many problems mostly with the bolt locking up. Seems the pin in the back of the bolt comes loose and jams the operation. It’s been back to Beretta twice for the same thing. This is not the kind of reliability that I have come to expect from Beretta.


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:22 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:25 am
Posts: 44
Just a quick update on my 28-ga a400. The problem with the bolt seems to have be fixed by Beretta. In the last couple of weeks I have put over 3,000 rounds through it since getting it back with ZERO problems. I am very pleased with this gun right out of the box and know that it is not too light for sporting clays. The trick is for the shooter to control the gun so that the gun does not control the shooter.

Keep you head on the gun and eyes on the target.


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:49 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:47 am
Posts: 3103
Location: Dallas, TX
I just found this thread, considering this shotgun as well - the 28" J40AA88.

You guys still shooting and liking this gun?


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Cape Cod
Dallas CMT
Check your PM's
Saltydog055


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:59 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:37 pm
Posts: 1
I recently bought one of these for my grand kids knowing that the LOP would be too long. I am thinking about cutting the stock but would rather find one that is damaged, dinged, dented, scratched, etc. instead of cutting the original one. Priced these at Brownells and they wanted $529 for the stock/fore end set (they will not sell stock only). Even spoke with Beretta US looking for something like this but was informed that any damaged pieces go back to factory in Italy for credit. Am thinking that I will have to just cut the original stock and buy a replacement later on after they grow into something bigger. Any suggestions??


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:47 am
Posts: 3103
Location: Dallas, TX
Maybe cut the stock and install an adjustable extender that can vary between 13" and 14.5"? You could also add spacers and thicker pads later on to get more length.


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:05 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:22 pm
Posts: 2
Howdy all - just joined this forum. I love hunting chukars, hungarian partridge and grouse here in Utah with a 28 gauge. However I have continually found duds when it comes to guns. I previously owned a Franchi and until recently a Benelli Ultralight - but had so many jamming issues that I have sold them. I am seriously looking into buying a Beretta A400 Explorer in 28 gauge - but worry that I will be faced with the same problem as the Franchi and Benelli. I shoot Hevi Steel in 28 gauge and have Fiocci lead. I try to keep my guns fairly clean but can go a few weeks in between cleaning and I hunt these birds almost weekly. Any advice before buying the gun?


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:43 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:25 am
Posts: 44
I bought mine when they first came out and am very pleased with it. Some people think that it is too light weight. I do not. I use if for sporting clays but do not hunt and put about 80,000 factory 1300 fps AA super sport through it and have NEVER had a jam. That said it did break a couple of times. The Benelli charging handles are not up to the task. I broke three of them and went back to stock. Also had a problem with the small pin that holds the firing pin in place. Beretta fixed it no charge. The only negative about shooting 28-ga is the cost of the ammo. I figure that it costs more because its worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:43 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:25 am
Posts: 44
I bought mine when they first came out and am very pleased with it. Some people think that it is too light weight. I do not. I use if for sporting clays but do not hunt and put about 80,000 factory 1300 fps AA super sport through it and have NEVER had a jam. That said it did break a couple of times. The Benelli charging handles are not up to the task. I broke three of them and went back to stock. Also had a problem with the small pin that holds the firing pin in place. Beretta fixed it no charge. The only negative about shooting 28-ga is the cost of the ammo. I figure that it costs more because its worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:39 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:03 pm
Posts: 574
Wow, Zott...
I wish i had time to put 80,000 rounds downrange in three years, and the funds to buy that many AA supersport loads. Must have a great job. I'm envious. J.


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:46 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 3:12 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Texas
Holy Shell Bill ... 80,000 = 550+ rounds per week at 3 years... Sounds like Zot probably finds himself in Argentina several times a year+ And shells are not cheap in South America.

DL


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 Post subject: Re: Beretta A400 Explor Action 28 Gauge - 1st Impressions
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:01 am 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm
Posts: 17335
Quote:
No end cap weights yet available from Beretta or after market suppliers


I took the aftermarket (Briley) mag caps off my A400 12 and tried it on my forend's A400 28 - fit perfectly and made all the difference in swinging on targets



_________________
The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory, Aldo Gucci

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience, George Carlin


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