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 Post subject: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:23 am 
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Location: So Cal
Anybody out there have a pic of an actual, confirmed GR-4? I think I bought one today, but it's so much nicer than my GR-3 that it may be a different model. I could not find a model stamp on it anywhere. This one is 20 ga, 28", marked M/F but mics to .010" and .027", solid rib, PG/BT/SST, 3" chambers, ejectors, coin finish frame with lots of nice engraving that appears to be hand cut or at least hand chased. Did not see an engraver's name or studio name on the frame. The butt stock configuration is identical to my GR-3 and my 425, and the forend has a roller latch. No sling swivels, and does have a US importer stamp on it (don't remember which, but not one I recognized). Gun is at the FFL for at least ten days, so no pics of this one available yet.

Thoughts as to which model it is?


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:20 pm 
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Location: Plains, Montana
Interesting to say the least. The fact it has a silver receiver makes me wonder. With an importers name and a date of mfg. some speculation can be made. I have seen BL4s and 5s as well as the variou S56 and S57 models. I have also owned a few over the years. I would love to see a picture if you can post one. The solid rib really makes me wonder since all I have seen had vent ribs. It sounds like a nice 20ga reguardless of its model number. There are a few pictures on GunBroker and Galazan's web page of 12ga mdls and one 20ga model 57.
Best,
Ron


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:40 pm 
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Ron, the BL's and S56-57 are all O?U's, no?

This new 20 gauge is a SxS. My GR-3 12ga has a vent rib, and my 425 12ga has a solid rib. Neither is as high as the solid rib on the new 20. Bluing is a soft matte blue, unlike the dark, glossy bluing on the 12's. No inlaid birds on the frame, no gold anywhere. Engraving is fairly tight floral scroll. Trigger is gold plated, barrel selector is on top tang; looks like the same selector that is on current 686/687 guns. I didn't note the proof marks, but chamber lengths are metric and choke markings are in English. Firing pins are not bushed, but there are gas checks.


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:36 pm 
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http://doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthre ... 101&page=3

http://www.cornellpubs.com/Templates/Be ... a-1969.htm

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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Not too many clues there, but thanks for the links. MarkQue indicated that his GR-4 has a vent rib, which is what I thought it would have. The gun in question is not a Garcia import, but the Garcia catalog reprint may have some good info, so I'll probably order a copy. I'll get some proof marks and the importer name from the gun later this week, and post whatever I find. Thanks.


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:12 pm 
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Just Ducky.....I am some times fixated on things I think I see and fail to read what is written so well. My humble if not embarassing apology. Now I will try to remember what I know about the GR series SxS Berettas. The Gr series imported by Beretta did not come with a silver receiver according to the 1968 magazine. The 20ga you discribe could be a 626E which did have selective trigger and 3" chambers as well as more engraving and silver receiver. The ones I have seen did not have a silver inlay on the opener. The GR 2 and 3 didn't have enlays while the 4 did. The 626(field) were disc. in 1988. I don't have a 626 presently. I would still enjoy knowing the importer and date of MFG. It still sounds like a great find.
Best,
Ron


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:21 pm 
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I have never owned a 625/626, but am pretty sure the butt stocks are interchangeable within gauge among the 425/426, GR2/3/4, and 625/626, and this gun has that type of buttstock. I also think the forend wood is similar, but with some differences in the release mechanisms. When I have the gun in hand, I may call Cole Gunsmithing. Don't the 625/626 guns usually have a model designation stamped on the bottom of the frame?


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:38 pm 
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I have a 625 which is marked on the under side and an Orvis 626 Onyx which doesn't have a 626 marking. I also have a 426 which doen't have a model marking. I am not sure about stock interchanging. I have only done this on the 424. It worked on the 12ga,16ga and 20ga which were all the same size frame.
Best,
Ron


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:50 pm 
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I also know from my own experience that the wood sets can be swapped between the 425 and the GR-3, both 12's in this case.


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:15 pm 
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Ducky,
I was thinking about your new 20ga last night and came up with a question. I can remember(I think) the sequence of importers. I remember the early 50s' thru 60s' was J.L. Galef and Abecrombi (sp)and Finch, late 60s' thru 70s' was Garcia in two locations, and then 1983 came Beretta USA. Can you remember any others? Was the year this requrement became law for marking the gun 1968? I really look forward to the 10 days passing so we can figure out what mdl you have.
Best,
Ron


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:29 pm 
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Quote:
Was the year this requrement became law for marking the gun 1968?

GCA of 1968

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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:28 pm 
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Ron, none of those importer names ring any bells, but I may get to look at the gun again on Tuesday (gotta go pay the balance). I'll take some notes and report back.


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:18 pm 
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Looked at the gun again today, but do not have it in hand yet (10 day wait in CA). The importer stamp is "Berben Corporation N.Y.-N.Y." The bit of research I was able to do indicates that Berben was the importer prior to Garcia, which seems to put the gun as pre-1968, even though it has the GCA 1968 stampings. The barrel flats and water table are engine turned so some of the proof marks are a bit obscured, but it has an "AH" surrounded by a rectangular line. If that is the date code, my chart puts it as a 1981 gun(?). Other proof marks are the standard "PB" with a crown and the "FINITO" stamp, but without the star. The bottom of the barrel lug is stamped "BB M". Left barrel stamped "15.8" (0.622") and "CAM 78". Right barrel is stamped "15.9" (0.626") and "G1 200". Left barrel near the bottom rib has one small "o" and the right barrel has "ooo", so I assume those are production marks for the chokes. Barrels are stamped "EXCELSIOR HIGH STRENGTH ALLOYED STEEL". Top lever is blued and does have a bird in relief that I missed on Saturday. Bird appears to be blued along with the lever, and is a full bodied bird in flight, not the hawk's head that is on the current Silver Hawk guns. The bird sorta resembles the Parker "flying turnips" but with a fat neck and big, round head; very un-hawk like. The rib is flat and appears to be file-cut, unlike the other Silver Hawks that I have seen. The engraving coverage is much greater than current Silver Hawks, and the quality of the engraving is much better. Frame appears to be polished after hardenng, rather than satin chromed. Did not see any selector to make the ejectors non-automatic. The old, crushed, ventilated rubber butt pad seems to be original, with a Bereta logo on the face. At this point, I can only asume that this is an early variant of the first-generation Silver Hawk, but nicer. Confirmed that there is no model ID stamped anywhere on the gun.

Other opinions welcomed, especially regarding the barrel and lug stamps. Thanks.


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:40 am 
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Ducky,
I'm going to dig a lot more. The type barrel material was used on guns from the 30s'. Thats what I see in the R.L. Wilson book. The importer rings a bell but I can't find anything right now to help. One thing is strange..if it is a pre 1974 there should be a roman numeral to indicate date of proof/mfg. I'll keep looking and post what ever I can find.
Best,
Ron


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:43 am 
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No Roman numerals anywhere that I could see, unless obscured by the engine turning.


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:54 am 
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Ducky,
Went to my safe and found a 1982 424 12GA with the Berdan importer on it. If this is an indication yours may be a 1981 mfg. The engine turning was not done on the 424 but was done on the 426. The 424s' are all 2 3/4 in. chambers(atleast all I have seen). The 426 has a 3" chamber, there again those I have seen. the 426 also has the selective trigger and more engraving. The barrel material on the 424 12ga and 20ga is excelsior steel and solid rib. The two 16ga 424 and a 426 which were vent rib and have no importer stamp and have a molly steel barrel. It leads me to believe yours may be a 426E which was disc. in 1983. The 426E was only surpassed by the sideplated 427s.
Best,
Ron


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:34 pm 
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Ron, that all seems to make sense, but how do we explain the fat bird on the top lever? I have not pulled out my late '60's 425 12 gauge, but I'm pretty sure it does not have a bird on the lever.


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:33 pm 
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I have a 626E marked as such with the silver bird on the lever, swamped concave rib.

There seems to be some confusion on the years of import of the 626 in ref. books. Some say 84-88.

However I believe what my 17th edition of Gun Trader's Guide, printed in 1994, says imported 1984 to date. My 626 bears this out because it has BB date code, 1992. The 29th edition says 1984-94.

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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 6:46 pm
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Location: Plains, Montana
I just checked. My 424 doesn't have a bird on its opening lever. The 625 also is absent a bird. My 426 16ga has the bird. I believe it is a pigeon. The 626 onyx doesn't have a bird. I'm for it being a 426. I would love to be the owner of that little 426 with 3" chambers. Like most Beretta SxS shotguns there aren't many small bores around, even fewer with 3" chambers.
Best,
Ron


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 Post subject: re: Beretta GR-4?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:21 pm 
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Ron, didn't you buy,just recently, a GR 4 off of GB. The one I was druelling over?

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