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 Post subject: beretta Golden Lark
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:30 pm 
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I am new to this forum. I have a Beretta 304 Golden Lark 12 ga. shotgun serial# 0073xx in like new condition. I am having trouble finding information regarding this firearm. It seems to be a model between the 303 & 390. The only thing I have been told is that it was not imported to the US. Can anyone help me find out more about this fine shotgun?




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 Post subject: Re: beretta Golden Lark
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:30 pm 
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You must be located in the UK. The A304 was not called Golden Lark (Silver Lark) in the US, because the US importer of the Model 60 (Beretta's first semiautomatic shotgun) called it by those names in the early 1960's.

The A304 is basically a A390 with the A303 gas system. It was made for a short time when Beretta transitioned from the 303 to the 390. I guess they thought some shooters who were used to the 303 wouldn't like the thicker forearm and the gas valve of the 390. Apparently, they were right, as the 303 has achieved a cult status in the US.

I had long been told that the 304 was never imported to the USA, and some experienced shooters who have been using Beretta for decades say they have never seen one. However, some Beretta literature did announce that the 304 would be introduced "soon". I recently bought one (in the USA) that was marked for US distribution, and one person in the UK posted that he had one that was marked for the US. My guess is, a very few were brought into the US for exhibit before Beretta decided not to distribute them here. Those very few (maybe one?) were sold, and others intended for the US must have been diverted to the UK.

I've got to stop and do something for my wife now - if you have specific questions I'll be back later.

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"Beretta 391 Disassembly" - What the owner's manual doesn't tell you. See: viewtopic.php?t=123733
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 Post subject: Re: beretta Golden Lark
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:44 am 
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Thank You for the Info. I live in Michigan. What little info I received was from Beretta, USA. There is no model # on the shotgun. The only stamped info. is on the barrel.

Pietro Beretta Chromium MDL4BDENUM
Founded 1680
Made in Italy Golden Lark 12 Gauge.

Do you know when it was manufactured and a aproximate value?
Thanks again for your help.
Rick


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 Post subject: Re: beretta Golden Lark
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:29 am 
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It sounds like yours might not be a 304 at all, but a model 60/61 which was sold in the USA as a Silver/Golden Lark.

Go to http://www.berettaweb.com/1961%20catalo ... atalog.pdf That is a 1961 catalog of Galef & Son, who were the Beretta importers at that time. Scroll down to the Golden Lark and see if it looks like yours.

Or does it look like this? http://www.gunsreview.com/shotguns/bere ... 4lark.html

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"Beretta 391 Disassembly" - What the owner's manual doesn't tell you. See: viewtopic.php?t=123733
My pen name is Irish, pronounced SHAY-mus oh-KOSH-eh-deh. E-Mail jpcassada@gmail.com


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 Post subject: Re: beretta Golden Lark
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:54 am 
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I checked both links that you suggested. In the Beretta 1961 catalog the fifth shotgun down from the top looks similar though my shotgun does not have a vented rib barrel and it has a gold trigger and chrome receiver. From what you have said I am assuming it was manufactured on the 60's.The shotgun is in pristine condition. No rust, scratches, or dents. Ther are no marks in the bore and the engraving is like new. Do you have an approximate value of this shotgun? I read some of your other posts. I'm sorry I didn't give my location in my first post. In one of your posts you said you owned about half of the working Larks. About how many of them are out there? You have been very helpful and it has been a pleasure conversing with you. Thank's.
Rick


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 Post subject: Re: beretta Golden Lark
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:56 am 
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atticafirearm wrote:
In one of your posts you said you owned about half of the working Larks. About how many of them are out there?
Well, now that you have called my bluff on that statement, I will admit I was exaggerating. I have 3, but only one is complete and functional. The second is missing the extractor, and will function when I use the extractor from #1. The third is missing several parts. Parts for these guns are a problem. Bob's http://www.gun-parts.com/index.html/ has a few parts, but not the ones most in demand. If yours is complete and functional, you'd better not shoot it too much, because sooner or later something will break, and when it does you are SOL.

It is hard to put a value on them. You need to find a buyer who recognizes the Beretta name, but doesn't know about the parts problem. Either that, of somebody who remembers the one his Daddy let him use when he was 10, and wants one just like it. Somebody like that will pay whatever it takes. Otherwise, I would guess $200-400.

The Lark never made much of a reputation for itself. It was the first gas-operated shotgun Beretta ever made. The current head of the Beretta family and company, Ugo Gussali Beretta, has been quoted as saying there were some problems with the Model 61, and that's why it was replaced by the A300, a completely different design.

_________________
"Beretta 391 Disassembly" - What the owner's manual doesn't tell you. See: viewtopic.php?t=123733
My pen name is Irish, pronounced SHAY-mus oh-KOSH-eh-deh. E-Mail jpcassada@gmail.com


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 Post subject: Re: beretta Golden Lark
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:03 pm 
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Thank You for all your help. Hope to talk to you later.


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 Post subject: Re: beretta Golden Lark
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:23 pm 
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I am new here and believe that I have a Beretta model 61 from the catalog site that you listed.The only difference I noticed was the stylish engraving under the receiver isn't on my gun.Instead slightly back from there is the name pietro beretta.It is a golden lark 2-3/4 only and in working condition.As a matter of fact,I did take a spring turkey with it here in Michigan in May of 2012.After hearing of the rareity of this gun,I don't think I will be shooting it anytime soon.I really wish Beretta had been more clear with model numbers throughout their history.I am very curious as to it's value.Any help would be great.
Thanks...




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