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 Post subject: FABARM Elos D2 Left Hand Review
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:43 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 11:11 pm
Posts: 465
Location: Nashville, TN
Received my new left-handed D2 12 gauge last Friday. I've put 500 rounds through it in a week, shooting at least 50 shots on the skeet range daily plus a total of 125 shots on two different sporting clays ranges. All the shooting was done with 3/4 oz. hard #9 @ 1,300 fps, effectively a 28 gauge load. Recoil was not an issue.

At the most fundamental level, this gun fits me. Read on if you like a 1.5" drop at the face; if not, find something else that will fit you.

My gun weighs 6.4 lbs on the digital scale, and is intended as an upland gun that will spend a fair amount of time out of season on the skeet range for practice from an 'international' low gun start and with delay.

Despite some folk's concern about balance with an aluminum receiver, this gun comes to the shoulder smartly and with ease. Broke high and low birds more often than not on station 8 from low gun. And the 28' barrels swing smoothly for the crossing shots.

I've not been to the patterning board but target breaks have impressed me. I was a bit limited until today as FABARM incorrectly shipped the gun with 1 cylinder, 2 modified and 2 full chokes. Hence skeet with cylinder over modified. The kicker was breaking a long inbound edge-on sporting clays bird at 45 yards with 3/4 oz. #9 and the modified choke. I did not feel handicapped with the cylinder choke out to 30 yards or so. Am I turning into a grouse hunter?

Two items of note. 1) The chokes do seem to accumulate plastic from the CB wads more than my Briley-choked Rugers. You may want to put a brush to the choke tubes every time you shoot, not just a patch and solvent or a pass with a boresnake. 2) Yes there's a mechanism to adjust forearm tension, and the wrenches are supplied. But there's no way to get the leverage you need to loosen the screws on my gun using them. Forearm tightness wasn't an issue, but there will be a gunsmith trip involved if it becomes one.

This is a beautiful field gun. Slim wood with rubbed oil finish and a matte blue. Made to be carried a lot and easily cleaned up after traversing ugly cover. Appropriate engraving (quail/pheasant). I happen to like the small colored highlights on what otherwise is a traditional style gun.

Kudos to the Guerini/FABARM customer service operation. I discovered the choke problem while cleaning the gun after picking it up from my LGS. I called immediately. They assured me I'd get the right chokes, had them to me within a week, and included a prepaid UPS label to return the two duplicate chokes. Everyone lives; no heartburn.

All in all? This may be my last upland gun purchase. I love it. And if the recoil of the 7/8 oz loads is acceptable, as I expect, this gun will spend a lot more time on a sporting clays course than I intended.

The utility to me is greatly enhanced by reloading and by having grown comfortable with reduced payload shells over the past twenty years. Part of that confidence comes from killing a boat load of wild pheasant with 7/8 oz. of nickel plated #6 @ 1,300 fps over pointing dogs (Fiocchi 28 gauge Golden Pheasant). I have one, light, balanced gun that can throw from 3/4 to 1.5 oz. loads (though honestly, I'd have to be hot on the trail to drop 1.5 oz. of #4 in the chamber of a 6.4 lb. gun!). Its weight and handling qualities make four guns in my safe 'redundant' - a 6.0 lb. 28 gauge 26" Ruger Red Label, a 6.2 lb. 20 gauge 24" Beretta 391 Urika, a 6.8 lb 12 gauge 26" Antonio Zoli SxS, and a 6.8 lb 12 gauge 24" FABARM H368 auto. Say 'goodbye' to the 20 and 28 gauge reloaders, ammunition, and wad and hull inventory. My 6.8 lb. 12 gauge 28" left hand FABARM H368 composite serves as the waterfowl gun, blocking gun and all-around backup. The Browning 725 Sporting gets traded for a Elos N2 so both O/U have the same stock dimensions. I'll shortly be a 3 gun shotgunner. The value proposition may be different for you in that regard.

Regardless of the reloading benefit to me and the 'restructuring' of my shotgun inventory, I don't think there's an equal on the market for the price. If you are considering a 725 Feather in 12 gauge, be sure to add $100-$150 to the price to get 3rd party modified and improved modified chokes. The DS chokes so marked with my gun actually throw Skeet 1/Skeet 2 patterns.

And if you're left handed and want a 1.5" drop, it's a no brainer. The 725 Feather is a close competitor, but be sure to handle one if you are considering it. Despite what Browning customer service tells you, the stock is not neutral. And Browning has no warranty on their products vs. 5 years for FABARM.

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