If you are looking for an upland game shotgun, you want good looks and a nice-handling over/under and do not want to cause your credit card to burst into flames, then FABARM USA has just the shotgun for you: the ELOS D2.
Available in 12, 20 and 28 gauges, it comes with a nicely figured stock and forearm of Turkish walnut. I’m a sucker for nice wood, so when I opened the fitted transport case and pulled the stocked receiver and the barrel set out of their protective cloth sleeves, I found myself wondering “Can I let this shotgun go back to FABARM?”
The ELOS D2 barrels are 28” long, and have the FABARM tapered bore, with the bore gradually tapering from the forcing cone to the chokes. The chokes, five come with the shotgun, were a surprise to me. I guess I’ve spent too much time with the older generations of choke tubes, because chokes that are three and a quarter inches longer are eye-opening. They seal well against their seat in the barrel, as I had no problems changing the. They are etched with the FABARM name and what constriction each is manufactured to.
The barrels feature a six millimeter vented rib, with a plain brass bead at the muzzle end. The barrels have a solid rib in-between them.
The action lever moves smoothly, without binding or needing extra force to unlock the action. The locking bar inserts in a slot underneath the bottom barrel, keeping the breech area of the ELOS D2 clean of protrusions. The action features a pair of ejectors, which throw the fired shell but only lift the unfired one, should you only have fired one round.
The forearm comes off in the usual manner, with a latch on the centerline underneath. FABARM is quite clear that you do not need to pivot the handguard as far as some of us may be accustomed to. You need not pivot it more than 12 degrees. Basically, as soon as you feel the latch let go, and the handguard pivot, you can pull it forward off of the barrel.
The safety, positioned behind the lever in the accustomed place, is low-profile enough that I never noticed it while opening the action, nor did my hand contact it in handling or firing. The safety is also the barrel selector. By sliding the plate in the center, you can fire the lower barrel first, then the upper, or vice versa.
Opening the action re-sets the firing sequence, so you can always fire the selected barrel first by opening the action and exchanging the fired hull for a fresh one. The ejectors are timed to snap only when the action has been completely opened, at the end of the hinge arc, and they are vigorous enough to throw the empties from my waist up past my head.
The action has an inertial single trigger. The nickel-plated receiver is given a nicely-done game scene of engraving, and combined with scroll work around the pivot pin and the rear edge of the action, the receiver nicely complements the clean lines of the rest of the shotgun.
At first glance, the ELOS D2 might seem a bit lanky for an upland gun. With twenty-eight-inch long barrels, you might suspect that the handling would suffer due to weight and length. Not so. The ELOS D2 balances nicely between the hands, (the balance point is about an inch forward of the hinge pin) and the listed weight for the twelve gauge, an ounce over six pounds, means it is quite responsive on the range.
Fair warning; the density of wood can change the overall weight from gun to gun. The sample gun we tested tipped the scales at six pounds, eight pounces, not that the “extra” seven ounces mattered one bit. The barrel length permits proper follow-through, and the light weight gets it up quickly, if you start from a low position, rather than with the shotgun already shouldered.
The light weight, combined with the rather thin-appearing recoil pad on the stock, had me suspicious at first. A light shotgun, even with target loads, and “not much” appearing recoil pad, promised work in shooting, however that proved to not be the case. I attribute it to the stock shape, which I found very comfortable. The length of pull is listed as fourteen and a half inches. I hadn’t looked at the manual before shouldering the D2, but once I had, I put the gun down and dug out the manual and a tape measure. The length of pull was perfect for me, and with a bit of getting used to the drop, I had the bead properly sighted on the receiver each time I shouldered the shotgun.
I’m tall, with long arms and a long neck, and I really crawl a stock. A lot of shotguns have too much drop for me, but the FABARM ELOS D2 worked just fine. After a few passes at clay birds, I had the feel of mounting it, and after that didn’t notice the drop. The fourteen and a half inches of pull might be a bit of a reach for the shorter-armed among us, but the stock fit will make that easy to manage.
Chambered in three-inch dimension for the 12 and 20 gauge, and 2-3/4’ for the 28 gauge, the ELOS D2 offers versatility in load selection for upland game, without tempting you to using it (and its light weight) with the three and a half inch loads for ducks or geese. I’d want something two pounds heavier than that for those loads, and then it wouldn’t be an upland game gun. Good choice, FABARM, in saving some of us from ourselves.
I’d love to have shown you a brace of gamebirds to go with photos of the very nice engraving, but no season was open. Short of risking the wrath of the DNR, or flying to Argentina, I had to be content with crushing clay birds.
For the quality, features, extras and performance, the price of the ELOS D2 is a smoking hot deal, especially if you are looking for a smaller-gauge gun, because there is no added premium for the 20 or 28 gauge models.