Skip to main content

Beretta A400 Xplor Action 20-Gauge Review

Beretta A400 Xplor Action 20-Gauge Review

Beretta-A400-Post

For most of us who bird hunt, lighter is better. If you've ever hauled a weighty shotgun on the prairie for a few ringnecks or those public-land walk-ins for mallards, you know what I mean. Beretta's five-pound A400 Xplor Action 20-gauge (it's about a pound heavier with the Kick-Off system) will crush roosters and decoying greenheads alike, with minimal felt recoil.

Of course, clay target shooters usually appreciate some extra gun weight, mainly because more heft means less recoil but also because a somewhat heavier gun can be instrumental in keeping the barrel moving. But the Xplor felt good in my hands, and I managed to break quite a few clays as well. 

The 'Bronze Tone ' finish on the receiver will hold up to the elements season after season.
The left side of the A400 20-gauge.
The trigger is chrome-plated.
The slim forend makes for a more comfortable grip and easier swings on flushing birds.
The walnut features a hand-rubbed oil finish as well as enhancing Xtra-Grain.
Close up of the checkering and relief design on the underside of the forend.
Close up of the pistol grip. Note the extraordinary checkering and amount of re-curve.

There are many ways to reduce felt recoil. No doubt, a gas-operated semi-auto like this 20 is one of them. Remington led the way on this a half-century ago with its model 1100 — built on a steel receiver. Beretta reduces recoil with an aluminum alloy receiver and, of course, the Kick-Off system located in the buttstock.

"The Kick-Off is the only reduction system in the world that uses hydraulic dampeners, very similar to those used in automobile suspensions," said a Beretta spokesperson. "The result? Far less recoil than most systems."

But the Kick-Off and the gas operation aren't the only special features of the A400 series. There's the unique compensating exhaust valve with its self-cleaning piston keeping the A400 functional and reliable. The Blink system speeds up cycling significantly for faster follow-up shots (think high-volume dove shoots in Argentina).

Another factor in recoil reduction is the recoil pad made of high-tech Micro-Core. And the Optima Bore barrel delivers great patterns.

There's also a lot of eye candy on this little 20-gauge. My guess is that the bronzed tone receiver has some corrosion inhibiting qualities. The bolt is black and lugs built into the front of the bolt lock into recesses milled into the barrel extension, resulting in added strength to the lock up.

This gun has 3-inch chambers, and if you want to take the Xplor turkey hunting or waterfowling, the bigger shell is optimal. There's a magazine cut-off button on the left side of the receiver, a good idea when you just want to remove a shell from the chamber and not have a shell from the magazine pop on to the carrier. The safety is triangular and positioned toward the front of the trigger guard, a small but beneficial feature. The trigger is chrome-plated with a 5-pound pull in my tests. 

The stock and forend are walnut checkered in a very unusual but sleek Xtra-Grain Technology with oil finish, laser cut so it's hard to find any imperfections. The 28-inch barrel weighed an even 2 pounds, and vent rib measures .240 at the rear and .235 near the muzzle, so essentially, there's almost no taper. 

As with most Berettas, the A400 comes with a set of stock spacers, allowing the shooter to set up the gun with proper drop and cast. At the bottom of the pistol grip, Beretta's Gun Pod, which counts the number of shells fired, read out on a digital display, plus the temperature and more (extra on most A400s).

SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer:        Beretta

Action:                       Gas operated semi-auto

Gauge:                        20

Chamber:                 3-inch

Sights:                       Fiber-optic

Weight:                     6 pounds, 1-ounce with Kick-Off

Barrel:                       28-inch vent rib

Chokes:                     Three screw-ins (Cylinder, Modified and Full)

Length of Pull:       14 1/4 inches

MSRP:                        $1,525

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 6

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 6

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 6

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 14

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 14

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 14

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 9

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 9

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 9

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 12

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 12

Gun Dog: Shed Antler Training 12

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

A step-by-step analysis on what to expect from your dogYour Pup's First Year Puppies

Your Pup's First Year

Bob West - September 23, 2010

A step-by-step analysis on what to expect from your dog

Training a flushing dog with live birds requires you to first build a solid foundation.Train Flushing Dogs with Live Birds Training

Train Flushing Dogs with Live Birds

Jerry Cacchio

Training a flushing dog with live birds requires you to first build a solid foundation.

A gun-shy dog is created, not born, and once the damage is done, gun-shyness can prove impossible to cure.Introduce Your Pup To Gunfire The Right Way Puppies

Introduce Your Pup To Gunfire The Right Way

Gun Dog Online Staff

A gun-shy dog is created, not born, and once the damage is done, gun-shyness can prove...

Persistent myths related to dog health have lingered too long.Busting 5 Common Gun Dog Medical Myths Health & Nutrition

Busting 5 Common Gun Dog Medical Myths

Seth Bynum, DVM

Persistent myths related to dog health have lingered too long.

See More Trending Articles

More Shotguns & Ammo

The new SL5 is a good-looking, reliable semiauto from Germany's oldest gunmaker.Shotgun Report: Sauer SL5 Shotguns & Ammo

Shotgun Report: Sauer SL5

Brad Fitzpatrick - December 30, 2019

The new SL5 is a good-looking, reliable semiauto from Germany's oldest gunmaker.

Author Tony J. Peterson says making the correct ammunition choice will make life easier on your guns dogs. Are You Choosing the Right Ammo? Shotguns & Ammo

Are You Choosing the Right Ammo?

Tony J. Peterson

Author Tony J. Peterson says making the correct ammunition choice will make life easier on...

In the market for a new upland shotgun? Here you'll find shotguns to fit every pocketbook and every style, from side-by-sides and over/unders to semi autos.Best New Upland Shotguns Shotguns & Ammo

Best New Upland Shotguns

John Taylor - September 10, 2018

In the market for a new upland shotgun? Here you'll find shotguns to fit every pocketbook and...

The Fabarm Elos D2 is handsome, easy-handling and tailor-made for the uplands.Affordable Upland Gun: Fabarm Elos D2 Shotguns & Ammo

Affordable Upland Gun: Fabarm Elos D2

Patrick Sweeney - December 13, 2018

The Fabarm Elos D2 is handsome, easy-handling and tailor-made for the uplands.

See More Shotguns & Ammo

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Gun Dog subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now