The Beretta SO Sparviere is one of those rare, almost unobtainable firearms that transcends function, leaving no doubt there’s art and beauty in guns.
Almost entirely hand-made and endowed with a perfection that comes from the enviable talent of artists and craftsmen, the Sparviere is a shotgun that Beretta markets as an heirloom.
Only a few of these double-barrelled works of art have landed in Australia and they’ll probably sell quickly despite an eye-watering price tag of $106,030. They say that if you have to ask, you can’t afford it, but we had to ask and now you know!
Beretta says more than 100 hours have gone into the engraving alone, adding, “the total absence of visible screws gives the engraving an uninterrupted blank canvas to express its full beauty”.
There is more to the Sparviere (which means hawk in Italian) than art, though.
The sidelock gun has flip-open side plates, operated by sliding the safety button down past the safe position to a special third position.
Once the side plates are open, access for cleaning and maintenance is simple. And naturally, all the internal parts you see in there are finished to perfection, according to Beretta.
Beretta used Boehler Antinit steel to make the cold hammer-forged barrel set, which it says brings “exceptional strength and long-lasting corrosion resistance”. For this gun, performance and pattern are “carefully tested and checked” before the gun leaves the factory.
The ventilated rib is file-cut.
The cross-bolt locking system uses solid lugs on either side of the top barrel, which Beretta says reduces locking stress. And if you do manage to shoot your Sparviere so much it begins to wear, you can replace the locking shoulders.
It goes without saying that the stock and fore-end of the SO Sparviere are made from “only the finest walnut briarwood, selected for its colour tones and sturdiness”. You wouldn’t have anything less. The timber’s chequering and polish are finished by hand.
Beretta offers either a pistol grip or straight stock, and says the final dimensions can be tailored to the owner.