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They say good things come to those who wait. So when Italian firearms manufacturer Fabarm recently announced that, after 120 years in business, it had produced its first side-by-side shotgun for American hunters, wingshooters were understandably excited. And why wouldn’t they be? Dubbed the Autumn, the new 20-gauge was designed for the uplands, with sleek lines and a rounded action perfect for carrying in the grouse woods or pheasant fields. We were lucky to get our hands on the first example brought into the US, and we took it to the Maine woods to see if it had been worth waiting for.
The Autumn arrived just in time for opening day, so we put it to good use in Maine’s coverts. With a weight of 6 pounds 3 ounces (on our digital scale) and a balance point just in front of the hinge pin, the gun carried and pointed well. The measurements were ideal, and the gun performed like a virtual wand—sweeping birds from the sky. Several shots were the instinctive poke-and-hope type in thick cover, with the dog bringing back grouse and woodcock taken for lost. The only “issue” I had was with the manual safety, as I am accustomed to automatic safeties on field guns and a couple of times found myself unnecessarily trying to push off the catch as birds escaped. We also put a variety of loads through the gun at the range, and it smashed clays with equal authority—functioning without a hiccup and kicking out empties with vigor.
But just as the seasons pass, our time with the Autumn eventually came to end. As we boxed up the gun, we reflected on its performance in the uplands and at the range and emphatically concluded: It definitely had been worth the wait. Price (including an INTEGRALE case and five-year warranty): $3,995. For more information, contact Fabarm USA.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY CHRIS SIEFKEN.