Beretta A400 Woes

Hello, perhaps you can provide some information or point me in the right direction. I have searched and read countless posts with limited information obtained. Here is my issue:
I purchased an A400 xplor last summer thinking it would be a step better than the Xtrema 2 and have used it since September for all my gunning, skeet, dove, pheasant, ducks and geese. I estimate I have shot 50 boxes of shells with it, all loads 3.5 and down. All started well until late in the season when 3.5 inch loads began to have problems cycling, they would eject after the first shot but not inject the second shell into the chamber. I cleaned it at that time and the problem persists, even with a clean gun the 3.5 rounds will not load or inject into the chamber. 3 inch loads work fine.
I am looking for some information to determine if this is common, specific to my gun, a known problem and if others have experienced this. Please help if you can.


Hello Brad,
My response might surprise you a bit: it is along the lines of, "Who Cares?" I'll explain of course.
All kinds of people say all kinds of things on the Internet using assumed, mythical and sometimes whimsical names. They do just that, everywhere and everywhere, hardly just limited to shotgun chatter forums. Unless you personally know the person and are aware of his / her qualifications and direct experience-- an internet posting means next to nothing. It is anonymous gossip.
What about the "who cares" part? It does not matter if your gun is the only one, if there are three of them, or if there are six dozen of them. You likely don't have a bucket of replacement parts, you don't have the factory specs on parts, so you (and everyone else including myself) are not fabulously well-equipped to locate the issue, much less fix it with parts replacement. More guns are damaged by home gunsmithing attempts than you can imagine. It is along the lines of the time required to unfix the original fix and then to actually do the correct fix after discovering the real fix to complete the fix. It can be putting yourself in quite a fix. The gas exhaust system is a part Beretta instructs you not to so much as take apart, so the possibility of a bad right-handed left-threaded wobble-rod goggle valve cannot be completely eliminated.
What matters is that your gun isn't right; it needs to be addressed. Beretta has no factory service department. Apparently, they have thrown in the towel and given up most of the pretense of it, now going through warranty centers. That isn't all bad, as some of them have been far better at getting things sorted than Beretta ever was, particularly Rich Cole Gunsmithing.
Send your gun to Cole Gunsmithing and let them get it up to snuff for you. See: . They are a Beretta factory service center (and a whole lot more) and will get it done right for you.

Whenever there is a new model, some minor teething problems are not completely unexpected. Over time, a more balanced understanding of the common or somewhat common issues can be obtained. Recently, I suppose Toyota has been a shining example of that. Despite the incredibly well-funded “Consumer Reports” and other watchdog organizations, the idea of widespread Toyota problems was not detected or reported. Since late 2009, over 11 million Toyota vehicles have been recalled. The latest recall from just last month, January 2011, added 1.7 million vehicles to the mix. It is a stunning number of cars in total and an unfathomably costly procedure. Yet, the potential of all this apparently escaped the grasp of automotive testers and experts around the globe.

The Beretta A400 isn't all that common yet, for two reasons. It was released after the Benelli Vinci and the Browning Maxus and at a higher price point than either. I had no issues with the example I tested, though, and the general sentiment about the gun has been positive. There have been a few gripes and carps, but nothing significant. Things like a couple of finish issues and beads that were shot off, but nothing rising to the level of drama or even minimal angst. It is still a relatively new model though, with not everyone that has one using 3-1/2 shells through them. There are a lot of 3-1/2 inches chambered twelve gauges out there that have never seen a 3-1/2 inch shell and likely will not.

A 3-1/2 inch shell issue could be ammo-related, some factory ammo I have seen is way out of whack on rim thickness for example. It could also be a bad or weak spring, a bad shell elevator, and so forth. For some reason, many folks avoid sending their guns for repair at all costs. That's often a shame, as it is the best chance of a proper and lasting resolution. Rich Cole and his team see more Beretta product and work on more Beretta product every week than some gunsmiths do in years. That's experience it is good to take advantage of.

If it was a Browning, the sentiment would be different. Browning in Arnold, Missouri does a good job. So does Benelli, in my experience. For a Beretta, the best choice I know of is Cole Gunsmithing.


Copyright 2011 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.



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