Review: Fabarm Elos Deluxe 20 Gauge O/U Shotgun

The new Fabarm Elos Deluxe 20 gauge is an example of the level of shotgun I truly appreciate. It has better wood, aesthetic value, and level of fit and finish than most sub $3000 vertical doubles, and better triggers as well. Yet, despite the elegant sculpted receiver enhanced with a dash of gold, it is understated elegance. Pleasing to the eye, a clear upgrade over many stack-barrel hunting guns, yet not so ornate as to be distracting, garish, and something you won't be afraid to hunt with.

The 28 inch barreled Elos Deluxe weighs 6-3/4 pounds as tested, a very good combination of pleasant to carry yet reasonably soft to shoot. Those that want a lighter gun haven't been forgotten, either, as the alloy receiver version of this model shaves off up to a pound.

The triggers, as supplied, broke from 4 to 4-1/4 pounds, excellent hunting triggers right out of the box. Not only that, they are user-adjustable from three to five pounds to suit your tastes. Unlike the many guns partly made or assembled in Italy, or perhaps essentially made in Turkey then run through the Italian proof house, Fabarm leaves no doubt as to the parentage of this shotgun, as “100% Made In Italy” is inscribed right on the receiver.

The Elos has perhaps the best pistol grip ever put on an O/U, with a subtle palm-swell. It also has a bit more drop than many O/Us, ideal for field use. The Fabarm Tri-Bore system is used on the Elos. As with the Fabarm XLR 5 Velocity models tested, it yields some of the highest-efficiency patterns I've ever seen with factory choke tubes. This gun joins an elite group of shotguns that need no aftermarket choke tubes. In fact, the factory choke tubes offer far higher density patterns than you might want.

Obtaining low-percentage patterns is no great feat, you can always open up a pattern. Many factory shotguns just cannot get where they need to be, regardless, with the supplied choke tubes. After instantly crumpling a dove past sixty yards with a single shot through the Fabarm 5/10 Medium tube, the comment was “No way!” Well, way. This gun throws supremely efficient patterns and you have have two tighter chokes supplied than the 5/10. After testing three different examples of Tri-Bore barrels, I'm getting more impressed each time.

At this price point, the Fabarm Elos goes up against the similarly priced Browning Cynergy Field, offering greater aesthetic value, better triggers, better wood, and better factory pattern performance without question. It is also backed by the best customer service team in the industry.

If you are getting the impression that I couldn't find anything not to like about the Elos Deluxe 20 gauge, you are right. It is a superb, slim combination of CNC machining where it matters, and tasteful engraving and well-finished and fit walnut where it matters.

Copyright 2013 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.