The Care and Feeding of the Fabarm L4S Autoloading Shotgun
Hey Randy, I recently picked up my Fabarm L4S, went to shoot some trap right out of the box. I was using 1 oz loads as well as some 1 1/8 oz loads. The first 10 or 12 shells wouldn't cycle through the gun. I also did not oil the gun or anything, just shot it straight out of the box. I shot 4 rounds of trap with it, after the second round probably 30 shells in it was finally locking the bolt back and ejecting the shells and 1 oz loads just fine. Seemed like it went through the break-in cycle. Seems to work just fine now. We'll be back at the range next week to try out some more rounds. Really liking the L4S so far. – Robert Kar
We all like to take shortcuts and “cheat the system” a bit when we can, myself included. Too soon we get old, too late we get smart. Sometimes, it seems like everything I touch breaks. Now, I'm afraid to go to the bathroom.
The Fabarm L4S is the first “hunting gun” autoloader from Fabarm USA, as all Fabarm three inch chambered Fabarm autoloaders are. It was joined last year by the XLR5 Waterfowler, a 3 inch chambered gun as well.
For the folks that want to use 7/8 oz. loads, the 2-3/4 inch chambered Fabarm XLR5 target models are designed for that. The Fabarm USA “official line” is 1-1/8 oz. loads or heavier for complete reliability for their 3 inch chambered autoloaders. Manufacturers tend to be conservative about things like that, as reloads and cheap promo loads can give them headaches if they are not.
Over the years, I've settled on Breakfree CLP for all of my shotguns. The new Rem Oil PRO3 is something I've just recently started using, it meets the “impossible” military specification MIL-PRF-63460E, and it may be even better. After proper lube and minimal break-in, an L4S will run beautifully with 1200 fps 1 oz. loads or better.
You can see for yourself how fast the L4S cycles.
The Fabarm L4S is my favorite 12 gauge pheasant gun. Master gunsmith and autoloading specialist Jim Bellegarde of Cole Gunsmithing uses his Fabarm L4S for essentially everything, clays, hunting, you name it. After a case of 1-1/8 oz. loads, Jim went to 1 oz., 1250 fps Fiocchi Game & Target loads and has been smashing everything with them in sight ever since. Jim uses Ballistol on his autoloaders.
It takes me all of about five minutes to clean a L4S. Today, Robert, is your lucky day, for I just happen to have an L4S here with about 400 rounds of target loads through it (above), and I have an extra five minutes to clean it.
Using Rem Oil PRO3 and three large cotton patches is all it took to clean the action, plus another couple of patches for the inside of the barrel. The “Pulse Piston” acts as a wiper, so the inside of the gas cylinder doesn't get very dirty, and the internals of the L4S are generously plated so nothing much sticks.
It is just a matter of wetting the patches with Rem Oil PRO3 (or Breakfree) and briskly wiping everything that moves or is dirty, cleaning and lubing at the same time. If I wanted to be a bit more meticulous, I'd use a brush on the front of the Pulse Piston, and drop the trigger group as well. That's an “every fourth clean” proposition for me. What I just did was with my fingers and cotton patches of Rem Oil PRO3, excepting the bore of the barrel where I used a bronze bore brush.
I've worked with two L4S models, not exactly hundreds of them. I didn't do any formal break-in with either, but I started out doing patterning work with 1-1/4 oz. pheasant loads with both of them, so whatever minimal break-in was done, I did accidentally on purpose.
Copyright 2017 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.