Traditions field II over-under shotgun
The Traditions name is wellknown among blackpowder and Cowboy Action shooters for affordable, high-quality muzzleloading rifles, lever-action rifles and singleaction revolvers. For 2000, Traditions Performance Firearms teamed with Italian gunmaker Fausti Stefano to offer a new line of high-quality, value priced over under shotguns. The Fausti Stefano over-under shotguns offered by Traditions include 24 different variations from 10-ga., 3 1/2″ to .410-bore, 3″ in a wide variety of models.
Field I models have extractors and fixed chokes. Field II models add selective automatic ejectors and three, interchangeable choke tubes for 12– or 20-ga. in improved cylinder, modified and full. The 28-ga. and .410-bore models have fixed chokes bored improved cylinder and modified. All Field models have 3″ chambers except the 28-ga., which has 2 3/4″ chambers.
In outside appearance, both Field models are identical with a bright-silver-finfished, engraved receiver, trigger guard and fore-end release lever with medium polish blued barrels and a gold-plated trigger. Engraving coverage is extensive with considerable scroll work and game birds on the receiver floor and both fences. A Field III model with gold appointments (offered only in 12-ga.) satisfies those who prefer a higher level of adornment.
Fausti shotguns use a conventional box-lock action with Kersten top locking and top lever operation. Both Kersten top locks are integral to the monobloc and recline into appropriate vertical slots cut into the forged carbon steel standing breech when the gun is closed. A cross-bolt locks the barrels securely to the breech and the hook-shaped Kersten projections are designed to compensate for wear to maintain a tight lockup.
All Traditions/Fausti Field over-under shotguns have a single-selective trigger. Barrel firing order selection is made with a small lever mounted on the front of the trigger root and can be manipulated by the shooter’s trigger finger. Both 12- and 20-ga. guns feature an inertia blocking system to prevent doubling. The 28-ga. and .410-bore models have mechanical triggers as recoil in these smaller gauges is insufficient to operate an inertia block. Firing pins are rebounding and hammer– operated. There is a sliding manual safety on the rear tang that blocks the sear.
Selective automatic ejectors are cocked by two levers running forward on the inside floor of the receiver. Ejection proved positive with the fired small-gauge empty shells traveling a consistent 6 to 8 ft.
Barrels are back– bored with lengthened forcing cones and monobloc construction. A ventilated mid-rib and ventilated sighting rib with brass front and mid-rib sighting beads are standard. The blued steel sighting rib has a finely serrated upper surface to reduce glare. Bores and chambers are not chrome-plated. Fixed choke guns and standard choke tubes are not recommended for steel shot. Special choke tubes compatible with steel are available at extra cost.
The stock is of walnut with a schnabel tip fore-end and fluted, pistol grip buttstock with a ventilated, brown rubber recoil pad cutaway at the top to reduce snags. There is no pistol grip cap. Both fore-end and buttstock have a semi-gloss finish with 18 line– per-inch, diamond pattern, cut checkering. We found stock finish uniform with crisp, comfortable checkering having only a few overruns at the edges. Wood-to-metal fit was average with some proud wood around the action, but we judged that entirely appropriate for an over-under shotgun in this price range.
Metal-to-metal fit and finish seemed very good for a shotgun in this price range. From the type and depth of the engraving, we surmise that the pattern is first etched on the metal’s surface then chased by hand. No matter, as the workmanship is consistently good. We noted a few, very minor tool marks on the sides of the sighting rib, but none on the mid-rib or barrel surfaces. We did note a few minor tool marks in the bottom of the finger notch of the fore-end release lever.
Light weight and fast handling are two major attributes of small-gauge guns and are good reasons for selecting a small gauge over-under for upland hunting. Essentially, the small gauges allow the experienced hunter to trade his finely honed skills for smaller shot charges and lighter weight. For that reason, 28-ga. and .410– bore over-under hunting shotguns are best left to experienced hunters.
We found the 28-ga. Field II balanced in a near-perfect position about mid-chamber. With its light weight and comfortable stock, handling proved lightning fast, but not to the point of being whippy. Perceived recoil proved mild with all loads tested. Our test gun patterned dead on at 25 yards, which is appropriate for a field gun.
Suggested retail price of Field I shotguns is $579 in 12- and 20-ga. and $599 in the smaller gauges. Field II models carry a suggested retail price of $729 and $739, respectively while the 12-ga. Field III is the most expensive at $949. At those prices, the Traditions/Fausti Field series shotguns offer many prospective purchasers of pump or semi-automatic shotguns the option of purchasing a quality over-under instead.
Copyright National Rifle Association of America Jun 2000
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