On the List: Beretta Silver Pigeon 20 Gauge O/U

I’m upping my firepower wish list.  I’m about to pull the trigger on a 12GA semi-automatic, but a 20GA over/under is next.  I’m planning on making a bigger investment in this gun, as I plan on keeping it for a long time, until I can hand it down to a son or nephew.  I’ve got my eye on the Beretta Silver Pigeon – it’s everything that I’m looking for.

One of the best parts of gun hunting is seeing all the handsome engravings on the Berettas.  While these are not all Silver Pigeons, they are all very visually appealing:

More on shooting later…

Images: Google Image Search



  1. Sophia
    03/22/2012 / 8:24 AM

    Look at Brownings for amazing engravings!

  2. drake
    03/22/2012 / 8:39 AM

    Why 20ga? If you can handle a 12 the ammo is always cheaper and the shot dispersal is better. 20’s are great introductory guns but a 12 has too many advantages that would make it a better choice for a heirloom shotgun.

  3. drake
    03/22/2012 / 8:43 AM

    Also if you already have a 12, or are planning to get one, it makes sense to consolidate your ammunition. Buy only 12’s and you only have to buy one type of interchangible ammo. That sort of modularity has been working for the us armed forces and sport shooters for years.

  4. 03/22/2012 / 9:24 AM

    I have to disagree on two points.
    1. 12 gauge and 20 gauge ammunition prices are virtually identical nowadays.
    2. If one was to buy an over/under as a field gun, especially for hunting game like quail that involves a lot of walking, a 20 gauge can save weight and make carrying your gun for a couple of hours less tiresome. Additionally, I’m pretty sure some quail plantations frown on using 12 gauge guns as they view them as overkill since a lot of shots are made at relatively close range.
    Just my two cents.

  5. drake
    03/22/2012 / 10:32 AM

    Fair points.

    For full disclosure I am a trap shooter, not a hunter.

  6. 03/22/2012 / 12:31 PM

    I would have thought that trap shooters would prefer 20 gauge, but I can see how a 12 would be preferable. I shoot sporting clays more than anything and I think I could have used a 10 gauge last time I shot…

  7. Rick
    03/22/2012 / 6:52 PM

    You can hardly do better than the Silver Pigeon. I have one in 12 ga. And its a great gun to shoot.I’ve put over 800 rounds in a day thru it on several occasions while getting lessons and in one memorable day in Austin over 1200 rounds. Not a bit of discomfort.

  8. Jack L
    03/22/2012 / 11:02 PM

    I purchased a 20 ga. Silver Pigeon five years ago with the same engravings as the gun shown in the second picture you have posted (left side of the page, first row).

    I did quite a bit of research and looking around before I settled on this shotgun and can’t say enough about it. In my opinion here is nothing better for your money under ~$5k when you consider the quality and detail put into these guns. It’s a very balanced and well weighted shotgun that is excellent for quail (that’s what I use it for) or any other bird hunting that required a small, maneuverable gun.

  9. Durant
    03/23/2012 / 5:58 PM

    Good choice. I like the Beretta infinitely better than a Brownings I have shot. If you get the chance, try shooting a Beretta Silver Hawk 471. Trip is right, I’ve never seen a 12ga on a quail hunt, but 12ga generally fare better in shotgunning sports (or you’re a better shot than I.)

  10. B. L. Davis
    03/25/2012 / 10:06 AM

    @ RCS, Drake, Trip, & Durant: If you’re a fan of wingshooting, then you must read “Shotguns and Shooting III” by McIntosh.


    It is the single best work on both the history and employment of these fine weapons I’ve read to date. The man makes O’Conner’s classic work, The Shotgun Book (see below link), seem small in its scope. McIntosh’s attention to the actual technique and psyche of wingshooting is top notch, and I dare say a game changer for me.

    The book also offers a substantive challenge to the thought that 20 gauge shotguns pale in comparison to 12 bores. He later makes quite the case that the 28 gauge is the epitome of tools for small upland game birds, putting a damper on the thought that smaller bores require a more skillful hunter. Fantastic read!

    O’Conner’s “The Shotgun Book”

    The Beretta is a fine gun, though I do offer some resistance to Durant’s allusion that they are, overall, superior to the Brownings. Perhaps the standard production line variety, I can agree, however one can still order a Superposed from Belgium to the owner’s exacting specifications; a service difficult to find from Beretta. Granted almost all Brownings that we touch today are from Japan.

    My next shotgun will almost certainly be a 20 bore Beretta.

    B. L. Davis

  11. Matt Roberts
    03/28/2012 / 8:04 PM

    If you are truly looking for a gun as a long term investment, its not a beretta. If you are really willing to spend some money the two guns I own as long term investments for field guns are the Ceasar Guerini Maxum and the Krieghoff K80. Both amazing guns, with great craftsmanship. All engravings on both guns are works you will not be able to find from any other gun maker. These are the guns you pass down to your son, not a damn beretta.

  12. 03/29/2012 / 11:39 AM

    JRS, I’m excited to be the first lady shooter to comment on this post. I’m a sporting clays and wing shooter and have both a 20GA 391 and a 12GA Silver Pigeon III (and two old BL4s that are only use for quail hunting). I use each gun for different things.

    For wingshooting, especially tower shoots, I prefer my semi-auto, mainly for the third shot I can take. So far this year, I’ve entered two sporting clay tourneys with this 20GA and can say I don’t think I hit any less targets than someone with my ability using a 12GA.

    I just got the Silver Pigeon and haven’t used it much other than for my lessons, but so far I can tell you it has very little felt recoil. I got it custom fitted to have the stock cut and an adjustable butt plate added, so the length of pull is perfect, which helps the recoil a lot. I know most guys think an off-the-rack shotgun is fine, but you really need to get measured and have the adjustments made. It will help you immensely. Oh, and since I buy A LOT of ammo, I can tell you without a doubt, the price for 12GA and 20GA is virtually the same. I order mostly from Cabela’s when they have free shipping specials.

    While I agree with Matt about Ceasar Guerinis and Krieghoffs, I think he’s being harsh on Beretta. There’s a reason they’ve been around since 1526. Perazzi makes beautiful guns, but they’re more expensive and harder to get than a Beretta.

    Just for fun, here are some pictures of my new o/u and a tourney last month.

  13. 123lly
    12/17/2013 / 8:02 AM

    i have a silverpigeon 20 bore and it is a very nice gun to shoot i have the same one as the one at the bottom. i also have great days shooting withit.

  14. Phil
    03/07/2017 / 8:35 PM

    Just became an owner today

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