Beretta A-400 Unico Kick off problem

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by littlebirddogs, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. littlebirddogs

    littlebirddogs New Member

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    I've recently purchased a Beretta A-400 Unico with the Kick-off system. I've used the gun to shoot sporting clays and penraised birds with light loads, and one time to hunt snow geese with 3" steel mags. The gun has been a pleasure to shoot for the most part, but I've recently discovered what could be a serious problem. A few weeks ago I was patterning my gun for turkey hunting; I set a target at 30 yards and fired a 3 1/2" / 2 oz. / #5 shot / Remington turkey load with a full choke, and the recoil was quite noticable. Surprisingly the felt recoil was not a punishment to my shoulder, but to my cheek bone (anchor point). I didn't think too much of it and moved the target out to 40 yards. The result of the second shot was the same. I felt discomfort as a result of the 2 shots for a week or so. The gun patterned just fine so I've been turkey hunting with it, but haven't fired it since. Has anyone had a simlar problem with this gun? I'm blaming the problem on the kick-off system as it moves the stock approximately 1/2" back when fired, but I just don't know for sure.
     
  2. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    The Berretta A400 Xplor Unico is a relatively new style shotgun.
    Have you contacted Berretta's customer service for help/advice?
     

  3. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    You have pinpointed your issue. The "Kick-Off" system lets the gun move and insulates your shoulder from some of the recoil. Be gald you didn't get a Benelli. They are even lighter. Their "innovative" two piece with rubber in the middle stock does keep recoil off your shoulder, but it hurt my hand, and if you have a firm cheek weld style or a length of pull on the short side it may hurt. You will find that a big majority of the people who say "there are many factors like gun fit, that determine felt recoil" shoot inertia actions. The Beretta gas autos do as good a job as any of taming recoil, but Newton understood it all long ago. All that energy has to go somewhere, and the less gun weight there is to absorb some the more is going somewhere else.
     
  4. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    Good Point, Virginian, and I agree. I've shoot 3 1/2" loads through a Remmy 870 Super Magnum with no discomfort at all, but I've heard people talk how 3 1/2" loads are brutal. Everyone's different- littlebirddogs, If the "Kick-OFF" system isn't malfunctioning maybe try 3" loads and see how they feel.
     
  5. littlebirddogs

    littlebirddogs New Member

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    Beretta A-400 Unico Kick-off Problem

    Thanks for the help guys. I'll try contacting Beretta and ask about solutions. I'll let you know how helpful they are and what I come up with. I hope I don't have to change the stock, but that's what I suspect. The gun does come with the kick-off feature on the gun butt as an "option." Now I may just understand why. As for the 3" loads being a problem - I did notice the problem but to a lesser degree than the 3 1/2" loads when firing at the pattern board, but not when shooting overhead at passing snow geese. I understand and can appreciate the lighter gun = increased felt recoil theory. However the kick-off system is supposed to remedy this. At least according to Beretta.
     
  6. firefoxtoo

    firefoxtoo New Member

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    Stock shaping

    All Beretta, and most other, shotguns have stocks that slope downward toward the butt on top where your cheek weld occurs. The Extrema, Xplor and Ultima kick-off guns all do this; but the Xplor may have very slightly more slope than the others.

    This is the reverse of what you want in the cheek weld area for any gun with really heavy recoil or a compressing recoil system that lets the gun move toward your face. If Beretta doesn't give you something satisfactory, and if it was my gun, I would (reluctantly on such an expensive shotgun) get out my tools and locate where your cheekbone welds to the stock. Then, starting about 1" toward the butt from there, taper the stock downward straight to the bottom of the pistol grip area. This should result in a declining cheek contact area that will move away from your face instead of into it. And, it shouldn't change the weld height significantly. A smooth, slippery cheek contact surface will also help.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  7. littlebirddogs

    littlebirddogs New Member

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    Beretta A-400 problems

    I've heard back from Beretta's tech help department, and they asked me if the gun is too short. It may be just a bit short, but that still does not really explain the problem or a solution. I've considered applying a patch of moleskin with an adhesive backing to ease in sliding of the stock, but this may cause a slight misalignment. When using a light face mask while turkey hunting the gun did not seem to catch my cheeck bone as before. It has been suggested by a fellow clays shooter to shave the comb of the stock, which seems a bit drastic and may also void the warranty. If I do go this route I'd rather get a custom stock built.
    There is yet another problem that has surfaced with this gun however. The aluminum action has recieved notable chipping from spent shells ejecting and catching the edge of the ejection port. This is after firing only about 350 rounds. I can only imagine what it would look like after 10,000. Which is the number of shells Beretta claims they fired through the A-400 Xplor Unico gun without needing a cleaning.
    I purchased the gun from Cabela's back in February and I'm considering returning it this weekend for a refund or some type of exchange if possible. I find it very difficult to believe that I'm the only person in the world who has had problems with this shotgun. After all it came out in October; not last week.
     
  8. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    If it's not working for you I believe returning it
    would be the best option over fabricating something to make it work.


    Keep us updated.... if you exchange...I would like to hear what you get.
    Good Luck!!
     
  9. Mount_Sannine

    Mount_Sannine New Member

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    I was saving money to buy this shotgun! ($3,000 around here:eek:)
    Not anymore, I think I’ll be getting something else.

    When I was looking at the A-400 shotgun over the web I fell inlove with it. But I was wondering about the part that has the hydraulics in the stock, the material there on the outside of the stock is it some kind of rubber? cause if it is, I don't think it would last for long :S

    I own a Beretta 391 Urika in 12 ga and I can’t complain. It leaves a trace too where the cartridge is ejected but nothing gets chipped off.
    I think I’ll be getting myself a 391 in 20ga.
     
  10. littlebirddogs

    littlebirddogs New Member

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    Beretta kick-off

    The main kick off system is inside the stock, it's a hydraulic damper and seems to be working just fine. (I think Beretta has a real keeper in that design.) The optional kick-off 2 is the 2 hydraulic damper system located on the butt of the stock, and this seems to be the problem area. It not only allows the stock and the entire gun to move back when fired, but its also a bit ugly to look at. If you appreciate the line of a fine gun and don't like the look of a plastic stock very much the optional kick off at the tail end is probably not for you. The Xtra grain finish looks pretty good (which is just a veneer replacing the god awful Xtra wood that they used to have on their stocks.) Beretta does have a good pad installed on the gun, it has a nice trigger assembly, and is really easy to break down and clean. Also the barrel is very good and overall the gun looks a heck of a lot better than the new Benelli. (Which in my opinion isn't saying much.) All this being said Beretta probably should have passed on the aluminum action, and gone with titanium or a suitable and durable alloy. This is my own personal opinion of the A-400 which you won't find in any of the reviews. This should however be a refreshing change from all the gushing and drooling of Beretta's paid off auditors. But then again if I were offered a free gun rather than paying $1600 I'd probably be inclined to tolerate it a bit more.
     
  11. Virginian

    Virginian Active Member

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    It surely is that.
    I can not say that Beretta's and especially Benelli's marketing hasn't been very successful, but I think I am experiencing a kind of backlash personally. I know Beretta makes and has made, some quite good gas semis, I just don't like their feel as well as some others, but the quality is there. But I am almost to the point I wouldn't look at a Benelli if you paid me. I think both of them search hard for tiny unneeded changes so they can jack up the prices even more, and it bugs me.
     
  12. jblaha

    jblaha New Member

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    kick in face problem

    I have long experienced this kick in the face problem and have reduced it significantly by eliminating the "drop at comb". Use the shim that came with the gun that forces the stock to be straight like a "trap" stock-when the gun recoils it causes the gun to come back "straight" instead of the ramp that is on a conventional stock which actually "rises" as it comes back.
    It causes the gun to shoot higher by a little bit but now I can see the bird above the barrel and almost all my shots are at rising birds anyway so it works out real well. ALso, does the a400 come with an adjustment for "cast on" or cast off? using that feature you can also direct the rearward motion of the gun AWAY from your face but you need to make sure it does not throw you sighting alignment out which you will be able to test on the patterning board. We had a Browning Lighting in the family that none of us could shoot because of the headache it would generate. We finally bought an replacement stock (rough) and cut it down with a rasp from the"fat" factory stock and now we all can shoot it with no problems.
    Good luck!
     
  13. littlebirddogs

    littlebirddogs New Member

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    Beretta a-400 unico. Yet another problem

    I originally purchased this shotgun about a year ago with the kick-off option on the butt of the stock. Problem #1 developed when I began to pattern the gun before turkey season. The kick-off was causing the gun to move backward a good 1/2" everytime I shot it. (This was much more notable with 3 1/2" ammo.) This motion was chipping away at my cheek bone (anchor point) which made shooting a lot less fun.
    Problem #2 was noted a short while later. The aluminum action was begining to chip away at the point of the rail when the hulls were being ejected. This resulted after approximately 300 rounds.
    I returned the gun to Cabelas in June. A month later Beretta replaced the gun with a new model a-400. Minus the optional kick-off. As a result the new gun was much improved in the felt recoil department. No more beatings to the 'ol cheekbone. All of my shotgun problems were now solved, life was great or so I thought.
    Problem #3. After cycling around 400 rounds the new gun was working perfectly. It would handle anything I fed it. Until a recent pheasant hunt. Suddenly and quite unexpectantly, while attempting to shoot a late season Colorado rooster, the gun failed for the first time. The action failed to close. After a good deal of frustration, two disassemblies in the field and a few choice words about Beretta autoloaders; I discovered the problem. The spring-loaded magazine cleaning mechanism failed. There was one end of the washer stuck and I do mean stuck! Around the self cleaning plug. (And yes I do clean my guns!) This caused the gun to be unusable. Fortunately a good friend loaned me a "real" gun; a Beretta onyx over/under to complete my hunt.
    I've recently returned the gun to Cabela's, which will probably be shipped to Italy for inspection and repair. I hope to be able to talk them into a trade for an over/under. A Perennia would be nice upgrade, but its a bit out of my price range. I do however have a Silver Pigeon 20 ga. which I thoroughly enjoy.