Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon: A Complete Review

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A lot has been said regarding this modern Beretta product, and what everyone agrees is that it is the most successful over-under shotgun available. The 686 pigeon has models for both field and sporting applications, each thriving in its respective genre. Since the weapon only features quality products made of Beretta standards, it is no surprise finding it a favorite to most shooters.

The 686 silver pigeon delivers what it promises and more, resulting in an effective gun available at buyer-friendly prices across all gun stores.  It features the best 686 functions making a compact yet powerful low-profile shotgun

It suits a variety of users and available in 12 gauge action, which is then scaled down up to 28 and .410 gauges. Each of these models promises a premium-grade experience to every handler. I believe its performance is what enables this Beretta product to thrive in all these fields.

Initially, the Beretta 686 was a hunting accessory. However, with time, it found its way to sporting and clay shooting events. Its exquisite build features classic lines that add up to a unique and classic Beretta look bound to turn heads at the ranges. Flexibility is guaranteed all through your hunting experience thanks to the Mobil-choke system included in its barrels. Its build features a wood and metal finish making it durable enough to pass down from generation to generation.


Low Profile Receiver

One of the outstanding components featured in this Beretta creation is it’s perfectly designed low profile receiver. The metal receiver is a piece of art and an excellent addition to the 686, proving to complement its undisputed performance and appearance. Despite it being a low profile, please do not mistake it for a weak feature, this piece is vital in the quality performance of the weapon.

From an art perspective, the receiver is engraved with traditional designs similar to early British and European gunsmiths. They are then spiced up with a pinch of modern taste resulting in an exquisite coveted finishing on the shotguns build. The precise and detailed two-dimension engravings add elegance to this gun, hence outshining its competitors.

Performance-wise, it is a low profile receiver, and hence it is favored on large cheeked individuals. This low setting allows for the shooter to be close to the shooting plane of the supporting hand. This hand is the one in contact with the forend of the gun. Generally, the shooter will get a more natural aim and flexible target acquisition.

Selected Walnut and Metal Finish

The overall build of the Beretta 686 pigeon features both metallic and premium walnut wood components that result in an elegant yet durable frame. Its stock mainly features the woody parts, and it’s both its action set and forend comprise of the metallic elements. In collaboration, this mixed build is typical to most shotguns, yet Beretta found a way to make it unique.

The buttstock has a rubber recoil pad to help moderate the light recoil felt from the gun action and also helps to balance the weight of the gun. The meaty stock is, without a doubt, an essential player in the flawless performance and elegant look of this weapon. It is among the most durable builds I have had the opportunity to encounter with its break free stock guarantee.

In the case of breakages, there is a wide variety of replacement options available from the Beretta team.

Schnabel Fore-end

While mentioning parts of the gun responsible for its classical touch, the forend is one feature that tops the list. It is an upgrade from the previous Beretta shotgun models and features a rounded grasp for a more comfortable grip on it. 

This component allows for a better eye guide along the smooth lines on the top of the barrel. By having a reliable and robust grip on it, you can moderate and adjust your shooting style for better aims and performance. It is wood made and features a small metallic part on its underpart.

Safety and Trigger

The trigger and safety need to be correctly positioned for any weapon to be termed as a perfect product. In the Beretta 686 silver pigeon, I have not heard of any complaints from its users regarding its trigger. A load of positive reviews regarding the gun relates to the crisp trigger of the gun.

The smooth trigger offers no creep and releases at a considerable weight allowing for smooth auctioning and cycling of rounds. Its stimulus involves a self-contained central spring unit that enables the shooter to quickly re-adjust the tension of the springs before heading out to the field. The general mechanism involved in the trigger portion of the gun is excellent, although it is a non-adjustable trigger, and every shooter uses the factory set weight.

The tang safety in this weapon is conveniently placed for quick and easy manipulation with the thumb of the shooting hand. Its positioning is perfect for smooth cycling when in action, even on scenarios that require swift maneuvers.

Interchangeable Chokes

Similar to modern shotgun models from Beretta, the 686 silver pigeon comes equipped with a Mobil-choke system within its barrel. This particular mechanism allows for faster and more accurate shots using your 686 guns. The gun’s design allows for the shooter to select which barrel to shoot first as there are two of them: one on top of the other.

A great feature concerning this choke system is its easy manipulation and modification. The Beretta team made sure that if the standard chokes did not best suit your needs, you could easily switch to a friendlier one. In their online shop, there is a wide variety of choke accessories compatible with this shotgun model—all of them featuring the same Mobil choke mechanism for premium performance.

Cold-Hammer Forged Barrel

It is basic knowledge that between the trigger and your target lies the barrel. The barrel’s design is crucial in determining the accuracy and velocity performance of your bullet and the damage brought to the target. Having this in mind, the Beretta team included a near-perfect cold hammered barrel for its quality and consistent performance regardless of the surrounding climatic conditions.

Its barrel is further integrated with optimal HP elements that provide better design and quality. This feature, together with the cold hammer forging, gives birth to breathtaking precision and more durable components resistant to internal deformation. It is made from a metallic build and proves its durability withstanding even the harshest internal forces.

The passage is wide enough and includes a smoother tapper that allows for a smooth ride of the slug through the opening.

What Places the Beretta 686 Pigeon Among the Best Over-Under Shotgun?

Natural Pointability

The Beretta 686 pigeon comprises quality components and features that allow for its efficiency and consistent pleasing performance. All these features are what result in a perfectly balanced weapon. All this is not from a single element on the gun. It is a result of the perfect combination and mechanism that sums up to this weapon.

One of the features resulting in this natural swing and aiming is its conical locking lugs, which are correctly placed at mid-action. This is between the barrel and rear stock of the gun, which is practically the middle point of the whole weapon. These locks are strong enough to safely lock and maintain a low profile action on using the gun.

Another advantage that is from its positioning is that the shooter’s eye is closer to the supporting hand plane easing target acquisition. It also allows for a better swing and improved hand to eye coordination.

Available in Different Action Sizes

The Beretta 686 is available in three action sizes creating a wide preference choice for the user, making it a favorite to most shooters. The 12 or 20 gauge will remain a favorite to hunters for its fast and efficient handling capabilities. This setting also allows the hunter to maneuver easily through tight vegetation without the gun sticking onto trees and bushes.

This gun is also scaled down to the 28 gauge, which is more prominent than the previous model. This particular setting holds a special place in the hearts of sporting enthusiasts who prefer this weapon over other brands. The 686 fits even smaller gauges without sacrificing its performance.

Flawless Finish

The Beretta 686 is among my favorite shotguns, and the main reason for this is its detailed and unique finishing. Considering its price range, the build quality, and precise finishing is a spectacle bound to turn heads at the fields. It is also highly adjustable with an entire market for its replacement parts.

It is not the most decorated shotgun per se, but its elegance is outstanding and unique in every possible way. Its elements are a mixture of metal and wood components perfectly aligned, resulting in a magnificent look. The crisp and beautiful checkering complement its refined oil-finished stock.

Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon Vs. 687

Both of these shotguns are from the Beretta makers from Italy and are a favorite to bird hunters and clay shooters across the world. Distinguishing the two of them requires more than just an overview, it requires an in-depth analysis of both builds. Both of them are built on the same action mechanism and are field models. However, the 687 is more recent and modern to 686.

Their Differences

Recoil Pad

Though most of their internal functioning is similar, the standard recoil pads tend to be of different qualities. The 687 shotgun pad is made of a more modern Gel-Tek material that offers better cushioning from the recoil impact felt on the shoulder of the shooter.

It being superior to the rubber pad available in 686 does not mean that the latter is not efficient enough. Both of the pads offer adequate cushioning to each of their pieces, respectively. You can further modify your 686 buffer to a similar feel of 687.

Wood Quality

Both of their stocks are wooden, the only difference being the details in their engravings. The 686 features two-dimensional carvings, and there are claims theta they are replicas of the previous models. 

The 687, on the other hand, features a more detailed engraving and is unique only to it. It also brags of a more premium quality wood as compared to the 686 wood quality.

Accessories for the Beretta 686

One thing I find outstanding about Beretta products is their dedication to come up with a wide variety of additional accessories for further modification. With the Beretta 686 pigeon, there is an entire unit dedicated to coming up with replacement parts for the weapon. You can these parts, and only a few require gunsmiths for proper installation.

The below parts are the ones with replacements in the market.

Choke Tubes

Somewhere in this piece, we mentioned that this gun has an interchangeable choke tube. The standard ones installed from the factory, in my opinion, deliver satisfactory performance. However, not all shooters agree to this quality, hence the availability of replacement choke tubes to allow the user to select the best that suits their shooting style.

These tubes vary, from the 12 gauge to the 28 or .412 gauge choke tubes. Each category has more than one item for further selection and available at different prices. All the options feature an OptimaChoke HP mechanism. I guarantee you that there is one for every shooter out there. In case irreparable damage to them, you might then seek these replacements.

Here is an article on the Best Beretta Choke Tubes.

Stocks and Fore-ends

Without a doubt, a perfect stock significantly increases the performance of your gun. The need for customization of it and fore-end of the 686 may result from improving its performance to its appearance. Regardless of your purpose for customization, the makers ensure that there are enough parts in the market.

Just like all replacement parts from Beretta, they brag of featuring the company’s standards to their core. These stocks feature all gauges associated with the 686 models making this gun very user friendly. The various parts come in different colors, patterns, and lengths.  While most of them are made from plastic and synthetic materials, others are carved out of premium walnut wood.


Depending on the shooter’s preference, there is a vast pool of barrel replacements in the market to pick from. Each of the reserves is made of Beretta quality and standards. However, they differ in their design and functionality, each proving dominance in a particular field. The long ones seem are a favorite for most sporting enthusiasts, while the shorter models thrive in the hunting scene.

Their lengths vary from 24 to 32 inches, each suiting a different caliber. Not only do they vary in length but also color and exterior pattern. On the Beretta US gun store, you will find over 20 barrel replacements compatible with the 686 shotgun.

Recoil Pads

It is important to note that this is a lightweight shotgun; therefore, it is common to expect a slight recoil force on your shoulder after each shot. The rounds used and your shooting style determine the force. Hence the need for installation of recoil pads to help reduce this force and allow for comfortable shots without hurting yourself.

The default recoil pad is not the best available option as different activities require different cushioning. By selecting a thicker and more comfortable pad, you sacrifice your account by upsetting the overall balance of your weapon.

The Beretta team ensures that there is an extra piece for every field in which this weapon thrives in, be it hunting or competing. The pads vary in thickness and material used, but all are fastened to the stock using the factory set screws. All available options regulate the impact felt on the shooter’s shoulder.


Shotguns are not weapons that the shooter invests a lot in aiming accessories, as all you have to do for a successful attempt is point the barrel tip to the target. Regardless of this, some shooters still find the need for additional sightings on their weapons. The standard factory setting for your sighting needs is a front bead system that is efficient enough, even without further modifications.

However, since everyone has their preference, there is a vast pool of front sight that is more complex than the typical one. Some of these accessories best suit low lighting conditions like the Beretta “Green Heart” night sight. One common thing about all these replacements is that they are all front sights.


Beretta boasts of quality products to the market, and they did not disappoint their die-hard followers in this weapon. The 686 quality and consistent can be traced back to its detailed finishing and premium quality elements that perfectly marry into each other. I believe that the only way to get the full experience of this glorious weapon is to head to the store and pick one for yourself.

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