Beretta is one of the biggest names in the world of shooting. They are the oldest shotgun manufacturer in the industry and are certainly very well liked by shooters.

One of the most popular Beretta shotguns is the 686 Silver Pigeon, and it is as popular now as it was many years ago when I purchased one as my very first shotgun. The fundamentals of the 686 model are simple, and it is reliable and enjoyable to shoot.

These fundamentals have been transferred to all the shotguns Beretta produce. As with products,

Beretta’s guns have evolved to meet the needs of the modern user and one of the company’s current flagship products is the DT11 Sporting.

Beretta DT11 Sporting

The Beretta DT11 Sporting has been designed as a clay shooting machine. It has all the modern technology, which makes it a very popular and successful choice of gun for many competitive clay shooters around the world.

The main difference on the DT11 compared with most other Beretta shotguns is the cross-bolt locking mechanism.

This is an incredibly strong and reliable mechanism that suits this premium product. Interestingly this mechanism enables you to see how much use such a gun has had. The gun will start its life with the bolt protruding slightly out of the action, but after many thousands of shots the bolt will recede inwards. At this time the parts can be easily replaced by the Beretta workshop to put years of life back into the gun.

The DT11 has a removable trigger for easy maintenance and is fitted with the revolutionary Steelium Pro barrels, which boast an internal profile created to reduce felt recoil, reduce muzzle flip and improve shot patterning. All with no loss of ballistic performance. I couldn’t believe the difference in performance that these barrels made. There is a great video on TGS Outdoors’ YouTube channel called “I was wrong about Beretta”. It was filmed at the Beretta factory in Italy to show how these barrels are made and perform.

I have heard many tales of the DT11 not performing well with fibre-wad cartridges. This is absolutely not true. A lot of research has been undertaken to see if this was the case and to cut a long story short, the noise of the shot sounded different with fibre wads opposed to plastic wads but the ballistic performance is to a very high standard.

As for the looks of the DT11, this particular example I am reviewing can be described as nothing less than beautiful. The wood set is incredibly well figured, with stripes that really are eye catching. The receiver has a simple two tone, nickel-based finish that is complimented by the striking blue Beretta logos and detailing. Overall the gun is very attractive and looks like a premium product.

The dimensions of the stock are rather chunky, but the gun feels very comfortable in the hands and mounts well. In conjunction with the substantial palm swell on the pistol grip, you certainly know you have got hold of this gun – just exactly how you want a clay- buster to feel.

The 32" barrels compliment how well it handles. I will note that this gun isn’t perfectly balanced on the hinge pin but stock weights can be added, so that is not a problem. Five extended Optima HP chokes are provided, ranging from skeet to full choke. I decided to spin in ¼ and ½ chokes, grab some cartridges and put it to the test.

In action

I was pretty happy with the fit of the gun, although I would have preferred a little more comb height. There is the option of having a DT11 with an adjustable comb, but this particular gun didn’t have one.

I started on a pair of basic targets that showed a lot of belly to make sure I knew where the gun was shooting. After pulling the trigger the clays disintegrated with the 7.5 28g fibre-wad cartridges I was using. Moving on to some crossers, the DT11 handled exactly how I thought it would. It was very steady and easy to move, which is perfect for clay shooting in my opinion.

The gun weighs 8lb 11oz, so if you are not keen on heavy guns this may not be the one for you, but because of its weight it is smooth on recoil. That enabled me to recover very quickly from the first shot to move onto my second target.

After a few stands I had a smile on my face and I was really enjoying shooting the DT11, which did surprise me. I’m going to be honest: I have never really been interested in shooting Beretta over-and-under shotguns in the past. You may have heard this before, but generally if you like Beretta you won’t like Browning/Miroku and vice versa. They are completely different types of shotgun in how they feel, look and handle, but they are all fantastic in terms of build quality, reliability and value for money.

I have always preferred Browning/Miroku shotguns and after shooting this Beretta I wondered if I had been missing out all these years. Shooting a Miroku MK38 in the past for a few years to a high standard is most likely why this has always been my preference. But the main reason I liked the Miroku was because it was quite heavy and handled nicely when shooting clays.

The DT11 has these exact same qualities and was also a lot smoother on recoil and muzzle flip. Most models in the Beretta range are quite light and feel slight in the hands, I will confidently say that the DT11 Sporter is completely different. Someone like me, who prefers to shoot a shotgun that is heavier in weight and has chunky stock dimensions, will like this gun.

I was curious to see how what fibre-wad cartridges performed compared with plastic wad cartridges – because of the rumours I previously mentioned. So on one of the stands I filled my pocket with both types and shot them without knowing which was which. I found absolutely no difference. So any stories you may have heard about fibre-wad cartridges not patterning well through a DT11 are complete nonsense.

After finishing my round of clays I was very happy and had enjoyed my trip out. I was trying to think of any negative points about the gun and I genuinely couldn’t think of any. In terms of monetary value it certainly is a big investment compared with many other guns on the market, but as it is one of Beretta’s flagship premium shotguns it is necessarily going to be expensive. Nevertheless, for the build quality and beauty of this shotgun I believe it to be great value for money.


Beretta have clearly put a lot of research and development into this model to create a contender for one of the best clay-shooting shotguns on the market – and they have achieved that aim in my opinion. One of my favourite findings from shooting the DT11 was how well the Steelium Pro barrels patterned and performed; they are a fantastic addition to this gun. The theory behind them is one thing, but the way in which the clays were disappearing when I hit them was quite honestly amazing. It made me realise that a barrel isn’t just a barrel and that Steelium Pro barrels could actually aid the shooter with a more consistent pattern and potentially better scores.

The gun handled exactly how I want a shotgun designed for clay shooting to perform. It was very smooth on recoil, which allowed me to retain full focus on the target as it broke. I particularly liked how assertively the gun closed, enabling me to fully focus on trying to break the clay. The gun felt solid and gave me the feeling that it was going to last a very long time, which is exactly what you want when spending a large amount of money.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this review. Thank you to Coombe Farm Sporting and GMK for lending me this beautiful example of a DT11. I was sorry to see it go.