7 Sept 01

During a Defensive Shotgun Course in Ohio the past two days, a student (state agent) was using a personally-owned 1201 Beretta riot shotgun. I have two of the same model, and they have always been reliable, with very little maintenance required on either over the last several years that I have owned them.

This student’s shotgun was brand new. She was shooting it for the first time. We got a half dozen rounds through it, and it stopped working. She was pressing the trigger and getting no discharge. I picked up an ejected round, and found no dent on the primer.

A subsequent examination of the weapon revealed that the bracket near the muzzle which connects the barrel to the magazine tube had separated from the barrel. It was attached via silver-solder, and the whole thing broke off. Once the barrel was detached, it moved forward an inch or so, causing the firing pit to fail to reach the primer.

While all this was going on, the factory-installed, ghost-ring, rear sight broke off, fell in the grass, and was never recovered.

I could discover nothing actually broken, and the gun can probably be repaired, but it was out of action in the short term.

My student was livid, as you might imagine. I was embarrassed, as it was I who had recommended the weapon to her. Beretta will be getting an earful from her shortly!

This is the first 1201 disaster I’ve seen. With any luck, it will be the last.