I had the pleasure of shooting the 20-gauge SV10 Perennia I shotgun with 26-inch barrels for the entirety of Michigan’s upland-hunting season this year. This 7-pound, over-and-under is a breeze to carry through the North Woods, and makes daylong hunting excursions, through thick cover, easier than if I carried a heavier shotgun. I also used the Perennia during more than 20 rounds of skeet and sporting clays, in preparation for upland season. Below are some of the reasons why this gun is perfect for any upland huntress.
Barrel, sight and chokes
The Perennia’s polished and blued barrels consist of cold-hammer foraged alloys, making them durable and lightweight. They also feature Beretta’s new Optima-Bore High Performance (HP) profile, which, according to Beretta, “Has a longer forcing cone which improves patterning and contributes to reduce felt recoil.” Both 26- and 28-inch barrels are available for the SV10 Perennia I.
The Perennia comes with a single-bead sight on its raised, vented rib, indicative of most field shotguns. Five Optimachoke High Performance (HP) flush choke tubes — including full, improved modified, modified, improved cylinder and cylinder – accompany the gun. The ability to change choke tubes is convenient for upland bird hunting because it allows me to vary the patterning of the gun depending on the species of bird or the cover I am hunting. Likewise, they can be changed out if I am shooting sporting clays, skeet or trap.
Receiver, action and extraction/ejection system
The new top-lever design has a wider surface area to ensure ease of use and comfortable opening of the break-action. The lever lacks the checkered pattern, often used by other shotgun manufacturers for “gripability,” but the smooth finish does not hinder quick opening of the gun.
In true Beretta fashion, the receiver and forend lever of the Perennia are beautifully engraved. The “I” in the name “SV10 Perennia I,” denotes a floral engraving pattern, as opposed to the III version that is adorned with game birds.
The action opens smoothly, right out of the box. There is no “break-in” period to loosen the action, nor excessive oiling necessary. For me, an easy-opening action is a crucial feature in an over-and-under shotgun because of a prior injury that has resulted in arthritis in my wrist and hand. The action not only opens easily, but also locks tightly every time it is closed.
The Perennia has an extraction/ejection system that allows me to select between manual extraction and automatic ejection of the spent shells. Manual extraction results in having to remove the spent shells by hand, instead of having them automatically eject when the action is opened. The manual-extraction feature ensures that spent shells will not fly out and litter the forest floor. The extraction/ejection system is easily selected with the twist of a screw that is located on the barrels.
Safety and trigger
The trigger guard is manufactured from a single piece of steel. The trigger itself is single selective and made of durable titanium.
The safety and barrel selector (located on the receiver tang) are both crisp and easy to maneuver. I can easily switch from shooting the top or bottom barrel first. The safety became grainy feeling after a few days afield, but I easily remedied that little problem with an application of gun oil.
Stock and Kick-Off System
The stock offers a deep and rich coloration due to its matte, oil finish. I received many compliments on the overall look and finish of the gun while I was at my sportsman’s club, shooting skeet and sporting clays. The pistol-grip style stock feels comfortable in my hand. The Perennia’s sleek lines and low profile make for a great fit and easy shouldering of the gun. Its overall size and shape is conducive to female or small-statured shooters. The Perennia features a 14.7-inch length of pull, with a standard butt-pad. The Kick-Off System will add approximately 1.5 inches to the length of pull.
Beretta’s Kick-Off System boasts reduced felt recoil of 69 percent, as opposed to standard butt-pad equipped shotguns. According to Beretta, the recoil energy is gradually dissipated though 2 hydraulic dampeners that are integrated into the mechanism. I shot thousands of rounds through the Perennia during the past 6 months, and can attest to the Kick-Off System. My shoulder never felt achy or sore after shooting the Perennia during back-to-back rounds of sporting clays, or after spending all day burning powder while chasing ruffed grouse out in the field.
Ammunition tested includes Winchester Super-Target 2-3/4 inch 7/8 ounce #7.5, Federal Field & Target 2-3/4 inch 7/8 ounce #7.5, Winchester Super-X 2-3/4 inch 7/8 ounce #8 and Winchester AA 2-3/4 inch 7/8 ounce #9.
Overall, I give the Perennia 5 out of 5 stars. Its durability, slim profile, recoil reducing Kick-Off System and beautiful features make it perfect for any upland huntress.
Visit Beretta for more information on this and other fine shotguns.
Retail value: $3,295