There’s been a lot of post SHOT Show after glow concerning Beretta’s new competition, force of a different color, the A400 Xcel, as there usually is when something “just looks different.” Its curious hot blue receiver might get you laughed out of every duck blind on the Mississippi Flyway, but this gun makes a statement (as bright colors tend to do) and that statement is “I only go home with competitive shooters.”
Fit with Beretta’s Blink operating system and Micro-Core pad technology, the gun makes use of three weighted (and receiver matching) interchangeable Balance Caps that screw to the front of the tube. These allow the shooter to customize the weight distribution of their piece to the T which is to be expected because close attention to balance has become Beretta’s “thing.”
And just like everything nowadays, there’s a computer in it. It’s called the Gun Pod and, dollars to donuts, it was drawn from FN’s well of inspiration while it’s integration into the gun looks similar to “black box” shot computers they’ve been toying around with on military rifles. Housed in the shotgun’s pistol grip, a sophisticated network of piezoelectric sensors, electrodes and wires records the outside temperature, the number of shots fired and the shot power.
So do all these bells and whistles add up to a blue ribbon competition shottie for the digital age? Eh… perhaps. We can see, if you are truly “one with your gun,” that the combination of a thermometer and power gauge could help a professional shooter to better understand ammunition performance in different weather conditions and the shot count is a pretty neat idea when considering the wear and tear on parts, and resale (like the odometer on a car). The digital read out is on the bottom though so you’ll have to flip the gun over to see it, which may be even more curious than bright blue aluminum.