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Just need some knowledge regarding these guns....are the early 4& 5 pin sidelocks any better or more reliable than the later 3&4 pin sidelocks? What year did Beretta change the two types of sidelocks? Any issues with either type? Impressions of these guns [trap, skeet, sporting, or game] from any owners would be appreciated,thanks, Donald.
 

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There're two types of early 4 & 5 pin sidelocks, one call Holland & Holland sidelock, they both has intercepters. The Holland sidelock has bridles and are more complicated.

The first 3/4 pin sidelocks were used on the last few SO4s in the mid '80s then SO5s. The very early ones don't have intercepters. Later SO5 & SO6EELL (a SO5 w/ fancy engravings) changed to 4/4 pin in the second half of '90s.

I'm no expert to judge these so called improvements on the newer sidelock, but according to Lucio, the VP of Perazzi USA, (who can hand build a shotgun from scratch) the early non Holland 4/5 pin S2 & S3/SO3 are the best of it's kind.

Then the SO9 with pinless sidelock were made by "Abbiatico & Salvinelli" (who makes less than 120 guns per year) delivered in the white to Beretta for finish, and stock. (to this day, no one from Beretta would officially admit this) These SO9s, IMO, are the true work of art, no comparison.

Finally, the current pinless sidelock SO10 are build in house by Beretta. Considered the pinnacle of modern era Beretta.

I owned S2, S3s, SO4s & SO5 at one time, IMO, the early guns are the best value of it's kind, you pay dearly for an SO5 these days, the metallurgy on the later guns might have certain advantages over the early ones, but the workmanship are very different.
 

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Steve- great accounting

I was lucky one time to get a private tour of the factory and the museum-- arranged by a NATO arms dealer---

regards from Iowa

Gene
 

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Art, DT barrels won't fit. SO guns went through so many changes within models, some SO4 barrels won't even fit yours.

Most stock won't interchange without major modifications, half of the triggers won't interchange either. SO guns are virtually from the old world craftsmanship, in very small numbers before the late '90s, if something needs to change, they did it individually, not like reprograming the whole production line.

I had 4 stocks for the S3, and two for SO4, non of them will interchange within model, the slidelock inlay, trigger bar, top & bottom tangs, the trigger guard length & shapes are all different.
 
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