Was looking at the Fabarm autos in the store the other day and wondering how well are these guns made. Howw well they hold up, dependable, ease of cleaning, etc. Would like to hear from people who either own, have owned or have shot them. Thanks Dan
I purchased a used one on this site. At first blush it seemed heavy(bulky), but that was because it is not a field semi-auto. The previous owner installed a Birchwood Casey Shell Catcher and it works faultlessly. The shell catcher is geat for Trap & Skeet. It is not as easy to clean as an over/under because of the gas operating system, like any gas semi-auto, but doesn't need to be thoroughly cleaned after every 100 rounds. As far as reliability, mine has never malfunctioned. It is totally adjustable for any clay target shooting discipline. My only negative comment is that the wood is "so so", but I like the gun so much I may have Wenig put on a fancy piece of walnut.
I was enthused to see the left hand model available. I ordered one and was assured it was the latest gen 3 stock. It wasn't. It sit in Maryland for a couple months then I got it. I had to pay for the shipping. I have medium size hands. Wear a large most of the time. Even with the gen 3 stock if you don't have huge hands its a no go in my opinion. I had cycling issues with light primer strikes which if you check around is a fact with some. No amount of cleaning or adjusting made it go completely away. Then I also had to listen to that rib hum like a bell after every shot. Mine had good wood as it was selected I assume for me having to wait and pay for the shipping both ways.
If you are a big guy I would say maybe try one but I don't think they are worth the price nor near the gun as a 390/391. If not........got get yourself another brand and move forward.
Have had one now for a year and a half or so, I like it. Easily adjustable,crushes targets, light recoil ,also probably the best semi auto trigger from a factory. Function has been very good except for sluggish feeding with my very light RedDot reloads in very cold weather, not the guns fault.
I have medium hands and a first generation stock and don't have any real issue with the trigger reach, shoot low gun sporting clays and don't even notice it. Only real dislike's are chasing hulls and cleaning it,both issues with any auto loader, the Fabarm is easy to disassemble and clean just more involved than an O/U.
Two of us have them at my club. They work great in warmer weather, but as soon as it got below 40 degrees, we have cycling issues. Using 3 dram factory loads the bolt fails to open and eject the empty shell. At 50 and above they both work great and absolutely crush targets. I've had mine a few months and will be sending it to Fabarms this week. My friend has had his for over a year. It went back twice last year for the same issue. When he got it back in the Spring it seemed fine, but as soon as Winter hit the problem returned. He's not happy.
Mike, it's the easiest adjustable rib I've ever used, just push down lightly on the front of the rib and turn a wheel, no locking screws, stays where you put it. Adjustments seem to be pretty true from 50% to 90%,maybe 100%.
Thumbs up for the XLR5 Velocity, adj. rib, good choke tubes, recoil reducer in the stock, barrel weights in front of the forearm, shim adjustments between the stock and rear of the receiver, gas chamber like a soup can, well made "innards" and very dependable. I've had one failure to feed in many thousands of rounds. This gun is very adjustable for both "handers". The trigger assembly is very simple and easy to make a release for it. My release came from Phillip, but Coles and others are making them now. My left-handed model is a truly left-handed gun. You could do a lot worse with some other brands.
I visited the Indiana Gun Club with the intention of buying a newforme trap gun. I was dead set against any SA because of the cleaning, cycling concerns, and the old bend over routine. I had cash in hand, ready to buy. The newforme quest began after I trialed the KX-6 at the Grand. My short list of guns included the KX-6, other K guns, and maybe even a P gun.
While handling and mounting several guns, Rich Self stepped up to help. Somehow the conversation moved to Caesar Guerini and Fabarm. Rich shoots for CG. My better half spotted a good looking silver XLR-5 and I reluctantly agreed to give it a trial. The first 25 shots were a disaster. Rich helped me get a better fit and the next 23/25 were smoke. The next 23/25 were equally exterminated.
The XLR-5 followed me home and I've shot it happily just a few weekends. There is no felt recoil. It is easier to clean than my 1100s. The hulls fling forward and down, but the TS shell catchers captures almost all of them. It cycles 3/4, 7/8, 1, and all factory loads. Have shot over 500 without a failure, then cleaned it.
I'm 67 and not likely to find myself in any big shoots - mostly a rewarding hobby for me. I look forward to more trials at trap this spring - and some work on the sporting clays courses. I am not an expert by any stretch, but I think I've learned to appreciate quality and value. The Fabarm XLR-5 is a quality machine and the used price allowed me to stuff quite a few Franklins back into my pocket - more than enough to cover all my shooting costs for well over a year.
One "problem", though - the case is huge. I'll be hauling my XLR-5 around in a zippered one instead of wrestling that 45 inch monster into my trunk.
Haven't got a lot of shells through mine yet, but so far it'll feed anything I've tried from 1200 7/8oz shells up. Just as FYI, the Negrini case JLYON has for sale for $155 will work with this gun, but just barely. I have to tilt the rib in first then it goes.
I had the same issue as G-pa with the monster case.
Good luck, Charlie
I have an XLR5 and love it. Extremely reliable. I haven't had any problems shooting in temps all the way down to 30 degrees. POI on mine is right on the money for me with the comb about 3/16" right. Only issue for me is the comb doesn't go high enough. I took the baseplate off and added over 1/4" of washers underneath to get the comb cranked up high enough for me, then had to use a pad adjuster to raise the pad instead of lowering as most people usually do.
Skydweller, I love mine too. I'm using it strictly for sporting clays so far, but might try some singles with it. It is so soft-shooting that I have a difficult time telling 1oz from 1.125oz loads. I also love the hefty, solid feel and the lack of the "clackity-clack" noise most semi-autos make. No malfunctions of any kind!
Both the Xtrema and XLR have a full length fore end tension spring, double guide bars and a removable gas regulation sleeve. The xtrema has a locking bolt, and it's spring is covered with a plastic shroud. Other wise the action is the same.
3 other people have PM'd me about having the same issue with their XLR. Can't get the comb high enough and /or far enough right to center their POI. The stock shim system creates some cast, but not enough comb offset adjustment.
Italians must have thin heads and low cheek bones?
The XLR5 is an awesome gun. Great balance, very light felt recoil, and 90/10 POI with a figure 8 down the rib. Few if any other autos can do that.
Setterman, I agree the actions are very similar. Amazingly similar for two companies that are apparently not connected in any way. I also agree with the term "awesome" for the Velocity! I'm a dyed-in-the-wool o/u enthusiast, but lately I'm tending to reach for the XLR5 every time I open the safe.