Everything You Want to Know about Fausti, but Were Afraid to Ask

By Randy Wakeman

Fausti owners
Giovanna, Randy and Barbara at the 2011 SHOT Show.

The lovely Giovanna Fausti is the hard-working international export manager of the Italian family firm of Fausti. Actually, I have a lot in common with Giovanna. She speaks something like eighty-seven languages; I struggle with one, but aspire to become more fluent in American slang, at least. Giovanna and sisters Barbara and Elena inherited the Company from their father Stephano and are actively involved with Fausti operations. The Fausti family commitment to first quality steel, walnut and modern manufacturing techniques allows them to offer unique, properly scaled, smaller bore doubles.

The Fausti name is one most shotgun aficionados are aware of, but do not seem to know much about, at least in the United States. There is a good reason for this. When a company, such as Fausti, produces private label product for importers, their role is as an OEM. Whether you quote shock absorbers for automobiles, speakers for home theaters, engines for garden tractors, or riflescopes, the system of procurement is similar. The importer or marketer asks for bids on the job, with the purchaser setting the price points, specifications and so forth. The actual manufacturer has little input regarding the product specifications. The importer or distributor sets the standards and the vendor most build to those parameters and do so economically.

What Fausti USA has done is take direct control of their brand for the first time in the United States. It means that Fausti USA shotguns have the features and standards of build quality that they choose. Why buy a Fausti? What does Fausti USA have that is unique, appealing and not available elsewhere? The Fausti USA shotgun line consists of two basic categories, SxS and O/U models.

There are scant few side-by-side shotguns available today that are high quality, affordable and have scaled frames in the smaller bores. Fausti USA adheres to the British style of game gun. They use no cast parts, but incorporate modern manufacturing methods. Like most Italian guns in their price range, Fausti barrels are built on monoblocks. The Fausti side-by-side actions are a modified Anson & Deeley boxlock type.

The Anson and Deeley boxlock action's heritage dates back to 1875, when it was developed from the earlier Westly-Richards action by two Westly-Richards gun designers, William Anson and John Deeley. No coincidence there. The seminal A & D action quickly gained a reputation for simplicity and rugged durability. There are only three basic parts to the A & D action: the hammer, sear and cocking dog.

Fausti USA side-by-sides feature hard chrome-lined barrels, interchangeable forearms and stocks, and properly sized and scaled receivers. The latter is important for an English style game gun, noticeably improving the gun's balance and handling. Interchangeable parts are now possible due to CNC machining, which was not available in the late 1800's. Fausti USA doubles also have lengthened forcing cones and incorporate modern metallurgy. Chrome-moly steel, for example, did not exist in yesteryear. Automatic ejectors, rather than just extractors, are standard. Box locks are stronger than sidelocks where the buttstock joins the back of the receiver, as less wood needs to be removed from the neck of the stock.

Fausti Caledon engraving
A close-up view of the underside of the Fausti USA Caledon SL O/U shotgun.

The Fausti USA O/U shotguns are built on the well-known Italian style action, low profile and pleasing to the eye. You can expect silver brazed ribs, as opposed to soft-soldered, a receiver made from a solid billet of steel. The focus is on durability, responsiveness and good looks.

The Faust “Class” twenty gauge I am working with right now weighs 6-pounds 6-ounces, with consistent clean-breaking triggers that release at 4-pounds 4-ounces and 4-pounds 10-ounces respectively. This is night and day from the generic, cheap genre of crudely finished vertical doubles lacking the smooth action, surface finish, wood quality and precise wood to metal fit that makes an O/U shotgun worthwhile.

A properly scaled 16 gauge frame is hard to find, but Fausti USA offers it. “Fausti Boutique” is the Fausti program that allows you to order a true custom gun, built to your specifications. This opportunity is simply not available from many major manufacturers. The Fausti USA line currently ranges from well-executed, well-balanced production shotguns to custom-crafted heirloom grade with engraving that is a work of art.

As far as I am concerned, the purpose of a shotgun is a simple one: to enjoy it. The enjoyment of owning a shotgun is hardly limited to just making noise or killing things. One of the most comical, inane quotes about shotguns is that they mean three things: “Boom, boom, boom.” Though goofy statements like that may hold some appeal to the mindless Neanderthal, it is offensive to the sensibilities of those with a bit more appreciation for shotguns.

You enjoy a shotgun because of the way it looks, the way it shoulders, the way it swings, the way it carries, the way it compliments you and your intended purpose. Though I confess to generally liking all firearms, those that have a higher standard of build quality, attention to detail, balance, dashing good looks and pointability are those that enhance the hunting and shooting experience most. Fausti USA is now offering that level of shotgun, the level of shotgun that is the only one that inspires pride of ownership and has timeless appeal and value. Expect full-fledged reviews of Fausti USA product in the near future, when the remnants of this winter's blizzards have subsided a bit and the morning temperatures rise a bit above the recent -14 degrees F.

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Copyright 2011, 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.