Fabarm B2 20 Gauge O/U from Orvis

By Randy Wakeman

The Orvis Exclusive Fabarm Elos B2.

How often have you heard that an upgraded hunting gun is just too pretty to hunt with? That hampers what they were made for. Upscale shotguns with upgraded walnut, engraving, and gold inlays can hit upwards of $4000 quickly.  The high grade Browning Citori Fiftieth Anniversary lists for $8339.99. Even a plain Beretta 687 Silver Pigeon III is $3299.99 or so. 

Greg at Orvis decided to bring over a modest number of Fabarm B2 models with 28 inch barrels that he offers with his “Satisfaction Guaranteed, or your Money Back” warranty, the best in the business. The price is an appealing $2399. The Fabarm B2 has all over the quality barrel regulation, steel-approved chokes up to full, 1630 BAR proofing, and 100% Made in Italy construction that you expect from Fabarm. While nothing is taken away in quality, it is an attractive shotgun that does not have super-high grade walnut or gold inlays.

The tested Fabarm B2 20 gauge has a steel receiver and weighs in at 6 lbs., 12.4 oz. hanging from my latest digital trigger gauge with chokes installed. Originally, I used an older gauge that showed 6 lbs., 14 oz. but for all intents and purposes this is a 6-3/4 lb. shotgun. Back in 2013, I tested the older style Fabarm Elos Deluxe 20 gauge and it also came in at 6-3/4 lbs. This model has the improved forearm and ejectors like the rest of the Fabarm Elos line. The triggers are crisp, breaking at 4-3/4 to 5 pounds.

We all have our own ideas about what an upland gun should weigh. I like 6-3/4 pounds and under. I have a few shotguns here, like a Browning Auto-Five Twenty Magnum, that hits over 8 lbs. A few more 20 gauge weights:

Original Browning Gold 20, 26 inch, 7.0 pounds.
Browning B-80 steel, 26 inch, 7 lbs.
Remington 1100 Sporting, 28 inch barrel, 8.0 lbs.

Neither that Miroku Twenty Mag or the 1100 Sporting get to hunt much. Jack O'Connor wrote that he would hunt upland with a gun that weighed over 7 pounds. Agree or disagree, that's a reasonable benchmark. It is hard to stray terribly far from the fact that heavy guns are better for shooting, but lighter guns are better for carrying. My old steel receiver B-80 12 gauge weighs 8 lbs., 2 oz., and when I was in Argentina, if I could have changed anything, I would have added a quarter pound to it.

This Fabarm is supremely well-mannered, with very little recoil with 7/8 oz. target loads. A busy day on the dove field or breaking clays with this B2 will be a pleasurable experience. This gun, in 12, 20, or 28 gauge, is available only from Greg Carpiniello, Orvis Gun Department Manager, [email protected] . In 2023, $2399 for a very solid O/U of this level is what I would call an excellent value.

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Copyright 2023 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.