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Photo/Gene Wisenand

Behind the scenes with Beretta at a pre-SHOT Show range event

It was a thrilling day of testing and exploring Beretta’s latest offerings in firearms, including the Sako 90S and the revamped Beretta 92GTS

Hello from the Beretta-hosted range in Boulder City, Nevada.

I had the opportunity to spend Sunday with our hosts, Beretta, and several other brands on a private range day ahead of SHOT Show 2024. The day was organized into a rotation of small groups through five stations: premium sporting shotguns, pistol, sporting shotguns, rifles and a small competition stage.

It was a fantastic day. We were expecting a lot of rain and watched as a huge rainstorm crossed the valley, but it only sprinkled on us for about a minute.

I shot the Sako 90S (90 is the model number, “S” indicates it is the “short action” version) in 6.5 Creedmoor. It had a Steiner Predator 8 mounted on it, and sported a carbon fiber stock. This Sako had a trigger that could be adjusted by the end user for length of pull and weight using a simple tool. The carbon fiber stock is solid, rather than hollow, as on similar rifles. The design was such that it “deadened” sound and dampened recoil. One of the rifles we shot was around 6 lbs, and we were having no problems ringing steel past 500 yards.


I shot a Sako Model 90S. The “S” designation stands for “short action.“ This one was designed around the 6.5 Creedmoor. It had no problem reaching out past 500 yards.

Photo/Gene Wisenand

Later, I had the chance to discuss the design of Sako rifle stocks with Miikka Tamminen from Sako. If you examine the stocks from the bottom, you would notice that the pistol grip areas are somewhat off-center. Specifically, the right-handed version has more grip on the right side than the left. I didn’t notice this when I was shooting, but I did notice the superior ergonomics. I have included a photo of Miikka and one of the Sako 90 rifles with a finish that is particularly weatherproof and even resistant to marine use.


Miikka Tamminen of Sako is holding a Sako Model 90. You can’t tell from the photo, but the pistol grip portion is offset from the center of the rifle to improve ergonomics. It was extremely comfortable on the range.

Photo/Gene Wisenand

The Beretta team were excellent hosts, and focused on getting us shooting time with their products. At one range, National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) Champion Joe Fanizzi coached me in sporting clays while I shot an A300. I actually broke some of the low crossing and fast-moving targets. I shot one of their newer over/under models and got hooked on skeet shooting. They truly provided ample opportunity to familiarize ourselves with their firearms. Believe it or not, I shot nearly five boxes of 12 gauge today.

At one of the ranges, Langdon Tactical showcased a LTT 1301 Shotgun, a slicked-out version of the Beretta Model 1301 Gen 3. Aimee Langdon walked me through the features of this gun. It has a LTT trigger job, which improved the crispness of the trigger, and MagPul furniture, modified by LTT and GG&G. These modifications seemed to change the geometry a little, making it more adaptable to vest and armor plate use.


The LTT 1301 Shotgun, a Beretta model 1301 improved by Langdon Tactical, was perfect for mowing down steel plates.

Photo/Gene Wisenand

The trigger was flat, and the magazine held 7 rounds. This version had a mounted Holosun. I am definitely a neophyte at skeet shooting, but I do know how to mow down steel with a duty gauge.


The LTT 1301 was duty ready.

Photo/Gene Wisenand

I shot the Beretta 92GTS handgun. It looks like the Model 92 — the iconic military handgun — but it has a frame mounted de-cocker. When you sweep the de-cocker with your thumb, the hammer falls to a half cock mode. Let’s decode the nomenclature here: It is a Model 92, Type G, with a Twin Sear, or 92GTS. This gun had a crisp single action feel, with a light double action when de-cocked.


The Beretta 92 GTS handgun has a frame mounted de-cocker. When you sweep the de-cocker with the thumb, the hammer falls to a half cock mode.

Photo/Gene Wisenand

I have plenty more to report, and I will catch up later. There are many product updates. For example, the 3032 Tomcat is now the Beretta 30X. This is a 32 auto pocket pistol with a tip up barrel. Even though it fits in my palm, I can shoot 7-yard headshots with it all day long. I have a Tomcat and I shoot it a lot.

The new model has a push-button tilting barrel and a flat faced trigger. Thus, the gun that predates the Noisy Cricket got a facelift. I put quite a few rounds through the different versions of this gun too.


The new Beretta model 30X Tomcat replaces the model 3032 Tomcat. It has a push button, tip-up barrel and a flat-faced trigger.

Photo/Gene Wisenand

Monday is a day at the other range. We are expecting lots of rain. I’m looking forward to it!

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Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. He has a BS in Criminal Justice and an MS in Online Teaching and Learning. Lindsey has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. His articles on firearms tactics have appeared in print for over a decade. Lindsey enjoys competing in shooting sports, running, and cycling events.