New Beretta Xplor UNICO A400 Shotgun

Disappointingly the dinosaur gun we were all hoping for is not a dinosaur gun after all. Beretta have not yet published anything yet, but from what I have read, their new autoloader shotgun, Xplor UNICO A400, it is a refinement of the Beretta Xtrema 2 and 391.

Beretta Xplor – It is Green!

Over the weekend I was searching for photos of the new shotgun, and even emailed my contact at Beretta USA, but all I could find was some pretty boring images taken by Beretta showing it being shot from a distance. For some reason Beretta made all the journalists who attended the launch to agree not to publish any photos before November. I believe the photo above is legit. An Italian online store published it, only to take it down soon after (presumably after realizing they were not allowed to publish it). I have blurred out their name so that they do not get into any trouble.

Onto the shotgun itself …

The shotgun will come chambered in a 3″ version and 3.5″ super-magnum version. It optionally features the new kick-off^3 (that is kick-off-cubed, for those of you who do not use spreadsheets) recoil reduction system stock. Two hydraulic dampers in the stock (the return spring is forward of the receiver, not in the stock) and another damper, maybe mercury or a spring mechanism, in the forend.

Jim Shepherd reports:

With our barrels plugged for only three shots, I didn’t get to try the four-shot speed, but I did empty my three shots at a rate I didn’t think possible-and aimed, not simply fired. That’s apparently due the test gun’s using Beretta’s new “Kick-Off” recoil reduction system. Along with a new Micro Core recoil pad, dual hydraulic dampers in the butt and a third to reduce recoil peak from the bit of the bolt against the receiver, it absolutely reduced the impact of a long day’s shooting.

Maybe the first recoil damper is inserted into the magazine, which would explain why they were not allowed more than three rounds loaded into the magazine? I don’t really know, I am guessing.

It uses a new gas system called the Beretta BLink. The name is a reference to its speed. Weighing in at 6.6 lbs, it is very light and slightly lighter than the Benelli Vinic.

James Marchington, of Sporting Shooter magazine (UK), published a scan of the specifications …

Gauge 12 gauge
Chamber 3″ or 3.5″ (both will chamber shorter cartridges)
Capacity Unknows
Receiver Aluminum
Finish Adonized color. Engraved with logo and “scrathes”
Barrel Lenghts 26″, 28″, 30″
Safety Reversible safety button
Wood X-Tra Grain (???)
Recoil Pad Micro-Core pad
Weight 6.6 lbs
Price $1600 – $1700

I will update the blog when more information becomes available.

The PR image I mentioned before.

UPDATE: The actual retail price appears to be $1500 without kick-off and $1600 with.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Mark


    Recoil Damper System. (Buttpad)

    Individual firearm with improved recock device. (I think this is the BLink)

    Damn, i really thougt it would be some kind of magnum 12 gauge break action. Misleading Dinosaur ad’s should be banned.

  • Matt Groom

    Dull. Looks like a Unicorn fart to me.

  • CMathews

    As such I recently inhereted an island full of dinosaurs, who wants to try it out?

    • CMathews, LOL, if you have velociraptors, I ain’t going near it without a mini-gun (mounted on a heli with loads of ammo).

  • Nick T.

    well, it’s no semi auto .50 BMG with underbarrel rocket launcher…

    it’s still sexy though 😉

  • Vitor

    Raptors are not that big, a shotgun with magnum shells is more than enough.

    And according to the review, it’s to be quite good actually.

  • Whatever

    Is the bolt and bolt carrier not in the shotgun in the top picture? There’s no charging handle visible.

    • Whatever, you do make a good point. hmmm … the bolt carrier is there … I wonder where the charging handle is. Maybe that is a leftie version.

  • Todd

    The charging lever is there… Just seems smaller and has little curl. Aluminum receiver, Interesting…. Anodized I would expect. Much like the 390. I will take my Teknys and the Nickel receiver… ;-> Green, Hmmmmm…

  • Steve M

    “Maybe the first recoil damper is inserted into the magazine, which would explain why they were not allowed more than three rounds loaded into the magazine? I don’t really know, I am guessing.”

    The three shot thing is one on of the UKs funny laws, shotguns with a three shot or less capacity are massively less regulated than one with more than that.

  • Does it come in a black reciever or all camo????

  • Paul Vincent

    Will the Xplor be offered with a larger opening trigger guard?

  • gk

    Ultimately, it is a good, reliable gun. Because i want to buy… so i need some informations…

  • dm

    Anyone have one yet? Updates? I see on their site that a camo version will be coming, or is it out yet?

    The 3-shot isn’t really an issue in Texas either, or for that matter in the U.S., at least for me. 90% of my hunting is for migratory birds, and that has the 3-shot legal limit anyway. If the 3rd recoil reducer is in the loading tube, then if you are squirrel hunting (or rabbit, etc) then you are not shooting as much usually and so recoil won’t be such an issue. Now if you are crow shooting or something like that, I guess you’ll want that 3rd recoil absorber, and just need to learn to load quickly.

    • dm, I have shot one. Although the beretta rep only had a couple of rounds of ammo left by the time I arrived. It feel great and had very low recoil. But, I am no expert on these high-end guns.

  • dm

    After everything I read about it I pulled the trigger so to speak and bought one. I was amazed at how long I had to look to find it though. Nobody nearby had one or have had one yet. One local said they cold order me one for $1799.
    Gander Mountain called me back and said their Beretta rep said they would not be getting any for at least 4 months. Cabelas on-line had some, but they were the base models only (not a Unico in other words, so can’t shoot the 3 1/2″ shells and also don’t have the Kick-Off Cubed advantages). Cabelas had those listed for right at $1,500. I found the Unico on-line finally for $1452 (plus tax) which I considered to be a great deal. While I was looking at shipping charges I saw they were only about 2.5 hours away so off I went!

    I love it. The wood is oil-impregnated Walnut. I got the 28″ barrel. It’s 2 lbs lighter than my 11-87 (for sale now by the way). It has less recoil than the 11-87 even with the lighter weight.
    And my first 3 shots out of the box was a 2 3/4″ 1 oz load, a 2 3/4″ 1 1/8 oz load, and then a 3 1/2″ 2 oz load and it fired and cycled them all perfectly. Recoil was less than the 11-87 like I said, and the 11-87 is to me a pretty reasonable recoil reducing gun.

    Yesterday I shot a box of 2 3/4″ 1 1/8 oz through it like the manual suggests and really got time to notice how less the recoil is. I’ve shot a 20 single shot before and it had more recoil. Twice I even just pointed it downrange and started pulling the trigger watching the empties fly out and yes, that picture they show is absolutely right on how fast it is. The second time I did it all three shells were in the air and if I could have fired a 4th they would have still been in the air (more on the 4th shot in a minute). The first time I flinched after the 2nd shot because my brain “knew” that 3 shots of 1 1/8 from the 11-87 that fast was going to hurt, especially since I wasn’t mounted great so that I could watch the shells come out. That 3rd shell didn’t load but it was my fault for not having a firm shoulder for it to recoil against, just like any auto needs to have to function.

    That 4th shot…they decided for me that since most countries have a limit of 3 shots (one in the chamber, 2 in the tube), well by gosh they’re going to put the plug in there for me. And they’ll give me another plug that limits the capacity to one in the tube which is for other countries. All good I guess BUT, to take the plug out you need a “qualified gunsmith” according to the manual. Giving it a general look but not wanting to do any damage, I still haven’t figured out how to get it out. Looks like it’s set up for a screwdriver maybe but nothing in the manual to explain it. For home security, 4-5 shots available is much better than 3. Because of the picture I have to assume it holds at least 3 in the tube if not 4.

    That’s the only thing I’ve seen that I didn’t like so far except for a couple of case suggestions. It comes with a nice case (which needs a bit more “pillow” to hold things in a bit tighter so they don’t move around). Two handle areas and several nice hinges will keep everything tight.

    It has the 2 recoil compensators in the stock, and the third one is in the stock too, where the bolt goes to hold it onto the receiver. The “green” metal is beautiful and almost looks grey in some lights. There are many things they’ve done and used to reduce or eliminate corrosion problems. The trigger guard is larger and shaped well so if you want to use gloves you can.

    Something else that I’ve gotten used to and is nice to have while squirrel, turkey or deer hunting is a rear bead. This gun doesn’t have one. I didn’t miss it at all shooting the skeet, but… I might have to see someone about putting one on for “aim” shooting. I suppose I can ask about the plug then too!

    It has a bottom vent that I saw somewhere someone wondered about how much force came out of it. None basically. It just gives everything a place to “breathe” since there are no openings on the top of the gun for this so that the barrel-to-forearm movement is kept to a minimum.

    The checkering is first rate. Nice and clean, sharp and detailed, and on the bottom of the forearm they’ve engraved a logo into it very tastefully. The stock and forearm cap both have a place to attach a sling. The shine of the wood and metal are all muted (except for the chrome plated trigger) so as I’m looking at it right now leaning next to a camo gun case, it blends right in. Which is great because I’m one of those people that thinks wood and “normal” colors look so much better than camo. If you don’t move in the field, you won’t spook much. Move even with camo and they’re going to see you and flair/spook.

    Well, hopefully this will help someone who may be on the fence on whether to get one or not. While I’ve only shot about 35 rounds through it, the dealer I bought it from said that one of his other customers shoots competitively with it and already has over 2,000 rounds through it with no issues at all.





  • Matt Groom

    Good review DM. Still a bit pricey for my tastes, but it sounds like a real winner. All of the Beretta Shotguns I’ve shot (All? I meant Both) have been very nice.

  • Ryan

    Got to shoot one of these. They are gorgeous guns and handle perfectly. I loved it and plan on buying one for myself!

  • Nick

    Great review looked at one during week and going ahead with it . Thanks DM


    I PURCHASED ONE in august, before shooting it. have had some experience with berettas before and it was all good. so i was not worried about buying their latest and greatest. it is a beautiful gun. i opted for the 3.5″ x 30″ version. gun has operated flawlessly with about 500 magnum rounds thru it for the first split of the duck and goose season in louisiana.

    BUT, there is always a but, with the safety located on the front of the trigger guard, i am having a problem. around the safety button there is a raised bezel, (for lack of a better term), that is somewhat sharp. every time i shoot this gun it puts a gash in my index finger. to the point that i have to wipe off the blood every time i shoot. and i am not talking about a little scratch i mean a gash. i know it is the safety housing doing this because i can see the dried blood on it. i have been shooting shotguns since i am 6 years old, i am 47, i cannot tell you the number of guns that i have bought in my life, and if i really knew i still would not admit to it, i’ve never had a gun do this to me. i am very puzzled and hurting. but not bad enough to stop shooting ducks and geese.

    i am thinking it may be the result of the kickoff. if the kick off will recoil about a half inch, maybe the stock throat is slipping thru my hand and the safety housing is cutting my finger every time. if i put a death grip on the stock to shoot it won’t slide as much , but i know that is not the proper or natural way to shoot.

    any suggestions?

  • Dr. Gene R. Kluck

    I recently purchased a A 400 explor unicom….I have shot less tha 100 Federal 3.5 shell and I have noticed a erosion of the ejection port where the brass of the fired shell hits the port. It looks like if I keep shooting the gun, it may wear into the area where the bolt slides back. I am wondering if any one else has noticed this problem? One of the Barreta repair stations said this is common in guns with aluminum receivers?????????Any one else have these problems? Gene

  • thomas

    Mine has done the same thing. I’ll let you know what I hear from beretta.

  • kevin

    Thomas & Gene

    I’ve put 50 rounds through my A400 and have nicks/scratches on the front of the ejection port at the top and the bottom. Also, a small nick along the lower inside of the ejection port – the inside edge, a small half circle nick. Its so near a semi circle I can’t tell if its supposed to be there. This is my first automatic and not sure if these kind of marks are normal. Please let me know what you hear from Beretta.

  • Dr. Gene R. Kluck

    Kevin: I have sent my a 400 in to Beretta, and have not yet gotten a reply. I don’t think they have a good handle on shooting 3.5 shells I will let you know when I find out something….Gene

  • Dr. Gene R. Kluck

    Kevin and Thomas: I just got off the phone with Berreta, and they are sending my gun back to me..It has and unusual finding and they are checking with the Italians,to see what will happen. I told them I knew of two other guns with the same malady and they wanted serial numbers to see if the guns came out of the same run at the factory. In one mans words shoot the heck out of it and call us if you have a malfunction. I asked about replacement and they said no, because we don’t know what the problem is. I suggested the gun was not built to handle 3.5 inch shells and got no answer. So we see!!!!!!!!Gene

  • kevin

    I don’t have the serial number handy. I did bring my gun back to the shop and they said it seemed like normal wear – perhaps due to the high brass shells. It doesn’t seem to be getting worse. The semi-circle that I thought was a nick is supposed to be there as it is in another brand new gun that has not been shot.

  • lauren

    i have a new a400, and so does my wife. we have had problems with the trigger pull becoming extremely sensitive on the second shot,and have had several premature dischargers (AD). we have been shooting for more than 30 years and have never had this problem with any of the other guns we’ve shot.

  • dm

    Anyone have any updates good or bad? I’ve got to say that I’m still just loving the heck out of mine.
    I’ve got some little bit of wear around the ejection port but metal to metal is going to do that, and it’s not wearing the metal, just the coloring it looks like.
    My trigger pull seems to be just about perfect and that includes doing things like throwing up a couple of those small crawfish style potatoes that are left over with one hand and mounting/shooting all in one motion trying to get the double before they go down. They sure make it look easy on TV with a handful of them!
    You might try (lauren note) trying to “fool” each other to see if maybe you’re developing a flinch with age (we’re ALL getting older :-(). Buy a “dud” practice shell (or make your own) and have the other one load the gun randomly putting the dud in the gun as either shot 1, 2 or 3. Have them watch you and both of you will probably be able to tell on the dud shot if you’re tending to flinch. If so, you may be jerking the trigger and not even realizing it, and with the smooth trigger pull this gun has, that might be why your guns are shooting more sensitively on the 2nd shot. Just a suggestion…

    • I only used my a400 seven times and fired maybe 200 rounds, while hunting ducks nov.5th i fired at a duck and the wooden grip broke in half and flew 10 feet out into the rice field.The site bead at the end of the barrell also flew off, I am seriously bummed!

  • steve

    I bought my A400 at the end of June 2011 and before I fired a shot it had a split in the stock. Did you know the stock on these in not one piece of timber But three pieces glue together. The enhanced grain is then laid out over the top disguising the joins. Trouble is my stock has lines of soft pithy wood which are quite dark and give the deception away. I have only fired 125 shells and am already looking into getting another stock and fore-end made while I still have the original for a pattern. I doubt it will still be in one piece in five years time!

  • Mike

    I have a a400 explor , loved it at first.Ishot over 2,000 rounds out of it befour my first jam up. Now it will jam five or six times out of 50 shots.getting a little angry.I keep the gun clean ,any suggestions ?

  • D’Errico Michael

    I bought a Beretta R400 Xplor last year. I fired a couple hundred rounds through it without any problem. The Beretta Mod 391 I had before never gave me any problem either. Fine guns!

  • Bob

    Have a new a400 xplor lite ,shot second time and the bolt won’t lock inthe open position . Any ideas on this problem?

    • Make sure gun is empty pull bolt(cocking handle) back about 1/4 inch and pull the trigger. Trigger must be de-cocked to pull cocking handle back and have it lock open

  • dwayne

    i have just bought the al400 unico 30 inch beretta and was firing at a few clays i had only fired at about 6 or 7 then i noticed that when i was looking down the rib it was all blurry i ask my dad to have a look and he could see the same when you looked down the rib there was a blurry haze it seemed to be coming of the gun when the barrel got hot and i was not shooting it for long periods at a time it seemed to heat up pretty quick is this normal i have not seen this before in my old beretta or my dads one has anyone came across this problem.

  • dwayne

    on my recent post of the beretta a400 xplor i have now took the gun back and got my older model back as the a400 was really bad qualty did bereta make this gun or did someone make it for them the wood is papper thin the bolt where you put the cartridge in looks like it was welded by a 2 year old only fired a few shots the gun was hiting my cheek bone mebey i was not mounting proper i was only using 32gs have never had this happen before let my dad try and it hit him to after i used it it looked like i had fired thousands of shots the dirt was caked on it everywhere and hard to get off there is holes on the top end of the forearm at the barrel to let the gass out it was staining the barrel at first glance it is a lovely looking gun but when you take a close look it is really bad quality for a beretta was looking foward to geting it and am really dissapointed yes it is quick to shoot o and i had a missfire when i put the cartridge in the bolt was not shut right and when fired the firing pin did not reach the cartridge you have to slam it shut as it sticks if you dont all and all i could not wait to get rid take a good look before you buy not worth the money.

  • I have a Beretta A400 Action with kick off have fired 266 rounds since I got it a week a go, love the gun.

    You can increase mag capacity to 3 by leaving the restrictor in and just cut off about an inch an one quarter. it know holds 3+1, (2 3/4″) shells

    there is a push pin on the end mag tube, push it in and unscrew end of mag tube

    cut rectrictor with dremel tool and replace back in Mag tube, when you screw it in remember that you must push in the pin to get the last turn in until pin clicks back into hole.

    If you want to use 3″ shells just cut more of the rod off.

    To measure put 2 shells in mag. then start to push in the third, Mark on the third shell with pen to get how far it went in, now what is left not going into mag measure and cut the rod off by that much.

  • Dave

    I have a A400 Explor Unico KO. After shooting a box of shells a problem started. If I load two shells and only shoot one I cannot open the bottom to load a shell. I have to unload the top put the shell back in, press the button and it will let me load the bottom shell. After a while I really have to press the button down to load the top. Any ideas about the problem.

    • DM

      Dave- I tried what you’re describing with every combination of loading and button pushing I could come up with and couldn’t get mine to do that. Unless someone else here has an idea, you might want to go to and ask them. If you figure it out please post back. Thanks.

  • Radykarim

    BretaA400xplor is vary good gun between other guns

    • DM

      Radykarim – I agree with you, but why do you think that? Quality, cost, looks, handling, recoil, etc?

  • Chaz

    Has anyone had a problem with the safety being in front of the trigger besides me? I shoot the extrema II and love it. However, I had to start using my thumb to depress the safety because of premature shots from hitting the trigger with my index finger when shouldering the weapon. I have always had shotguns with the safety in the back. This would be a safety issue if the gun wasn’t always pointing out toward the bird. However, that shot is obviously nowhere near the target.