Bretton-Gaucher FASTBACK: World's Lightest O&U Shotguns Updated

Hrachya H
by Hrachya H
Bretton-Gaucher FASTBACK Copper (3)

Bretton-Gaucher is a French firearms manufacturer who are known for their extremely lightweight shotguns some of which are claimed to be the world’s lightest in their categories. The way they manage to achieve extreme weight reduction is primarily because of the use of aluminum alloys for making the barrels and actions of their guns. Bretton-Gaucher have just announced that they have updated their ultralight break action O&U shotguns and the new product line is now called Fastback. Let’s take a look at the features of Bretton-Gaucher Fastback shotguns.

Over & Under Shotguns @ TFB:

Of three caliber options of Bretton-Gaucher Fastback shotguns (12ga, 20ga, and 28ga), only the 20 gauge guns can currently be found on the company’s website, with the other two calibers to be available in 2023. Apparently, the updates are mainly cosmetic with the core mechanism remaining untouched, however, the company is designing a single-trigger lock which they plan to introduce in 2023. With an unbelievable overall weight of approximately two kilograms or 4lb 6.5oz, the 20 gauge Fastback shotguns are the world’s lightest 20 gauge double-barreled shotguns (at a given barrel length).

Bretton-Gaucher Fastback Copper
Bretton-Gaucher Fastback Copper

Bretton-Gaucher Fastback 20 gauge shotguns are available in four versions: Fastback Copper, Fastback Chrome, Fastback Nickel and Fastback Black. The main difference between them is in the finish of metal parts. The aluminum alloy barrels of Fastback shotguns are removable and available in three lengths for the 20 gauge – 600mm (23.6″), 650mm (25.6″), and 700mm (27.6″). The barrels are threaded for removable choke tubes and the guns come with four chokes. Options for the stock grip shape include the semi pistol grip and straight. These shotguns can also be ordered with left-hand stocks.

Bretton-Gaucher Fastback Black
Bretton-Gaucher Fastback Black

Obviously, the lighter a field gun is the easier it will be to carry it. But the question is how light is too light? At which point the recoil will be too unpleasant or require too long a time to recover for a follow-up shot? I have read in multiple sources that a general rule of thumb for an optimal shotgun weight is roughly 100 times the payload weight you plan to shoot the most. Considering that 7/8oz loads are probably the most popular for the 20 gauge, 7/8oz x 100 = 87.5oz or 5lb 7.5oz. Of course, this is very subjective, it’s a matter of personal preference and depends on a number of factors such as the shooter’s skills, physique, ability to control the recoil, and so on. Tell us in the comments section, what you think about these extremely lightweight shotguns and how light is too light in your opinion.

Pictures by Bretton-Gaucher,

Hrachya H
Hrachya H

Managing Editor Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at

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4 of 14 comments
  • Tassiebush Tassiebush on Jul 27, 2022

    That stock angle seems like it would make it rock up into the cheek given that it's very (wonderfully) light.
    Might be a significant improvement if it were to be a flat level or even slightly downward slope from the buttpad forwards.
    But I'll be interested to see how it develops.

    • See 1 previous
    • Tassiebush Tassiebush on Jul 28, 2022

      @Gabe Yeah actually that looks like it is the case since the barrels themselves are set quite low. Which would be great for recoil mitigation on a ultralight shotgun. But yeah it gives them that challenge of getting a stock that places the eye lower.
      It's double trigger too so straight grip stock is needed.
      I'd lean towards the buttstock of a lee Enfield as a starting point. Comb in parallel but lower than the bore axis.


      comment photo
  • Thomas Maker Thomas Maker on Jul 27, 2022

    Not exactly among the most recoil sensitive of people but don't really see light as a selling point when it comes to shotguns......