Fabarm XLR composite
One of my best friends and co-rider of www.czowners.com Paul has always been either a side by side or over an under user. last year whilst down on a wildfowling holiday which flopped by the way due to the bird flu outbreak he made the decision to look for a semi-auto. The search began for Something that wouldn’t break the bank but would actually do its intended job, get dirty, find its way through brambles.
Cue the Fabarm XLR composite.
My Search For The Right Semi-Auto
While on the search for a new Semi Auto in 12 gauge a couple of things were important to me. No.1 it had to fit. No.2 no fancy woodwork as this is a working gun. No.3 It needed to be a left-hand ejector.
After trying a few for fit none really took my fancy until I tried the XLR. It just felt right. After a little research, there seemed to be no horror stories regarding reliability, aftersales e.t.c. so a deal was done. Being a left-hander does limit choice but the XLR is available as a left-hand ejector with stock shims for cast on and off. Mine has a 30″ barrel making it a long gun but that helps with those long crossers which are easy to stop the gun moving on. The XLR is a relatively light gun (7lbs), other guns in the same price range didn’t quite weigh up the same. The barrels are tested at 1630 bar making it the only one capable of full choke while using steel. Wildfowling demands the use of non-toxic shot and steel is far more economical than the hugely expensive bismuth.
Out On Test
The first round of clays proved gun fit, it shot great and after a couple of early jams, the next 75 fed with no problems.
A New Cleaning Regime
Stripping and cleaning, easy enough right? This is where I made my first mistake. A combination of over oiling and light clay loads caused me a couple of truly frustrating outings with it failing to cycle the second shot every time! Assured it would be ok I reduced the oiling. After a few heavy game loads were fired through it to clear the last of the over oil it all seems fine now…lesson learned.
What You Get
So what do you get when you buy an XLR? It comes in a canvas type travel case with gun socks for stock and barrel, shims, 5 chokes and a key as well as quick release swivels. Not too shabby if you ask me.
Finish And Functionality
The overall finish on the gun is very good, lots of chrome and brass looking finish so little to rust. The stock has a nice grippy rubber feel to it.
The chokes are really high quality with a high chrome finish
All in all very happy with it, not the cheapest at around a £1000 but not the dearest either. below are the specs from Fabarm.
|BARREL LENGTH IN CM||61 – 66 – 71 – 76 – 51 TACTICAL (*)61 ACCURACY (**) 90 XTREME.(***)|
|FRAME||ERGAL 55 – WEAVER GROOVES.|
|FRAME FINISH||BLACK ANODIZATION.|
|STOCK FINISH||COMPOSITE + SOFT TOUCH.|
|LENGTH OF PULL IN MM||368.|
|DROP AT COMB IN MM||35.|
|DROP AT HEEL IN MM||55.|
Paul has by no means been paid or influenced regarding his review. I am very grateful to Paul for his review, I look forward to seeing him in action on the foreshore in the coming months.