Beretta XTra Wood - what wrong with it?


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ssr
July 1, 2004, 06:17 AM
I haven't heard much about Beretta XTra wood other than I've heard people say they don't like it or to stay away from it. But other than affecting people's aesthetic sensibilities, is there anything really wrong with it? Does it hold up? Supposedly it can be treated like a synthetic.

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Dave McCracken
July 1, 2004, 08:49 AM
Nothing's wrong with it, unless you've shelled out lots of cash to get fancy wood and the next guy over has a stock costing far less that looks just as good. The Snob Factor comes into play here.

Xtrawood is plain wood with a picture of high grade wood on it. A process similar to the one that puts proprietary camo patterns on whole guns is used.

It's as durable as other wood stocks.

Enhancing grain features is nothing new. A lot of owners of old Brit doubles would be irked if they knew that the makers of yesteryear they revere oft darkened grain lines with India ink and a tiny brush or painted on new ones.

PJR
July 1, 2004, 10:49 AM
Beretta's Xtrawood is the shotgunning equivalent of artificially enhanced breasts. Nice to look at but most obviously fake and anyone who knows about either topic can tell the difference at a distance. IMHO better the real thing in both regards even if the "figure" isn't exhibition qualilty.

While Beretta does stamp the stocks indicating it's not real walnut I've witnessed counter people in guns stores who were not as honest. I've also seen Xtrawood guns marked substantially higher than comparable guns with plain looking stocks.

Now is what follows is "Snob Factor" I'm prepared to take the heat. The one single benefit of Xtrawood is that it can be a marker in establishing who knows something about guns and who doesn't. If someone walks by an Xtrawood gun, stops and says, "Dude, lookada AWESOME wood!" they immediately self-identify as someone who doesn't know much about stocks. If however the observer says words like, "My, um, err, isn't that uh interesting," then they know their stuff.

As for high end English guns having a little enhancement, this sometimes happens when the guns are refinished as they often are due to the environment and a different attitude in the UK toward refinished guns. Because refinishing is likely, makers know if they cheat the likelihood of getting caught is pretty high. Refinishers will add a little ink to restore the stock to its original appearance if sanding the stock fades or interrupts the grain as can frequently happen.

The one factory fake I've seen was a highly-figured SKB Trap Combo. When the owner went to have the stock modified, it was revealed the figure was painted on. This was some years ago and I commiserated at length with the owner but was secretly happy because I'd considered buying the gun myself.

In the end, Xtrawood isn't a plague on mankind and the stocks will function as well as any other. If it becomes worn or chipped Beretta will refilm the stocks to look like new. But as a shotgunning traditionalist, I can't abide them. FWIW, I feel even more strongly about sideplates.

Paul

pauli
July 1, 2004, 11:10 AM
next thing i know, you're going to tell me the burled walnut dash in our old caprice classic wasn't real! hmph!

Omaha-BeenGlockin
July 1, 2004, 12:06 PM
Just reminds me of safety seal they put on bottles-------I get the urge to peel it off---as we have been programmed to do by all the safety packaging.

X-tra wood is just plain nasty.

If they are going to cheap out on the grade of wood they use on the gun---they need to pass the savings on to the customer----I haven't seen that happen yet.

Might as well just put a syn stock on it and charge $500 ---like the Wally World Special.

Hawk
July 1, 2004, 02:32 PM
But other than affecting people's aesthetic sensibilities...
-------- The Original Poster

Stay on target, stay on target...
---------Red leader, Star Wars, Episode 4

I had gotten curious about the x-tra wood and went to a local shop specifically to check out an Onyx that was skinned with the stuff recently.

I liked it way better than I thought I would based on negative reviews I'd read on another forum. The wood underneath is "real" and the "feel" seemed right - it didn't feel like one was mounting a Nylon 66. I didn't walk out with the Onyx but it was more a matter of fit than anything else.

Beretta's web site says they'll fix damage for a "nominal" fee. My dealer didn't know exactly what "nominal" meant but did say he had no experience with any getting sent back and believed the durability to be just fine. Additionally, straight grained wood is stronger and more stable than its highly figured brethren.

I'm no expert but I did handle one - it should shoot just fine.

/end: stay on target.

As an aside, my job includes working with high end woods, and I just can't seem to drum up the "offended feeling" I've seen (not here - different forum). Maybe it's because the process is so obviously fake it doesn't strike me as much different than candy apple fiberglass benchrest stocks or custom airbrushed competition stocks. It's not pretentious, it looks, well, allright, and it works.

That said, the fake wood processes have been getting better recently on what seems an exponential rate. The day may well come when the only way of visually determining "what's what" is the mark Beretta is nice enough to put on the grip cap - kinda makes ya wonder what passions will be stirred when / if that day comes, enh? Actually it could happen pretty much immediately except a lot of progress still needs made on cost - the really good fake stuff doesn't save any money - yet.

Lone Star
July 2, 2004, 06:25 PM
The Beretta Gallery told me that this stuff is actually a veneer. I'm afraid that it may separate from the wood below.

But "Veneer" can be defined different ways. It may be more of a photo/film effect. I wish they'd go into more detail about the process.

I bought the Gold Technys instead, so as to have real wood figure and the oil finish. The standard M391 usually does have quite plain wood and finish. For the price, they should do better. Even Remington often has better wood, for less money. Of course, it's American walnut, which is less costly than the European or Caspian stuff used by Beretta.

Lone Star

Hawk
July 2, 2004, 09:20 PM
Congrats, Lone Star.

When I was poking around the Berettas recently, that Gold Teknys did get my full attention. Pictures on the internet just don't do it justice. The jewelling they did to the bolt was really well executed. And the lumber was upright as well. Gotta see it in the flesh to appreciate. Sweet looking beast and I understand it shoots up a storm as well.

Remington wood - don't remind me, you'll make me cry - my biggest regret remains the 870TB I sold in the '70's - what a beauty that stock was. I wasn't even troubled by the "checkering". Haven't seen anything recently (reasonably priced, that is) that would compare.

On the x-tra wood - it hasn't been around long enough to be sure, but I'd doubt that delamination would be a concern. So far, my dealer has only heard about the usual dings, scratches, gouges and similar "hanger rash". One advantage to the x-tra wood is that the owners, reportedly, didn't have the heart palpitation I've already had when pranging my nearly new wood stock. Oh well, at least now I can haul it through the weeds without fussing over it.

Wolfy
July 3, 2004, 12:08 PM
Hawk

I have the Teknys Gold and it shoots great. Very comfortable to shoot heavy loads because the design absorbs most of the recoil and it still shoots the lightest loads I can put through her. The wood is beautiful a classy looking semi.

I am now looking for an O/U to keep her company.

Lone Star
July 3, 2004, 06:46 PM
Wolfy-

Well, I know where you can look. Take a suitcase of cash...

The Beretta Gallery in Dallas has scads of superb over-unders, from the 687EELL to the SO 10. If I had a wallet as big as my eyes, I'd do more than look while in there. Even looking is the stuff of wonderful fantasy. And Collector's Covey across the parking lot has wonderful wildlife art and greeting cards. The game paintings and statues are wonderful to behold.

Lone Star

Wolfy
July 4, 2004, 01:44 AM
I might be tempted to visit the Beretta Gallery in NYC.

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