Though advertised as a sporter, an examination confirmed the gun has actually been designed primarily for use in all of the clay target disciplines.
By Mark Knibbs
Tuesday, 29 August 2006
Lincoln Carrera shotgun review: This Lincoln Carrera 12-bore shotgun is an all-round classic of its kind.
Available only in 12-bore, the Carrera is supplied in a sturdy, if rather garish, bright blue ABS plastic carrying case, which also contains three extra choke tubes, a choke key and the allen keys necessary for trigger position adjustment and for adjusting the stock comb.
Roll out the barrels
Though advertised as a sporter, an examination confirmed the gun has actually been designed primarily for use in all of the clay target disciplines. The barrels, like those of the majority of guns produced in Italy, are of the monoblock construction; they are 30in long and are threaded internally for fully interchangeable choke tubes, which, when fitted, increase the barrel length by a further 3/4in.
The barrels are fitted with a ventilated 11mm engine-turned flat top-rib and a ventilated middle-rib. A fluorescent fibre optic front sight is fitted to the top-rib and is interchangeable with two others of different colours, also supplied with the gun, to cater for variable light conditions. The most unusual characteristic of the barrels is their finish; instead of the usual polished, blacked finish, the Carrera's barrels are finished dull black matt, almost like the non-reflective finish on military weapons.
This is very hard-wearing, but could prove costly should any external damage, such as dents or scratches, need to be corrected. Both the barrels and ribs are straight, as one would expect from such a high-quality gun, but I did notice very slight marks in the bores, which I took initially to be minor rivelling, but that, on further examination, proved to be minor boring marks. Unnoticeable to the untrained eye, they had no effect whatsoever on the performance of the gun.
The action is polished to a matt-silver finish, with gold-coloured clay targets shown on both sides and on the trigger plate. The bottom of the action is engraved with two duck and the word 'fair', relating not to the quality of the gun, which is excellent, but to the manufacturer Fair Tecni-Mec, of Brescia, Italy, which has been producing guns for more than 30 years. There is a minimal amount of tasteful border engraving, with a few panels of acanthus-style scroll on the gun's action, as well as some fine scroll-engraving on the bow of the trigger-guard.
The trigger is gold in colour and is adjustable within the bow of the trigger-guard, allowing an adjustment of the pull by ¾in. Internally, the hammers and the ejectors are powered by conventional coil springs, both of the hammers being hinged on the trigger plate.
The ejectors are positive and well timed, and are designed to have mechanical primary extraction as the action is opened, ensuring clear ejection of even the most stubborn fired cases. The action is opened by means of a well-shaped, pierced top-lever and locked securely with a full-width tapered bolt. The single trigger is selective, the selector being on the safety catch, which, though advertised as being non-automatic is, in fact, fully automatic.
The wood works
The woodwork is of high-quality walnut; the fore-end is of semi-beaver-tail type, with well-defined chequering. There are long finger grooves running practically the length of the top edge of the fore-end that provide a comfortable grip. The fore-end iron is scroll-engraved and incorporates an excellent feature in any gun intended for hard usage: a replaceable cocking cam.
The stock is well designed and is crafted from walnut matching that of the fore-end. It has a semi-pistol grip and is well chequered on the hand. A most useful feature is an adjustable comb allowing for more than 1/2in of height adjustment and 10º or so of angular adjustment, catering for the requirements of any shooter and making the gun suitable for use in all of the clay target shooting disciplines, from skeet to Olympic Trench. The heel of the Carrera's stock is finished with a 1/2in thick ventilated rubber pad, which is separated from the wood by a 3/16in hard black ebonite spacer.
At 8lb, the Carrera is a full-weight gun, making it comfortable for clay disciplines where large quantities of shots are taken over a short period of time. Advertised as being chambered for 3in cartridges, this is surprising if intended for clay target usage - the gun on test actually had only 2.3/4in chambers and was proofed in Italy as such.
On test, using Eley Blues 28g cartridges on Sporting clays, the gun handled extremely well and was sweet and crisp to shoot. With the comb of the stock raised to give a higher sight picture, modified and with full chokes fitted, excellent scores were achieved on both DTL and Olympic Trap.
I found the 30in barrels very effective on the longer range targets, but with short-range quick crossers the gun felt awkward and almost sluggish to swing; this, I feel, being due to the weight and central point of balance, which is quite a way forward of the knuckle of the action.
Generally, the Carrera is excellent for all clay shooting, for which it is obviously designed. Its heavier-than-usual weight makes it ideal for the 'going away' type of discipline, such as DTL or Trench, and also the mid to long-range targets encountered on the Sporting layout, but when used on the skeet layout was very slow to swing and not very forgiving.
It is a well-designed and manufactured gun, worth its price tag if you're looking for an all-round clay buster.
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