Briley is now handling warranty work and customization for Baserri Shotguns. Briley is one of the leading gunsmithing and manufacturing companies in the world of shotguns – giving Baserri an enormous boost and a valuable dose of confidence to owners and shooters.
“I think they’ll do fine with the shotguns,” said Steve Power, Sales and Marketing Manager at Briley of Baserri Shotguns. “The price point seems to be competitive – the guns are a good value. We want to be able to help them out and get some products out there for guys who are choosing to shoot a Baserri.”
Mr. Power said that Briley is now in possession of Baserri barrels, ready to ramp up manufacturing for a full set of nine chokes for the Baserri field and sporting over/under shotguns.
“Briley will be our warranty house,” explained Alan Thompson, President of Baserri Shotguns. “When it comes to warranty issues, the guns sent to us will end up in Briley’s hands. Briley will respond quickly to our customers.”
The relationship also lets Briley act as custom shop for Baserri shotguns. Briley’s extensive experience in barrel and trigger work, shotgun fitting and complete overhauls means that Baserri owners now have access to a full one-stop-shop that can meet all of their needs.
“Our goal is to become the best shotgun company in the world,” said Mr. Thompson. “Not the biggest shotgun company, but the best shotgun company in the world – around customer focus – bringing a fantastic product to the market at a fantastic price. We’re shotgun lovers, we enjoy doing it. We don’t want the business to reach the point where we don’t enjoy shotguns any more.”
The “we” Mr. Thompson refers to are both himself and his business partner, Wayne Rodrigue. Together, they started Baserri in July 2009. By early August 2010, Baserri shotguns began to arrive in the U.S.
“We spent the first year developing the gun, getting the prototypes in, getting the designs figured out and then bringing the guns in,” Mr. Thompson elaborated.
The name of the company itself illustrates their determination to turn Baserri into a success story.
Baserri is Basque for a half-timbered, stone farmhouse indigenous to some of the isolated regions of the Pyrenees Mountains. When Mr. Thompson and Mr. Rodrigue began exploring the idea of Baserri, their first stop was a prestigious Spanish shotgun maker. After that collaboration failed to materialize, the two Americans approached the Italian gun manufacturing giant, FABARM. Headquartered in Brescia, the gunmaking center of Italy, FABRAM private labels shotguns and rifles for some of the largest brands in the industry.
Although production shifted from Spain to Italy, Baserri’s owners decided to stick with their original name for the company.
Baserri currently offers two 12-gauge boxlocks through 55 dealers across the U.S. The Mari Elite is the sporting version, while the Mari HR has the wingshooter in mind by virtue of a lighter, aluminum action.
Baserri’s Mari Elite ships standard with 30-inch barrels, five extended steel-rated chokes and engraved sideplates. The Mari Elite can handle 3-inch magnum loads. It weighs eight pounds, about two pounds more than the Mari HR field gun.
The difference in weight is the materials. Naturally, the aluminum action of the Mari HR is lighter than the steel action of the Mari Elite. The Mari HR also lacks full sideplates and arrives with shorter 28-inch barrels. The lower grade wood of the Mari HR also contributes to the weight reduction. In terms of price, the Mari HR retails for $2,295 while the Mari Elite starts at $3,295.
When Briley’s chokes hit the market later this year, Baserri owners can expect a more thorough variety that will increase the maximum number of currently available chokes per gun from five to nine.
Where Baserri really stakes its claim, though, is in the barrels – giving the gun extremely low recoil, according to Mr. Thompson. It’s tough to argue with his logic.
First, the chrome molybdenum barrel stock is seasoned for a full year. Exposure to the elements hardens the steel against warping and temperature expansion from high-volume shooting.
Next, the steel is drilled three times to create the Baserri’s patented Tribore barrels. Mr. Thompson said that they have exceeded all others in the U.S. by testing to 1,630 BAR – the equivalent of 23,640 psi. For the sake of comparison, the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturing Institute set a minimum standard of 11,500 psi for 12-gauge shells in 2¾ and 3-inch lengths.
The triple-drilling process has allowed Baserri to do away with forcing cones as we know them. Rather than the abrupt taper of the traditional forcing cone, the Tribore approach gradually tapers the bore from .740 inches to .724 inches. The elongated tapering contributes to a smoother shooting experience and increased shot velocity, as Mr. Thompson explained.
“Baserris are made to be shot,” he said. “A lot of people shy away from the ultra-light guns because of kick and recoil. Our hunting gun comes in at about six pounds, but you can walk miles and miles with it and it won’t beat you up in the process.”
Now that Baserri-FABARM collaboration has proven it can effectively produce the Mari Elite and Mari HR for the American market, we can expect other Baserri shotguns to follow.
By early 2011, we can expect 20 and 28-gauge versions of the Mari HR hunting shotgun. Another Mari offshoot in the works sounded very cool. It’s called Mari Notte because the field receiver will be finished in matte black with a touch of gold on the bottom. Mr. Thompson said the Mari Notte will arrive with Grade 3 wood in 12, 20 and 28 gauge. The 12-gauge Mari Notte will come with 30-inch barrels, while the 20 and 28 will ship with 28-inch barrels.
Two more shotguns are in the “developmental stages,” Mr. Thompson revealed
The first is a Baserri side-by-side. “The key factor with that is that we want to make sure it’s of the quality and beauty of our other guns at the right price point. It’s going to be a box lock, potentially with a sideplate.”
The other is a 12-gauge tournament gun. Based on the Mari Elite, it’s being designed with a raised rib, weight balancing system and other advancements that would make it a “higher scale tournament gun,” Mr. Thompson disclosed.
Well, the proof is in the pudding, as they say, and we are expecting to receive the Mari Elite and the Mari HR for a full shakedown review. We’ll keep you posted.
Useful resources:The Briley web site