The Fausti Class SL Upland 20 Gauge in the Field

Vintage orange recoil pads that conjure an era we might call the “Golden Age of Shotguns” bestow today’s bird guns with a classic, abiding romance. Let yourself drift and that autumnal ginger color invites the fragrances of pipe tobacco, dewy tweed, musky dogs and wet feathers.

Of course a contemporary shotgun should possess suitable qualities for the reverie. Game birds engraved on sideplates, Prince of Wales grip adorned with long tang and walnut whose figuring whispers of the ages all coalesce with that historical orange to gently invoke those gentlemen’s expeditions.

On our side of the Atlantic you’d be challenged to find a more enduring wingshooting experience than the pursuit of “Gentleman Bob” in the plantation-rich Red Hills region of Georgia. It was mid-season when our custom Fausti Class SL Upland over/under worked the quail-rich terrain of Southern Woods planation in Sylvester.


The Fausti Class SL with bright finish sideplates.


The Class SL Upland at hand was a member of Fausti’s Boutique Collection – the bespoke, deluxe group that hand-finishes each firearm with premium materials. Fausti’s Boutique Collection also includes their Italyco, DEA SL series, DEA British series, Noblesse Hammer Gun, the sidelock Senator, the Magnificent sporting model and the Venetian round body.

The 20-gauge Fausti Class SL Upland arrived in a stunning canvas salmon-colored hard case with beige leather edging and lined in green felt also leather-trimmed. As a Boutique selection, the boxlock with bright sideplates had some upgraded features including a laser-engraved, bright finish grip cap that matched the receiver, solid top and side ribs and 4A walnut oil finished in a semi-gloss.


The underside of the Fausti Class SL with bright finish.

The shotgun elaborated on the standard Fausti Class SL Upland built around the scaled frame, 28-inch barrels with five flush chokes, single, selective trigger, filigree top lever, automatic ejectors, slender Prince of Wales forend and an elongated auget that ensures a smooth release of the forend. The Fausti Class SL Upland you’ll see in the Boutique brochure, however, has a rounded knob grip, satin-finished 4A walnut, checkered butt plate and vented ribs. The starting price is $8,399.

The entire line of Fausti Class SL Upland models is available in gauges from .410 to 12 – all on proportional frames. Since it’s a Fausti Boutique offering, you can specify barrels lengths of 26, 28 or 30 inches. Made from a triple-alloy steel, the barrels are chrome lined and have a brass front bead.


The Fausti Class SL with a case-colored receiver.

Fausti also makes the Class SL Upland in a case-colored finish with painted game birds. In terms of weight, the .410 with a 26-inch barrels is approximately 5.8 pounds while the 12 gauge with 30-inch barrels is about 7¼ pounds while other combinations fall within that spectrum. Fausti ships the Class SL Upland with a 14⅜-inch length of pull.

In the fields of Southern Woods, the Fausti Class SL Upland proved an upland classic. The trigger pull, at 5¼ pounds, felt crisp and controllable. Swinging after the low, fast quail came in smooth arcs – delivering the stability of a 12 gauge minus the extra weight. Most Fausti game guns we’ve shot conveyed a flat sight picture, but the Class SL Upland required a bit more float on the quarry. Still, our eye lined up perfectly with the rib and that lovely orange recoil pad naturally situated itself in the shoulder pocket.

Irwin Greenstein is the publisher of Shotgun Life. You can reach him at

Helpful resources:

The Fausti web site

The Fausti Boutique catalog online

The web site for Southern Woods Plantation



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