By Irwin Greenstein Shotgun Life
Beretta has quietly produced the 687 EELL Classic 20 Gauge to support an organization that provides college financial assistance for children of special operations personnel who have died or were severely wounded in combat.
And to help spread the word about these beautiful over/unders and the beneficiary organization called the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Beretta authorized dealer Cole Gunsmithing is offering these shotguns at a 33-percent discount.
The Beretta program makes a donation to Special Operations Warrior Foundation for each shotgun manufactured. The shotgun, formally called the Beretta Special Operations Warrior Foundation 687 EELL Classic, is available primarily through the Beretta Galleries in New York City and Dallas, Texas at the full retail price of $7,500, which is also the suggested retail price of a standard high-grade 687 EELL.
The logo of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation is on the bottom of the receiver of this limited-production Beretta 687 EELL Classic.
However, to move the commemorative shotguns into the hands of the charity’s supporters, Cole Gunsmithing has reduced the price to $4,900. There are approximately six of the exclusive shotguns in Cole’s Naples, Florida showroom and two in its original Harpswell, Maine facility.
Beretta’s SOWF 687 EELL Classic was inspired by a program that originated in England, explained Ian Harrison, who serves as Director of Premium Gun Sales at Beretta U.S.A., based in the Beretta New York Gallery. The London Beretta Gallery had designed a similar shotgun to support a military charity directly connected to the country’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) unit of the British Army.
“We never did anything like that in the U.S. and it inspired us to do something similar here,” he said.
The SOWF 687 EELL Classic 20 gauge also pays tribute to Beretta’s long-standing association with the American military, dating to 1985 when the company started manufacturing its 9mm M9 handgun for the U.S. Armed Forces.
Based in Tampa, Florida, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation ensures full financial assistance for a post-secondary degree from an accredited two- or four-year college, university, technical or trade school. The organization offers family and educational counseling, including in-home tutoring, to the surviving children of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to severely wounded and hospitalized special operations personnel.
The 20-gauge Beretta Special Operations Warrior Foundation 687 EELL Classic.
Only 100 SOWF 687 EELL Classic were made. They feature the Special Operations Warrior Foundation logo as a tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Special Operation Forces.
The 687 EELL Classic is part of the Beretta Premium Catalog. The shotgun is available in all popular gauges. The 687 EELL Classic features full sideplates with 100-percent coverage of super-fine, hand-finished game scene engravings, which are enriched with intricate flora. The semi-beavertail forend and stock are rated as premium grade walnut. Although the 687 EELL Classic is produced in all popular gauges, Beretta opted for the 20 gauge as the definitive, general-purpose over/under field gun.
One hundred of these guns will be produced with the SOWF logo engraved as a tribute to the dedicated men & women of the U.S. Special Operation Forces. Beretta will donate a portion of the proceeds to the SOWF. The SOWF 687 EELL Classic 20 gauge comes with premium quality wood, and classic game scene side plates.
When it came to the SOWF 687 EELL Classic “Beretta decided that we wanted to build a field gun that a hunter can shoot birds with that has some level of sophistication to it,” said Mr. Harrison. The SOWF 687 EELL Classic is fitted with beautiful Grade 4 Turkish walnut, Prince of Wales stock and either 28-inch or 30-inch barrels replete with a set of factory chokes.
Although Cole Gunsmithing sells individual SOWF 687 EELL Classic models, Beretta also created 10 matched pairs of the guns that are only available in the Dallas and New York Galleries, he added.
“The Beretta family recognizes more than anything that we owe a lot to the U.S. service men and women,” said Mr. Harrison.
Irwin Greenstein is the publisher of Shotgun Life. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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