I shoot like a girl... (a gun review)
As the oldest daughter of a shotgun and shooting fanatic - it was inevitable that I would also be a shooter. Since my entry into the shooting world in 2010, at just ten years old, I have had experience with several shotguns (both field and sporting). As a rookie shooter in the Scholastic Clay Target Program, I awkwardly wielded a 12 gauge Ruger Red Label butchered with a 12 1/2" LOP. Needless to say, this gun was awkward, heavy and unbalanced - but it's what we had. As my love for shooting and experience increased - and I grew, I graduated to a 12 gauge Beretta 682 Gold E fit with 20g barrels. It was still too big for me but I made it work because, in 2012, shotguns still were not designed for female shooters. Currently, I shoot a Beretta 682 Gold with 12g 30" barrels (and wood upgraded by Cole Gunsmithing!) I wouldn't trade my experiences with either of these guns, but when I heard about the new line of shotguns designed from the ground up for female shooters by Syren USA - I knew that I had to try one.
This past summer, I was extremely lucky to have been sent Syren’s Elos D2 20 (built by Fabarm) to try out. I really wanted to put this gun through its paces with plenty of trigger time and as many rounds as I could in the week that we had it. The perfect opportunity presented itself in the Green Acres Sportsman’s Club’s 'Downton Day' shoot. Downton Day is a simulated traditional British driven shoot, meaning that we would be shooting driven grouse, October partridge, high pheasant and SOARING high pheasant - all simulated with clay targets. If you get the opportunity to try this - don't miss it. Keith Coyle and his team make it a perfect day! Decked out in tweeds provided by Alan Paine, the day was amazing. In total, I shot roughly 400 rounds and got experience with the gun on shots of varying speed, distance, and elevation. I believe this gave me a good understanding and appreciation of the gun’s performance.
The day of the shoot was hot and humid with temps in the upper 80's. The 'proper shooting attire' looked amazing but was heavy and thick (Brits don't typically have to shoot in weather like this). Because of this, the Elos’s lightweight body and slender frame were a welcomed surprise. The dimensions, fit and length of pull were perfect, for reference I am 5’4”. The gun was very easy to maneuver and the 28" barrels were lively. Compared to my Beretta, the Elos D2 felt like a feather. This being said, after nearly 400 rounds, my shoulder was beaten up. On a normal day, this wouldn't be a problem but after the equivalent of four rounds of sporting clays the recoil reminded me that this wasn't a heavier dedicated target gun. Overall, the mechanics and fit of the gun were good for a woman of my size and for a light to medium day of shooting.
The next factor of the Elos that I want to talk about is the design. It is slender and sleek - characteristics that I am sure every lady shooter will appreciate. The laser-engraved receiver with gold game birds was tasteful and elegant - thumbs up. The stock, on the other hand, missed the mark for me. Laser engraved the roses in the checkering came off to me as tacky. And on the topic of wood, upon first glance, the stock of the Syren Elos looks beautiful and I really appreciated the raised comb. However, upon closer inspection, the wood grain is enhanced with a film overtop to make it look like a higher grade. With an MSRP of nearly $3,000 - I really think that a decent grade of wood could have been used or we should see a sharply lower price point.
Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed this gun and am very thankful for getting the opportunity to try it. The concept of the company is groundbreaking and original, providing women with a shotgun option that is tailored to them. The fit of the gun was perfect and the overall design was beautiful. Strip off a few of the overt ladies styling cues and this gun would be equally well suited for a junior shooter or small-statured man. While there are some things that I would change about the appearance of the gun, my opinions are only mine. Noting that Syren is a relatively young company with a great vision, I have no doubt that Syren will continue to perfect and expand their range of guns as they grow.