beretta side-by-side shotgun 486 with engraving design by marc newson


what happens when the oldest firearms company in the world (beretta, the italian-based multinational manufacturer) offers the design of the most traditional and elegant shotgun – the side by side – to marc newson?


beretta states: ‘the new 486 by marc newson is a respectful re-interpretation of the traditional side by side with an innovative technological solution: the wood-bridge. Thanks to this original design, the safety catch is no longer a remote mechanism on the end of the receiver, but is now seamlessly set into the high-grade walnut, almost like a bridge, creating a beautiful element of distinction.




to be asked to design for beretta, one of the oldest companies in the world with its roots in the italian renaissance, was a great honour. one of the things I like most about my job as a designer is the opportunity I get to immerse myself in different industries and acquire knowledge about their manufacturing processes, materials and technologies. I am interested in the way things work – it’s a technical obsession. the main focus for my design of the 486 was to simplify and rationalise all the surfaces. specifically streamlining the area of the action. during the manufacture of my design in the beretta workshops I got to observe the fascinating mix of traditional skills employed by beretta’s craftsmen in conjunction with the most impressive state-of-the-art engineering processes including the use of intricate x-ray equipment, sophisticated laser technology and robotics. with these standards of ingenuity I believe that my vision to create an innovative and modern design while respecting the DNA of the product typology has been spectacularly achieved.’ — M.N.






sketches by marc newson



the traditional tail of the receiver has been lowered allowing the wood to separate the receiver and the safety/selector like a wooden bridge over the steel. 



marc newson has used the characteristics of steel and modern machining to elevate the concept of the ’round body’, bringing it to a new level. the receiver is edgeless and the lines flow through the entire surface of the shotgun with no sharp edges or breaks.    



the engraving is a homage to asia as the homeland of the pheasant. this design is made possible by the high-tech laser technology used in the manufacturing process. it ensures the best texture wrap over the entire surface of the receiver and also allows for a deep contrast and sharp resolution in all the details of the engraving.


my initial source of inspiration came from the idea that pheasants originate and are native to asia, before being widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. for me it was important to somehow pay homage to this and incorporate a subtle asian influence into the design. of any country that I have visited (and lived in) japan still holds the most interest for me. I am fascinated by japanese culture and in particular the different comprehension of scale and detail. with this in mind I started to look at japanese tattoos and the craftsmanship involved in creating complex engravings as a means to compliment the surfacing of the action.‘ — M.N.



the triblock technology makes the barrel truly elegant by eliminating the welding lines



new opening lever design and new guard fixing

another distinctive feature is the fixing of the trigger guard to the receiver. while most shotguns screw the guard to the bottom of the receiver, the 486 inserts the trigger guard into a milled guide. 



slim forend

the forend of the new 486 is leaner and more streamlined, while the coupling point between the receiver and the forend iron has been reduced to a minimum.