Sportsmen may not readily consider a masterful Japanese sword engraver and a legendary Italian shotgun maker viable collaborators—but Beretta, the multinational firearms cooperation, and Izumi Koshiro, one of the world’s most celebrated sword engravers, have done just that. Together the pair recently released the one-of-a-kind SO6 EELL Izumi Project shotgun, a model unlike any other in the Beretta lineup.
Izumi embellished this handcrafted over-and-under with dragon-themed engravings. The sideplates, in particular, depict three dragons chasing a gold sphere, a symbol of Yang energy, or wisdom, in early Taoism. The gun took more than five years to complete and, altogether, embodies both passion and perfectionism.
Izumi noted he saw the collaboration with Beretta as an opportunity “to magnify and pass on, to the future generations, the art of the samurai sword” through a new medium.
Unsurprisingly, swordplay is also part of the project: five Japanese craftsmen built a stunning dragon-engraved tanto—a dagger used by samurais dating back to the 12th century—as a companion piece for the new SO6 EELL. Likewise, a cleaning kit by the exclusive gun-accessory company Maurizio Cairola and a marquetry wooden box by the London-based furniture maker David Linley complete the set.
Ultimately, the Izumi Project marries two unlikely but compatible traditions of excellence.
See below for pictures and to watch a video for an up-close look at crafting the SO6 EELL set.