By Jason Harris
Monday, 17 September 2012
Guns: William Powell Perseus shotgun: Jason takes a look at the latest import from Italy to carry a top English gunmaker’s name.
William Powell is an English maker with a long heritage of building top-notch guns and who, from time to time, has also used the skills of other makers to build guns to suit certain needs.
The new Perseus O/U built to Powell’s specification by Baptiste Rizzini in Italy is a case in point.
The Perseus is probably best described as a field gun, one designed with game shooting in mind, but one that could also easily be used for clay shooting.
Buyers can take their choice of 12 or 20-bore with 28in or 30in monoblock barrels, all fitted with multichokes and three-inch chambers having passed magnum proof.
I must say that the chokes – of which there are five - are very neatly finished and sit flush with the muzzle ends.
There’s a nice deep gloss finish to the barrel blacking and this extends to the gun’s furniture; top lever, fore-end iron, trigger guard and safety have all been blacked to match and they contrast well with the action frame’s satin silver finish.
Inside, this gun is pure Rizzini with the hammers at the bottom front of the trigger plate, sears suspended from above, and the selector block behind.
The hammers connect with rods in the action floor, which are pushed back by a cam in the fore-end iron to cock the gun.
The rods also pick up the ejector work and set the trips as they go forward during firing.
Woodwork always helps sell a gun and the stock on this one is very pretty – if this test gun is typical of the rest then a lot of folk will find the Perseus very appealing.
The length of pull at around 14.1/2in might prove a tad short for some but it comes to the shoulder and face nicely and it sports a nicely rounded semi-pistol grip that sits in the hand a treat.
The stock ends with a nicely fitted, slim, wood butt plate that flows with the lines.
Drop at comb and heel is pretty standard at 1.3/8in and 2.1/8in and the right hand stock carries a slight 1/8in of cast.
The Schnabel-style fore-end has a quite defined edge to it and the release button is Mr Rizzini’s version of the Anson push rod, a design characterised by the nose of the rod protruding through the front of the fore-end wood.
This is both practical and gives the gun a very definite British look of quality.
Overall weight is a shade less than 7lb 5oz which is fine considering it could well be used with fairly hefty cartridges for those really high birds, and clay shooting too.
This is a very well built gun that will acquit itself well in all shooting conditions, and company.
Its design and looks give a hint of British heritage - and the build quality is what we’ve come to expect from one of Europe’s best gunmakers.
The same goes for its value for money.
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