Krieghoff K20 shotgun.
This Krieghoff is a shotgun for the dedicated competition shooter.
If you are serious about your clay shooting and want a gun that has the ability and pedigree to compete at the highest level, then the Krieghoff range will fit the bill perfectly.
Let me say straight away that I don’t have a great deal of experience working on Krieghoff guns.
And that’s intended very much as a compliment: they are very reliable and rarely require the attention of a gunsmith.
Much of the appeal of these guns is in their handling capabilities. They are quite heavy relative to other guns, yet not too heavy to make the shooter have to fight the gun.
Let’s take a look at the mechanics. First, the action appears to be exactly what it’s supposed to be; a solid block of steel that has been incredibly well machined and finished by state-of-the-art CNC technology employed in the Krieghoff factory.
The action on these guns are quite large and certainly much longer than those found on other guns. In fact, the 20-bore action here is probably as big as most other 12s you come across on your travels.
The most striking feature of the Krieghoff is the action’s moving top canopy that slides forward when the gun is closed to lock down on either side of a corresponding taper on the barrel shoulders.
There is plenty of bite on this gun with the top lever usually over to the 5 o’clock position to give many years of heavy duty shooting.
The barrels hinge on stub pins that can be replaced should the gun need to be re-jointed.
The rest of the action is certainly of a design unique to Krieghoff and owes little to other manufacturers. The hammers pivot at the bottom of the action and are powered by coil springs housed forward and on either side of the action.
They are out of sight which means they are well protected from dirt and moisture, and they also rebound to prevent any chance of striker drag when the gun is opened.
Both hammers also have arms connected to them that pick up the ejection mechanism and these rods are also pushed back by independent levers protruding from the front of the action which cock the gun via the fore-end when the gun is opened.
The trigger is mechanical so it is not dependent on recoil to reset for the second shot and this is a real bonus if you have the 28-bore and .410 barrels that will also fit this action.
It means you don’t have to rely on the inconsistencies of lower recoil from smaller gauge cartridges to reset the selector.
At first glance the trigger mechanism appears to be a complex piece of work, but it is, in actual fact, quite simple in principle. And one neat feature is it’s gently powered upwards to give direct contact with the sears at all times, taking up trigger clearance to give the feel of a single stage-trigger pull on both barrels.
Another bonus is while the gun might work mechanically to select the second shot, there is an inertia weight on the back of the trigger to prevent the gun double discharging.
This gun has a manual safety catch that can be converted to auto safe return quite easily. The fore-end iron is a very substantial piece of metal and is largely one piece.
Interestingly there are twin ejector springs for each barrel to not only deliver plenty of kick but also provide a back-up in the rare event of one breaking. Should this happen, the gun will keep working.
The barrels are made on mono-block construction and have 3in chambers which have been chrome plated to give the maximum wear resistance.
The bores of the gun are not plated to allow any dents that might occur to be raised and lapped much more successfully. The bores are finished to a superb standard and are bored perfectly concentrically.
The barrels are held together at the muzzle by a hanger connected to the top tube and it’s possible to fit hangers of different sizes so that the point of impact between the barrels can be altered.
I’m not entirely sure that I see the benefits to this feature but it’s an interesting concept, nonetheless.
The woodwork on this gun – a nicely figured dark piece of walnut – has been properly finished and fitted.
Krieghoff are a little unusual as gunmakers go in that they fit a semi monte-carlo stock to each of their models as a matter of course to give a quick gun mount with the heel coming comfortably into the shoulder.
However the comb angle is such that it gives a good sight plane with the slightly raised rib. There is no perceptible cast one way or the other so the gun is suitable for either left or right handed use.
It also has a palm swell that’s very comfortable to hold and slightly swollen on both sides to suit either hand. The butt end is finished with a Pachmayr sporting clays pad of decelerator rubber so the gun is comfortable for recoil.
The chequer pattern is comfortable and nicely cut and the woodwork has been finished with oil, which brings out the best in the wood.
In shooting terms this well made gun can be likened to a high powered racing car. Not everybody will want one but those who do buy a Krieghoff will love it… and turn a few heads in the process.
Alternative buys could be the higher grade Browning B25s, Beretta SO, Perazzi MX8.
Krieghoff K20 shotgun
Around £7,900 (standard version £5,900).
Build quality: 9
Value for money: 8
More information available from UK importer, Alan Rhone, on 01978 780390.