Invictus V All Sport from Caesar Guerini – a delight
Becky McKenzie runs her rule over the Caesar Guerini Invictus V All Sport and delights in what she finds, consigning previous bad experiences to history
Invictus V All Sport
Manufacturer: Caesar Guerini
Price as reviewed: £6,150
I recently shot at West Midlands Shooting Ground in Shropshire where I met Scott Barnett of Mickley Hall, another splendid shooting ground across the county border in Cheshire.
While chatting to Scott about the targets at West Midlands, I asked him jokingly how his Caesar Guerini was and if it had fallen apart. Yes, we shooters do tend to take the mickey out of each other’s guns, be it an inexpensive auto like my Beretta A400 or a Krieghoff at the opposite end of the scale.
Scott explained, with a big smile on his face, that the gun he was using had seen the better part of 15,000 rounds. He then proceeded to thrust it into my hands.
This particular model had a high rib, felt somewhat too long for me in the stock, but putting it up in my shoulder gave a good picture. Scott said that he reckoned I’d like “the special” he had in his gun shop: the Caesar Guerini Invictus V All Sport. I asked if I could borrow it to test and review. Yes, came the answer.
The Caesar Guerini Invictus V All Sport arrived shortly thereafter and on opening the box and taking the parts out of their socks, I could immediately tell that this was a quality bit of kit. It may have been Scott’s demo gun but it was immaculate, with not a fleck of dirt down the barrels.
Putting the gun together and closing the action with a good solid yet smooth ‘clunk’, it felt good in my hands. It did, however, feel much heavier than both my Perazzi MX2000S and my Beretta A400. The Caesar Guerini Invictus V All Sport had 32in flat rib barrels, ventilated mid and top rib, tapered. The weight of the barrel itself was 3.75lb (1.7kg), and the total weight of this particular model weighed in at 8lb 15oz. Trigger pulls were bottom 3.89lb and top 3.79lb. Dry testing they felt good.
Wood and engraving
The standard wood on Guerini guns is of a good quality, handsome even, and the Invictus V stock and fore-end were gorgeous. The stock is a fully adjustable Monte Carlo design and the action on the Invictus V was a sideplate design, finely engraved with gamebird highlights, pistol-grip style, with a rounded fore-end that felt almost Trap-like in my small hands.
The length of pull on this gun is around 14¾in. The action is chrome-lined and has hand polished internal components for the most precise trigger Caesar Guerini says it has ever produced. The barrels are of high performance superior steel and are, of course, steel shot proofed, stamped with a fleur-de-lis. The Invictus has 70mm bore barrels available in 30 or 32in. The gun also comes with a fair selection of MaxiBore Competition Chokes. The Invictus V does not have an auto-safety, thank goodness. Some Guerini’s come with the CG balancing system, but I am not sure if this one did, and on shooting the gun I didn’t feel like it needed too much attention.
On to the testing. I took three guns to the shooting ground (Garland’s in Tamworth) as I like to test different guns back-to-back. I find it interesting to see the differences between each gun and how they can affect, for example, my vision of the clay, how I move the gun, and how I acquire a target. The guns I took that day were all very different. You may have read my review of the Browning 525 Sporter 1, a gun that I didn’t think would appeal but liked a lot. The Caesar Guerini Invictus V All Sport is considerably bigger and heavier than the Browning and shooting the lighter Browning first, then picking up the Invictus I thought I would struggle to move it.
Having a few shots with the 525S gave me a chance to at least know where the targets were coming from – right to left, and right to left, a bit further out.
Loading the cartridges into the barrel and closing the gun with a satisfactory smoothness, I popped it into my shoulder and called “pull”. The first target appeared from the right, moving swiftly to the left. The Invictus gave me an excellent sight picture and moved with relative ease. I don’t know what choke size was in the barrels, but I ‘smoked’ the targets.
Going from a lightweight gun to the heavier Invictus I thought it would be an effort to swing it quickly but I was wrong. This time I tried to shoot the targets a little quicker, just to see what the gun did and, again, two nice ‘kills’. The gun felt smooth in its swing and it did not feel an effort to push the barrels where I wanted them to go. And the triggers felt as crisp as you can get – not heavy but not too light. Perfect, really. Moving on to the next few stands, the Invictus V All Sport continued to impress me.
The gun had a super low recoil, which always eases the burden of shooting a lot of targets in a session. The barrels patterned particularly well. There were a few longer targets I tried the gun on and still no problems. The driven stand, which is a bit of a bogey target for me on the best of days, was probably the target where I felt I would have liked to have had the 30in barrel length instead of 32in of this cracking gun.
I moved on to some more trickier, speedy and angled targets, trying a bit of gun down. The Invictus came up well into my shoulder and while keeping my eyes on the target the barrels moved easily to the lead I wanted.
There wasn’t a target out there that I felt I couldn’t hit with the Invictus V All Sport. It’s a very nice gun indeed, and I tried really hard not to like it, to nitpick aspects of it as I’ve never really got my hands on a Guerini that I liked. That comes from using one many years ago that knocked 10 bells out of me, went rusty and fell to pieces.
But that was then and Guerini guns are a far better proposition for me these days. I have tested three Guerinis now and I am slowly but surely becoming a fan. I am really spoilt for choice when it comes to doing gun reviews; I have had my hands on many guns and I can honestly say that this was one of my favourites.
It’s probably just as well Scott didn’t have a 30in demo gun available as I may have been mightily tempted to buy it.
- Model Caesar Guerini Invictus V All Sport
- Bore 12-bore
- Barrel length 32in
- Chokes Maxibore, Multichoke
- Rib Tapered Sporting rib, vented
- For-end Rounded
- Weight 8lb 15oz
- Cost £6,150, with a 10-year warranty
There wasn’t a target out there that I felt I couldn’t hit with the Invictus V All Sport.