Caesar Guerini Maxum Gold Ltd 20-bore
An upgrade on the already premium Maxum, this game gun is a head-turner that looks and performs beautifully, says Matt Hunt
Caesar Guerini Maxum Gold Ltd 20-bore
Overall Rating: 91%
Manufacturer: Caesar Guerini
Price as reviewed: £6,195
The Caesar Guerini Maxum Gold Ltd is an upgrade on the already premium Maxum game gun. This new model has more traditional styling and attention to detail. The project was conceived by Anglo Italian Arms, Caesar Guerini’s UK importer. (Read our list of best gun slips.)
The gun is available as a 20-bore with 30in multichoke barrels and CIP superior proofing for use with steel shot. Mechanically, it has been changed with the addition of an upgraded inertia-based trigger, usually the reserve of the competition series models.
Ergonomically, the changes are more obvious. The stock dimensions have been macro-engineered to ensure a perfect connection to the face and shoulder, and the stock profile blends perfectly into the new hybrid pistol grip. This grip style has been designed with game shooters in mind. It is slimmer than on the standard gun and without palm swell, and the grip circumference and length have been increased. The overall feel is that of a London-made game gun. The wood quality is superb and at least Grade 7 or 8 by most manufacturers’ standards.
The action is unchanged and has the classic Italian tried-and-tested system of the bolt locating into lumps at the base of the action with fixed trunnions. The ejector is a basic coil-spring system located in the barrels; that said, the ejection was excellent.
The gun’s distinctive looks are a combination of a case colour hardened action finish over traditional acanthus scroll engraving, which is further embellished with gold inlaid tips. The action is then applied with a clear lacquer to protect the colour hardening. The blend of this action finish, the engraving with gold inlay and the high-gloss wood gives the gun an exceptionally striking look.
If I had one criticism of the wood finish and chequering, it is simply that it’s so perfect that it loses the wonderful blemishes and overruns which give guns individual character.
When you see this gun on the shelf of your local gunshop, you will be drawn to it but, with a 10-year warranty, it does not have to be a decision based on the heart alone. It costs £6,195, which represents a £2,000 upgrade from a standard Maxum. In reality, this extra is only buying you a two-grade improvement in wood, some gold inlays and case colour hardening, but next to a standard model, it still looks like a lot more gun.
Need to know
- Manufacturer Caesar Guerini Model Maxum Gold Ltd
- Calibre 20-bore
- Barrels 30in
- Chamber 3in (76mm)
- Chokes Multichoke
- Rib Solid mid rib and tapered solid top rib
- Grip Pistol
- Weight 6lb 15oz
- Importer Anglo Italian Arms, 01564 742477
- RRP £6,195
I have to confess that I have been a critic of these guns in the past; never for their quality, price or finish but for the inherent design of the action. This model, though identical mechanically, felt different and much improved in operation from the older models.
You have to remember that the guns we test are nearly always unfired when we pick them up and as such can feel stiff and awkward. This gun did not. I would like to say this is down to a man on a bench with a file tirelessly carrying out the final regulation. Though it felt like this was the case, I would actually credit its ease of operation to the accuracy in machining.
Shooting the gun, you can feel the improvements in the trigger system immediately. It has little initial take-up and a crisp and fast lock time without being too light.
The gun balanced just forward of the hinge, and its solid top rib gave a good, hefty feel when swinging. So many 20-bores are whippy and difficult to control. I would put this gun in the middle weight class when it comes to other 20-bores on the market.
Breaking driven clay targets was effortless and, using a 28g cartridge, felt recoil was negligible. When we approached a long crossing target, I found myself missing over the top. In my experience, many Italian guns tend to feel like they shoot low but actually shoot very high. It was easy to adjust to this characteristic, but fitting could also be an option to others.
Overall, the gun could not be faulted mechanically — even when hot, extraction of cartridges was superb. The primary extraction was modest and made unloading unfired cartridges slightly trickier than on other Italian guns. But in general, the Maxum Gold looks and performs beautifully. The price point is fair and represents value in the current market. If you change your guns on a regular basis, other manufacturers may have high residual and part-exchange values.
Caesar Guerini Maxum Gold scores
- Action and barrels 17/20 More than adequate for a small-bore
- Handling 18/20 Very good; I’d like a fixed-choke version
- Trigger 19/20 A great improvement you can genuinely feel
- Stock 19/20 Superb; I love the modern grip shape
- Value 18/20 Good; £2,000 more than standard model
- Overall score 91/100 Good solid purchase for the game Shot
The overall feel is that of a London-made game gun; the quality of wood is superb