Becky McKenzie enjoys her time on the range with the easy moving Invictus V, even if she found the stock a little long for her shorter frame
My first impressions were it is a good looking gun with lovely wood and fancy engraving.
The Invictus V Ascent has a fine looking action, which I understand to be hand engraved in part. Whatever, it is rather nice, a pheasant on one side and a partridge on the other of a sideplated action.
The unique Invictus action and its internal parts are all chrome-lined and are hand polished to give the most precise trigger Caesar Guerini has ever produced. The slightly thicker walls to the action increases its strength and durability and also helps to absorb felt recoil. (Read more about recoil here.)
The Invictus V Ascent can be refurbished easily if wear is found after an owner has put many thousands of rounds down the barrel. For example, the opening and closing movement of the receiver. The hinge pins on the monobloc, called Invictus Cams, and the receiver block can be replaced.
The barrels have a 10mm semi-high tapered rib, designed to shoot 50:50. The semi-high rib on the Invictus allows for a more upright stance, which some shooters prefer and also improves target visibility.
That said, if you don’t alter the adjustable comb then you will only see the back of the action, just like I did when I first picked it up. The chrome-lined and over-bored maxibore is joined with the DuoCon forcing cones which also reduce any felt recoil and shot deformation.
Fortunately for little old me, this gun comes with an adjustable comb. I’ve said it before and will say again: every gun should come with an adjustable comb, so each and every shooter can get as close to a perfect stock fit as possible. The grade of wood is around 2.5 and oil finished.
The Invictus V Sporting is available in barrel lengths of 28, 30 and 32in. I chose to try the 12-gauge 32in model, with a single selective trigger. Top and mid rib are ventilated, with a nice white bead on the end and not too distracting.
Caesar Guerini states that the stock is 377mm long, 14.8in. The one I borrowed was 15in and on shouldering the gun for the first time there was a moment of: “Urgh! Nope, not sure about this,” as it was too long for me and I felt I had to stretch my neck forward to get near the right shooting position. However, I am only just over 5ft 4in and do not have particularly long ‘levers’, so for the average size and height person, this stock would probably be OK. The stock on my demo gun was of the Monte Carlo style, which gives a nice feel on your cheek and fits snugly into the shoulder. On my home scales it weighed in at 9lb 3oz. Caesar Guerini says on its website that it weighs 8 lb 6oz (3.9kg), but I am not sure what barrel length that is based on. The gun didn’t feel particularly heavy to me when mounted into my shoulder.
Other than my initial feeling that the stock was too long – stretchy neck and this is going to be uncomfortable – the gun felt pretty well balanced. The Invictus V also has a DTS (Dynamic Tuning System) barrel and stock weights, so you can personalise the gun to suit your style of shooting.
This adds to the weight, but not in your shoulder. If a gun is balanced well it may ‘feel’ heavy in your hands, but once in your shoulder, you feel at one with the gun, never fighting for control.
Out on the range I tackled targets I knew reasonably well and shot with other guns I had been testing, giving the Invictus V every chance to impress by comparison. Wrapping myself around the long stock, I lined up the first target, a going away. Miss! Oh dear.
On reflection, I was bedazzled by the semi-high rib. I tell my clients to look at the clay, so what did I do? You guessed it, I looked at that nice semi-high rib. A case of not practising what I preach. I then decided to try a bit of gun down, which is not easy when the stock is too long for you. Rather weirdly, this felt much better.
A long left to right, followed by a right to left looper. Picking my hold point, looking back to where I could see the clay, I called pull, keeping my eyes on the clay at all times, using swing through. Smash! Back to second hold point, I picked up the looper. Smash! That felt rather nice. Then there was a rising long high incomer that I didn’t hit with my own gun, but the Invictus V absolutely smashed it.
I was using maxichoke, improved cylinder and a half, not a combination that I would normally shoot but these chokes/barrels do pattern rather well. And you do get a good selection of chokes for this gun, at least six or eight to a box. These all come in a hard, lockable plastic case.
The gun itself moves pretty well. The sight picture, once you stop looking at the barrels, gives great visibility of the clays at all times. The balance for a 32in felt nice when pushing the gun along, and I found it would change direction easily too. I have found some guns need a bit of extra oomph to get them to move back quickly.
The Invictus V Ascent was a surprisingly nice gun to shoot. If the stock had been a tad shorter, I would have liked to shoot it for longer. It retails for £6,250, but scouring Guntrader I saw that it could be found from £5,750, with a Monte Carlo adjustable stock, eight chokes, and 10 years’ warranty (yes, 10 years) down to £5,330, with a non-adjustable stock, even £4,995, with and adjustable stock but not quite as ‘sexy’ wood on it.
So, if you do like a stunning slab of walnut on your gun and are prepared to put a little bit more cash towards it, you get a rather splendid gun for life.
- Model Caesar Guerini Invictus V Ascent
- Bore 12-bore
- Action Inertia
- Barrel 32in
- Chamber 3in maxibore
- Rib Ventilated Ascent Rib, Tapered
- Stock 35/55mm drop, 377mm long
- Fore-end Slim, sporting
- Weight 9lb 3oz Price
A beautiful gun, both inside and out