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Krieghoff K20 Parcours: What a machine!

Krieghoff K20 Parcours

Krieghoff K20 Parcours

Overall Rating: 94%

Manufacturer: Kreighoff

Price as reviewed: £13,995

In an age when 20-bore cartridges have nearly the same load ranges and performance as a 12, it would be silly not to consider using one as your live quarry gun, be that for driven, walked-up or even pigeons. The real benefit of a 20 over a 12 is the reduction in weight, meaning less fatigue when carrying and mounting. The fringe benefit is a scaled 20-bore action, which is usually a touch more elegant than a full-sized 12-bore. With this in mind, I borrowed a Krieghoff K20 Parcours from a good instructor friend and took it for a whirl on some clays.

I have shot this gun before and have seen it in use on live quarry with very fruitful consequences. As you would expect, the action is a scaled-down version of the K80. It has managed to retain all of the K80’s fantastic technical features, including the sliding top latch, and the same robust build quality.

The K20 action can also be ordered with 28-bore and .410-bore barrel sets, which is certainly appealing.

Krieghoff K20 Parcours

Weighing in at 7lb, the increased weight of the K20 means that it’s been designed to handle some serious work, and Jonny finds it lives up to that aspect

Krieghoff K-20 Parcours in depth

The first thing you notice is that this 20-bore is not as light as many other small-bores — it does in fact weigh in at over 7lb. This being the case, it may not be your first choice as a gun to walk with all day but would be your first choice of 20-bore to put into hard use — this is a gun designed for serious work.

The use of heavier loads on game won’t leave you bruised, and the extra weight makes the difference when needing the control for clays. On the subject of heavy use, the sliding top latch locks over the barrels on a tapered face, and as the gun breaks in this top latch moves forward, keeping the gun tight and on the face.

When you look inside a Krieghoff, you will see that these are different beasts and alien internally to most of the other mainstream brands, from the way the hammers and coil mainsprings work to the wonderful mechanical trigger. The trigger on the test gun is a selective mechanical trigger that has the same crisp breaks as the K80, and a selector in front of the trigger-blade. The trigger-blade is deeply curved and ‘fits’ the finger, somewhat like the trigger on my old Browning GTI, just without the spongy pulls.

Krieghoff K20 Parcours

The final note on the action is the safety catch, located in the usual spot on the top tang. It differs from other mainstream brands as it doesn’t simply push back or pull forward. Instead, it sports a little button on top that needs to be depressed for it to change position. A clever system, and one that takes little time to get used to. The exterior gun action features the monarch engraving, as well as some exquisite colour-cased hardening. Pictures do not do it justice — it’s utterly beautiful.

Being a Parcours model, the barrels of this gun have a flat 7mm ventilated top rib and soldered solid mid rib, giving a traditional look and feel. There are other models available in the K20 range, including the Sporting model with a barrel hanger instead of a mid rib, and the Pro Sporter with its floating step-up tapered top rib. As with most guns at this price point, there are a heap of options; you can build your dream gun as you see fit.

The stock in this case is a traditional profile pistol grip, with a palm swell, fantastic quality chequering and a practical satin oil finish. When ordering a new gun, the measurements can be worked out to suit your specifications, and because of this the dimensions of this gun are not so relevant.

Need to know

  • Manufacturer Krieghoff
  • Model Krieghoff K20 Parcours
  • Weight 7lb 2oz
  • Calibre 20-bore
  • Barrels 30in or 32in
  • Rib 7mm tapered rib, soldered with side ribs
  • Stock Parcours (Prince of Wales stock also available)
  • Choke Fixed or Teague multichokes
  • Chamber 3in
  • Warranty 10 years
  • Price from £13,995


As I said at the beginning, I have shot this gun a few times and have enjoyed each of the experiences thoroughly. The extra weight certainly makes for a quick transition from my regular 12-bore. When picking up a small bore, I will usually have an adjustment period of somewhere between five and 25 shots, as I recalibrate my body to not shoot miles in front of everything (or indeed nowhere near). With this gun it is an almost instantaneous switch.

It still moves exceptionally, and this is because of the big lump of steel in the middle. The robustness of the K20 action brings a lot of the weight in-between the hands so one can manoeuvre around this centre easily.

This was evident when I tested the gun on a pair of low, fast crossers that quartered away. These were the sort of targets you couldn’t hang around with. The gun ripped into eight out of 10 of the targets. I also tested the gun out on a big looper that needed what I thought was 8ft of lead.

Suddenly the weight of the gun came into play with a big, smooth and controlled pull away from the target. The weight made this pull away predictable, breaking as many targets with this (not so) little 20-bore as I had with a 12-bore a few hours earlier. I don’t think I have ever shot such a competent Sporter 20-bore before like this.

I tried this out on a driven stand, and it handled 20 to 35-yard driven targets effortlessly. In fact, it forced me to move the gun a little more smoothly than a 12, which is no bad thing. I would have no reservations taking this out on any average driven game.

After over 100 rounds, I could not find fault with the way the Krieghoff K20 Parcours gun shot and handled. It’s a 20-bore designed for someone coming from a lifetime of 12-bore use. It’s as steady and controllable as any 12-bore game gun, though a little more fiery and nimble than them to boot. Its Parcours-style fore-end and palm swell grip are large enough for big hands without looking out of place.

The only thing it can’t compete in is being lightweight, but I look at this two ways. Firstly, if you’re coming from a near 9lb 12-bore, it is light by comparison. Plus, you can always buy a super-light 20 or 28 as well.

  • Action and barrels 20/20
  • Handling 18/20 Not too whippy
  • Trigger 18/20 Good, clean breaks
  • Stock 20/20 Fully customised measurements
  • Value 18/20 Not cheap, but the best rarely are
  • Overall Score 94/100 What a machine


After over 100 rounds, I could not find fault with the way this gun shot and handled