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Rizzini Artemis 28-bore shotgun review

Rizzini Artemis 28-bore shotgun review

Manufacturer: Rizzini

Rizzini Artemis 28-bore shotgun
It is strange how one often notices the small things ? those that have an immediate impact upon the consciousness. In this instance, it was the distance that ejected cases flew out of the Rizzini 28-bore, curving in a graceful trajectory to land some seven or eight feet away, but within inches of each other.

All of this was achieved, I must say, without the harshness often associated with over-under ejector mechanisms.

It proved to be an indicator of how this Rizzini Artemis would do most things: very properly and in a distinctly unfussy manner.

On paper, the Rizzini is simply a single-trigger ejector over-and-under built on the Italian so-called ?guild? action.

In reality, it is an elegant, almost feminine little gun, and so it should be, as Artemis was the Greek goddess of hunting. Still, what male reader would not like something good-looking on his arm, whether gun or girl?

But also, what lady Shot would not have at least some leanings towards a pretty and dainty gun as her first choice?

Of course, in the elegance stakes, a 28-bore has a head start due to its modest dimensions and slim construction.

However, the proportions still have to be correct, and on this gun the overall lines are just right.

This is helped in several ways, most noticeably by the use of sideplates, which always impart a more rounded appearance to the action body, and this in turn blends in well with the semi-pistol grip style of stock.

This sort of rounded-end grip is also known as a bag grip or, for those who feel status is important, a Prince of Wales grip, named after that keen Victorian Shot who eventually became Edward VII.

Whatever you fancy, it is a style that, I think, suits over-unders, and it has had something of a revival in recent years.

The Artemis has true 28in barrels with full-length side ribs and a solid tapered top rib, topped with file-cut finish and a traditional brass bead.

One novel addition is the inscription Warning: read owner?s manual very tidily applied to the bottom barrel and neatly tucked out of sight when the fore-end is fitted.

Five screw-in chokes are part of the package included in the travelling case, covering cylinder, quarter, half, three-quarter and full choke.

As I expected, the nicely blacked barrels are built on the monoblock principle, with sprung ejectors and good jewelling around the breech.

At a mere 5.1⁄2lb, it is light ? surprisingly so considering the stock has a 14.3⁄4in length of pull and fairly long barrels.

As a consequence, it is quick, but still feels stable and pointable, with the balance point being just on the fore-end knuckle.

It is easy for a lightweight gun to feel twitchy in the hands, but this one was smooth both to mount and to swing.

The safety is an auto-safe of what might be termed ?standard dimensions?, meaning that it is eminently practical and functional.

As for the decoration on the action body and furniture, this is quite stunning. Too much can easily be garish, but that is not the case with the Rizzini, where, though smothered in engraving, it is tastefully executed.

A form of foliate design with a few heraldic beasts worked in to it, the small scale of this work is complementary to the size of the action.

Once again, while it is very much a matter of taste, I do not think anyone could fail to be impressed by the way it has been laid out.

Then we come to the stock and fore-end, which are very well shaped from a super piece of Italian walnut. Dark shadows on a honey-gold background are enhanced by the oil finishing and cleanly cut chequering.

Very much in the English style, the stock sports a slim comb and a reasonable amount of cast-off (righthand fit).

The fore-end carries a large panel of chequering and the style of the tip blends in well with the Anson-type pushrod fore-end release.

In the field, the Artemis lived up to expectations, though, regrettably, on the way up the lane to the testing ground, a lone magpie proved elusive.

Otherwise, everything mechanical worked as it should. The trigger snapped off without any creep at just about 3.1⁄2lb in whichever order the barrels were used.

The ejectors were both efficient and well-timed, and though second barrel selection is recoil induced, the gun never missed a beat, even with light loads.

To give it the full works, I even used up some elderly paper-cased Eleys marked up as 9⁄16oz (16g), as well as new Eley VIP 24g loads and the light Lyalvale Express 14g, and I can report that all went well.

On the pattern sheet, things got a bit interesting ? only because it was a bright but very blustery day.

I doubt it was windy enough to affect the shot string, but it pushed me about somewhat, so keeping on target, especially with such a light gun, was quite difficult at times.

With the centre of the target just showing over the foresight bead, the middle of the patterns tended still to be biased just above centre.

This suits most circumstances except for the bird that is curling and dropping away, which is an easy miss anyway.

Chokes tested included full, three-quarter, half and quarter, on the basis that, with a small-bore gun and limited amount of shot, some extra choke is often useful to tighten the pattern.

At a test distance of 30 yards, the 24g Eley VIP cartridges performed best when using nothing tighter than the quarter and half-chokes.

The full and three-quarter chokes gave somewhat tidier patterns with the 14g load of the Express cartridge.

It is worth noting, though, that even with the heaviest loads, the recoil proved to be of no consequence ? partly due to the fit of the gun, as it suited me, but also because of the quality of the build, as all tolerances seem to be at the minimum.

While recoil was never an issue, with the lighter loads it really was sweet ? the kind of gun and cartridge combination one could shoot effortlessly all day.

A delightfully light, fine handling gun that will do all you ask of it within the limitations of a small-bore gun, plus a little bit more.

Many shooters find small-bore guns fascinating, as, in spite of the modest shot loads, there are other benefits, such as handling.

Though it is a true lightweight, this slim, almost delicate 28-bore Rizzini performed well, and with the 24g loads it is into 20-bore territory.

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