The Krieghoff K80 has won many fans all over the world. Now Becky McKenzie looks at the Parcours-X and discovers what has made the K-80 such a superstar on the clay circuit
My ‘midlife crisis’ was nearly four years ago. I decided to have a massive change in my life and dropped most of my shooting sponsors, changed my job, went self-employed and became a shooting coach. I am pleased to report it is one of the best things I have done.
Before being sponsored by Zoli and winning many titles with my trusty Z Sport, I decided that I would up my game by trying different guns. And so began a long journey. I bought myself a 32in barrelled Kreighoff K80 Super Sporter. It was a big, old, heavy thing, which I shot really well. But I felt it was holding me back and thought I would shoot a flat rib better.
Krieghoff K80 magic
With my husband’s left-handed Krieghoff K80 I felt I couldn’t miss. So I reasoned that if I got a right- handed one and set it up as close as possible to the way I wanted, that would be the way forward. Eighteen months later I decided to rethink the situation.
I was never consistent with the K80. I truly loved the gun; it felt great, but it was not meant to be. My saviour came in the form of the Perazzi MX2000S.
However, getting my hands on the new Krieghoff K80 Parcours-X caused me much excitement. But I was also half filled with trepidation. You may well ask why. The thing is, I wondered if I was going to pick up the gun and not like it.
Was it going to give me the same feeling I had with my old Krieghoff K80? Or worse, was I going to love the darned thing, go home with a smile on my face, only for John, my husband, to waft the divorce papers in my face and mutter the words: “You’re not having another bl**dy gun!”
I borrowed the Krieghoff Parcours-X gun from J F Neville, Alfreton, and it belonged to John Dunne, the shop manager. I have actually shot this gun before, towards the end of a FITASC competition when I fell out with my Perazzi.
That day, my gun felt all wrong to me. Every time I put the gun to my shoulder, the fore-end felt loose in my grip. It turns out the fore-end was in fact not loose, it was actually the stock and only very slightly, but it was enough for me to feel movement. More of that later.
The Parcours X, 12-bore with 32in barrels, weighing in at 8lb 9oz, is not the heaviest Krieghoff I have had the pleasure of shooting. My own K80, after adjusting the balance to how I wanted it, weighed in at 9lb 5oz. So this Parcours X is much lighter in comparison. The test gun has special engraving on it, which was the symphony scroll and I rather liked it.
The Parcours-X differs in a few ways to the Krieghoff K80 Super Sporter and original Parcours. This was designed to meet the needs of Sporting Clay and FITASC shooters, who wanted the K80 Super Sporter to feel a bit more nimble, and livelier, but not quite as light as the standard Parcours. So Krieghoff added a bit more weight to the Parcours barrel to provide a balanced smooth swinging shotgun.
The new Parcours-X gives the shooter the proven reliability of the K80 receiver, with a newly tapered rib design – starting from 10mm tapered to 8mm – without a centre tramline for a clean sight picture. There are variations in the rib depending what weight of barrel the shooter requires.
The Parcours-X has a 32in chrome-lined barrel with 3in chambers, finished with the new Krieghoff ‘thin walled’ flush chokes. It has a hardened nickel plated steel receiver, with a satin grey finish and a single selective mechanical trigger, adjustable for finger length, with a pull weight around 3¾lb.
As always, the Krieghoff comes with some of the finest Turkish walnut, with a satin epoxy finish and a slim field-style fore-end. The Parcours-X also comes in its own Negrini case. There are various styles of engraving available. For example, there is the vintage scroll, Parcours scroll, Celtic scroll and the symphony, which was on the one I tested.
The Krieghoffs are still a ‘Marmite gun’– you either like the look of them with their long action, or you don’t. They are what they are, a gun that can withstand many thousands of rounds being put through them.
My husband’s K80 Super Sporter can vouch for that. I reckon he put almost 85,000 cartridges through it over the 12 or so years he had it. The only maintenance work was having the barrels reblued/blacked, and the odd trigger component needing to be replaced. So it’s testament to the strength and reliability of this German beast.
Now don’t think just because this gun is lighter it won’t stand the test of time, or that you might feel the recoil more. The Parcours-X is of excellent quality and superb workmanship. I could go into more detail about barrel weights and more in depth technical stuff, but do you really want to read that? I was rather keen to see, and feel, how it actually shot.
How it shot
It was time for a visit to Orston Shooting Ground, a favourite proving ground for my gun tests, and for once it was a decent day weather wise. I had three guns to test, this one – a Zoli that featured in the last issue and another gun, more of which in the next.
On pulling the Krieghoff out of the gun slip, I smiled. I really like these guns. The gun wasn’t best fit for me. As it was John Dunne’s gun, I didn’t want to adjust the comb because I was sure I couldn’t get it back to the right settings for him. That said, it wasn’t a bad fit. Going on to the Sportrap layout at Orston, the trapper showed me the targets. I shot the Zoli first, as I know the ‘feeling’ of these guns rather well. So I could get my eye in.
Then came the Krieghoff. I wondered if it would feel the same as my own old K80. Straight away, after calling for the first target, which was a fast quartering away bird, I knew this gun was hugely different. It was much more user-friendly. The gun moved with ease to the point of aim. At the point where my brain connects with the finger, my eyes see the clay disappear into a ball of clay dust. No hesitation, no over leading, like my own gun. Hmm, I thought I may like this gun.
On a report pair, a fast right to left, followed by a slower quartering incomer, the Krieghoff swung smoothly and I could put the lead on, without really thinking too much about it. I could also change direction with ease without fighting the barrels and felt steady when I wanted it to be steady. Yes, I am impressed with this Parcours-X. I shot a couple of rounds of 25, and really enjoyed the experience. But more was to come.
A month or so later, we went up to shoot the FITASC Winter Series at Mount Farm Sporting Clays in West Yorkshire, which is always a challenging shoot. The last time I shot my MX2000S something just didn’t feel right, but I chose to ignore it.
That day shooting FITASC the issue was more noticeable. When I pulled the gun quickly into my shoulder it felt that either the fore-end was slightly loose.
By the last layout I started to really find it unnerving, so John Dunne said, “shoot my gun, Becky.”
It was not really the best place to have another go with the Parcours-X. Target B being an absolute screamer off a high tower and John’s gun’s stock didn’t fit perfectly and, yes, I am making excuses… However this gun really did go where I looked.
Happily, and to my surprise, I smashed the tower bird, which I had eyed up with some trepidation. What’s more, I finished that layout with 17/20. I couldn’t have done much more with my own gun.
So to summarise, this is a very fine gun indeed. Thank you John Dunne of J F Neville for letting me shoot it.
- Model Krieghoff K80 Parcours-X
- Bore 12-bore
- Action Mechanical
- Barrel 32in
- Chamber 3in
- Rib Tapered or Straight Rib, dependant on weight required
- Stock Turkish Walnut, Adjustable
- Fore-end Slim, Sporting
- Weight 8lb 9oz
- Price New £14,500