An Italian shotgun of the highest pedigree gives West London Shooting School's Mark Heath plenty to talk about
The Perazzi 16 bore ribless game gun reviewed here has been developed by Sportarm of Dorchester in co-operation with Perazzi, the aim being to produce a unique specialist game gun: a fully-scaled action ribless 16 bore.
When you open a gun case and before you is something akin to a Viking god of war’s thunder stick you know the gun test is going to be a pleasure to conduct. The test gun came in SC3 specification with some amazing wood complete with straight grain through the hand to give strength in the wood.
The gun is designed as a true lightweight game gun and out of the box weighed 6lbs 12oz; when I weighed the barrels at 1,301gram I knew it was going to be fast handling – it was going to be interesting to see if it was smooth to shoot.
- The stocks on all the ribless models from Sportarm are to custom specification with a slimmer comb and fore-end, which feels comfortable in the hand.
- The test gun had a semi pistol grip but there is a Prince of Wales option, too.
- The guns arrive at Sportarm with the wood unfinished; it is then hand finished to either a matt, satin or high gloss oiled standard. The chequering is also to Sportarm’s specification and is designed to improve both grip and comfort.
- The test gun came with some very nice standard measurements, however, as with all Perazzi guns, is available made to measure with the full experience at the factory. Alternatively, you can be fitted in the UK and then the measurements supplied to the factory.
You can specify all the usual options, including barrel length out to 32” and fixed or multi–choke options. The test gun came with fixed choke 1⁄2 and 3⁄4, which would be my personal preference. I would like to tell you I had reached this conclusion after years of testing, which would be a lie. I just like 1⁄2 and 3⁄4 choke preferably fixed choke guns.
This gun is also available in the MX12 version with a plain action rather than the rather pleasant game scene engraving on this gun. As with all guns from this manufacturer, there is great attention to detail on the engineering and finishing. The Sportarm ribless Perazzi is also available in .410, 12 bore, 20 bore and 28 bore.
The 16 bore is currently a trendy calibre amongst game shooters, probably because of its speed of handling and killing capabilities. There is nothing to compare this gun with directly in this calibre and price bracket. In alternative calibres produced by mainstream manufacturers there are options around the new Beretta SL3 and the Browning B15 but, according to the gun sales index, currently no 16 bores.
If you want to make money out of gun ownership, then go for a new “London Best” (preferably a Purdey,…
George was born in Hastings in 1964 He started shooting around the age of 12 He was awarded an MBE…
The Perazzi 16 bore ribless game gun in the field
The first test was an inter-counties shoot between Devon (myself) and Cornwall (WLSS instructor Paul Gendall).
The benchmark test was on the 40ft pheasant tower, no survivors here and plenty of positive comments about the handling.
Onto the 80ft tower and it was still powdering the clays on all the angles, very easy to control the gun speed and some great kills.
Slight change of tack next with some fast partridge. Here the Cornishman thought it would be funny to be a little sharp on the button sending pairs of partridge at interesting angles. Fortunately, the speed of handling with the Perazzi helped me out and none got through although one did get shot behind. I was kinder on the buttons but clearly partridge shooting is not a well-practised art the other side of the Tamar. Onto the high tower and even though it’s a fast-handling piece of kit it was truly effective. Great handling is the hallmark of this gun.
- Engineering: 10/10 It’s a Perazzi, so the pedigree speaks for itself.
- Looks and finishing: 10/10 A beautiful gun from a mainstream manufacturer yet a combination of the calibre and the input from Sportarm gives it a rarity value.
- Handling: 9/10 Fantastic handling with great patterns.
- Reliability and customer service: 10/10 The product is tried and tested and the back-up from the factory is well known.
- Value: 9/10 If you want something different that looks fantastic and shoots exceptionally well, this is a great option.
- Overall: 48 /50
Great handling is the hallmark of this gun