Rizzini Premier Sporting shotgun.
Confusingly there are a number of Italian makers of that name making guns for the export market with some turning out fairly basic entry-level models while others are noted for guns of far higher quality.
Battista Rizzini very definitely comes into this latter category.
Guns from this maker have been sold here for a number of years but, generally, they’ve carried the name of the distributor and not that of their creator.
This, however, has now changed thanks to ASI of Snape, Suffolk who recognise the undoubted quality of B. Rizzini guns and see the sense in selling and marketing them on the strength of the maker’s name and reputation.
There’s a huge range of guns to choose from and the one featured here is the 12-bore Premier Sporter with super-long 34in barrels but if you reckon that’s too much to handle you can opt for a 28, 30 or 32 in version.
Internally the gun is very well machined, put together and finished. All internal pegs or wires (gunsmith speak for pins) are polished.
As soon as you get the gun in your hands it feels solid, well made and properly balanced.
In design terms the Premier’s action is nearest to that of a Browning with hammers pivoting at the bottom of the action and sears suspended from above.
Re-cocking, however, is different with independent levers being pushed back by a cam in the fore-end when the gun is opened.
These cocking levers also operate the ejector mechanism after firing.
The mainsprings are held captive on guide rods to give the hammers a degree of rebound to prevent striker drag as the gun is opened.
Trigger pulls are crisp and positive straight from the box but they can be altered to suit (by a gunsmith!) via a small adjustment screw in the mechanism.
The wood to metal fit is excellent on both stock and fore-end and in keeping with the rest of the gun.
Lock up of the gun is by a bolt that engages with bites on the barrel lumps which also engage into the floor of the action frame to give a great deal of inherent strength.
The gun is decoratively quite plain but the action frame is a very high quality gloss-black which indicates the gun has been polished to a very high lustre.
By contrast the frame shoulders and top lever are matted black to prevent glare and this matt finish then runs the length of the top rib.
The length of pull is pretty average at around 14.5/8in and the 1.1/2in and 2.1/4in drop at comb and heel will suit most shooters.
And what about those long barrels?
Handling wise the gun points positively and incredibly easily – in fact the sight picture makes it feel as though you can shoot a certain part of the clay rather than the clay as a whole.
And it also gives the illusion that no matter how far away it gets, the clay will never be out of range!
This very nicely made and finished gun is of a quality that allows it to hold its head high in the company of other well-known names.
This particular model is clearly designed for the heavy use of clay shooting but it’s just one in a very extensive range of well built guns covering every shooters’ needs.
It’s a range that I think we will see more of in the years to come.
Rizzini Premier Sporting shotgun
£2900 for shorter barrelled versions