The Regal round body is exactly the sort of classy, smooth-handling gun you'd expect from the Italian gunmaking family, says Mark Heath
The test gun this month is the Rizzini RB Regal 12-bore with 30in barrels — previously only available on special order. (RB stands for round body.)
We tend to see 20-bore Rizzinis at the shooting school fairly frequently, and the occasional 16, but less so the 12-bore. So it will be interesting to see if the Regal has the potential to make its presence known in the shooting field on a more regular basis.
Rizzini is a gunmaking family based in Val Trompia in the province of Brescia, Italy. There are four different manufacturers with the name Rizzini — the founders are all related but run their own companies. The Rizzini gunmakers Battista, Isidoro and Emilio are brothers. They are also nephews of Guido Rizzini, who with his brothers founded F.lli Rizzini, and are related to the Fausti and Guerini gunmaking families, who have factories in Brescia too.
Development of the Rizzini RB Regal 12-bore
The Rizzini RB Regal 12-bore gun we are testing here is made by Battista Rizzini — this company was founded in 1965 and manufactures both shotguns and double rifles.
The company has been very successful and, in the not too distant past, bought a small manufacturer of high-grade shotguns called Ferlib, the owner of which, Ivano Tanfoglio, has helped with the development of the round-body shotgun we are testing.
That’s a little background on the provenance of the product but what’s the actual gun like? The one on test with 30in barrels weighed in at 7lb 8oz, which is no leviathan, though the gun feels quite large in terms of the frame and stock grip. The barrels weigh in at 1,536g, partly due to the solid mid and narrow game top rib, which should produce some smooth handling.
The chambers are 3in magnum for those using heavier loads and you can order barrels up to 34in to go with those magnums.
However, I would suggest trying the longer barrels before putting down cash for the 34in option — they can take a bit of moving.
The test gun was a multichoke with five chokes, though there is also a fixed-choke option that can be ordered. This would be my choice, probably with half and three-quarter choke.
The stock is well figured in dark walnut with a length to the mid-point of 147⁄8in and to heel 15in.
The only slight surprise was that the toe measurement was the same as the mid-point when I would have expected it to be slightly longer to help avoid the stock slipping in the shoulder.
I think this measurement is an anomaly on a hard-worked demo. Cast was 1⁄16in cast on for left-handed use; 1⁄8in would be standard fare.
The butt of the stock is fully chequered and well finished. The grip is quite large, something to consider if you have small hands.
The scroll-decorated trigger tang also extends along the length of the grip, which is in Prince of Wales rounded style. The fore-end is a rounded style and fully chequered, with a pin-end removal as per other Rizzinis, and is complete with a small RB emblem on the underside.
The action features acanthus-leaf engraving, initially done by laser then hand finished, with a pleasant contrast between the leaf and the darker background. The trigger is single selective, with the usual barrel selector incorporated into the auto safety catch.
There are a couple of further options. First, for the stock grip you can specify a pistol grip or straight-hand stock as alternatives to the Prince of Wales on test.
In addition, you can choose a deluxe version at £5,300 against £4,960 for the version on test. This gives you a more decorative trigger tang and a decorative grip cap to which your initials or other monogram can be engraved.
So we’ve looked at the Rizzini RB Regal 12-bore and talked about it; now to have a go at shooting it. The shooting school has been incredibly busy with little time available, so no time for niceties — straight to the tricky stuff coming off the high banks with a delightfully chilly east wind behind the targets.
With the remote to operate the traps, we could shoot from all angles and at ridiculous distances. Using the usual wide array of cartridges from 28g to 36g, the Rizzini performed exceptionally well, especially in the handling department — very smooth, with great patterns using half and three-quarter chokes.
The triggers operated faultlessly and were crisp, the ejectors efficient without being overenthusiastic.
There is a wide choice in this price bracket, with offerings from Caesar Guerini, Blaser F16 and Browning models, including the 725 grade 5 and the 525 Crown — or with a little extra money, a Beretta EELL.
Pleasant to look at and well made