A lot of women start their shooting career using a man’s gun, but the new Venus from Rizzini may change that, says Becky McKenzie

Product Overview

Rizzini Venus

Product:

Rizzini Venus

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£3,750.00

This is the first Rizzini I have ever laid my hands on. I tested this little gem courtesy of ASI, the importer, which loaned me a brand spanking new model. What a treat.

The Rizzini Venus – a first

The Venus is Rizzini’s first dedicated women’s Sporting/game gun. It features the popular rounded action, with some quite delicate engraving. My game version came with non-adjustable Monte Carlo stock, with a swept-back game-style hand grip, similar to a Prince of Wales.  (Read 10 top tips for women shooters.)

The quality of the wood on this gun is excellent. Some nice Turkish walnut has been selected and it is very pretty. As a game gun, the Venus has a solid mid rib and solid top rib. At the end of the barrels is a nicely sized silver bead.

The barrel lengths available in this game version are 28in (71.12cm) and 29in, the one I had, which roughly equates to 74cm. The barrels are superior steel proofed. The barrel weighed in at 3.35lb and the full gun is a mere 7lb 12oz, a wee slip of a thing compared with my Perazzi, which weighs 8lb 6oz. However, you must remember that the Venus is a game gun and, as such, you would expect it to be lighter. The length of pull is 14in and there is a nice, comfortable pad on the end.

woman testing Rizzini venus

Becky is hugely impressed with the all-round quality of the new Rizzini Venus

Quality

On unpacking the gun, I was immediately impressed by the quality of its case. It’s short and had a rather attractive pattern on the outside. When I opened up the case, the barrels were neatly secured on one side. On the other side was the stock, with Velcro holding it in place. There were socks for both barrels and stock.

As it was new, I took the gun down into the kitchen to put grease on the various moving parts. I removed the chokes and put a little gun oil on them before screwing them back in place. I put the Venus together and went back upstairs to pop it into a gun slip. To my utter horror, our young teckel sat proudly inside the case, wagging her tail, chewing the handle. There were going to be some apologies to ASI when I returned the gun.

History

Rizzini was founded in 1966 by Battista Rizzini and he still manages the company alongside his three children. Rizzini has continually reinvested by using the latest machinery, but without abandoning artisan traditions. These skills and traditions are what made the Val Trompia region of Italy renowned for gunmaking.

Almost every standard gun in the Rizzini range is available in 12g, 16g, 28g and .410, with a wide range of barrel lengths. You can order from 26in barrels to 34in barrels, fixed choke or multichoke.

Range

Rizzini has a fine choice of guns, including dedicated game guns, side-by-sides and competition guns. There is also a Sporting version of the Venus, which I hope to cover in a future test.

At the British Shooting Show, I saw the entire line-up. The Round Body (RB) Sporter is a plain-actioned gun. Then, there’s the BR460 EL Sporting, which looks as if it is based on the same action, but with some seriously nice engraving.

There is the S2000 sideplate version and the newer models of V3 Sporting for us women. The V3 does not have a rounded action, but more of a traditional straight-sided action.

Anyway, back to the Venus Round Body. In my reviews, you get my personal opinions and I always compare what I am testing with my own gun. If I do not like something about a certain gun, it’s how I feel and I realise not everybody will feel the same. In fact, I am sure some people will disagree with me.

Rizzini Venus

The fore-end is slender, so ideal for smaller hands

Clunk

Putting the Venus together, I noticed all the parts fitted nicely, the action closing with a satisfactory clunk. This is a sure sign that a gun has been well-engineered and finished.

Lifting the gun to my shoulder, the stock fitted nicely into my right hand and felt a good length for me. The fore-end was slender, ideal for smaller hands, and the chequering was neither too sharp, nor too smooth.

The gun did feel rather lightweight, but I must point out that I am more used to competition guns and they tend to be heavier than game guns to enable them to absorb the recoil from the many cartridges you fire in competition. As such, I thought I might experience a bit of recoil with the Venus, but I was pleasantly surprised.

On the range

Using Fiocchi FBLU in 24g, my current cartridge of choice, the first targets out were an on report pair of quartering away targets. I have to admit here that I really didn’t think I would hit much using the Venus because the gun was much lighter than my own and, as a result, would throw out my muscle memory, especially as I like to swing (some would say over-muscle) a gun.

So, my expectations were not high. However, the first target quickly disappeared in a puff of lead and clay, hotly pursued by the second, which met the same fate. Calling for the pair again, I dusted another two targets. “Hmm, this little gun is going exactly where I am looking, with minimum effort,” I thought. “I think I might quite like you, Venus.”

I moved on to the second stand — a fast right-to-left, then a left-to-right midi. Selecting a suitable hold point with the Venus, I called “pull”. Tracking the target for a short time, I smashed the next targets. Pair dead. “This is a nice gun,” I thought.

Fiocchi FBLI in 24g

Fiocchi FBLI in 24g is the cartridge of choice for the test

Amazed

Amazingly, there was barely any recoil on the Rizzini Venus. Believe me, if there was some to be felt, I would find it as I am very recoil sensitive. But no slight push into the shoulder and no muzzle flip.

Trying the Rizzini on a more challenging pair — a sim pair of battues — the gun again moved smoothly to where I wanted it to go. I had no hesitation to squeeze the trigger at any point and there was no over-muscling the gun, which usually results in a miss in front of the target.

Even though this gun is designed to be used in the field for game, it does a fine job of smashing clays and I very much look forward to getting my hands on the Sporting version.

Conclusion

So what did I like and dislike about this gun? I liked the stock — it is an excellent fit for women. I liked the trigger pull, which was fine and crisp. I liked the quality of the walnut on the stock. I also liked the feel and movement of this Rizzini. It handled well.

I didn’t like the auto safety. It did my head in because I have never had an auto safe on any of my guns and I continually forgot to switch it off, so not the gun’s fault. User error, as you might say. This is a game gun don’t forget, so safety first. (Read should the safety on all guns be automatic?)

I really did like this gun. It was hard to find a fault with it, not that I go looking for faults. Fault is probably the wrong choice of word — it’s guns that shut with a ‘twanggggg’ that I dislike, because it makes them feel cheap.

This gun oozes quality, so it’s thumbs up for the Rizzini Venus. So, ladies, if any of you are looking for a new gun, I urge you to try this. It is ace.

Tech specs

  • Model Rizzini Venus Game
  • Bore 12-bore
  • Action Boxlock-style
  • Barrel length 29in (74cm)
  • Chokes Multichoke
  • Rib Non-vented
  • Fore-end Slim game style
  • Weight 7lb 12oz
  • Steel shot proofed Yes
  • Price £3,750

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Verdict

This gun oozes quality, so it’s thumbs up for the Rizzini Venus.