Rottweil Game shotgun: Interest in small-bore shotguns has grown in recent years and proof of that comes in the choice of guns now available to us.
Of course 20 bores have always been in plentiful supply but until quite recently just a handful of makers catered for the 28 bore and .410 market.
That has changed – more and more manufacturers now produce scaled down versions of their bigger selling 12s to meet demand. And the latest to join the fray is cartridge giant, Rottweil.
Years ago Rottweil made something of a name for itself with nice quality over-under competition guns but it’s been quite some time that a gun of any sort has borne the famous name.
For this new series Rottweil has approached an Italian gunmaker and had the guns, in 20, 28 and .410, made to requirement. And a neat job they’ve done of it too.
The actions are typically Italian with a low profile action allowing the barrels to hinge on trunnions set into the walls of the frame at the front of the action body.
Lock up is achieved with a full width bolt engaging with a bite at the bottom of the barrel lumps. Both hammers are powered by coil springs and the action has been fitted with an automatic safety catch.
This last feature will be appreciated by game and pigeon shooters, as too will the narrow top rib and balance of these guns.
On the .410 sent for review the weight fell right between the hands and the combination of rib/small diameter barrels helped this gun point like a dream.
The woodwork is of a good standard and is specified by the makers as grade B quality; exactly what ‘grade B’ amounts to is unclear, but the point they’re making, presumably, is the wood is better than standard timber.
Regardless of how it’s graded the fact remains the wood on the test gun had good grain and some pleasing figure.
The stock’s rounded half-pistol grip gives the gun an elegant look and this is enhanced with a gloss oil finish.
What’s more it sits in the hand a treat. The butt end is finished with a wood butt plate to complement the stock.
Outwardly, the action frame has a good covering of engraving and is finished with colour hardening. The belly of the action frame displays a Rottweil logo, with a pheasant on left, and a partridge on right – all three being inlayed with gold.
The .410 is built on a 28-bore action, which explains its weight of 6.1/2lb, but this little bit of extra weight doesn’t go amiss when shooting 3in cartridges.
As for the barrels, some makers struggle a bit to get such small diameter tubes perfectly straight and concentric in the bore but those on the Rottweil are extremely good.
This range of guns are available in 28in or 30in barrel lengths in all bore sizes with the 20 and 28-bore available with a multi-choke option. The fixed choke .410 carries 1/4 and 1/2 constrictions. All chambers are 3in.
The stock has a pull length of 14.1/2in, drops at heel and comb are 2.1/2in and 1.3/8in respectively and the woodwork has been given a slight right hand cast of 1/8in.
Recommended retail price of the .410 is £935 with the 20 and 28-bore multichoke versions selling for £999 but, as ever, shop around for the best price.
This is a nicely built and finished small bore that handles, points and shoots very well indeed.
The stock work is particularly good – and so is the price: this over-under sits nicely among a competition which includes the Lincoln Premier, Beretta Silver Pigeon and Browning. This one’s certainly worth a look if small bores float your boat.
More information from importers Ruag Ammotec on 01579 362319