The Perazzi Ribless Game over-and-under is intriguing. At first disconcerting to shoot because of its lack of a sighting rib, it ultimately wins Michael Yardley over
The Perazzi Ribless Game over-and-under, developed by Sportarm of Dorchester, is lighter than most of the maker’s guns and slightly unnerving in the lack of a sighting rib. But with an open mind and instictive keep-the-eyes-on-the-bird-and-forget-everything-else shooting style, Michael Yardley finds himself won over.
If you are looking to really splash the cash on your next gun, read Michael Yardley’s review of the Holland and Holland Sporting Deluxe. It carries a hefty price tag but this long and elegant gun is a thoroughbred in every department.
PERAZZI RIBLESS GAME
This month’s test gun is a Perazzi Ribless Game over-and-under developed by Sportarm of Dorchester. It is lighter than most of the guns routinely produced by the maker, reflecting the tastes and experience of Kevin Phillips, a director of Sportarm and a keen game-shot.
The new model has 29in barrels (other lengths may be ordered) and comes in 12- and 20-bore versions. I tested both on the same day but the 12 is spotlighted here. It weighs a handy 7lb 7oz, significantly lighter than most Perazzis. Both guns feature a single selective trigger, fixed chokes (1⁄2 and 3⁄4) and a Prince of Wales-style grip and slim fore-end. The most obvious feature of the Perazzi Ribless Game, as its name implies, is the absence of a traditional sighting rib. Instead, there is a “riblet” at the muzzles that forms a plinth for the bead.
First impressions of the Perazzi Ribless Game are generally excellent. It is based upon a game-scene-engraved Perazzi MX12 SC3 – already an attractive gun – with upgraded wood. The engraving is tasteful and well executed: a pheasant on one action wall, a woodcock on the other, a partridge on the action belly. Beyond that, a lot of thought has gone into the specification. The mildly radiused but flat-based grip will appeal to many game-shots. It encourages good control but allows for a comfortable, muzzle-up “ready” without need to cock the wrist excessively, something many full pistols patterns do not allow.
The butt, made from well-figured walnut, has been carefully profiled – thinned and tapered – towards creating a more refined English shape. Barrel-making and blacking are what one expects from Perazzi: first class. Looking down the tubes, which are bored at 18.5, no distortion or rivelling is evident. Forcing cones are of mid length and neatly machined. The silver polished and lacquered action also impresses with its fit and finish, not to mention the appearance of strength with substantial action walls and a compact, low-profile body.
Dry mounting is an interesting experience. The gun does feel different, partly because of reduced weight forward, partly because the usual rib is missing – disconcerting if you are used to it. The 29in, 23⁄4in- chambered tubes seem to suit it well, though. The idea to make a ribless over-and-under game-gun came from a recent purchase by Sportarm of a 30in ribless Boss. The firm was so impressed with the gun’s handling it decided to create something similar, to quote Kevin Phillips, “a modern version of the Boss in an action that is reliable”. He continues, “Our thought process was that Perazzi didn’t really enter the EELL and Jubilee market, their guns are essentially sporters or trap guns. Moreover, they did not make a lightweight model.”
So, Sportarm went to the Perazzi factory to specify the gun envisioned. It would have a swept, Woodward grip, the fore-end would be more slender, the profile of the stock would be slimmed to make it more “English” in feel and look. The riblet and bead were designed to give a 60:40 pattern distribution (but with the possibility of adjustments to other requirements – guns may be ordered with bead alone).
When the first gun appeared, Mauro Perazzi noted, “You have made a true Perazzi game-gun.” The Perazzi Ribless Game has had a few minor refinements since being photographed for the test. A 16-bore version is coming soon.
PERAZZI RIBLESS GAME: TECHNICAL DATA
The MX12 Perazzi action has a fixed lock. As there is no need for a “box” for the trigger unit, the metalwork to the rear is a little thinner and thus less wood needs to be removed from the grip area to accommodate it. This means the butt is stronger in a potentially weaker area – a significant bonus in a game-gun. The Perazzi Ribless Game has a single, central cocking bar and bifurcated barrels hinging on stud pins. The design owes much to Boss and Woodward. The inner action walls have draws and wedges similar to those on a Boss. The hinging system, however, is similar to a Woodward. The main hammers are powered by coil springs (some Perazzis use V- springs), the single selective trigger is inertia operated. An auto safe is fitted.
PERAZZI RIBLESS GAME: SHOOTING IMPRESSIONS
The Sportarm Perazzi Ribless Game felt especially good between the hands. The stock design provided admirable purchase and the balance was pleasant: bang on the hinge pin (which may not suit all guns). The absence of a sighting rib unnerved me a bit initially – all the more as my experience with ribless guns in the past had not been altogether positive. But, I was determined to keep an open mind. On range, the gun shot well; very little got away. It was instinctive to use and moved quickly. I found, however, that I could not shoot deliberately with complete confidence without the usual full-length rib in subliminal vision. Sticking to an instinctive keep-the-eyes-on-the-bird-and-forget-everything-else style it worked admirably. With the reduced barrel weight that the ribless design allows, the Sportarm Perazzi shot especially well at quick presentation. Ultimately, it boils down to choice and shooting style. The gun is supplied in a smart, toe-under leather case.
PERAZZI RIBLESS GAME
From: Sportarm, The Stables, Princes Street, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1TW
Tel 01305 268001