We are familiar with this action type at The Field (I adopt the royal “we” because both the Editor and I have a special interest in Italian guns and their development). This gun is built around what might be described as the new Gardone Anson and Deeley. It combines stud-pin hinging and Browning-style bolting.
From an aesthetic perspective, there is little doubt that the round bar improves the look of what was a fairly pedestrian sort of gun. How this came about may be of interest. Paul Roberts, the London gunmaker who has been bringing Rizzini guns into the UK for some years, worked with Battista Rizzini on improving the look of his guns. This led to many small changes but, most significantly, Paul asked Battista if he could take a Rizzini action to Laura Bosis for refilling. Laura has a wonderful eye and produces bench-made guns under the family name. One product of this was a new round shape for the old square-bar Gardone action. We are all richer for it and Battista Rizzini adopted the pattern for more general manufacture.
The RB EL shot naturally and did not demand much effort to swing. Its 6lb 11oz weight seemed about right – I do not like 20-bores that are too light. It controlled recoil well and shot to where one was looking. It qualified as a “forgiving gun” – you could make a slight error in mount or target assessment and still break the bird. The first trigger pull was good, there was a little creep in the second. I also noticed a slight harmonic on closing the gun (but not on firing). Ejection was positive (not a given in a 20-bore over-and-under). I am judging it by a stringent standard. It is not cheap but is elegant, well designed and well finished. ASI offers a less expensive Classic model (RRP £3,318) as well as a dedicated action 28-bore in standard and de luxe grades (£3,772 and £5,931, respectively). Why long-barrelled 20-bores work so well is a subject I am still researching.
Rizzini RB EL 20-bore gun review