Eyetalian Boreguns

Since my Dad pressed my first shotgun into my grubby little hands, a 12 bore AYA Yeoman, on my fourteenth birthday, much water has passed under the bridge.

I've owned guns by AYA, Urgatechea, Lanber, Miroku, Franchi, Sterling, Army & Navy, Greener, Browning, Perrazi, Zoli, Mossberg, Suhl, Baikal. Looking back on the shotguns I've owned it occurred to me that only two of them ever seriously let me down, both were Italian, both let me down more than once and the problems were the same with both guns, both of which were second hand:

1. 1976 Franchi Brescia lightweight 12 bore over and under, with a selector and single trigger, the gun doubled repeatedly. My gunsmith of choice put it down to hardened oil in the lock but deep cleaning didn't stop the problem. The gun also broke a firing pin, although I always used snap caps with it.

2. 1986 Alberto Zoli 12 bore O/U with double triggers, the gun also doubled, not as often as the Franchi, deep cleaning the lock seemed to solve the problem. I always stored the gun muzzle down to stop oil deposits from building in the lock, none the less two years later it doubled again. This gun also broke the upper firing pin twice, although I always closed for storage with the triggers depressed to ease the springs.

All my other shotguns were trouble free. I wonder if anyone else has had similar experiences with Italian guns?
I had a Franchi O/U that broke two firing pins, top barrel both times. I didn't keep it long after that.
I've had an Italian-made Colt Walker replica - actually a second-series Colt Blackpowder Firearms model, since 1988, and shoot it half a dozen times a year when I can cadge a bucket of black powder off a generous pal [it uses 300gr every time I load up the chambers].

True, it's not one of your high-priced shotguns, but it HAS been totally reliable.

I'm way too poor to be able to fire off inumerable cartridges into the air like you shot-gunners seem to do most of the time, so I'm unable to comment with exact relevance to the failure of your £10,000 Perazzi and Riccini shotguns to perform as advertised.

In connection with your plight, however, I could not help but notice that most, if not all, the shooters in the recent Olympic Games seem to be using those 'trashy' Eyetalian POS - might you guys with your self-destructing guns be doing something wrong?


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