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Treating myself to a new shotgun. Suggestions?

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
I am hitting a milestone birthday later this year, and think I will treat myself to a new shotgun.

I shot AYA SxS for years (12 and 20 bore, 26” barrels) but after a serious drop off in performance from mediocre to downright abysmal I switched to OU with 32” barrels (Bettinsoli, £1k to test whether I got on with it). Confidence increased, scores up.

Usual shooting is clays once or twice per month, a few beat one/shoot one days per season.

The William Powell Perdix has caught my eye, but I have no experience of others to compare it to.

Budget up to £5k (ish). Any suggestions?
 
Budget up to £5k (ish). Any suggestions?

Caveat: I'm not a shotgun user at any more than a rare occasion, so this may be utterly inappropriate and based on true ignorance - but have you considered getting yourself an adjustable stock, so that you can fine-tune the fit, as your position and technique develops/changes with age and experience? Or (Heaven forfend) pass it on to firstborn/beloved so you can buy a new one?

Having had this conversation with several fullbore target shooters (of the old-school "but a 7.62 action in a hand-carved log is traditional! Even if I do have to tape stuff to the cheekpiece because it doesn't fit!" variety) I suppose it depends on whether you'd rather pay for either fancy engraving or performance :)

360px-Vincent_Hancock_Rio_2016.jpg
 
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Drs634

Swinger
For an over under the Beretta Silver Pigeon is constantly extremely well reviewed whilst being substantially within budget. I’m not sure if you can get 32” barrels but you can certainly get 30”.

If you have any inclination to go back to a SxS, the William Powell Sovereign looks to be a very good choice as it’s proofed for steel so will still be viable once the lead ban comes into effect. I haven’t shot one but it’s definitely looking like it will be my next purchase once finances allow it. It also comes in just under budget (admittedly only by £5.00).
 
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The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Caveat: I'm not a shotgun user at any more than a rare occasion, so this may be utterly inappropriate and based on true ignorance - but have you considered getting yourself an adjustable stock, so that you can fine-tune the fit, as your position and technique develops/changes with age and experience? Or (Heaven forfend) pass it on to firstborn/beloved so you can buy a new one?

Having had this conversation with several fullbore target shooters (of the old-school "but a 7.62 action in a hand-carved log is traditional! Even if I do have to tape stuff to the cheekpiece because it doesn't fit!" variety) I suppose it depends on whether you'd rather pay for either fancy engraving or performance :)

360px-Vincent_Hancock_Rio_2016.jpg
Any performance issues would be arising from the fool behind the tool rather than the tool itself! I doubt that the fancy stock got him that vest, but rather the years of practice taking millions of cartridges with expert coaching. The stock may contribute to that final 0.1% that makes the difference between silver and gold at Olympic level, but it wasn't what got him into the initial filter.

I could buy one, but it would be better to spend the money on cartridges and coaching. The gains would be much more noticeable. I could also go out and buy an elite level race bike, but it wouldn't compensate for the lack of miles in my legs!

One of the attractions for the Perdix is that I can get a proper fitting session and stock made for the resultant measurements within budget. Close enough would be good enough given the amount of time I am able to dedicate to shooting at the moment. If that changes, I can go shopping again. In the meantime, I can enjoy missing with a nice looking gun rather than a meccano kit :)
 
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One of the attractions for the Perdix is that I can get a proper fitting session and stock made for the resultant measurements within budget.
Agreed - it has to fit you from the start.

Adjustability becomes important if you're likely to meet a coach who says "Hmmm - you do realise you're lifting your shoulder slightly / pushing the butt too far out on your shoulder / tilting your head too far forward in the aim" and your position changes ever-so-slightly after the fitting session. Or you find that things feel great for low clays, but somehow slightly awkward with high ones.

When I switched to my new stock, I soon got to the point where (with a cheekpiece height that was fine-adjustable while in position) that having even a half-millimeter height adjustment was the difference between "effortless" aim and "hmmm, have to settle into it" aim. Granted, it's entirely different for shotgun, but it means if you try the "can I have a go with your gun" training exercise, that you can copy anything on your training partner's fit that you rather like (Butt length a quarter inch longer? Cheekpiece ever so slightly lower?) and see whether your scores improve or decline...

...sorry, it's just the ramblings of a performance-obsessive nutjob ;)


Having said that, I just found the price list. F***ing hell, that's £2k. That's more than a fully-tricked out top-of-the-range PSK rifle stock; or (as you point out) 5,000 rounds and ten hours of coaching (and rather less once you add mileage). The price points in clay target are certainly aimed at their market.

Purely out of idle curiosity, and without wanting to cause offence, what's the performance difference between a £3k Beretta / Browning / second-hand Perazzi and a £4k Rizzini with extra scrollwork Perdix? I was wondering whether the "£2k comb with £3k gun" makes any sense at all, while being puzzled by the whole "spend a couple of grand adding scrollwork, engraving, and possibly even gold-plating to your shotgun" thing (a bit too Middle-Eastern Dictator for my taste).
 
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If I had the money, A Silver Pigeon. Nice looking gun, reliable, shoots well.

I used to shoot with 686 and an ONYX. I've tried Brownings, they are lighter but I like the heft of the Beretta which I find helps with the swing through. I tend to mount then shoot, rather than start mounted.

I'm English Sporting with maybe some Skeet shooting. I had a go with a fully loaded (fibre optic fore sight etc) Silver Pigeon in the US, lent by the Capt of the US Skeet team. It was a 32" multi choke and you could really wait on going away birds. I shot far better than I thought I would, I was sold on it. When the time comes I'm going to have one.

You could then spend the balance on having a really good fitting done and have it adjusted (cast, etc).
Plus you might have a few bob left for customisation/cartridges etc.
 

TamH70

MIA
I'm not a shotgun shooter but I've heard lots of good things about the newer generation Russian magazine-fed shotguns, like the Saiga-12 and Vepr-12. Both are UK legal, both are pretty much bomb-proof, and both give you more than just two shots without the nausea of working a pump-action which I've heard can get more difficult the older you get.

They are also very much like bangy Meccano sets - the number of accessories you can stick on them is almost ludicrously huge, including things like folding or collapsing stocks - which could make it easier to give younger and/or smaller people a cabbie on the gun.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Purely out of idle curiosity, and without wanting to cause offence, what's the performance difference between a £3k Beretta / Browning / second-hand Perazzi and a £4k Rizzini with extra scrollwork Perdix? I was wondering whether the "£2k comb with £3k gun" makes any sense at all, while being puzzled by the whole "spend a couple of grand adding scrollwork, engraving, and possibly even gold-plating to your shotgun" thing (a bit too Middle-Eastern Dictator for my taste).
Probably none at all. However, I am buying this as a treat and so it does not have to be all about the practicality. If it was all about practicality, all cars would be black, no paint options etc.
 

Oily101

Clanker
Second hand Beretta DT10?
They come in various grades relating to scrolling/engraving
The action is well proven and solid
Interchangeable barrels and multichoke


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Carbon 6

War Hero
If I were buying one as a treat, it would be a Perazzi. I was looking for a new gun several years ago and made the mistake of going first to a dealer with a good stock (no pun intended) of Perazzis. I was very impressed with the fit, finish and overall quality of their guns, but the price was far beyond what I could afford at that time. I ended up buying a Browning Superposed with 28” barrels. It was a fine gun but not in the same league as the Perazzi.
 
If memory serves, @Ravers is our resident shotgun expert.

but I think that's more for English made guns. But if you really want to treat yourself.....
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
If I were buying one as a treat, it would be a Perazzi. I was looking for a new gun several years ago and made the mistake of going first to a dealer with a good stock (no pun intended) of Perazzis. I was very impressed with the fit, finish and overall quality of their guns, but the price was far beyond what I could afford at that time. I ended up buying a Browning Superposed with 28” barrels. It was a fine gun but not in the same league as the Perazzi.
If memory serves, @Ravers is our resident shotgun expert.

but I think that's more for English made guns. But if you really want to treat yourself.....
Who wouldn't want a tricked out Perazzi for trap and a bench made English SxS for game?

I'll tell you who - my wife!
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
William Powell isn’t a bad shout at all. I’ve seen their whole range and I like them. At that price point it’d definitely be a contender

They're made by Rizzini which isn’t a bad thing.

However you could just buy the equivalent Rizzini and save yourself a few quid.

Caesar Guerini should also be on your list. 10 year warranty is not to be sniffed at.

And of course the usual suspects from Beretta and Browning.

Ultimately it’ll be down to handling a few, swinging them about and seeing what feels nicest.

At this price you aren’t gonna get beautiful hand engraving, but you can get a nice piece of wood. For me the piece of timber is more important than any other aesthetic factor.

For your sort of use and resale-ability I’d be after 30” barrels. 32 is too long for game shooting, you don’t want to be lugging something that big around all day.

About 90% of the OUs we built had 30” barrels.

Chokes make **** all difference in my opinion. I can’t remember who it was who said “chokes are a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist” but it’s a good quote.

Again, consider resale value, so interchangeable chokes or standard game chokes (1/4 and 1/2) are preferable.

Don’t be afraid to haggle. Get them to throw in a nice slip or a slab of cartridges.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Thanks Ravers.

In have tried to identify what model Rizzini the Perdix is based upon, as I have had some dealings with ASI at Snape before. If I could get the same spec for less, why not. Covid aside, I would have had a cheeky weekend in Italy with the Mrs out of a Rizzini too, but that will be off the cards for quite a while - another advantage of the WP is that I only have to go to Banbury to get fitted etc.

Agreed on wood over engraving, and it was the semi-pistol grip/PoW grip on the Perdix that caught my eye. I briefly owned a Browning with one years ago and it was the perfect compromise. ASI sourced me a lovely headed blank for an AYA No.4 boxlock 20 bore I was gifted that had the slight snag of a full right shoulder to left eye crossover stock! It turned out beautiful once finished.

I was thinking of going down to 30" but don't really have any reasoning behind it. I do notice the difference in weight between the 20 SxS with 26" and the 12 OU with 32s though!

I stuck 1/4 and 1/2 chokes in when I bought the OU and other than cleaning haven't touched them since. I used to be in a clay club where people had different shot sizes in each pocket and always hated shooting first at a stand as they wanted to wait a few rounds and then change chokes before stepping up. A few of them were really great shots, but I don't for one second think that changing chokes is what made the difference. Being retired and shooting a couple of times a week may just have been the more dominant factor - the same as the robogun stock proposed by Gravelbelly!
 
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Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Thanks Ravers.

In have tried to identify what model Rizzini the Perdix is based upon, as I have had some dealings with ASI at Snape before. If I could get the same spec for less, why not. Covid aside, I would have had a cheeky weekend in Italy with the Mrs out of a Rizzini too, but that will be off the cards for quite a while - another advantage of the WP is that I only have to go to Banbury to get fitted etc.

Agreed on wood over engraving, and it was the semi-pistol grip/PoW grip on the Perdix that caught my eye. I briefly owned a Browning with one years ago and it was the perfect compromise. ASI sourced me a lovely headed blank for an AYA No.4 boxlock 20 bore I was gifted that had the slight snag of a full right shoulder to left eye crossover stock! It turned out beautiful once finished.

I was thinking of going down to 30" but don't really have any reasoning behind it. I do notice the difference in weight between the 20 SxS with 26" and the 12 OU with 32s though!

I stuck 1/4 and 1/2 chokes in when I bought the OU and other than cleaning haven't touched them since. I used to be in a clay club where people had different shot sizes in each pocket and always hated shooting first at a stand as they wanted to wait a few rounds and then change chokes before stepping up. A few of them were really great shots, but I don't for one second think that changing chokes is what made the difference. Being retired and shooting a couple of times a week may just have been the more dominant factor - the same as the robogun stock proposed by Gravelbelly!

I think the Perdix is the same as the Rizzini Artemis just tarted up a little bit.

Honestly, go for 30” barrels. The swing is much nicer and they just feel right. Easier to sell on too. 32s have become more popular recently due to the misconception that longer barrels = ability to hit higher birds.

What you gain in muzzle velocity is lost in lack of agility in my opinion. It’s harder to balance a barrel heavy gun too so ones at this price point where quality control isn’t quite as high might end up nose heavy.

A shotgun, regardless of type, gauge, size etc. Should balance either on the cross pin or (ideally) a quarter inch in front of it. Any more or less and it will handle badly.

To be honest most OUs have a pistol / POW grip. It’s rare to find ones with straight hand stocks unless they’re double triggers which is very unusual. Straight hand stocks go well with double triggers because you can slide your whole hand back when you take your second shot.

Different manufacturers call the grips different names. In the London trade a POW grip is lovingly nicknamed the “Charlie’s Bollock” because the bottom of the grip should be ball shaped like a bollock.

A grip with a cap on the bottom or a flat bit is not a POW grip, even though some manufacturers say it is.

Don’t discount the secondhand market too. At that price you could potentially pick up a Grade 5 Browning 725, Beretta EELL or even an entry level Perazzi. Stocks can be altered within reason if they don’t quite fit perfectly.

Happy shopping!

Feel free to fire over any more Qs.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Thanks Ravers. The Bettinsoli has a full pistol grip (both "full" in thickness, and with flat bottom) which doesn't feel quite right. After nearly 30 years of straight hand stocks, a slightly slimmer "Charlie's bollock" just feels better to me.
 
I also feel the need for a new shotgun, preferably side by side. We have our own land so rough shooting is wot I do, however occasionally I get invited to proper shoots with nice food and free booze and have to borrow a decent gun.
My cabinet houses a Remington 870 pump with a non supported barrel that I bought from a USAF sale at upper Heyford. Top gun for ducks. I also use a Biakal single barrel and a greener GP. Either accompany me on a stroll or on the tractor. I bought the Biakal for a tenner forty years ago and love it. Well balanced and great for rabbit/hard plus any varmints that step over the line. So as you an see I don't do fancy but what is available for less than a grand.

I also own a Jones and Lloyd side by side hammer from 1879 that I had reproofed but have used with black powder for fun as it has been in the family since 1890 at least.

I like the unusual.

Edited to say Ravers is on the money with chokes.waste of time.
 
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TamH70

MIA
I also feel the need for a new shotgun, preferably side by side. We have our own land so rough shooting is wot I do, however occasionally I get invited to proper shoots with nice food and free booze and have to borrow a decent gun.
My cabinet houses a Remington 870 pump with a non supported barrel that I bought from a USAF sale at upper before. Top gun for ducks. I also use a Biakal single barrel and a greener GP. Either accompany me on a stroll or on the tractor. I bought the Biaka for a tenner forty years ago and love it. Well balanced and great for rabbit/hard plus any varmints that step over the line. So as you an see I don't do fancy but what is available for less than a grand.

I also own a Jones and Lloyd side by side hammer from 1879 that I had reproofed but have used with black powder for fun as it has been in the family since 1890 at least.

I like the unusual.

Edited to say Ravers is on the money with chokes.waste of time.

Honest question, but why? If you just want a quick follow-up shot, surely a decent semi-auto like the Saiga or Vepr would be better?

As long as you stay away from the SPAS-12 and the like. Them's just not cricket.
 
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