For serious claybusters Perazzi has long been a name with which to reckon. Many Olympic and international honours have been won with Perazzi guns. George Digweed shoots one (an MX2000S similar to the gun tested here). This is a major endorsement in itself.
Perazzis are known for exceptional build quality and, in particular, great trigger pulls and carefully regulated barrels. I have a soft spot for the marque. For some years I campaigned with an MX8 DG – one of the first 32” sporters ever offered – and I liked it greatly.
Though good enough to win world FITASC championships now, Perazzis were not always the first choice for sporting clays. Older guns were much influenced by Italy’s national sport – trap shooting. The original MX8, for example was made for legendary Italian trapshooter, Ennio Mattarelli, by the extraordinary gunmaking team of Ivo Fabbri and Danielle Perazzi.
Fabbri and Perazzi were once partners but Ivo went off to set up on his own, dedicating his life to the manufacture of the perfect gun regardless of cost, whilst Danielle continued on his quest to make superb, but attainable, competition and game guns by a fusion of high-tech and traditional methods.
Time moves on. Sporting has become a very popular discipline even in Italy, and the house of Perazzi, have put much effort into creating guns dedicated to it. That process continues. Recently, I have been engaged in a project with RUAG, the UK Perazzi importers, to create a new sporter to what I consider an ideal spec. You’ll hear about it soon. Suffice to say that it will have long but light barrels, an interesting rib, and a rather special, classically shaped stock of my own design.
So, what of our test gun? I’ve put off mentioning it even longer than usual! It is an MX2000S with a smart nickel finished action and 32” tubes. The MX2000S logo is on both action walls surrounded by scroll engraving. This is a substantial looking gun. First impressions are of a serious clay busting machining with a bit of style to it. In other words, just what you expect of a Perazzi. The stock shape is new with a more open grip design than previously and a thinner comb. Chokes are fixed and fairly tight (and thus allowing for adjustment or conversion to Teague thin-wall multi-chokes). The barrels are equipped with a 11-7mm tapering rib with a shallow centre channel which is one of my favourite patterns for sporting.
The action of the MX2000 does not have a detachable trigger as some Perazzis. It is a fixed lock design and powered by coil springs. Because there is no detachable trigger -mechanism, there is no box to accommodate it, so the action is narrower to its rear. This allows for a thinner and stronger grip. In guns with detachable trigger-locks, quite a lot of wood has to be carved out in the grip area and this can cause problems on occasion (not least if one tries to bend the stocks to adjust the dimensions post manufacture). There is much to be said for the simpler design. The front half of the action remains the same as ever. It is Boss inspired – the inner action walls have draws and wedges similar to those on a Boss. The hinging system, however, is similar to a Beretta and hence to that other great British over and under Woodward (now made by Purdey as their top grade sidelock over and under).
Perazzi trigger pulls have always been better than most, and the test gun, although it employs coil springs, as noted, is no exception. The monobloc barrels maintain the firm’s standard with excellent joints, straight tubes and good craftsmanship evident throughout in the bores too. They are, it might be added, most carefully regulated. I pay a great deal of attention to this aspect of barrel manufacture. Many modern double guns fail in this area, even guns costing a great deal of money. Money is no guarantee of fitness for purpose.
The stock on the MX2000 is less trappish than on some of its predecessors. The wood is well figured; all MX2000s that come into the UK are upgraded to SC2 grade timber. What about the measurements? Standard dimensions (and I will give them in metric because that is the norm for Perazzi) would be 35mm and 50 or 55mm for drop, with slight right-hand cast and a length of pull of 380mm. The grip has a more open radius and is thinner than on some Perazzis as discussed, nevertheless, it allows for good purchase. The forend is of simple pattern that I especially liked as well. One may move the hand fore and aft of centre without changing the barrel hand relationship significantly. I prefer this style to a Schnabel. The stock is well chequered and oil finished in traditional fashion.