Ithaca Perazzis


Bruce

I am currently considering purchasing a pre-owned gun for competition and have tentatively settled on a Perazzi MX8 or Mirage (for several reasons). In perusing ads in various places, I find that guns listed as Comp I or the MX8s with case colored receivers tend to be much cheaper than more current models. It was my belief that these guns were from the period of the early 70’s when Ithaca imported Perazzis and that aside from cosmetics and not having the ribs considered stylish in this country, they are mechanically the same as current guns.

Before I put any cash out however, I wanted to consult someone more knowledgeable to see if I was correct in my belief or if these models had some sort of problems that you don’t hear about until you buy one. Is there any problem getting parts for these guns? or do Perazzi parts all interchange (within the same model)?

I have been told (by Perazzi detractors) that they tend to break springs so I want to be sure I could find replacements. It seems logical, however that they wouldn’t be as popular as they are if they broke down too much. I would appreciate any advice that you could give me on what to look for or avoid.

Sincerely, Randy

Dear Randy,

The Ithaca Perazzis were just as good as anything made today. You can get all the springs you want from Perazzi USA out in California of from Giacomo in Rome, NY.

The Ithaca Mirages are, to my knowledge, virtually the same gun sold today with the possible exception of some trigger options and the ongoing redesign of the forend iron. The old Comp I Perazzis are a different model from the Mirage and are not completely parts interchangeable with today’s guns. I had a couple of Comp Is, one in skeet and one bunker model. I sold the Comp I to a friend twenty years ago and he still shoots it actively today. The Mirage was considered an improvement over the old Comp I because the Comp I had a weak opening lever which broke every few years. I believe, but am not certain, that the interchangeable triggers were identical between the two models.

The MX-8 and the Mirage are really the same models with only minor cosmetic variations. Perazzi model names and nomenclature change pretty quickly, so sometimes it is hard to keep up, but that’s the way I remember it.

Some Perazzi models use leaf springs (Mirage and MX-8 are among these models) while others use the more reliable, but less efficient, coil springs. Extra leaf springs are readily available from the company. With one of my Comp Is I got two trigger groups and a little tool for changing springs. I never broke a spring in either gun. Leaf springs do break suddenly without warning, but not all that often at all. The advantage to leaf springs is that they remain at 100% efficiency until the moment they go to 0% efficiency. Coil springs die a little bit every time you compress them. They seldom break completely, but they do get weaker and weaker and weaker. It all depends what you want. I think that the paranoia about Perazzi leaf springs is excessive. If it is all that important, buy a couple of spare springs and the little replacement tool and keep them in you kit bag. With the little tool, you can change the spring in five minutes.

By the way, that Comp I with the spare drop-out trigger and little tool cost me $600 almost new back then. I think that a spare trigger costs that much now. Maybe more.

I would have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever in buying a used Perazzi Mirage imported by Ithaca twenty years ago, (or by Winchester before Ithaca) save for the usual caveats in buying any used gun. Perazzi makes a marvelous gun and offers a tremendous variety of weights and options. I also thought that the engraving and vibrant case colors of the Ithaca guns was far, far nicer than the cheaper industrialized finish of today’s guns. De Gustibus…

Best regards,

Bruce Buck

The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC

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8 Responses to Ithaca Perazzis

  1. Castnblast says:

    My first Perazzi was an Ithaca imported Mirage skeet gun with Kolar tubes in the mid ’80’s. Some shade tree ‘smith worked on the trigger to get it to reset with .410 and it doubled with the 12 gauge. Once Giacomo got it straightened out it never missed a beat. Next came a early 4 digit Ithaca Perazzi TM1 that I shot for years. Sold them both. Got another 29.5″ Mirage in ’94, built in ’92. That was my clays gun and made one bird shooting trip to South Africa and 8-9 trips to Argentina to shoot HV doves – added a match weighted 20 gauge set of barrels for the later. Still have that gun and probably have 300,000 through it. Also have a 4 digit stripped receiver screw choke 34″ TM1 and a new 33″ fixed choke HTS Leggero. Shoot that gun about 1500 rds/month. I cannot tell the difference between coil and flat springs. The Mirage that I still have had the barrels worked on by Ken Eyster 25 years ago, and after lotsa years did need to go back to Dan at Giacomo’s Sporting to have the ribs relayed. Other than that I have replaced exactly two flat springs, two firing pins, and one top lever spring and cannot imagine a simpler and more reliable double gun. The Mirage the OP is looking at will have a solution hardened receiver vs the new charcoal color case hardened in use otherwise I really haven’t noticed any difference in quality or reliability over the years.

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  2. Roman says:

    I have used a Ithaca MX8 perrazzi for the past 20 years . The gun was made in 1973. I shoot about 10,000. rounds per year and the only issue I have ever had with the gun is one broken spring and a minor ejector timing issue. Still use it as my main gun and looking at buying another one. Great Guns . I like the old ones better than the new ones.

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  3. Glenn Dryer says:

    I have a Perazzi MX8 that is less than three years old. I have had intermittent trigger faults and a V spring breakage in this time and today was no exception. Would I buy another? What do you think? Wouldn’t touch another with a barge pole or the UK importer Ruag. Apart from that it’s in excellent condition. Anyone want to buy an MX8 as I’m fed up with it!

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    • What is interesting is that Perazzi doesn’t recommend its V spring guns when you ask them which is their best gun. They recommend their coil spring guns. Having said that I’ve not heard that the Perazzi V springs are an issue. How many springs have you replaced and in what time frame?

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  4. Bruce Buck says:

    George,

    I don’t have a clue. Did you know that Perazzi, in their infinite wisdom, has or had over 200 different models? I can’t keep track of them. When I think of P-shooters with stripped receivers I think of the MT-6 O/U with the split barrels. I’m not familiar with a TM-1 with a stripped receiver. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t one, of course. But the TM-1s I see have blued receivers. I’m not familiar with the Comp 4, though I did have one of the original Comp 1 O/Us. I have no idea whatever happened to Comp 2 or Comp 3.

    Perazzi always does that to me…. there is so much of their stuff that I’m not familiar with. Perhaps a quick call to Danny at Giacomo’s (www.giacomosportingusa.com) would get you a more cogent answer than I can give. They are the Perazzi pros.

    Bruce

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  5. Del Mc Cubbin says:

    winchester sold the P guns after Ithaca, not before

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  6. George Murphy says:

    I have a Perazzi single barrel stamped “TM-1” on the receiver under the barrel. It has the stripped receiver and I’ve been told this is a Comp 4 perazzi. Is that possible and what is the difference between a TM-1 and a Comp 4?

    thanks…George Murphy

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  7. Robert Houston says:

    I would like to make sure the writer is either a sporting clays or skeet shooter and not a trap shooter. Gun down time on the line is a minor issue in sporting clays and skeet, but because of the pace of a typical trap shoot, an extended amount of down time can be an issue. Especially at a large shoot or a State Championship shoot.

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