I recently asked your opinion on converting my Perazzi MX6 trap gun for sporting use. I was going replace the high rib with a low flat style. Anyway, a few days after sending the gun out, low and behold, I found an individual who was selling his MX8 with two sets of barrels, one of which was the lightweight 31.5″ variety.
So, I bought his barrels and Giacamo fitted them to my MX8 Sporting action, and I should get it all next week. The seller sent the barrels to Giacamo, so I have not yet seen them. They are 1570 gram barrels, and were choked .020″ and .025″. Giacamo opened the chokes to .011″ and .016″.
If this does not handle all my needs, I might consider doing the Briley thinwalls. Have you had any experience with these? I assume they add little, if any weight. I really think the .011 and .016 chokes will be fine, and I can vary my ammo from spreaders to high velocity, hard 7 1/2 loads, which should take care of 99% of everything I can hit.
A pair of 1.570 bbls in 31.5″ would be my ideal specs for sporting barrels in the Perazzi. I’ve shot some Perazzi sporters with 1.550 31.5″ bbls and they were marvelous. On the MX8, 1.500 seems too light to me and 1.600 too heavy. Just personal taste, of course. Each .0030 is about an ounce. The Perazzi MX8C we tested had 1.650 kg bbls and I felt they were too heavy.
I was surprised, but identical barrel weights don’t translate between brands of guns and often not between models. I don’t know why, but they don’t. I’ve shot a few other brands of O/Us with bbls at 1.500 or a bit under that felt fine, not too whippy. The MX8s I’ve shot seem to like something around 1.550 or so. Ditto my FN 30″ Superposed guns. When they hit 1.600, they are best consigned to the trap shooters, not the sporting clays shooters.
Still, I can’t emphasize how much of this is personal taste. It also depends a lot on the shooter’s personal physique and shooting style. I’ll absolutely guarantee you that a good shooter can pick up a gun that I reject as ill balanced and use it to beat me like a tin drum. Of course, that doesn’t make the gun well balanced. It just makes him a better shooter than me.
As to .011″ and .016″ for general sporting working chokes, they sound as good as any. You are absolutely right in that you can do a fair amount with a shell.
Briley “Thinwall” screw chokes won’t add any muzzle weight at all. They simply replace existing metal. I’ve never had any put in Perazzis, but I’ve had half a dozen sets put in Superposed Brownings. I’ve never had a bad installation. When I’ve asked for chokes of some exact diameter, I’ve always gotten exactly that. Superposed siamesing can be real tight at the muzzle, yet Briley has always managed to get those tubes in. Sometimes the separation becomes as thin as paper, but it works and is durable. Perazzis usually have more steel up front, so it shouldn’t be an issue. They’ll tell you if it is OK before they do the work.
One caveat: many O/Us, including some Perazzis I’ve owned, shoot the top barrel higher than the bottom barrel. Test carefully for this before you send the barrels to Briley for screw choking. If you have a convergence problem with your barrels, call
up Chuck Webb at Briley and talk to him. Briley can install the screw chokes at an angle to correct for mis-aligned convergence. This is a great service and can save a set of barrels from the scrap heap.
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)