Buying A “Good” Gun


Dear Mr. Technoid,

I have been shooting trap, skeet, and sporting clays for 5 years now. Recently I have been considering purchasing a Perazzi Mirage or K-80. I presently shoot a Browning Citori 30″ Trap for trap and skeet,and a 30″ GTI and a 28″ Gold Sporting for sporting clays. With these guns I usually shoot 23-25 in trap and skeet and 80%-90% in sporting clays, depending on the course and concentration level.

My question is, would it benefit me to purchase a Perazzi or Krieghoff for their supposed longer life? What is a reasonable life expectancy for a Citori? My Trap has around 25,000 rounds and the GTI about 12,000 rounds with no work except normal cleaning and oiling. Are the Perazzi and K-80 a bullet proof as they are made out to be?

Also, have you ever tried some of the funky looking wads sold by Ballistic Products? My $5 dollars is in the mail.

Please keep up the good work!!

Sincerely,
Brett

Dear Brett,

You are getting into personal preferences here. Buy the gun that feels best to you. Longevity really isn’t a factor among the guns that you mentioned. The Citoris certainly don’t have the attention to detail that the Perazzis and Krieghoffs have, but 25,000 rounds is just the beginning for the Japanese Brownings guns. Sure, they will loosen up a little bit, but they are easy and cheap to tighten up again.

I have owned earlier Comp I Perazzis and M-32 Krieghoffs and found that neither of them held up as well as my Belgian Brownings. Andy Duffy has put an entire TON of rounds through his old 325 Japanese Browning. It has been tightened up a couple of times, but that is little more than an oil change for those guns. No matter what you buy, it is going to have to have maintenance at around 50K.

You say that your trap gun has 25K on it and that it is holding up just fine. It will probably do that all over again before a new locking tongue and springs are in order- though at 25K I would consider replacing hammer and opening lever springs in any gun.

Will you shoot a K-80 or Perazzi better? I don’t have the vaguest idea if you will. That all has to do with gun fit and balance, not price. More money doesn’t buy better balance or fit. Sometimes those jeans from Sears are more comfortable to wear than that tuxedo from Brooks Brothers.

If a personal opinion helps, I think that the K-80s I have shot would be very nice indeed at ATA style trap and American skeet, but they are far too clunky, bulky and unwieldy for my preferences at sporting or the higher speed Olympic ISU shotgun games.

Perazzis are a tough call because their stuff can range from light and whippy to clunky and log like. I tried one of the new super-duper British Perazzi Mirage 32″ specially configured sporters and found it almost unshootable. It was just too fast and had some of the most savage recoil I have ever experienced in a shotgun. A Perazzi MIrage Pigeon gun that I borrowed once was soft shooting and fit my like a glove. Go figure.

If you are in that price range, you might consider getting the Browning custom shop to assemble a Belgian B-25 for you. They build a magnificent and properly balanced 32″ sporter. You get your choice of barrel weight, rib, stock dimensions, balance and engraving. Perazzi and Krieghoff have nothing that approaches it. The custom Belgian Browning B-25 will cost a little more than the bottom grade Mirage or K-80, but I prefer the Browning for longevity and ease of handling. In my experience over 25 years of shooting clay targets, nothing gives less trouble or outlasts a Belgian Browning. Parts on them break, but what breaks never knocks you out of the shoot. When Perazzis and Krieghoffs gave me trouble, it was always in the trigger and my shooting day was over.

As an aside, while I have owned more of the major brands of O/Us than common sense would dictate and currently have a closet full of B-25 Brownings and FNs, I shoot best with a 30″ Beretta 303 gas gun. It has over 40K through it and shows no real sign of wear. Handsome is as handsome does. You can get ten brand new Beretta 390 gas guns for the price of one Perazzi, Krieghoff or custom B-25 Browning.

As to the Ballistic wads, I have tried much of the Gualandi line of target wads and I think that is what they sell. I couldn’t tell any difference in standard loads.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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