& Harris - Gun
Reviews - Archive - Kemen KM 4
Kemen is a
relatively new name in the gun market. They first started to make
their presence felt in the UK about 10 to 12 years ago.
Initially they were
spotted and imported by Tony Kennedy, since then the Dealer network
has spread and perhaps retracted a little. The main distributors in
the UK are now Kelbrook Shooting Lodge, in Lancashire.
Kemen are, in Spain
a fairly major gunmaking concern, producing in total approximately
300 to 350 guns every year.
They are different
to many other makers in that they pride themselves in being able to
make a gun exactly to the customers specification. Many others claim
to offer this service, but sometimes it won't be quite as ordered.
With Kemen, you get what you ask for. That said, Mike Meggison of
Kelbrook, tells me that Kemen will offer very good advice,
particularly on gun-fit, if they believe it will ultimately benefit
the customer. And according to Mike, they have yet to get it wrong.
To gain a foot hold
in the market and to make themselves a familiar name to the shooting
public, they sponsored Geoge Digweed with a gun. Any gun shot to
good effect by George has to be taken seriously.
Richard Faulds also shot a Kemen very well for a number of years in
his run up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Since then many
others have followed the Kemen path and the guns have built up a
significant niche in their corner of the clay shooting market.
The guns are
predominantly made to shoot clays and consequently are full weight
guns, making full use of the slogan that weight reduces recoil. This
is no detriment to the guns as their balance helps to hide the
The gun owes a
great deal of influence to Perazzi. In fact I believe it to be an
open secret that this gun is a pretty fair copy of a Perazzi. I do
not know what Perazzi's thoughts are on this, but my feeling is that
it must be proof that imitation is certainly the greatest form of
I don't know
whether it is true but I can remember hearing, when Kemen first
arrived in this country that their barrels would interchange with
that of Perazzi. If that is true then they certainly are close.
This particular gun is a sporter. At a glance, the gun is quite
plain. Though that is definitely at first glance.
The action frame is finished black; as is all the visible metalwork.
It is slightly matt. There is a practical aspect to this in that it
does reduce glare. Though in this instance, I think it is more of a
The frame is nicely
sculptured, with carved side panels and well rounded fences, which
helps to break up the size and lack of engraving. This is not to say
that the gun is devoid of any engraving at all. It has border lines
and the centres of the hinge pin stubs are decorated with a rosette,
as is the centre of the top lever spindle.
The action frame is low profile as is gained from having stub pins
on which to hook the barrels. These stub pins are very wide and so
give plenty of surface area for a long working life. The whole frame
of the gun is strongly carved from a single block of steel and is
very thick through the side walls to give maximum strength. Built
into the inner walls of the action frame are flanges that form a
circle to support the barrel lumps when the gun is closed.
The action of
Kemen's are particularly tough, being hardened to Rockwell hardness
of 38. this is harder than most other guns and should mean that wear
is kept to a minimum.
Very secure lock up
is provided by an H bolt that protrudes on each side of the breech
face. This bolt engages with bites on the barrel lumps. The system
as a whole is probably without equal in terms of making the gun
secure when closed. But does inherently have bulk, which is of
course the primary reason for the weight.
The gun has a drop
out trigger mechanism, which fits very neatly into the bottom of the
action frame. It is held in place by a spring loaded cross peg, with
a small lever situated under the back of the trigger guard. The peg
engages with a hole in the back of the frame. This is different to
Perazzi, who use the safe button to release the trigger plate.
On this particular
the gun the safe button itself has been secured forwards in the fire
This may be a
feature for the clay purist, and most guns come through this way.
Though they can easily be made so that the safe moves in a
conventional way by simply removing a retaining pin.
The internal working parts of the gun are very well finished and
The hammers are
large and being powered by vee springs they will pack a large punch
to the back of the firing pins.
Very neat bents or
notches are cut into the hammers for the sears to engage. And as a
result the gun has very crisp clean trigger pulls. Just the ticket
on a full-blown competition gun.
Vee springs are
usually associated with side by side guns rather than OU's, but they
always give an OU a look of quality. It is true that if they break
then that is the finish of play until the gun is repaired where as
coil springs have just that little bit more reliability; rarely
breaking and working over their entire length. But they just don't
look as good.
The gun selects to
fire the second by inertia from the first shot resetting. And on
this gun the barrels will only fire under then over.
The barrels on this
gun are 78cm long. That equates to a fraction under 31" in
To keep the weight in check and cooling to a maximum, both the side
ribs and top rib are ventilated. The top rib is tapered from 10mm at
the breech down to 6mm at the muzzle, and is cross-hatched with
crescents to reduce reflection. Tapered ribs give a lovely sight
pattern and make the barrel appear longer than it is to maximise
it's pointing potential.
The barrels are
built on the monblock principle, and have 70mm chambers. The barrels
are extremely well struck up, and appear very true. Boring is also
very good with the tubes shining perfectly; I am talking about
roundness and concentricity here. The bores are not overbore size as
such, but they are marked up at 18.7mm so should be comfortable. The
bores are not chromed on this gun, so you can't be as relaxed about
not cleaning it after a day's sport, but then you shouldn't be if
you've just spent thick end of £3500 on your gun.
The chokes are
Briley multi choke, and a set of 5 long tubes come with the gun.
are directly spring loaded and work by being tripped from the forend
Woodwork is of very
good quality. And I have to say much better than I have seen on many
Perazzi's for this sort of money.
It is a deep colour
with good contrasting black figuring. And the forend matches the
stock extremely well.
I particular like the forend shape on this gun. It is slim down to
its end and is very comfortable to hold.
The stock looks bulky, but is actually very comfortable to hold.
Chequer pattern is
good and enhance the look of the woodwork.
length of pull 14 3 / 4 " 375mm
drop at comb 35
drop at heel 55
cast off at toe 5mm
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