& Harris - Gun
Reviews - Archive - Perazzi MX8
MX8. - 30 December 2002
Perazzi are a
fairly recent gunmaking company being formed in 1952.
The MX8 is the
model on which the company was founded and has flourished. It has
formed the basis for all the subsequent models and forms the chassis
for the entire high grade range both boxlock and sideplate.
At its conception
what was to become the MX8 was built for a very few Italian shooters
by Perazzi himself in conjunction with Fabbri. At this stage the two
were starting out on what was to become very successful gunmaking
careers for both of them. The MX8 gradually evolved with its main
feature being a drop out trigger mechanism, and in 1976 Materelli
won the gold medal at the olympic games. Although perhaps unknown by
most British shooters today, Materelli was probably the greatest
shot in the world at the time. All of a sudden Perazzi became a
recognised gunmaking name.
The guns are
distinctive and have formed the basis and inspiration for many other
gunmakers mainly in Italy, but perhaps also in the British gunmaking
industry. The USA is the biggest market for Perazzi in terms of
numbers, though the UK is perhaps the most significant market with
the guns that are sold here are increasingly higher grade engraved
models. Perazzi guns are only available through a small number of
dealers, which perhaps gives them something of a mystique. They are
not as common as guns such as Beretta and Browning, but then again
they are a far more expensive product in general terms.
are affordable to a much smaller sector of the market, though a huge
number of shooters would like to afford a Perazzi.
will build you a gun for any purpose, they are quite rightly best
known historically speaking as trap shooting guns. That is the field
in which they have continued to excel. Though now there is quite a
demand for Perazzi in the game shooting sector of the market.
Generally the MX8
is quite heavy, though superb balance hides weight. what Perazzi are
mainly is very strong, very well built guns that are made to shoot
many thousands of rounds.
Although it has now
been imitated by many other gunmakers, the MX8 was the first gun of
its type to be made with a detachable trigger mechanism.
The trigger plate
houses the full firing mechanism of the gun, which is, itself,
The hammers of the gun are powered forwards by vee springs. The
springs are fitted so that they bear on the tail of the hammer when
the hammers are fired forwards. This makes the hammers rebound
slightly to prevent striker drag. And also allow the trigger plate
to be refitted into the gun with the hammers fired forwards, as the
hammers won't be obstructed by the backs of the firing pins.
The trigger plate
is remove from the action by pushing the safe all the way forwards
past the normal fire position, this pushes a toggle that will move
back the retaining pin in the rear of the action frame.
The sears work
directly behind the hammers and engage in bents at the bottom of the
hammers. The sears themselves are lifted at the back by a lifter
directly connected to the trigger. It is a simple arrangement but
one which ensures that the MX8 has very crisp trigger pulls.
Occasionally it will be for this reason alone that some may buy a
Perazzi such is the reputation of the trigger pulls. This ia
particularly significant for trap shooters.
The action frame
itself is quite a chunky piece of metal and has really been designed
simply to be very strong and hardwearing. The barrels pivot on stub
pins in the side of the action walls and the barrels are locked down
by a large H shaped locking bolt. The bolt engages with bites on
either side of the barrel lumps. In addition to this there are what
would be termed as circles in English gun terms on each side of the
barrels lump. These mate with corresponding abutments in the walls
of the action to form a very secure lock up when the gun is closed.
The H bolt is
worked back directly by a cam on the bottom of the top lever
spindle. It is held over whilst the gun is open by a stop plate
bearing directly on the bolt and disconnected by a button pushed
through the action face as the gun is closed.
The firing pins are
located in the back of the action face and are both spring loaded
for return after firing.
The gun is cocked on opening by a cam in the forend iron which
pushes back the cocking bar which runs along the floor of the
action. This bears directly on feet on either side of the trigger
plate; one for each hammer.
The forend iron
also houses the ejector trips. The ejectors are directly spring
loaded in the barrel lumps, and are worked by rods that run through
the action walls. The ejector rods are pushed forwards by the
hammers as the gun is fired.
feature on Perazzi guns is that the H bolt can be replaced with one
of a larger size should it be come worn and the gun loose; and this
will take some time and a great deal of shooting. In addition there
is a bolt in the forend that keeps things tight at the front end,
and this is available in various oversizes as well, should it need
to be replaced.
The barrels are one
of the best features on any Perazzi gun. They are the component of
the gun that takes the longest time to build and are still made in
the way directed by Mr. Perazzi senior. High technology machining
has been incorporated into every other aspect of the manufacture of
Perazzi guns, but the barrels are still made in the tried and tested
methods. And it does show. A friend of mine who has worked for two
of the best London gunmaking firms as a barrel maker told me
sometime ago that he has rarely seen barrels of such quality as
The barrels are of
mono-block construction as is usual in large gunmaking production. A
little unusually, the bores are not chrome lined as they are on most
Italian guns. However, both the chokes and the chambers are chrome
lined. The reason for this is to give greatest wear resistance at
the points at which it is most needed, but should the tubes
themselves become dented then they may be repaired more easily and
Blacking is very
good to both the barrels and the action frame and furniture. The
action has a little engraving on the top lever but other than that
is very plain, yet quite elegant.
The woodwork on the
MX8 is very well finished with very good shaping and wood to metal
fit. Though in its basic form it an often be a little plain and
lacking picture, so these days MX8 tend to be supplied in the UK
with selected wood which is of better quality. And for about £400
the buyer can have a wood up grade to a far higher level, something
well worth thinking about.
The starting price
for an MX8 is £3600 including VAT. But it is well to remember that
is very much the starting point, and it will do all you ever ask of
it from a shooting perspective. And at this price you can have a
stock made to your specification in terms of dimensions.
But then you do
have many choices such as fixed or multichoke. An infinite number of
combinations on barrel lengths, top rib dimensions and types as well
as side rib configurations.
You have the choice
of selective or non-selective triggers, and also adjustable
triggers. Then there are stock and forend configurations and shapes
as well as wood grades. Then, do you want conventional boxlock
shaped action frame or sideplate. And if that is not enough to think
about then your imagination is the only constraint on the engraving,
other than what it might cost. And that could be £25000 or more.
But underneath it all you have the strength and reliability that is
inherent in the basic MX8.
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