Perazzi MX28 in 28 bore
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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
I like British side by sides. I like gas operated semi-automatics, but I absolutely adore long barrelled small bore guns. They are fun to use, and can be effective at game or clays. In fact, I used a Beretta 28 bore all last season and with pretty good results. I also use a 30” Silver Pigeon in 28 bore regularly for sporting layouts and for skeet.
These 28 bore guns were once considered as boys or ladies guns. Things have changed, the modern 28 (or 20) tends to be heavier than in the past, longer barrelled and built with stacked barrels. It can do nearly everything a 12 can do (though I would not advise one for wildfowling or high bird work).
Being a 28 bore person, and preferring long barrels, you can imagine that I was absolutely delighted to be asked to put a Perazzi MX 28 through its paces by Andrew Litt recently. All the more, as the test gun being offered had 32” tubes. I had been hoping to test a 32” for months, but this was my first opportunity. I might also mention that Lincoln (via David Nickerson) also make a
Long Tom 28 and we will endeavour to bring you a report on that soon too.
Back to our MX 28. Perazzi, of course, have a reputation as a first class maker of both clay target and game guns. This gun does not disappoint, from the moment you open the lid of its ABS travel case, you can see it is a quality thing - at nearly nine thousand pounds it should be! Putting the gun together presented no surprises, save that the fit of barrels into the action seemed quite tight. First impressions were very good, though.
Once the MX 28 is between the hands, one has an impression of a gun that is extremely well balanced and comfortable to hold. The stock is rather large for a 28; clearly, it has been influenced by the competition guns that Perazzi make but it feels good. The large pistol grip provides excellent purchase. The wide comb is comfortable and locks into the face well. The forend falls into the front hand nicely as well. It is not too large and brings the hand into an excellent relationship with the barrels. This gun has a very shallow action (it is built on a dedicated 28 bore frame). Somehow the 32” tubes look (and feel) longer than a 12. Too long? That’s a matter of opinion; mine is that 30” is probably THE length for a 28 or 20. We’ll consider that more later, meanwhile let’s just say that first impressions of the MX 28 are very positive.
Taking the gun to the work bench, we might note that the barrels are very tidily constructed on the monobloc system. They are chambered for 2 ¾” (70mm) shells and proofed in Italy. The forcing cones are quite tight and the bores at 13.9mm for diameter – about average for a 28. The sighting rib is narrow at 6mm and fitted with a plain metal bead at the muzzles. The joining ribs which
do not extend beneath the forend are solid. It would seem an attempt has been made to save weight by doing this, though my own preference is for full-length ribs because I think they improve handling and dynamic balance.
The barrels on this gun have fixed chokes, and they are tight – three-quarters and full. The idea is that they may be adjusted to the purchasers needs, but I am of the opinion that a small bore should have more choke than a larger bored gun (I shoot with three-quarters and three-quarters in my Beretta). I have always found this makes them more effective, especially with low payload cartridges; 21, 24 and 28 grams are available for the 28. I use 21s and 24s for breaking clays, and 28 gram shells for game shooting (it’s a lot to stuff down a small tube, but they seem to work well in spite of any theoretical ballistic inefficiency).
The action is a miniature version of one made famous in Perazzi 12 bores. It does not have a detachable trigger lock, nor does it have leaf springs. Coil springs power the tumblers. The gun is inspired by Boss and Woodward and has bifurcated lumps which pivot on studs set in near the action knuckle – just like a Beretta. The single trigger mechanism is recoil activated. It is also
selective and the selector is built into the safety. This is of the sliding type with an enlarged Purdey pattern button which is just the ticket for cold days. I cannot stand fiddly safety catches or barrel selectors. The trigger blade is well shaped and (hooray) blued steel. The action decoration is a bit thin for a gun of this price. It would have been nice to see some more engraving.
The stock of this gun was made from beautifully figured timber. It may look a bit dull in the pics, but that is because it has not yet been finished. It has shelf dimensions that allow for alteration if required by the purchaser. The length is 15 ½” with a thin pad, and 1/8” more at heel and 3/8” at toe. This is standard, and the overall length is not as long as it may sound – I believe that small bore should be made a little longer (this helps to control them). The drop is 1½” and 2” at heel. There is slight right hand cast.
I took this gun to sporting layouts and high towers at the Braintree Shooting Ground. It was really good fun to shoot. It pointed well and it swung fluidly. It was easy to control and recoil was low (even with 1 ounce loads). The gun weighs in at 6 pounds 10 ounces – heavy for a 28, but this is no ordinary 28 and I thought the weight just about ideal considering the 32” tubes. My only criticism is that I thought I felt some vibration in the barrels on firing. The gun inspired confidence in a way that few small bores do, however. It is quite a price, but it is an excellent gun. If I ordered one, though, it would be with 30" barrels - that's plenty long enough for a 28.
My thanks to Andrew Litt of D.J.Litts of Newport for supplying the gun and to Lyalvale (Express) for supplying the cartridges used in this test.
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