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Perazzi MX8 Protrap

Considered by Trap and Trench shooters to be the ultimate, Mark Stone gets his hands on a gun that some people would sell their souls for - the Perazzi MX8

Considered by many to be the Formula 1 of shotguns, Daniele Perazzi’s original 1957 creation has evolved to dominate the world of clay pigeon shooting since its inception. Likewise the build quality is superb and the model options verging on the bizarre in some cases. So what makes these guns so special? 

Delivered in a fitted Negrini case, most things the new owner might need are included. Once removed the MX8 more or less floats together although care must be taken to correctly locate the cocking lever before slowly rotating the Trap style forend into position. 

Less is more

The action itself is a perfect example of less is more. Apart from the rosettes that pick out the hinges and pivot point of the top lever, all that embellishes the semi matte receiver is the ‘Perazzi MX8’ script to the lower left side plus the word Protrap along the base. Barrel wise, the black tubes show a length of 81cm although optional 86cm and 89cm versions are available. Vented three quarters along the mid rib and 6 – 11mm tapering top – rib is what sets this gun apart. Certainly not one of the company’s more overt examples, the MX8 still boasts a heavily ramped pattern that sits 10mm above the surface of the top barrel.

Fixed at Full choke in the top although this can be altered dependant on requirements, the multi choke description only applies to the bottom barrel. Supplied with a set of four flush fitting tubes, ¼, a wide and tight ½ or ¾ can be inserted. This also reasserts the fact that a wider restriction is often more effective on first barrel kills.

One of - if not the - most important aspect on any shotgun is the stock. Get it wrong and you’ll never be able to shoot correctly. A Monte Carlo as standard, the tester displayed a 15 1/8” length of pull along with 1 3/8” and 1 17/32” drop at comb and heel with a lower fall of 1 9/32” at the rear of the raised comb. Finished with a fine lacquer that shows the grain of the walnut off to its best, no criticism of fit or finish can be levelled, the Protrap personifying Perazzi’s uncompromising quality.

Trigger happy

Normally we only discus triggers in terms of weight and adjustability. However with the MX8 the mechanism is down to personal choice. Breaking at a precise 3lbs 6oz besides being fully detachable, you can opt for ‘V’ or coil springs, a pull/pull, release or a pull/release set up. The theory is V’s are more sensitive coils and more reliable. That said, if you do have a breakage, spares can be inserted in about five minutes. Perfectionists however will buy a spare mech, meaning a unit change in about fifteen seconds. 

Pegged back  

The reason I’ve mentioned the stock sizing is that this MX8 didn’t fit me. However, whilst its pointless saying the Protrap was the best trap gun I’ve ever shot, the comb was ½” too high for me. But provided I modified my method of attack, decent scores were still more than possible. Four squads of Coniston’s DTL combined with the wider ½ choke plus Express Supreme 8’s in the bottom barrel, 6’s in the top showed some improvements.

By taking the bird immediately it appeared the kills were more than impressive although second barrel success remained limited. Matters picked up again when I shouldered the Protrap higher than usual, this physical shift allowing me to look along (not down) the rib. What never failed to astound was the speed the trigger mechanism shifts. I defy anyone to find a shotgun that can transfer and discharge its second round faster than this MX8. Until you’ve used a Perazzi you’ll never quite appreciate how they feel or work, but once you have, any trap shooter will be hard pushed to look anywhere else. 

Well would I?

If I was considering a full blown, no compromise Trap gun the MX8 Protrap would be in the top three. The one thing I would insist on though would be to try the gun with a stock more or less of my dimensions. Anyone who buys an MX8 on the spur of the moment without ensuring the gun fits could be seriously disappointed without it being anything to do with the gun itself.

Work on the theory that unless the standard measurements happen to suit the asking price of £5,255 is a starting point. Get yourself measured by a qualified professional, none of this balancing pound coins on ribs routine or crook of arm lark. Likewise decide which trigger group you want, since it can make a difference.

If you’re good enough to move up to the Perazzi MX8 then, make sure you get the fit and options right, as you’ll own a 12-bore that becomes part of you! Get it wrong and you’ve only yourself to blame… 

We Reckon!

• Its more than worth spending the extra and get measured up or at least add £175 for the adjustable stock
• There’s an enormous choice in the range so make sure you select the one that’s right for you
• Once you’ve bought it don’t fiddle. If your Perazzi needs altering leave it to the professionals

Technical Specifications
Name Perazzi MX8 Protrap
Barrels 32 ½”
Choke top barrel fixed full, bottom multi (Three chokes supplied)
Price £5,255 (as tested)

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

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Perazzi MX8 Protrap
Perazzi MX8 Protrap
Perazzi MX8 Protrap
Perazzi MX8 Protrap
Perazzi MX8 Protrap
Perazzi MX8 Protrap
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