Redolfi EOS Competition
Mark Stone gets to grips with the new, no frills Redolfi EOS One and discovers a remarkably capable 12-bore…
Even by their own admission, UK Redolfi importers Malmo Guns need to develop a small network of Redolfi dealers. The reason being that these genuinely impressive Italian shotguns are currently only available from their shop up near Lancaster. The other reason Malmo need to be getting on with this, is that once you’ve seen, handled and shot with any of the Redolfi shotguns, you’ll more than likely want one.
Currently, Malmo import a small selection of the Redolfi range, slowly but surely introducing the various models as and when time allows. This means that to date it’s the clay breakers that are on Malmo’s shelves, the bonus being that whilst these relatively conventional 12-bores, such as the EOS One, are more than able to return top end scores around the layouts, they look equally as good when used as a game gun. Add in the sub- £800 price tag and whether it’s your first shotgun or one you’ve bough because you’re on a budget, the cost and quality of all the 100% Italian Redolfi shotguns defy belief.
There are, however, those amongst us who like their clay breakers to look a little more overt, shooters that like their 12-bores to have that slightly more aggressive countenance. Well, Redolfi can now provide you with a clay gun that fits the bill in the form of the allnew EOS Competition. And take my word for it, you can’t mistake it for anything else, this EOS straining at the leash to break as many clay targets as it, or rather you, can.
Looks the part
Complete with a basic travelling case, the EOS Competition comes with everything you need. A full set of short but still extended choke tubes, a fully adjustable sporter stock, basic but still attractive engraving along with the fit and finish of a genuine competition shotgun. A neat orange spacer sits between the recoil pad and the stock’s butt, the visual contrast between the rubber of the pad and nicely figured semi-oiled walnut adding just a hint of style and attention to detail.
The stock is well-sized and dimensioned, the comb adjustable in the usual fashion, both left, right, twist and elevation all available to the shooter. The grip is also well-sized with neat panels of chequering that repeat along the nicely rounded forend. There’s also quite a sizable palm swell that some may feel a little oversized. However, it anchors, in this case the right hand, into the exact same place each and every time and allows the shooter to make full use of the forend’s length and profile, without any chance of relinquishing a secure hold.
Currently available with only 30-inch, 3-inch chambered, monobloc barrels, besides the narrow slot vented mid-rib, this EOS boasts a higher and more defined vented 7mm top rib that tapers down over the top chamber. With well-defined side bolsters, the mechanical over-under boxlock action is once again based around the now familiar Italian design. And should you wonder as to why so many Italian overunders use this action, it’s because it works, is reliable and rarely if ever causes problems. In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Close inspection actually reveals subtle and noticeably understated engraving around the fences, the gold inlayed clay motifs almost leaping out from both sides and the base of the polished black action. And it’s these gold clays that are my only criticism, to my mind replacing them with more conventional scroll engraving being far more appropriate. It’s obvious the EOS Competition is exactly that – it doesn’t need decorating with the already glaringly obvious.
The fixed gold-plated trigger sits within a broad, oversized guard, whilst the top-lever and manual safety fill the top-tang. And that ladies and gentlemen is it, a purpose built 12-bore that even goes as far as to tell you with its name. Similarly, once assembled and in the hands, the EOS Competition could be anything other than what it is.
The Redolfi weighs a total of 8lbs 9oz and including the chokes is 47¾-inches in overall length with a 15 7/16-inch and 5lb 4oz length and weight of pull and a balance point ½-inch in front of the hinges. With the grip locating the right hand exactly where it needed to be and the comb in its lowest position, a box of 25 28g Cheddite Smart Strike allowed the EOS Competition to prove its worth around Malmo’s sporting layout. Easy to mount, smooth to swing and as near recoil free as any 12-bore is likely to get, the Redolfi didn’t so much hit clays it was more a case of it eliminated targets in a more than convincing and extremely efficient manner.
It’s fair to say that high-rib sporters can at times be an acquired taste but if you need convincing of how effective they are and as to just how efficient and pleasurable to shoot a Redolfi shotgun is, the EOS Competition is the way to go. At £1095 all in, I’ve shot similarly formatted clay guns costing two, three, four and even ten times the price of this Redolfi and I can say without contradiction that whilst they might feel different, none of them shot any better that the EOS Competition.
If you attempt to correlate how the EOS Competition feels, what it looks like and how it shoots to the asking price, you’ll end up with sleepless nights. The singular most compelling aspect of this Redolfi is that you don’t need to spend thousands upon thousands of pounds to own a decent competition shotgun. What does need to happen is for Malmo to be able to make this and the full range of Redolfi shotguns more widely available, something other manufacturers may not be overly keen on.
With thanks to Malmo Guns for the provision of the EOS One, the 28g Cheddite Smart Strike cartridges and their private clay layout.
|Model||Redolfi EOS Competition|
|Contact||Malmo Guns www.malmoguns.com|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates