Redolfi EOS One
Mark Stone gets to grips with the new, no frills Redolfi EOS One and discovers a remarkably capable 12-bore…
Brought into the UK by Malmo Guns, who kindly made the test gun available, the truly astonishing aspects of the Redolfi range of shotguns is their price and quality.
Normally, to buy a 12- bore at anything approaching less than a thousand pounds, most buyers will be looking at Turkish-built or pre-owned. And whilst there’s nothing at all wrong with Turkish built, the problem with second-hand is you don’t know what sort of life they’ve had. Likewise, at less than a grand, Italian built is a pure fantasy – that is until you get yourself acquainted with Redolfi.
Just short of 12-months ago we took a look at the EOS Sport, which at the time was Redolfi’s entry level 12-bore, and there wasn’t anything wrong with it. It would seem, however, that the factory had other ideas, the end result being what’s described as a no-frills version, the EOS One supposedly as stripped back as it gets. The irony is, the One is the one, an all-round smoothbore that is incredibly stylish, the action finish as eye-catching as any you’ll come across. And when you’ve seen one for yourself, like the rest of Malmo’s range of Redolfi shotguns, it comes as no surprise that sales are strong.
Looks the part
Complete with a basic case, the One is that new breed of shotgun, the all-rounder. Suited for game and clays, the outward appearance of the gun looks equally at home irrespective of where you and it might be. Semi-oil finished walnut forms the game-style stock, the deep, soft rubber recoil pad doing an excellent job of keeping more powerful loads in check.
Complete with neatly cut chequering that replicates itself on the forend, the evenly radiused grip should suit most hand sizes, even with the small palm swell. An extra small, teardrop shaped chequered insert just to the rear of the stock head adding that influence of style almost unique to the Italians. Does it serve a purpose? Yes, it does, it grips the ball or side of the thumb when pushing open the top lever. The forend itself is kept securely in place by an extended Anson type latch, the length and curvature of this piece of essential furniture ideal for those times when rapid leading hand movement is required. Closer inspection reveals it’s actually of the Schnabel design but fortuitously there’s only the slightest hint of the infamous lip.
Based, as many of this type of Italian shotguns are, on the overunder mechanical boxlock action, it’s the time proven and ultimately reliable design. Following Redolfi’s usual design, moustaches extend from the fences with light foliate engraving, whilst singleton snipe and ducks sit to the rear of each side and on the action base.
Where the difference comes is that all the action surfaces have been treated with chemical case hardening, the resultant blues, browns, coppers and silvers coming together to produce a genuinely attractive finish. And apart from the gold inlayed EOS script along the base, the finish has been allowed to bleed over the artwork, effectively giving the birds and scrollwork a most appealing ghost-like quality.
To add contrast, the trigger guard, top strap and top lever are finished in a more conventional semi-matte black and the trigger blade gold plate. There’s also the auto safe, a feature that I, personally, could do well without, that allows the shooter to select barrel order. Personally, I’d have it adjusted to a manual version, all that’s usually required being the removal of a small pin. But that’s just me!
Gloss black, with a neat low stanchion elevated game rib, the 30-inch barrels are swaged into three-inch monobloc chambers. An almost imperceptibly vented mid-rib join the tubes together until they reach the muzzle, a small silvered bead sitting just above the flushfit multi chokes, a set of five are supplied with the gun.
Dimensionally, the One is of a size that should fit virtually everyone. It weighs 8lbs 4oz with an overall length of 47 1/8-inches. Length of pull to the fixed trigger is 14¾-inches with a slightly heavy 7lbs 1oz break. That said, it only takes a few shots to become accustomed to the pressure required, whilst the overall sensation is crisp and predictable. Maybe something Redolfi need to work on, like all brand new shotguns, after a few hundred rounds have been sent down the barrels, the trigger will ease, as will the gun’s slight stiffness of opening.
Leaving the chokes as per factory, namely Full and ½, with a couple of boxes of the new 28g Cheddite Sporting to hand, Malmo being the UK importers of this increasingly popular brand, a selection of sporting targets had been laid on. Initial impressions were that the One would shoot flat, the vaporisation of the first couple of pair’s confirmation of the fact. They also established that with a balance point two inches in front of the hinges, the One required the leading hand to set things in motion, although the gun in itself mounted quickly and effortlessly.
By and large the lasting sensation of the One is that of a 12-bore that will be able to make a good account of itself, no matter what the shooter asks of it. At least for me it looked where I did, with the Cheddites in the chambers it made outstandingly short work of even the longest targets and all the while looked good, handled well and swung smoothly. What more do you need?
Now for the One’s real trick, all this Redolfi will set you back is a meagre £749. You’ll struggle to buy a decent used over-under for that price, let alone a new Italian 12-bore. Malmo’s initial thoughts were that the Redolfi and especially the new One would appeal to those new to the sport of shooting and in all likelihood on a limited budget. The knockon effect was something they hadn’t anticipated and that was established shooters saw past the diminutive price tag and instead saw a genuinely capable, worth every penny, shotgun that nobody had told it couldn’t or shouldn’t shoot as well as it does.
When you walk away from a sporting layout with a shotgun you’ve never shot before and with only five misses on your card, you know someone got it right. The only other thing I’d like to see and shoot with is the 28” barrelled version when it eventually makes its way over here. So, if you’re ever heading up the M6, drop off at Malmo and try a One for yourself. I guarantee you’ll be impressed.
With thanks to Malmo Guns for the provision of the EOS One, the 28g Cheddite Sporting cartridges and their clay layout.
|Model||Redolfi EOS One|
|Contact||Malmo Guns 01524 793 007, www.malmoguns.com
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates