Rottweil 580 shotgun
Mark Stone tries the Rottweil 580 over & under shotgun, but don’t let the Germanic name confuse you, as it’s Italian through and through.
It would appear that manufacturing guns with your name on them is becoming big business irrespective of whether you’re known for them or not. So with a bolt-action rifle already available, Rottweil has now elected to produce a line of shotguns from .410 to 12-bore. But whilst the smaller gauges are still of great interest it’s the 12’s that are more than likely to make up the bulk of sales, with both the near identical Sporting and Game versions already proving popular in mainland Europe.
Lock, stock and 30” barrels
Stained to a mid brown if the inside of the neatly chequered Schnabel forend is to be believed, wood to metal fit has been particularly well executed. The butt shows a neat, vented recoil pad and offers a near all encompassing 14¾” length of trigger pull along with a fit nearly everybody can get on with at 1½” and 2 1/8” drop at comb and heel.
With furniture as comfortable and well finished as this it’s only the slight but unusual hump at the neck where the stock head flows back into the semi – pistol grip that seems at odds. This renders the depth just to the rear of the top and bottom tangs somewhat thicker than might be expected, so those with smaller hands may find the overall grip a tad to large.
Between the two
Weight distribution tends to be a personal thing but for most users and manufacturers the aim is to get the bulk of it between the user’s hands. What the 580 has achieved is to distribute the Sporting’s 7lbs 4oz mass nigh on perfectly, the point of balance being less than an inch forward of the hinges. Decoration on the clean looking action has been kept to a minimum, a rosette highlighting the hinges, with light scrolling and stippling for the fences. Filigree and bordering pick out either side of the action and base, along with the Rottweil 580 nomenclature and a woodcock for the black trigger-guard.
The trigger breaks at a consistent 7lbs on either barrel, the transfer from one to the other being purely mechanical. However, whilst the take up requires instrumentation far more accurate than mine, once the break has occurred there is a definite mechanical sensation during the pull and release process. Certainly not detrimental, as regular usage and the application of a suitable lubricant would probably improve the overall feeling. What cannot be called into question are the ejectors, both perfectly timed, for those like myself who catch their empties as they eject, get your hand ready or the 580 will ensure the used hulls elude you.
Stand and deliver
Whilst the overall appearance and general feel of the 580 places it firmly in the affordable section, it’s on the peg that the Rottweil starts to defy its intended market segment. Even during the initial dry mounts you soon realise how well the gun comes up and swings onto one of those thousands of imaginary birds you’ve plucked from the sky. Likewise, whilst others fail to live up to expectations, this gun more than delivers.
Choked up ½ and ¼ , only my own momentary lack of concentration denied the 580 a straight on Coniston SG’s Compak. Similarly scores over two squads of Sportrap - including the ground’s infamous high tower birds - revealed the Rottweil’s ability to quickly find its targets, two charges of Express Supreme 6’s decimating clays for the sheer pleasure of it.
Skeet plus another Compak emphasised the Rottweil’s smooth, flowing abilities, and only the fact that the action and top lever remained resolutely stiff marginally detracts from the overall pleasure, even after 150 cartridges had been fired. Whilst some may opt for the shorter 28” barrels, the 3” chambered 30” tubes on the test gun proved to be relaxed to swing. The broad, 11mm vented rib and high visibility bead add to the 580’s ability to quickly transfer between dramatically opposed targets with consummate ease.
Pound for pound
Over the past year or so the number of extremely competent sub - £1,000 shotguns to hit the market has been truly remarkable. Equally, I seem to have had the good fortune to try most of them and it’s fair to say that whilst some are better than others, all of them are well worth considering. What I will say about the Rottweil 580 is that when it comes to balance, weight distribution and general handling, this gun puts shotguns costing three times the price to shame. OK the finish isn’t quite as good as other similarly priced 12-bores, but pound for pound few deliver to the same degree or make you want to sign onto the next detail without a moment to lose.
The theory is that you’re likely to buy the 580 for your son or daughter or as an alternative to your main 12-bore. What I will say is that unless your main double gun is something truly outstanding, you’ll probably start using this Rottweil all the time irrespective of who it was initially bought for.
Interestingly the similarity between the Game and Sporting variants means this review is as applicable to one as it is the other. Apart from the two inch shorter barrels, 6mm rib, silvered bead and the fact it weights just 4oz less, everything else is identical. This renders the 580 Game a near ideal all–rounder, irrespective of quarry.
• Excellent all-rounder
• Exceptional balance
• A tried and tested Italian action
|Type||over & under|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates