Ian Coley Rizzini EM Ribless Game
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- Last updated: 15/01/2018
Ian Coley is best known for his prowess in both clay and game shooting and has been an Olympic coach six times and since his first representing GB in 1971 he has repeated this on 200 occasions as a shooter, coach and team manager. He knows a good thing when he sees it and during a collaboration with the well-respected Italian gun maker of B. Rizzini, Ian suggested that their round bodied RB EM model should be custom made for him as a rib less model with other custom features. Bold move, but I am really glad Ian had the vision to do so as he has achieved what can only be described as the nicest looking, sweetest handling shotgun I have handled to date.
The B. Rizzini Round bodied shotgun is an elegant great handling little shotgun, especially in 20-gauge any way, but the idea of a rib less custom version not only lightens the gun further for an even superior mount and swing but also looks superb and also achieves an uncluttered view of the game you are shooting. Yes, it is unconventional but it works and older guns used to be rib less and they probably have accounted for more game than any ribbed shotgun.
Ian is presenting a series of these B. Rizzini rib less in single guns of 12- or 20g, as well as matched pairs numbered one and two guns and also combinations such as 20g with a set of 28g barrels. At present, you have a choice of barrel lengths of 29.25- and 30.75-inches and 32-inch on the 12g models. Prices start from £4995 for a single gun and from £10,995 for a pair. With combination 12g, 20g and 28g guns going for £5995 on the same action.
Wow, get used to it – you are going to get a lot of superlatives in this review. First the hard facts. They are 29-inches long, well, 29.25-inches measured and have a fixed choke arrangement, that I like to be honest of 3/8th and 5/8th choking. The barrels are silver solder with a central solid rib between the two barrels and the overall finish is superb bluing with ultra-deep blacking and a high-end polish. The ejectors are well timed and very positive, repeat very positive. Best of all is what’s missing with the barrels – Ian wanted a rib less style for speed and agility and it got it. The barrels look like a double rifle configuration with lack of raised rib and to me look spot on being a rifleman.
You have a small ramp with a gold insert at the rear of the barrels that is near invisible when mounted correctly and then nothing but smooth barrel surface for about 27.5-inches. At the muzzle end you have a small ramp smooth surface with a single silver bead.
Three inch chamberings and chrome lined for all 20-gauge loadings and bored for use with fibre wads, this Rizzini will shoot anything you desire it to digest. Overall it gives the shooter an uncluttered sight picture, I love it, see field test.
B. Rizzini have a lovely way of orientating a stock to combine the best mix of cast, comb height length and just sheer good looks. This Coley custom has a trim forend with front mounted push button catch that is rounded with concentric ring grooves for grip. The 9.5- inch length is well rounded at the tip and because of the front latch the underside is near completely chequered. You have an accented silver diamond insert with a gold number one, indicating this is one of a matched pair. The chequering is borderless, which looks really classy and is very well executed for looks and grip a like. The rear butt-stock is stunning with flowing lines that the Italians are really good at. The pistol grip is having the same level of chequering as the forend and the rake is long and slender and quite slim, befitting this style and calibre gun and is capped with a polished steel profile cap tastefully engraved and fitted with engraved screws, a nice touch.
The full-length trigger guard tang in the pistol grip front is equally well engraved too and a classy custom touch. As with a shotgun of this quality the butt-plate is dispensed with and the stock is full length at 15.0-inches and the shoulder grip is administered by a ¾ chequered panel with the top section left smooth for a silky snag free mounting.
Best of all is the superb walnut used. It oozes timeless quality and being the main part of any gun that grabs your attention and makes a shotgun an individual item and one to cherish. This Ribless has a very striking walnut an overall deep honey coloured hue interspersed with superb, fiddle back figuring and marble cake flowing through the entire stock with individual pockets of crotch swirling. It’s a beauty and all finished off in a rubbed oil finish adding tactility and that all important old English gun smell!
This is a round bodied action and, funnily enough, I have just tested a Zoli Pernice with a round bodied action which I liked but this B. Rizzini takes it a step further, sorry but true.
You have a typical lock set-up with in this case the hinge pin being two separate stud pins in the side walls and locating to the hook cut in to the barrel lump which is nicely jewelled. The rear lock-up is via a full-length bottom bite and the action opens easily yet is solid at lock-up and closes like a Rolls Royce car door.
The rounded profile of this action is a perfect complement to this style of gun with a shallow height and has that almost infinity line to the action base as is curves around natural lines. The engraving is superior to anything I have seen on a gun of this quality and deep, wellexecuted leaf type engraving to almost all the surfaces with a scroll plate to both sides and Rizzini`s name to it. The top lever is simply engraved and inset with a gold one as on the forend and the top tang and full-length trigger tang has equally good engraving. You have long, lozenge-shape safety catch which is automatic and has a raised barrel selector to the top front that switches between barrels/choke selection. The trigger is a gold-plated single select type with a smooth slim profile and plenty of room in front for a gloved hand with a nice oval shaped trigger guard and full-length tang; very classy.
When you are testing rifles or shotguns you get a lot of nice guns, high-end spec or latest technological advances but there are times when something spectacular lands on your test bench, this Rizzini Ribless is one such gun. It has that essence of quality that you cannot reproduce, much like the Rigby .275 Highlander I tested. You can feel the quality, it handles just that bit better, the engraving is really well-executed, the looks are exquisite and the stock finish and fit are just right. You know you have a winner in the hands and that inspires confidence, as I am a rifleman through and through but this scatter gun really had me cooing with delight.
That rib less barrel step up allows a quick target acquisition and swing in either direction for pairs or cross game. The gun balances just behind the hinge pin so literally floats in the hand.
With the top barrel selected and 5/8th choking I set up the pattern boards at 30-yards to test three game cartridges. It was very windy, so a slight bias right to the patterns. What was very noticeable was the superb natural pointability of this gun and the very wellproportioned and designed stock as recoil was hardly felt for a light gun, that’s quality.
This is a cooper pellet loading utilising a 70mm case and fibre wad. I had the 28-gram No 6-shot size load, so an ideal game loading for 20-gauge. I had a total of 216 pellets strike the 30-inch pattern board with 120 pellets striking the outer sectors and a dense swarm of 96 No 6 shot pellets within the 15-inch inner circle. Mild shooter but heavy hitter this one.
This load had a gram weight load of 28-grams of No 6 shot and used a fibre wad in the 65mm case, a classic 20-gauge loading. A total of 253 pellets hit centrally on the board with really even dense patterns and spread. Not quite an even split but 121 pellets to the inner 15-inches and 132 pellets to the outer sectors. Good pellet count and superb patterns thrown from the barrels. I would use this as an all-rounder load.
This is another one of those new-breed copper plated lead pellet loads designed to minimise pellet deformation and produce better patterns and improve down range performance.
I had the 67mm case that is fibre wadded and this shot a 25-gram load of No 6 shot, good game load for a 20-gauge.
I had a total of 191 pellet strikes within the 30-inch pattern board with 111 pellet strikes to the outer sectors and 80 within the inner 15-inch ring. Great dense pattern with no holes, nice load. The wind was stiff at 15mph gusts so lost a few pellets off the board.
There is nothing I do not like about this shotgun, it’s an absolute corker and worth every penny in my view. I am a rifleman but if I was to buy just one gun for my type of sporting use this Ian Coley Rib less Rizzini would be it. It looks superb, it handles even better, the sight picture is my favourite and it throws excellent patterns, what else is there to say? Where`s my cheque book!
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