Krieghoff K80 Parcours
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- Last updated: 21/12/2018
Krieghoff have always been one of those revered gun makers that does not need to shout about their achievements, as they speak for themselves. I have tested many a Krieghoff double dangerous game and single barrelled stalking rifle but never a double-barrelled smooth bore. Alan Rhone Ltd. are the importers of Krieghoff and do a sterling job and Ian Coley Ltd. sell a lot of the Krieghoffs that land on these shores.
Krieghoff have always had that air of Teutonic superiority that sometimes favoured function to pure aesthetics.
Now, Ian Coley has commissioned some superbly engraved examples of this K80 test gun that make the Krieghoffs competition pedigree highly desirable to the game shooter. These engraved actions are to order and engraved by Kati Mau with superb game scenes and excellent scroll engraving. This is complimented by C1 grade wood or Ian Coley can arrange a trip to the factory to select wood of your choice. Supersport and Parcours models are available thus engraved.
The K80 (12g) and K20 (20g) are designed around the action and from this heart of the Krieghoff individual shooting systems can be tailor-made just by changing the barrels, rib, stocks.
As soon as you pick up a K80, you can instantly feel a difference and Ian Coley’s custom options are really the icing on the cake and improve what many consider as the best; so, a pretty good thing.
Let’s start with the action, as this is the pivot from which all the ancillary items are exchanged with, to form a unison of all the parts. It’s important to understand the ethos behind Krieghoff, as, like a building, get the foundations correct, no, perfect and the rest will all follow suit.
The K80’s action is machined on the latest CNC machinery from a solid billet of steel and is designed unashamedly large to ensure that the K80 is capable of many hundreds of thousand rounds fired without loosening.
All parts are painstakingly hand finished by fully trained craftspeople, so that every Krieghoff has the feel of a handbuilt or coach-built custom car.
The finish is a satin silver coin finish and this model has no embellishments except the Krieghoff name and logo to the underside and K80 etched to both sides.
I really like the sliding top latch or locking system. It is familiar to me, having owned several Valmets and Tikka double rifle and shotgun combos. It makes the whole K80 action incredibly strong, as you can do away with the usual monobloc bites, or lugs, to the underside or side lever locking systems. Instead, the top latch slides back and forth with the action of the top lever. In doing so, the sliding latch secures the barrels on tapered lumps to the barrel’s sides and even after thousands of rounds the taper’s slight wear always ensure the K80 is as tight as the day it was bought.
It also has a fantastic ability to facilitate the barrels on and off and not only that, the design allows the use of one action for any calibre. So, looking at the Krieghoff website, you can save yourself thousands on additional guns for differing disciplines and allows familiarity with the same gun, for better handling and thus shooting.
Inside the action, the mechanism is made from finely tuned tool steel elements for strength and longevity and the hammers are primed with coiled springs that give a very consistent and repetitive action at the same strength. It also has a super-fast lock time, rather like a rifle, that means that the time taken from you thinking about the shot and the firing pin striking the primer is much lessened and thus the shot is out of those barrels actually when you wanted them to be.
The barrels ride on hardened pins captive in the side walls that can be exchanged if necessary. Barrels are made, unsurprisingly, from special steel that has a very concentric 18.6mm bore diameter with a mirror finish. They are 3-inch chambers and steel shot proof and have a longer than normal forcing cone, to lessen deformation of the shot column.
Again, length, rib options and multi choke feature, flush or extended are too numerous to mention; so, go to Alan Rhone’s Krieghoff website, where every option is clearly listed and illustrated.
I had the K80 Parcours model that had 32-inch barrels, always popular these days with a tapered rib from 8mm to 6mm at the muzzles that has a non-reflective serration. This has 12 individual vents beneath to raise the rib and aid in cooling and, sighting wise, there is a steel bead 16-inches from the muzzles that aligns with the white bead at the front. This is held in place with a single screw, so can be altered for a design/colour that suits you.
Overall finish is deep satin blue, rather than highly polished, which blends well with the satin silver finish of the action.
Interestingly, I was sent the fixed choke model that was choked modified bottom barrel and Improved Modified top barrel. Multi chokes of all descriptions are available including flush, extended stainless steel dependent on barrels chosen.
The ejectors are perfectly machined and are synchronised to eject the empties with much gusto!
The trigger is a mechanical system, which I much prefer and feels more reliable to me, whether that’s true or not. It has a very clean and brake like glass feel, very unlike a shotgun and more like a custom rifle. The trigger blade is polished steel and smooth with a wide and curved profile. It is also adjustable for length of pull by sliding back and forth on a captive spigot. The trigger unit is available in a single or double release system; so, whichever discipline you shoot, there is a trigger to suit your K80 and you.
One feature that I really like and is typically German efficiency, is the barrel selector system. It is a small lever that protrudes in front of the trigger. Push left for top barrel and right for bottom barrel. A very convenient and positive action and can also be locked, so that it is not knocked accidentally. This means that the safety is left just as a safety lever on the top tang. This is non-automatic but does have a small button that needs to be pushed in to operate, so can be locked safe or fire; again, I like. Small attentions to detail like this is what you are paying for and benefitting in.
The K80 also has a short but larger than normal top lever to open the action that is also chequered and holds open to the right; it all feels very well-engineered.
The Parcours model has a more sympathetic game/sporter look to it, rather than that of a pure competition gun. Krieghoff offer excellent quality walnut, both in figuring and grain that certainly appeals to me. The finish is semi oiled and again gives the walnut life and a natural feel that I prefer. The length of pull is 14.5-inches but can be adjusted ¼-inch with the trigger blade or as the butt pad is fixed on this model. The pistol grip is generous and has a palm swell and the chequering is well-executed, all features you will appreciate in any weather or with sweaty hands!
This model also has the elevating cheekpiece that is almost the entire length of the buttstock’s top; so, you will not slip off it. It elevates on twin steel pins and secures via two small inset screws in the woodwork to the right side of the stock. The forend is quite slim and short at 9-inches but is again well chequered, enveloping the sides and underneath as one. The tip is slanted backwards and overall handling is excellent.
Overall length is 49-inches and the K80’s weight of 8lbs makes it solid feeling, adding confidence and reduces the recoil from heavier loads too. The 32-inch barrels and perfect balance, just ahead of the barrel hinge, allows the K80, despite its weight, to swing in all directions without effort and track a bird or clay with ease.
The elevated cheekpiece was a little high for me, i.e. looking down onto the rib; so, a quick adjustment and then perfect. A change of barrels and rib higher, or preference, can be accommodated instantly.
I did not have the K80 long, a day, so managed to shoot a couple of loads at the pattern boards with the bottom barrel and ½ choke. First, were the Eley Superb cartridges that use 28-grams of No. 7.5 shot. I had a total of 396 pellet strikes at 30-yards with 208 inner hits and 188 outer hits. Overall distribution and even pattern were superb; that’s a Krieghoff for you. The Eley Olympic Blue were also excellent, with a whopping 437 pellet strikes and 168 inner and 269 outer hits with this 28-gram No. 8 shot loading. No clay would get through that even pattern, superb!
The first thing that people say is, “that’s expensive”, when they see the Krieghoff range, but it is not until you pick one up and appreciate the fine detail and real technical detail do you realise the value. Think of it as a complete shooting system, the K80 mechanics will outlast you and are totally reliable. This just leaves you to enjoy shooting it, with any misses up to you. The huge range of optional barrels, chokes, ribs and stocks means that one gun can be many things and you actually save money in the long run.
From a game shooter’s point of view, the new Ian Coley engraved Krieghoffs are a work of art and a highly desirable gun to own and cherish. The performance and looks last long after the initial expense is forgotten. They take what can be conceived as Teutonic brutally in styling, to beauty on the outside, as well as in.