Gary: Certainly agree with your statement regarding commonly available competition shotguns. If cost is not an issue when buying an O/U, Fabbri would be my choice. When it comes to evaluating quality and having 100+ years to verify lasting quality, there is nothing like handling and shooting a high condition London Best from about 1885 to pre-WW I. Of these, the Boss and Woodward guns reign supreme. bossbasl.
Perazzi was really a genius. He looked at every gun available, and Mattarelli and Fabbri helped him to incorporate all the good points they could; they were really big fans of Boss/Woodward types more than the Browning design, which many others borrowed from.
The true genius was making a world championship gun that the working man could realize. Like making a Ferrari F40 and selling it for a Cadillac price.
Fabbri couldn't do that. Nobody else could do that.
I`ve never had a trigger lay down on any of my Brownings or 90T`s .In 30 years of shooting,I`ve been on dozens of squads that had to wait for a Perazzi trigger group to be repaired or replaced.Boasting about Perazzi quality put a grin on my face...KS-OKIE.
I prefer not to compare Perazzi to Rolls Royce; since the name like Fabbri, Boss, and Woodward have been brought up.
Daniele Perazzi's original ideal was to make the best competition shotgun in the world, not the best shotgun in the world which Ivo Fabbri had in mind. And that leads to the termination of their partnership in the '60s.
The whole principle of Perazzi design was based on easy maintenance, and easy rebuild after heavy usage. None of these can be said about Fabbri, Boss, Woodward, Holland & Holland, James Purdy, or any of the fine or "Best" shotguns in the world.
The English shotguns were (still are) made for the very selected group of sportsmen, it's bloody common to have your guns send back to the manufacture for check-up, refinish, or rebuild after hunting seasons, while not expecting owners to raise their eyebrows when they see the bills. That's the same expectation from Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, or even Range Rover.
Fabbri was build to last, but I have not yet seeing any one of them been shot like a Perazzi at the trap or skeet range, 10,000 rounds per year. the ones I have or had probably got 2,000 ~5,000 rounds each, for the life of them.
There're three things I can tell you the differences between shooting a Fabbri and a Perazzi:
a) It's not a walk in the park when I broke a spring.
b) If a new stock is needed, it'll cost more than a Perazzi to get it replaced.
c) If, only if you have to ask for an additional barrel, Tullio Fabbri will make you one for the cost of almost a new gun, with a two year wait. If he likes you.
BTW, has anyone seen a release trigger on a Fabbri?
So gentlemen, stay with your Perazzi, they have won more Olympic, or every other international events than any other shotguns in the world. There're other fine shotguns in the same price range, but you simply don't see them in the Olympics.
Broken springs? show me one shotgun that's easier to change springs, BY OWNER, IN THE FIELD. Or just option the factory coil spring trigger like most other "low maintenance" shotguns.
Loose ribs on those 40 year old guns? Have you ever seen a maintenance bill of a Ferrari ? Here's a hint, you can buy a reasonably loaded F-150 with two or three years ownership of a Berlinetta.
I do not know of a gun that handles like a Perazzi. I have a CG and a Bertta and have had several kguns also Bro. The P gun always feels better. Mabe its just me but the Perazzi aways feels right. I notice that those who complain about Perazzis are the ones that do not shoot them.
Let's see, last olympics there where a total of 15 medals in shotgun sports given. Twelve of these were given to Perazzi shooters. Please note that other manufactures pay dearly to have shooters use their product, not Perazzi.
There is nothing like a Perazzi leaf spring trigger for consistency and feel. Every trigger pull is EXACTLY the same...right up until the spring breaks. It's a design tradeoff that takes about two minutes to overcome....or less than the time it takes to type and post a typical Perazzi sour-grapes complaint.
Steve W.: Thanks for so nicely summarizing the virtues of the Perazzi. It appears many of the naysayers (who probably don't have any significant experience with a Perazzi leaf-spring trigger group) are always eager to look down their noses about replacing a very occasional trigger spring. Seems to me it is much preferred to spending a lifetime with a mediocre trigger on a gun with swing dynamics akin to the proverbial 6X6 post. bossbasl
I've not encountered a recoil problem with a Perazzi yet. My wife shoots pigeons with an 8lb MX8 and has no problems at all. My pigeon gun is 7lb11oz and is as easy on recoil as a 12lb K80. Maybe easier.
OTOH the old 101's kicked the sh*t outta both of us and they went down the road pronto.
But shoot whatever you like and badmouth the Perazzis all you want. I can always use a bargain on another of those kickin' SOB's.
@Steve W. - nice summary comparisons between the two makers and their firearms.
Ivo chose to continue the same Sidelock approach that he and Danielle developed as partners. I have owned both the Fabbri O/U and the Perazzi SHO and DHO. Interestinly enough I shot a Flli Rizzini sidelock SxS when Fabbri and Paerazzi joined us to shoot pigeons at DGC during a Shotshow event.
Both made a startling comment to the effect that Rizzini made the best SxS and Danielle discontinued the DHO for that reason. AFAIK Fabbri will still make one but discourages them in favor of O/U.
My comparisons (and contrast with Steve's) are that both are made with precision machine tools, both employ outstanding barrel assemblers, both employ outstanding stockers and bot have access to outstanding engravers.
The primary difference in 'shootability' is zero - they shoot where you want them is your particular gun is custom/bespoke, and both shoot with POI nearly the same when not specified.
The primary difference in 'appearance' is that All Fabbri's are sidelocks and Ivo has more access to Torculi and Fracasi, while Danielle will often use guild engravers for the SC lines. IMO the appearance of Perazzi compared to the Fabbri is the same if you wish to pay for the same engraver. A sideplate gun with Fracasi will look like a sidelock gun with Fracasi. No difference except in $$.
The primary difference in Complexity. Perazzi wins hands down on maintainability and cost of repairs.
The primary difference in quality is? Both machined to extremely high tolerances where machining is desirable over hand fitting, and hand worked barrels where machine tooling and processes not yet up to experienced eyes and experience. Engraving and wood to metal fit and finish as fine as any and only limited by your pocketbook - but with engraving and wood 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. It would be extremely difficult to tell the difference between a majestic Grade engraving on a Fabbri with similar engraving by Perazzi. Ditto Stock and Blueing
The primary difference in Handling. I can't tell the difference... I have tried K-80, Beretta SO, Purdey and Woodward. For me only a SO Beretta seems nearly as well balanced but seem to kick harder no matter what stock alterations I make.
Price?? Need you speculate? and do you get the value you aspire to when you pay $175-250K for a Fabbri? or near the same for Purdey or H&H
Contrast with other makers - I would take a Perazzi for a lifetime of shooting and pass to my grandkids as far as durability based on manufacturing technique, ease of repair with drop lock triggers, ease of interchangability of Buttsocks/new stock dimensions and replacement availability.
Values? Perazzi's made in 1965 shoot better than any gun I see on the market today - and I would rather have a safe full of Perazzi's made in the sixties than any single Purdey, H&H, Woodward or Boss.
The one caveat to a sixties Perazzi (or Fabbri or any old/older Purdey/H&H) is that if you break a spring on the Type I and II you have to find somebody who can make one because the design changed and Perazzi doesn't make spares any more AFAIK.
But that's just me. I respect Steve's opinion as well.
Everyone has their favorite and to each their own. There are alot of great guns out there most of which have been mentioned previously.
But its difficult to get past the feel of these guns between the hands.
IMHO they have a liveliness that you just don't get from other guns.
Also the triggers are second to none.
For receipt of one of my first MX2000's my FFL was a 30 veteran machinist in his day time job and a part time gunsmith as his hobby. Not knowing a great deal about parts milling and machining myself he pointed out (and marveled) at the quality craftsmanship that he observed...going over and inspecting the receiver and forend iron. Himself not having a history with Perazzi he made the comment that "I don't know what you paid for this gun but I don't think it was cheap and this is why!"
Lastly I don't consider myself a herd follower...I get what I like but it is very difficult not to acknowledge the resume the gun has compiled in international competitions. Also Perazzi the gun of choice for the top Sporting Clays Shooter of all time....Digweed and arguably the current best US Sporting Clays Shooter Wendell Cherry....among others.
You have to remember that each Perazzi is built to spec. So the person, or gunshop that ordered your MX15 originally ordered it with base level wood, and the original price reflected that. You can select any grade of wood with your gun and pay the appropriate price. But if it bothers you, just look around here in the FS section, there are used stock sets with beautiful wood for sale all the time.