By now, the news of Richard Faulds’ move from Beretta to Caesar Guerini is common knowledge – a high profile switch sure to boost the Guerini image in the UK.
With the new RF model Ellipse Evo being premiered at the British Shooting Show, I took the opportunity to travel with Richard to take a look at the Guerini Factory in Gardone Val Trompia.
Italy is a shotgun lover’s dream, boasting factory after factory of top competition marques such as Beretta, Perazzi, and of course Caesar Guerini. The Brescia region is at the heart of this gun making tradition, and as you head up the valley to Val Trompia, all the household Italian names have a presence. From budget Fabarms to top-notch Perazzis to master stockers – the region has it all.
Far up the valley sits the relatively new factory of Caesar Guerini. Established in 2000 by brothers Antonio and Giorgio Guerini, the company was the first gun maker to have started in Italy for over 40 years. The focus was to produce high-quality, mass-produced shotguns, entirely Italian-made with influences from the British gunmaking tradition, and providing excellent value for money.
The factory houses everything, from testing ranges, quality control room, factory floor and executive offices and show rooms.
With Giorgio’s philosophy of everything being Italian-made, he bought a 50 per cent share in Fabarm in 2010 – the company that suppilies Guerini barrels. The collaboration created the second biggest shotgun manufacturing group in Italy. With Fabarm’s recognition for value and innovative design, and coverage of most of the market segments including law enforcement and military, the collaboration will allow both brands to “maintain their unique personalities, while pursuing company growth and increasing in-house creativity,” says Giorgio.
Guerini has always had a strong footing in the American market, as a result of its collaboration with American businessman Wesley Lang and the formation of Caesar Guerini USA.
Now, through distributor Anglo Italian Arms, the company is working on the UK market, something which the sponsorship of Richard Faulds will publicise. “The partnership with Richard is a great job by Kevin Gill and Mike Mansfield [of Anglo Italian Arms]. Richard is the right person at the right time for us, and we have never had a shooter of this level before,” says Giorgio.
Looking around the factory, it’s clear that Giorgio is proud of what he has achieved, with a strong and loyal workforce committed to creating the best product possible.
At every stage of the gunmaking process, quality is key – from the CNC machines used to fashion the parts; the top of the range quality control machine from Zeiss and the meticulous final construction by the workers.
Each gun starts life in the Guerini factory as a lump of steel; and the barrels and woodwork are crafted elsewhere in the valley. The factory uses top-of-the-range CNC machinery, perfectly crafting each component with minimal man-power. The machine comprises nine blocks, each of which can fashion a different component so by the end of the cycle, nine sets of components are ready for assembly.
But, before the action internals can be constructed, samples of each are sent to quality control where they are subject to scrutiny to ensure the highest build quality possible.
With the action constructed, and the engraving completed off-site, the action and monobloc are married to the barrels brought in from Fabarm. Then, a standard stock and fore-end are fitted and the gun sent to the proof house to be tested to CIP standards. Once passed, the gun returns, is polished, and is fitted with its specific stock made by Essevierre’s renowned factory.
The quality of Guerini guns is irrefutable, but what’s next for this gunmaking firm in a troublesome economic climate?
Guerini prides itself on producing midpriced guns, but this isn’t without its drawbacks in terms of profit. And, with competitors from gunmaking countries such as Turkey bringing in super-budget guns, the marketplace has never been more hotly contested.
Giorgio is insistent, though, that the market for luxury items such as guns is not affected as much by the financial climate as most markets, and so production hasn’t been affected too much. Indeed, this new partnership with Richard Faulds shows that business is lucrative and expanding.
“Richard is a good investment for us,” says Giorgio. “He is big on the Sporting scene, the Trap scene, and is a prolific game shot too.
“For us, this means he represents our company in all of these scenes, and gets our brand known to his peers and other shooters. Having his name alongside ours is a great step.”
The collaboration marks the start of an extensive marketing strategy to improve Guerini’s market share in the UK. Importer Anglo Italian Arms is heading up the campaign, led by former World Champion and now GB coach, Kevin Gill.
Kevin added, “It’s great because he is a Sporting, Olympic and game shot. He is probably the best package shooter in the game, being involved in almost every discipline to a certain extent. He is very presentable and immaculately turned out at shootes, and he is polite too – it’s not just his ability to break targets, but his whole image.”
With this Olympic pedigree and Giorgio Guerini’s passion for gunmaking and drive for success, the future is certainly bright for Caesar Guerini.
For more information on Guerini guns, visit www.caesarguerini.it, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on have-a-go days.