Becky McKenzie was so taken with this month’s test gun, she went out and bought one herself.
This month I set out to review the Perazzi MX2000S. Up till now I have never had the chance to really try a Perazzi, as I was sponsored for over seven years by Zoli, one of their direct competitors. That’s not quite true. Years ago I had tried a Perazzi MX8 on Olympic Skeet, and decided it was good quality but not the gun for me.
That came about in 2010, when Joe Neville, the GB Olympic Skeet Coach, invited me to try Olympic Skeet up on his ground. I was shooting an old Krieghoff K80 at the time, and had very little interest in Skeet, let alone Olympic Skeet. I wasn’t all that keen to try either, most likely fear of making an absolute fool of myself!
I remember his words: “If you can shoot 92 round a tough course at Doveridge, you can shoot Olympic Skeet easy!” What’s the harm in trying I thought, so I went and had a go.
My husband had made me shoot English Skeet for a year when I first started shooting and I felt I was fairly competent at that, so surely OS couldn’t be too bad. I soon learnt otherwise!
You have a line above your pocket where the gun stock has to be, you can’t move the gun before the clay comes, there’s a delay of up to three seconds and when it comes it is FAST! I quickly realised the K80 was not the tool for the job.
Research showed that Perazzi was the top Olympic Skeet gun to use so I decided to try one. We met Chris Little at Park Lodge one wintry day to try his custom MX8. It was a lovely gun, but I found it felt very ‘whippy’ and wouldn’t hold a consistent line. Chris then introduced me to Zoli and the rest is history.
So my one early impression of Perazzi left me feeling it was not the gun for me. Last year in Holland I was having a few tantrums with my Krieghoff K80 in 32in mode.
My dear Dutch friends thrust a High Tech into my hands, and I must say it had a cracking bit of wood – and it opened and shut smoothly, which by now you’ll know I have a thing about.
When it came to shooting it on the pool shoot, however, it took off like a ballistic missile and I was way way in front of all the targets. This model did keep a good line, but I couldn’t get my head around the speed of the barrels.
Perazzi MX2000S: key specs
RRP: From £9,995
BARRELS: 12 bore, lengths from 28 to 34ins approx
RIB: Ventilated, 11-7mm
SAFETY: Non-auto, selective
STOCK LENGTH: 14¾ ins
WEIGHT: 8lb 7.8oz as tested
CHOKES: Fixed as standard, test gun fitted with Teague choke system
Perazzi MX2000S review: picking a test gun
Despite all this I wanted to review a Perazzi, so I visited my local gun shop, JF Neville, and spoke with Mark, the owner, who let me borrow one to test. He offered me a stunning Perazzi MX8 SCO sideplate, with 30in multi choke barrels – at nearly £20,000!
It was a seriously stunning gun, and I could drool over its beauty for quite some time – but I wouldn’t take it out for fear of a rogue clay finding its way onto its stunning wood.
I wanted to test something for the everyday shooter like myself, so Mark disappeared into The Cupboard and returned with a 2007 model of the MX2000S.
This had a semi-custom stock on it, cracking wood with lovely grain and a nice hand grip too. The 32in barrels were Teagued, with flush and extended chokes available. I popped the beast into my shoulder and muttered “Yes, I can shoot this.”
On closer inspection, this 2007 gun had been well looked after and recently serviced, so it was nice and tight. It weighed 8lb 7.8oz, with a 14¾ in length of pull. On testing the balance I found it was 3mm in front of the hinge pin. Swinging it around the kitchen, I couldn’t really get a proper feel for how it would perform.
The Perazzi MX2000S has been used by top shooters such as George Digweed, and Olympians Steve Scott and Peter Wilson. The standard gun comes in rather strange barrel lengths of 279/16, 283/8, 29½, 31½ (which I think is what I had on this test gun) and a whopping 34ins.
The gun has a black/blued action, with the name ‘MX2000S’ in gold inlay. The ‘S’ I believe signifies the non detachable trigger group. This is not an issue for me; I had a detachable trigger group in my Zoli, but rarely ever removed it or felt any need to.
This gun comes into the UK with SC2 walnut, which on some examples at least is good quality and rather good looking. The most recent examples come with a slightly different stock shape to the older models, with a thinner comb, and more open grip.
I guess some people might not like the slightly thinner grip of the gun, preferring more of a handful. Personally, although I thought the newer style gun felt good, it was not as good as the semi-custom on my demo model.
The MX2000S has a flat, tapered ventilated rib going from 7/16 to 9/32 ins, which Google tells me is 11mm tapered to 7mm, rounded down to nearest mm. Most of these guns seem to come with fixed choke, and my research revealed that most come into UK with ¾ and full, with the odd ½ and ¾ choke configuration.
This one, as I mentioned, has been fitted with the Teague multichoke system. The monobloc barrels are deeply blued, with a superb finish. The receiver is based on the Boss locking system.
The action is powered by leaf springs rather than coil springs. The leaf type are stronger and more reliable, with a more refined trigger pull. Leaf springs are also available on other Perazzi models, including the detachable trigger units. The average trigger pull weight is said to be 3lb 5oz; I didn’t check the demo model however, I just went out and shot it.
As for overall weight, the newer MX2000Ss weigh in at around 8lb 4oz (3.74 kg), with barrel weights generally around 1.61 kg (3lb 8½ oz). Bore diameter is 18.4 mm, and price around £9,995 for a new gun. The one I borrowed was ticketed at £6,250, an excellent price bearing in mind it has a custom stock and comes with twelve Teague chokes too.
Perazzi MX2000S review: time to pay and play
I was keen to get out and try the gun so I took Mandy, one of my lady clients, to Garlands for a session. Now that Steve Lovatt has put on Pay and Play there, it’s a great place to go and practise. I managed to test two other guns while I was there, and they will follow in the next two issues of this magazine.
The targets had been slightly tweaked from the Sunday’s registered shoot, but I thought I would at least have half a chance of hitting some of the steadier clays.
Yet again it was wild and windy. First target was a pink right-to-left quartering away, followed by a left-to-right midi at medium height, crossing at speed. With my K80 I had been a bit inconsistent with the midi.
Shouldering the MX2000S, it did feel a little longer than my custom stock, but it was quite comfortable. The barrels looked like they were in the right place.
I called ‘Pull’, not really expecting much, and was somewhat surprised by the movement of this Perazzi – very smooth. I reached my kill point, squeezed the trigger and smashed the pink. I moved effortlessly to my second hold point, which was completely wrong, yet still managed to smash the midi with ease.
Hmm, I thought, new gun syndrome. Pair again, killed, pair again, killed. On to the next stand, in a small cutting in a wood. The sign said right-to-left, then on report a left-to-right. I chose my hold point and was surprised to hear the left trap fire first, with my hold point way off to the right.
Nevertheless I smashed the clay with a smoothness that I have not felt for a long time with my own gun, then smoked the low right-to-left. Pair dead, pair dead. It was a bit depressing that I was finding this 32in Perazzi hugely enjoyable to shoot.
Stand 3 had a horrible green floaty thing from the left followed by a left-to-right low pink in the ditch. Again, to my dismay, I hit them all. Next stand was a rabbit and crow sim pair. Here I did miss a crow. I took a look at my bead, which led to the barrel stopping. And so continued the test around Garlands.
There was one stand where, in Sunday’s competition, I had never touched a left-to-right battue. That had been frustrating, as I don’t usually miss all four, and I tried everything in my attempt to hit it. However, the Perazzi MX2000S made me feel like a champion. Right-to-left looper followed by the fast battue. Yes, again, smashed them all. The gun was moving at speed, but was silky smooth.
I’ve set up my K80, balanced it how I think I want it, yet I am still fighting tooth and nail with its speed and certain sight pictures. It’s got to the point where it’s actually giving me a trigger issue; not a freeze, more of a brain disruption, then a yank on the trigger. It’s difficult to explain, but I never once had that issue with the Perazzi; it felt so very pointable.
Perazzi MX2000S review: choke horrors
At the double rabbit stand I decided, somewhat late in the day, to check what chokes were in the gun. I had already sootballed many a target, and now coming on to some very close rabbits, I wondered if the chokes might be a bit tight.
I wound out the bottom choke with my fingers and saw to my dismay it revealed ¾ choke. I was dreading what would come out of the top barrel and…yes, full! I can’t remember the last time I put a full choke in my gun. Oh dear! How will I ever hit a close rabbit with ¾ and full? I have enough problem hitting them with my K80 with Skeet choke and 9s!
The first rabbit appeared from the right, curling in towards me, and disappeared in a puff of lead and smoke, closely followed by the second rabbit being smashed to smithereens.
Thinking this was a fluke, I shot two more pairs in exactly the same place – and killed the lot. Rabbits with a 32in barrelled gun with tight chokes, whatever next? This Perazzi continued to dazzle me with its superb handling and prowess.
I never thought I would find a gun with less bump than a K80, yet this Perazzi seemed to have even less felt recoil than my Krieghoff. This MX2000s weighed nearly 8lb 8oz but it was so well balanced that it didn’t feel heavy in the hand and shoulder, and moved with a speed that felt controllable and very stable. Dare I say it, I feel like I am in love with this gun!
I arrived home bubbling with enthusiasm for this Perazzi. My husband reminded me of the time, effort and money I had put in to get my K80 shooting like I wanted.
I felt like divorce was on the cards if I dared to take the MX2000S out again! I just couldn’t resist. This gun had been such a pleasure to use, it made me want to go out and shoot again. It wasn’t just new gun syndrome; I really liked it. Really really liked it.
My budget wouldn’t stretch to this particular gun, but I did get a fantastic deal from Jonathan at Mid Wales Shooting Centre in his closing down sale – and bought my very own MX2000S.
I also bought a spare adjustable stock for the gun, which I have had adjusted to suit me. So far I have shot three competitions with it. I’m still learning that I can now trust myself to swing this gun – but I have won three out of the three shoots. They weren’t excellent scores, but good enough.
I haven’t sold my Krieghoff. It’s on the back burner until I can work out how to balance it to my natural way of shooting. Meanwhile the Perazzi lets me shoot my style, my way.
I’ve just got to get rid of some bad habits now. Overall, I think the Perazzi MX2000S is one of the very best handling guns I have ever shot in my career. Build quality is second to none, its looks are very appealing. All in all ten out of ten, good job Perazzi!
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