The Italian maker Guerini continues to maintain its market share in the UK based on quality of manufacture and presentation at prices that compete favourably with their competitors. The new Summit Ascent Trap model is no exception, and also has the balance and feel of a quality target gun. That’s much easier to describe than achieve, but Guerini have delivered it.
The conventional single bite under bolted action is very well made. The lock work powered by coil springs is equally so. Overhead sears suspended from the top strap engage with the hammers, and the careful fitting and finishing of properly hardened components produce good trigger pulls. The action body’s exterior is considerably more lavish compared to guns of a similar price, with hand-filed shell fences and side panels that provide style and character. This indicates not only good taste on the part of the makers, but also an understanding of gun making tradition as it relates to decoration. What’s more, they understand what the market appreciates.
Guerini’s stock designs are exceptionally good and the configuration and dimensions of this Trap stock demonstrate a real understanding of what is required for its intended purpose. With an adjustable comb for height and cast, and drop at heel at 55mm, in effect what you get is a Monte Carlo set up which compliments the low ramped rib very well. The full pistol grip is particularly well shaped and combined with the adjustable trigger provides comfort and good control. The forend is equally ergonomic; some manufacturers are favouring form over function on their Trap guns. A hand-filling beaver tail with finger grooves is my preferred design. While the leading hand doesn’t play a big role in Trap shooting it certainly still has one. The Guerini forend gives a relaxed feeling of control because it’s wide enough not to have to hang on to it with your finger ends. The Anson rod fastening is practical and works well but it looks unfinished without an inletted tail pipe – though that’s asking a lot for a gun at this price.
The barrel assembly, which incorporates the familiar monobloc principle, weighs 1.610kg with the chokes in situ. The barrel lumps as with some other under bolted guns meet with an abutment face on the floor of the action providing a useful bearing surface. The substantial spring loaded ejector work is mounted on the monobloc and provides strong and consistent extraction. The low ramped rib is 8mm high 12cm from the breech face and, combined with a suitably adjusted comb height, creates a very pointable gun without being a distraction. The barrels were exceptionally well bored on my sample, and the exterior profiling was excellent. Threaded for detachable chokes in both barrels, the set of eight tubes offers every possible choice of constriction.
The gun’s all up weight was 3.988kg (8lbs 12.7oz) and the point of balance was right on the trunnions. The best possible way of describing this gun’s handling characteristics is user friendly – a cliché I know but its weight in my view is just about right for a gun of this type with 32in barrels. It does not require a weight lifter to manipulate it but at the same time it can accommodate a tiny margin of error if you move the barrels just that bit too soon, and at the same time smooth out an over-enthusiastic swing. This gun, especially with the flexibility the detachable chokes allow, can more than adequately deal with any kind of going away target from Down the Line to Olympic Trap with Double Trap in between. At the present time we seem to be going through a period of extremes when it comes to Trap guns, very heavy guns, very high ribs. For a shooter looking for a gun he can easily adapt to, and at the same time possesses a sophisticated specification that will ensure he is competitive in every kind of Trap discipline, and all at an affordable price, he can hardly do better than this new Guerini.