Usually clays guns dominate the conversation about ribs. High ribs? Mid ribs? Adjustable ribs? By contrast, the ribs on game guns haven’t changed much in 200 years and without any meaningful innovation the debate centers on personal preference for a solid rib, vented rib or swamped rib. Now the ribless game gun is about to return into the fray as a revival tour de force from its English forefathers.
The Perazzi Ribless Game Gun in 12 gauge with beautiful game-scene engraving.
The Ribless Perazzi Game Gun is a collaboration between Sportarm in the U.K. and Perazzi in Italy. The enterprise parlays Perazzi’s bespoke capabilities with the historical vision of Sportam rendered into a contemporary game gun.
Sportarm, in Dorset, is an authorized Perazzi dealer with a penchant for tailoring boutique European marques into classically inspired game guns.
Before the Perazzi, Sportarm worked with Spanish gunmaker AyA on its own English Game Gun. The Spanish gunmaker rendered Sportarm’s design for both a 12 and 20 gauge side-by-side sidelock with traditional English rose-and-scroll engraving, high-grade Turkish walnut in a straight English grip, double triggers, 28-inch barrels choked ¼ and ½ and detachable side plates. The 20 gauge is a lithe 5 pounds/14 ounces. As Sportarm executives explained, their goal was to give the AyA the look and feel of a 1930s Holland & Holland.
Sportarm’s AyA English Game Gun in 20 gauge.
Likewise, when it came to the Perazzi, Sportarm looked back a century to the genius of Boss, Woodward and Alex Martin who introduced ribless shotguns into the fields of England and Scotland.
The AyA English Game Gun, as well as the Ribless Perazzi Game Gun, mark Sportarm’s passage from only buying and selling shotguns into long-gun product development as well. Founded in 1990, Sportarm says it’s the largest used shotgun provider in England, but businesswise felt that strategic growth would stem from traditionally derived shotguns exclusive to the company.
With its penchant for classics, Sportarm turned to the vintage single-trigger ribless Boss of the early 1900s as impetus for the Perazzi Ribless Game Gun.
A stunning Turkish walnut stock on a Ribless Perazzi Game Gun from Sportarm.
Ribless game guns follow a prescribed blueprint. Ribs are discarded in favor of a neat stub at the breach about the size of a thumb tip. It’s supplemented with a bead on the muzzle. Otherwise, the barrel is sans rib. Visually, this Perazzi is quite remarkable, even puzzling. Shooting it, though, will forever change your expectations on shotgun dynamics.
First, the ribless sight picture is unobstructed and correspondingly we could only imagine the uptick in response times to flushed birds. The view down the 12-gauge, 29½-inch barrels gives you the eyes of a 17-year-old. The entire experience feels quicker, aided by controllability from the long, thin forend and swept Woodward grip that mimic the original Boss. The newfound capability of a ribless shotgun actually makes your hunting skills feel revitalized.
Then there’s a matter of balance. The barrel weight difference with a conventional Parazzi 12-gauge, 29½-inch sporter is 7 pounds/7 ounces for the ribless game gun compared with 7 pounds/11ounces – a reduction of ¼ pound. And yes, it makes a world of difference in swing and ease ahead of the hinge pins.
A neat stub replaces the rib on the Ribless Perazzi Game Gun.
Perazzis are already arguably the best handling sporters on the market and yet the comparison with the Ribless Game Gun is startling. The ribless barrel and beneficiary balance exemplify the ideal of an intuitive shotgun.
Felt recoil firing 1⅛-ounce #8 loads was negligible, in part because Sportarm shifted the angle of the stock bolt to better absorb the impact.
One significant downside to the ribless shotgun was that the barrels turned hot very fast without the heat sink properties of a rib. That means clay targets are not advised.
The slender, fashion-model lines of the Ribless Perazzi Game Gun in 20 gauge.
Sportarm’s Ribless Perazzi Game Gun will be available with high-grade Turkish walnut hand selected to match stock and forend. In terms of engravings, the motifs will follow Perazzi’s collections with individual designs available. Only the fixed Perazzi MX12 trigger is offered.
Although our prototype featured 29½-inch barrels, the shotgun can be specified with standard Perazzi lengths of 27-9/16, 28-3/8, 29½, 30¾ and 31½ inches with either fixed or interchangeable chokes.
As production ramps, the Ribless Perazzi Game Gun will ship in 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauges as well as .410. Expect U.S. prices to start at around $22,000. Perazzi and Sportarm are developing American distribution via leading Perazzi dealers on the East Coast and West Coast.