November 11, 2013
Known more for its competition models, this 28 excels in the field. Lithe and striking, Perazzi's MX28B over/under wasn't even out of the box yet and I was struck by the number of descriptive adjectives I could come up with.
Built on a tiny 28-gauge frame, this is a light little thing (6.8 pounds) but when I shot it the first time on clay targets I was pleasantly surprised by the relatively light recoil. There are lighter small-bore over/unders around — even 12-gauges — but this shotgun is just about the weight of some old 12-gauge Purdey side-by-sides.
Balance is about ½-inch in front of the hinge, so it's a little forward weight — not at all bad when a woodcock tops the alders. Generally, a bit of front heaviness results in quicker movement on a fast-escaping bird.
The barrels are 29½-inches, and the top rib is not tapered — 7mm breach to muzzle — with a metal bead at the front. There are full non-vented side ribs in front of the fore-end, separated barrels under the fore-end.
The barrels weigh 2 pounds, 12.5 ounces. Again, many a set of light side-by-side barrels weighed similarly over 100 years ago€¦though in 12-gauge. The bores measure .547. Traditionally, 28-gauge bores measure about .550 so there's no overboring here. The forend is slim at 1.53-inches.
The fore-end wood appears a perfect match to the figure of the buttstock walnut. The checkering is also very fine line. There's no super sharpness to the checkered tops so the gun is comfortable to carry all day without gloves.
The walnut is hand-rubbed oil, beautifully done with all the pores completely filled. While the MX28B does not have SC2 engraving, Perazzi did use a very nice looking grade wood on this new model. The pistol grip is relaxed/open, but the crowning touch to the stock is the checkered butt. Again, the checkering on the butt plate is very fine line, plus there's an opening to insert the stock removal tool that is included with all Perazzi shotguns.
Care is needed in setting this type of buttstock down on any hard surface. You would not want to chip the wood when doing so. Store the Mx28B (and really all your shotguns) muzzle down with the muzzles on a double layer of thick shag carpet pieces. Doing so keeps oil from soaking downward from the receiver into the wood.
Speaking of the receiver — all those from Perazzi have a similar look, with the elegant shape of their sides and the shape of the "fences" just behind the barrels. The "B" in MX28B stands for "basic." The blued receiver thus has only borderline engraving on the receiver sides, plus engraving on and around the outside of the trunnions, the fore-end iron, the fences, the top tang, the opening lever and the trigger guard.
SC2-type engraving is much more lavish and expensive, and several different styles of SC2 engraving are offered. Incidentally, SCO (a more expensive type of Perazzi engraving) translated from Italian to English means Competition Over and Under with Gold Engraving. In Italian SCO is an acronym for Sovrapposto Competizione Oro.
The "heart" of any Perazzi is the locking system. I've never seen a Boss over-and-under, but evidently the Perazzi lock-up is similar if not the same. Barrels pivot on trunnions, as almost all of today's over/unders do. Two bolts extend forward from about the midpoint on each side of the receiver to lock into lugs built on both sides of the monobloc, just under the ejector areas.
This has proven to be a lock-up that's capable of holding up to more than most lifetimes of shooting. Perazzis have always been popular in trap, and many Perazzi trap guns have fired hundreds of thousands of rounds. The bonus for upland shooters is that the system has no underlocking lugs, thus the receiver is lower in profile, theoretically putting the shooter's hands closer to the bottom barrel, said to enhance natural pointing characteristics.
And let's not forget the triggers for Perazzi triggers are known worldwide for their excellence. Depending upon the Perazzi model the buyer can have two trigger choices — strong and super reliable coil springs or the company's leaf-spring rendition. Both are known for their crispness and breaking glass-like let-offs. The MX28B I have on consignment has such breaking glass-like triggers. On the MX28 models they are the coil spring type. My test gun's triggers go off at less than four pounds.
The gun comes with flush-mounted screw-in chokes, nickel plated, so slippery to reduce plastic wad build up. Perazzi uses a numbering system for their chokes — the smaller the number the more open the chokes. The test gun came with two chokes marked "0" that measured .547 — same as the bore — so cylinder or skeet. The No. 2 went .540, the No. 4 went .531, the No. 6 went .527 and both the No. 8 and No. 10 were too tight to get my Baker Barrel Reader probe into. A choke changing tool is provided. Also, fixed choke barrels are an option.
Today, with any Perazzi, you can name your own personal stock dimensions, and there's only a four- to six-month wait for this. This means, at no extra cost, you're getting a so-called "bespoke" shotgun. Further, there are many barrel-length choices and several forend style choices.
Like me, most readers can only dream of someday owning a dream gun like this. But with Perazzi now offering the MX28B at a much reduced price compared to the MX28 with SC2 engraving and SCO walnut, it is doable for more upland gunners than before. So dream on, most of you — just as I am.
- Manufacturer Armi Perazzi
- Gauge 28
- Action Boss type (barrels pivot on trunnions; dual locking lugs)
- Barrels 29½ inches tested (26''-34'' available)
- Stock Two-piece, oil-finished walnut; pistol grip
- Trigger Single selective, average pull 3½ lbs
- Sights Single front bead
- Safety Slide on top strap, manual (automatic safety optional)
- Overall Length 47 inches (w/ 29½-inch barrels)
- Weight 6.8 pounds
- Finish Blued receiver w/ border engraving (higher grade available)
- Accessories Fitted case, 7 chokes
- MSRP $14,800