July 24, 2006
Perazzi Over/Under 12-Gauge: The Gun I Had to Have
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
To put this in perspective, you must be aware that if you are left-handed, and spend all your spare time looking at fine guns, you will go about 15 years before you see a fine shotgun that’s stocked for a southpaw. And then another 15 before you see the next one. No kidding.
And so in 1990 or so, when I walked into my gunsmith’s shop and he had a smile of purest evil on his face, I knew it was trouble, and I was right. In lieu of cash, a customer who owed him a lot of money had given him a Perazzi Special Sporting o/u shotgun. It had a color-case-hardened receiver, special wood, a spare trigger group, ten screw-in chokes, and it had been stocked to fit him at the Grand American Trap Shoot at Vandalia, Ohio, right at the Perazzi booth.
And it was stocked for a southpaw. I mounted it, and there was no doubt that this gun was made for me. The guy they built it for had been at Vandalia, but it was meant for me. It was a heavy, long-barreled gun, about the only kind of shotgun I can shoot worth a damn.
Now when you reflect that 16 years ago a single Perazzi choke tube was worth about $200, and a trigger group went for $500, and this wasn’t even the gun we’re talking about, I was faced with a choice—give up a whole bunch of rifles or walk away from the shotgun of a lifetime. I gave up the rifles—real good ones, too—and cash, and I got the shotgun, and have never regretted it.
I only own three shotguns, and I use that gun for just about everything, and I can’t even tell you any more what rifles I traded to get it. And the moral is, once or twice in a lifetime you’ll see a gun you know is meant for you, and you should do whatever is necessary to get it. Excluding, of course, capital crimes.