Perazzi’s Specialized Shotguns Designed by Their Dealers

Irwin Greenstein
The Irwin Greenstein shooting the Perazzi MX12 short-rib prototype.
Shotgun Life
Shotgun Life

Pikesville, MD – -( Perazzi has engaged select authorized dealers to contribute their expertise in designing and delivering unique, purpose-driven shotguns that most of us rarely see.

The projects can vary from a rib tweak to a discipline-specific stock or enhancements revived from Perazzi’s decades of innovation, experimentation and customization, notably the Perazzi MXS Sporter recently covered in Shotgun Life.

Unlike the MXS Sporter, the finished new models fashioned by Perazzi dealers will fly under the radar of most enthusiasts — rewarding the few fortunate owners with a rare Perazzi of exceptional function.

“Perazzi listens to our customers and dealers and tracks design trends that evolve with the sport,” explained Al Kondak, Managing Director of Perazzi USA in Azusa, California.

“Because we fully believe in pull-through product design as opposed to push through, authorized Perazzi dealers have a comprehensive understanding of all disciplines and the demands required of them. As a team, Perazzi’s experience in full customization presents the greatest advantage to our dealers.”

The dealers’ innovations touch nearly every model Perazzi, including the highly prized DC12 side by side.

Michael Coleman, owner of Windwalker Farms Sporting Clays in Midland, Texas, is a Perazzi dealer who configured a distinctive clays version of the DC12. In fact, he won the 2013 National Sporting Clays Championship Side by Side Competition with a Perazzi DC12 by breaking 92 out of 100.
dc12The Perazzi DC12 side by side.

Mr. Coleman described that particular model as “shooting like an over and under, without the muzzle flip of a side by side. They have double underlugs. You’d have to shoot one a long time to wear it out.”

When we spoke with him in mid-December 2013, Windwalker Farms Sporting Clays had just uncrated four DC12 shotguns that were fitted to his specifications with a parallel sporting clays stock and 31½-inch barrels choked improved modified and full. As befitting a clays shotgun, Mr. Coleman’s DC12 includes a mid-bead and palm swell.

Choke constrictions and stocks measurements replicate those on Mr. Coleman’s own Perazzi MX8 over/under, which he has used to win numerous clays tournaments. “It’s a set of dimensions that work well,” he said.

His DC12 sporting-clays model bears the detachable trigger assembly of a Perazzi MX8, although the strikers are altered for the side by side configuration.

When you combine the MX8 detachable trigger, the double locking lug system from Perazzi’s TM9X trap gun, the company’s legendary spot-on regulated barrels and a weight of about 8¼ pounds, Mr. Coleman has marshaled a side by side worthy of rigorous clays competitions.

The international disciplines where Perazzis compete typically require a 24-gram ammo load and an extremely quick second shot,” explained Mr. Kondak. “Crisp, consistent triggers, recoil control and regulated barrels are absolutely necessary. Internationally, competitive shooters are more critical and purchase guns based on a successful track record as opposed to being persuaded by flashy marketing campaigns.”

Like Mr. Coleman, John Herkowitz, owner of the mega Pacific Sporting Arms also in Azusa, California, has been a successful clays tournament campaigner for decades. Mr. Herkowitz’s input has fueled an on-going collaboration with Perazzi that, by his account, has produced eight to nine different models around the MX2000/3 SR Sporter, MX12 and MX8 shotguns.

“Perazzi is the only company I can experiment with,” he said. “What we’ve done is several different ribs for them. I can make one or two guns to see how it turns out. Some stayed and some went. We’ve done that several times in the past 15 years.”

Ribs played a primary focus of Mr. Herkowitz’s Perazzis. An underlying belief is that the movement toward high-ribbed sporting guns mostly benefits tall, thin shooters by alleviating pressure on their cheek and neck.

Therefore, a favorite rib of Mr. Herkowitz alters the measurements of a standard Perazzi sporting gun for average proportions. Rather than tapering from 11mm to 7mm at the muzzle, he stipulates a vented rib that is a straight 7mm wide. “You have this nice, thin rib helping you acquire the target, but doesn’t draw your eye to it and away from the target,” he said.
Perazzi-MirageThe Perazzi Mirage.

Pacific Sporting Arms also offers a 7mm rib with a 2mm or 4mm rise from the monobloc. His efforts concentrate on minimal weight and maximum sight picture as inspired by the Perazzi Mirage pigeon gun from the mid-1990s.

“John has probably the most evolved role of all our authorized Perazzi dealers,” said Mr. Kondak. “He has very strong opinions. He feels that mid-rib height offers the advantages of a high rib and gives the gun a more natural feel. These all provide increased visibility, greater feel and enhanced target acquisition. If you can see more, you can judge speed, angle and distance more accurately. The future of these designs looks extremely promising.”

However, in an ongoing evolution, Mr. Herkowitz has also adopted an elevated, so-called short-rib from Olympic Double Trap to a Perazzi MX12 sporter. We received one of these prototypes. The rib is much lower at the rear for rapid target acquisition on outgoers and crossers, and then at about mid-barrel it steps up to a height you might see on a trap gun. Mr. Herkowitz’s short rib is 6mm high and 7mm wide on the front portion while the back part is 7mm x 7mm at a conventional, solid flat rib height. The barrel length is 31½ inches. On the version we shot the short rib was fixed, while an adjustable short rib is available.

“The short rib originated for international disciplines,” he explained. “It pulls your eye out to the target, but you also have secondary vision with it. Everyone who shot one said it works. Now we we’re using the short rib in all disciplines.”

Mr. Herkowitz also specifies proprietary stock dimensions of a near-parallel comb — a Monte Carlo profile of sorts with a pistol grip. The forend is a slender competition type. The estimated price was $11,200…

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Shotgun Life is published by SGL Media, LLC. Prior to founding Shotgun Life in 2009, Irwin Greenstein spent 15 years in Silicon Valley as a marketing and media-relations executive specializing in technology start-ups. Visit Shotgun Life at