View Full Version : Am I missing something ???

April 6, 2006, 11:38 PM

I'm a long time handgun and rifle shooter, but I'm new to shotguns. I've hunted large and small animals in south America and Africa, but never shot a bird...
I started this year to shoot clays (trap and skeet) and it became my new hobby. I bought a Benelli Super Sport (it's intended either to shoot clays and for hunting), and I like it very much.

Why are brand o/u shotguns so expensive ? I'm not saying that I wouldn't buy a Perazzi if I had the money, but is it 10 times better than a Browning (for example) ?
I know the "brand", status and pride of ownership of a some gun worth money, but very different from rifles and pistols, the price of good shotguns are too much !

Is there a reason for that or are they really expensive to produce ? If so, in what aspects ?
I'm not mentioning the price for hand engraving or gold inlays, but for the gun itself.

I know, some rifles, like doubles in african calibers, can be even more or much more expensive, but I need to understad why can a production, industrial shotgun can cost more than ten thousand bucks...


Just to hear your opinions,


Andre Tiba - Brazil

April 7, 2006, 12:03 AM
I have to agree, Why?

April 7, 2006, 03:41 AM
The question is the long term reliability and durability. The target guns from high end Berettas to Perazzi and Krieghoff and Kolars are made to run several hundred thousand rounds without problems and then are made to be serviced and brought back to like new specs and do it over again. Many clay shooters will put over 40-50 thousand shells through their guns a year and compared to the cost they have in ammo it's pretty cheap compared to the gun. Value is another thing, you buy a $40,000 car or truck and sell it in 3-5 years for half or less, you can get a lot more return on your investment from a good quality shottie.

April 7, 2006, 11:14 AM
That's a valid point you made. I was expecting an answer like that.
I need to know things like this to convince myself and to talk to others that ask me that, too.

Long time durability and reliability makes perfect sense to me.

One question just to heat the thread...
Comparing to shotguns, as said above, this argument cannot be applied to rifles:
I don't think a US$40.000 Holland & Holland rifle IS more durable than a US$1500 Winchester 70 Safari grade...
But then again, I may be wrong...


Andre Tiba - Brazil

April 7, 2006, 05:10 PM
Andre, You are probably right about the Winchester and H&H comparison. I doubt that the H&H will out live the Winny. As for shotguns, unless you ARE shooting 40 to 50,000 a year, it is doubtful to me that there is a need for a Perrazzi or others in the highest price bracket. I shot a fair amount of Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays and probably somewhere around 15,000 a year or more and I use mostly Brownings. So far, I have never had the slightest problem with that brand. I have seen more than one time some of the "high end" shotguns break down on line. I know any gun can, but you would think the highest priced ones would be immune for some reason. Some people have a need to show of an expensive gun for their ego sake, others buy them for the perceived infalibility and others because they shoot a lot of compitition and want one that for all practible purposes is bulletproof.

April 7, 2006, 06:04 PM
Are we talking a H&H double rifle verses a Win bolt rifle, I'm not up on what H&H made, if it's a double rifle, then it's apples and oranges. I handled a used Purdey O/U a couple years ago that was used, price was $100,000. I thought it quite plain and not very well made for shooting, but it was rare as Purdeys made very few O/U's, but many SxS's.

I am not defending these prices, I started with a Ruger Red Label as my first dedicated skeet gun, put over 70,000 rounds through it in about 4 years. It had to go back to Ruger twice for warrenty repairs, but for $900 at the time it wasn't a bad gun. I shoot a Beretta 682 Super Sporting now with a full Kolar Tube set for serious shooting, it's in the range of about $4000 if I had to replace the set. I shoot about as well with my M12 of M97 Winchesters that have had bunches of shells through them. It's what you want and can afford in the end.:D

April 7, 2006, 06:25 PM
"are they really expensive to produce"

I'm too comfortable right this minute to go root through the bookcase for the details, but IIRC a best quality SxS or O/U takes something on the order of 600 or 700 hours of skilled hand work to file chunks of metal and wood into a precision gun. At $20 an hour that's at least $12k and at $50 an hour it could be $35,000. I don't remember if that includes the engraving, but I don't think so.

As soon as I get up off the sofa I'll see what I can find, but after digging up a tree stump this afternoon it could be tomorrow.


From Michael McIntosh's book BEST GUNS.

"And they make everything, from barrels to lockworks, for Piotti does not use anything that's made or assembled outside. Ask why and one of the brothers or their sons will tell you they believe they can keep their quality more consistent if they make everything themselves.

The workbenches are on the other side of the shop, separated from the machinery by a partially glassed wall. There, about 500 hours of handwork goes into transforming machined parts and walnut blanks into guns that are ready for engraving. Total production averages about fifty guns per year."

April 7, 2006, 07:12 PM
And Fratelli Piotti even makes a double rifle in calibers up to .375 H&H Magnum.


April 8, 2006, 02:12 PM
The hand fitting and finishing on a fine O/U takes a long time, but many of the fine guns are produced one at a time to specification, and so you are paying for the craftsmanship and skill it takes to produce top-notch results. A Perazzi is no more durable than your average Browning, but the fit, finish and pointability are far superior. Yes, you can send them back for rebuild, but if it were not for the original $20,000 price tag, would you pay $3,000 to rebuild the piece? Probably not. You would just trade it in on another gun. I am not knocking the guns or the people who own them, I just believe that what people pay for in Krieghoffs, Perazzis, Rigbys, H&H, etc, goes far beyond the utilitarian and moves into arena of vanity or art (depending on the person).

April 9, 2006, 08:17 PM
Well, if the durability is about the same, but the Perazzi has better fit, finish and pointability, then I'll take the Perazzi. Why settle on utilitarian if something better is available; especially if it handles better? It's only money.


April 9, 2006, 10:22 PM
Money??? well if you have it to burn,,,,, FLAUNT IT.

April 10, 2006, 09:41 AM
Sorry, I'm too cheap to spend that much even though I have it and recognize the benefits.

Now I'm not as thrifty as some of my relatives, but still pretty tight. Maybe I'll get one next year. There's a nice B. Rizzini sporting model in a local shop for a little less than $7k.

I'm so cheap that I've put off having $4800 eye surgery even though I've had the money for a few years. I'm so cheap I'm wearing 4-year-old glasses that cost me $500.

OTOH, I am really good at getting other people to spend their money. For instance, I started working on my 84-year-old father at Thanksgiving and finally got him to buy a new car after somebody messed up the paint on his (the dealer did it.) He traded a 2-year-old Chevy Malibu on a new Toyota Avalon with NAV, traction control, 12-speaker stereo, XM radio, etc. => list price was $39,500. Wouldn't you know it, he had to go home to get the other checkbook, the one with enough money in it to cover the purchase.

Maybe we're not cheap, maybe we're just slow. ;)


April 10, 2006, 03:55 PM
If you have to ask then no one can help you. You get what you pay for, It's that simple.