Breda Zenith Sporter - test & review
- Credit: Archant
Breda’s new offering - the Zenith Sporter - offers great handling, mechanical function, and faultless specs for its role as a sporting shotgun!
Most new shotguns introduced to the market are in fact remodels of an established design. The Breda Zenith is not fundamentally new either, but there are so many improvements that it deserves that description. It could be said the Breda Zenith is both a Sporter and a game gun. It is long enough and heavy enough to be a Sporter, while the gun also represents an alternative in terms of weight and balance as the over-and-under Sporter and the game gun move ever closer together.
The low-profile action body is created by way of the U-bolt locking bolt moving forward through the breech face and locating with recesses created above the bottom barrel. This system is reinforced by another replaceable bearing surface under the bottom barrel, which locates with a bearing surface machined on the floor of the action body.
It should be mentioned that the exterior of the action is decorated by raised side panels integral to the action body, which are further enhanced with a highly polished abstract engraving executed by the renowned Bottega Cesare Giovanelli.
This is the most personal component of any shotgun, and therefore the most difficult in terms of dimensions and configuration to satisfy everybody. For me, however, I found the generous pistol grip with a palm swell featured on this Breda to be the most comfortable and practical, the most satisfactory, stock I have used for some time. It is the control a particular configuration provides that makes the difference between a stock that helps rather than hinders the shooter, and that makes all the difference (or not) to a stock that provides the manual pointability that’s required.
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The 81cm barrels are fitted with a flat, narrow, tapered rib which is supremely pointable and unobtrusive at the same time. The barrels are chrome-lined and steel shot-proofed.
Tipping the scales at 3lb 9oz, these long but light tubes are both visually pointable and provide stability and control.
With an all up weight of 8lb 3oz, this Breda over-and-under is no lightweight, but is very rewarding in terms of balance and handling qualities. Mechanical function is excellent in every department and I look forward to a closer and longer association with this fascinating new over-and-under.
The purpose-built Sporter shotgun was conceived and developed in the UK and, though manufactured largely in Europe, it is the British who in the main influenced the Sporter gun in its development.
It might be said this has now reached a point where there is little to add. This may be the case; after all, Sporting clay targets are supposed to mirror as much as possible live bird hunting. Whether this is so is open to debate, but it will still demand the shooter’s skill and a gun that complements it, and for the moment at least, the Sporter shotgun has to reflect this – the Breda Zenith does just that.
Model: Breda Zenith Silver Sporting
Bore: 12 gauge/18.5cm
Barrel Length: 32” (81cm)
Chamber: 2 3/4”
Chokes: 5 Hand-detachable
Rib: Tapered 10mm–7mm
Stock: Pistol grip
Weight: 3.766kg (8lbs 3oz)
Suggested Retail: £2,325 inc. VAT
UK distributor: Viking Arms Ltd