Caesar Guerini’s gunsmithing service
- Credit: Archant
Drennan Kenderdine enlightens us on the little-known mechanical service offered by Caesar Guerini UK, who offer superb gun maintenance at reasonable rates
Friends and students that know me will agree – impressing me is a lot like training a lion to be a gymnast... difficult! On the rare occasion that a lion performs cartwheels... I’m impressed. Well, the lion that is the focus of this article could do triple somersaults!
A student of mine wanted to purchase a second-hand Caesar Guerini that had seen better days, and they were torn whether to buy the gun and send it for a serious service or to pass on it. Gunsmith waiting times can be weeks, sometimes months. With the latter in mind, thoughts of acquiring the gun and instantly being separated from it were not going down well with my student. It was like watching a kid on Christmas day who found Santa crashed en route!
A friend of mine who owns a haulage company often says that when he needs parts or a service, it’s often cheaper to go to the main dealers. I’ve found this to be true (unless you own a Range Rover). So we decided to see what Caesar Guerini UK (CG UK) had to say and recommend.
I can tell within seconds whether someone on the phone is engaging, listening and interested in solving the problems you have. I was not disappointed when speaking to Alistair at CG UK, although I was sceptical when he said: “Bring the gun in, and I’ll do everything that needs doing while you wait.”
Holy Batman, really?!
I booked a time slot for the next day. Honestly, I thought this was all Disneyland and when I got there it would turn out to be an elaborate fib with CG UK pulling a ‘You Sucker’ moment with my pants down.
With the warmest greetings anyone can offer during Covid-19, I met Alistair. Something was off here; something wasn’t right... what on earth had I entered? This wasn’t a gunsmith; he certainly didn’t look like a gunsmith! Gunsmiths are wizened creatures, sporting half-mooned glasses and dwelling in rooms lit by oil lamps straight out of the 18OOs. But this was an ultra-modern warehouse inhabited by a chap wearing designer jeans and a polo shirt, no older than a good bottle of the red stuff, and using modern-day mechanics and tools. This wasn’t the gunsmithing set-up that I have grown used to! Had I travelled through a wormhole on the M42 and entered 2099?
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The truth is, I had entered the future! But it wasn’t 2099, it was 2020, and this is how CG UK roll! Alistair set about the Summit Impact like an autopsy, with a coroner’s thoroughness and attention to detail fit for a court hearing...
The autopsy begins (mechanical service)
Stage 1: Stock removal and action disassembly
First, our gun was inspected before any disassembly; this happens to everyone’s gun to check for cosmetic damage, cracks or mechanical issues.
The stock and parts from the action were disassembled. The parts that didn’t need replacing were put into a sonic cleaner to remove any dirt or debris. Parts that can not be put into the sonic cleaner are patiently cleaned by hand.
This part of the service takes time as each part has to be inspected and cleaned.
Stage 2: Barrel and ejector disassembly
During this stage, the barrels were inspected for any damage or cosmetic marks with the intensity of a hawk eyeballing its next meal. The ejector’s retaining discs, ejectors and springs were removed and cleaned. The springs were replaced as these are wearing parts that will weaken over time. Each piece was reassembled like new.
Stage 3: Fore-end disassembly
This gun’s action was sloppy, and to re-tension the opening/closing action, the fore-end has to be disassembled. Parts were replaced to bring the action back to being tight and snug. The fore-end is responsible for the timing of the ejectors, so the ejector timing is addressed when the gun is reassembled.
Stage 4: Action reassembly
The action reassembly is by far the most time-consuming part of the service. It is essential that any worn parts such as the bolt, mainsprings and firing pins are replaced during this stage.
Each part is assembled, tested and altered to ensure it is perfect. Components from the sonic cleaner are greased and reassembled.
Stage 5: Adjustments made as necessary
Once the reassembly is completed, all parts are checked for correct function and to see if any further adjustments are required. This is when ejector timing is done, and adjusted if necessary, to achieve perfection.
Stage 6: Live test fire and final clean
Testing is carried out using 21g cartridges. This ensures the gun cycles correctly on the inertia system and that the trigger is crisp and perfect. Ejector timing is checked once again, and the live fire is complete. Lastly, the gun is cleaned one last time.
Stage 7: Return
The gun is returned to the customer in tip-top condition and ready to continue its many years of service (yes, all the above was done while we waited!). Our gun went from being seriously raced and rallied to coming out as good as new. At the cost of £260, this is exceptional! CG UK offers a mechanical service on all Caesar Guerini products. In order to have this service carried out, you can either drop your gun into a dealer and have it sent to CG UK, or arrange an appointment with them directly.
For customers requiring a complete overhaul of their gun, CG UK also offer a full factory refurb. The customer’s gun is returned to Caesar Guerini in Italy, and once there, experts at the factory inspect the gun and report any issues before work is carried out. Once completed, the gun is disassembled entirely.
During a factory refurbishment the gun will undergo the following:
* All mechanical parts removed and cleaned/replaced
* Action refinished
* Barrels stripped and refinished
* All woodwork stripped and refinished
This process takes around three or four months from start to finish, which again is outstanding. After undergoing the factory refurbishment, the gun is returned to CG UK looking and feeling like new, ready for its owner to collect. Costing just £485, this is not a five-star service... this is seven-star Burj Al Arab!