The Zanardini Bristol .577 Nitro express side-by-side is an extreme weapon for extreme hunting. The mechanical devices and the engravings with which it is embellished make this weapon unique in its kind. Despite the heavy ammunition foreseen for the Bristol, when fired there is the feeling of total control and balance.
At Zanardini they do not miss anything and are constantly looking for new technological solutions, the aim of offering high quality rifles on the market while preserving the craftsmanship. This is the case of the Bristol .577 caliber Nitro express, an express side-by-side with juxtaposed barrels. This rifle, by many experts in the arms sector, is considered not affordable for everyone, both in relation to the shot and for the huge costs for the purchase of express cartridges.
The Bristol .577 Nitro express is an exclusive weapon, with a great soul that refers to the English gunmaking tradition of the golden age but which, at the same time, benefits from stylistic and mechanical skills intended to make use and l aesthetics of the weapon itself. The shotguns produced by Zanardini are customized, based on the requests of the applicant. The receiver is designed to withstand the reactions of the powerful caliber without, however, exceeding the overall dimensions generated by the almost 500 kgm of energy delivered with each shot. Each large-caliber express has the same problems inherent to resistant sections, which must be generous to ensure maximum strength and durability: all this necessarily implies a significant weight of lines. In order to avoid this anomaly, Zanardini designed the profile of the receiver able to lighten as much as possible the profile of the parts not subjected to stress: the tilting table retains an excellent thickness, through the proportionate side reinforcements in the shape of an "S ”Which join the breasts, while the chest has a pleasant rounded profile that clearly divides it from the squared profiles of the folders.
The latter house a classic Holland & Holland type back spring lock. The trigger is of the double trigger type, with the front trigger jointed to avoid damage to the index finger when the second barrel recoils. The release weight is 2.500 grams for the first barrel and 3.000 for the second. In spite of everything, when you hold the Nitro .577 you have the sensation of greater lightness, obtained through the dry and rapid operation, from the position of the triggers. The closure is a triple Purdey, consisting of a pair of plugs inserted inside the crampons under the barrels and a third upper plug, which engages an appendage protruding from the center of the breeches. Automatic extractors have an excellent ejection device, which participates in increasing the intrinsic value of the weapon. The opening is entrusted to the classic upper key, behind which the safety slider is placed. This shotgun, when examining it closely, is mammoth, but this peculiarity must not mislead the shooter. The barrels assembled with demibloc, have the same thickness along their entire length, to the point of safely withstanding a few shots fired in succession without getting too hot, without taking into account the hundred grains of powder burned each time to fire a bullet that weighs four times that of a .308 Winchester.
Both in appearance and construction, the forend release lever denotes a unique value. Without a spring, it needs to be rotated 90 ° to free the piece and slides in a seat hollowed out only on the side of the movement, in order to be partially protected by the wood when it is in the closed position. Its upper face and that of the plate to which it is opposed are finished with a stick and the wood is in European walnut, which has fine grains and an excellent oil finish. The butt is quite straight, but has a cheek piece. The handle is of the pistol type, with hand-knurled panels. The guard is decorated with a beautiful snuffbox, used to house the spare strikers. The line of the blade is slender and streamlined, the latter further increased by the low and short shaft, which dissolves towards the middle of the reeds.
Picking up the .577 caliber Bristol Nitro express you will realize how fast and comfortable it is: in fact the shotgun transmits a quick feeling of controllability. As for the weight, the latter is around 5.000 grams, a considerable figure, even if the balance for a side-by-side of this type is more than satisfactory. Technology and innovation have also found space in this weapon with a traditional soul: for example, the rubber butt pad, designed by Zanardini himself in collaboration with a company specialized in the sector, is completely new. The material of which it is made makes it very soft and has a differentiated resistance structure, that is, it compresses progressively at the time of the shot until it absorbs up to 40% of the recoil energy. By firing a large number of shots consecutively, you will still have the feeling of stability without having to resort to muzzle brakes. The whole receiver is enriched with engravings, the diamond tip of Zanardini's workmanship: an elephant in front view occupies a good half of the receiver's chest, while another five pachyderms (two on the left side and three on the right side), inserted in a floral setting, they are hand-chiseled on the folders.
The decorations also involve the forend release lever with its striking plate, the guard guard, the guard and the triggers, the first and last section of the barrels, the front sight ramp and the even longer one of the rear sight. . There are also two written in italics, which are shown in gold on the barrels, allow you to recognize the manufacturer and the legitimate owner of this gun. The Bristol, being designed for a short shooting distance, does not require the installation of sight optics. The compact and square viewfinder overlooks a generous ramp presenting the classic cylindrical brass reference that allows you to easily find the correct alignment even in low light conditions. The rear sight is set back quite far and stands out at the end of a solid steel ramp. The first sheet can be registered in derivation, but not reclining. The distance for which it is calibrated coincides with 25 meters and the face towards the shooter is finely knurled, in order to avoid reflections. Immediately behind there are the two higher folding sheets, intended for shooting on 50 and 75 meters. Tested at the shooting range, the Bristol caliber .577 Nitro express gave excellent results in relation to the group, even if 80 meters is practically the maximum limit of use. The two shots, fired with commercial Kynoch ammunition with a 750 grs bullet, are about 60 mm apart.
Basically, the response of the shotgun is excellent. The cartridges, while certainly powerful, produce a powerful thrust which, however, is not as dry as that of, for example, the .30-378 Weatherby magnum or the .300 Remington Ultra magnum. Even if the detection is conspicuous, the alignment is recovered very quickly through the correct balance and the excellent shape of the stock. The ballistic characteristics give a good idea of the potential of this weapon: .577 Nitro express Kynoch with 750 grs bullet: V0 = 1.457 ft / sec, (444 m / sec), E0 = 3.685 ft.lbs (489 kgm) . The Bristol is an express intended for the most extreme hunting, as it is itself to be considered extreme.