For some days we have been testing a new rifle imported from Paganini of Turin: the long relationship of the Turin-based company with Turkish arms manufacturers has so far unraveled successfully in the field of smoothbore barrels, but the market situations are ripe for a different experience and a new source. There Istanbul Silah proposes a rifled barrel with valid credentials and the attentive Turin distributor assumes the paternity of distribution for Italy. There is currently only one model available, Monza the name that recalls much more than weapons at least for us, but which intrigues when observing the technical data sheet: three versions in the color of the synthetic stock Desert-Khaki-Black and two versions with differences in the length of the floating mounted barrel, 56 or 61cm respectively with a muzzle section of 17,1 or 19,1 mm and in the rifling pitch of 1:10" or 1:12" all offered, similar to the old Ford “T” advertisement, in any caliber as long as it is the .308 Win.
After long lucubrations, thoughts and internal discussions we opted for this chambering which, if on the one hand we are not thrilled by being too obvious, on the other hand comforts us for its ballistics usually possessing a remarkable intrinsic precision and for the abundance of original ammunition readily available: we immediately moved on to a first test with hunting charges and 180 gr SP bullet. The rifling pitch equal to 1:12” should master medium weight bullets starting from 150 gr to go up to the level of our first experience. We will certainly carry out a survey on different grains in the next test in the range to verify the potential of the weapon.
Castle and shutter
By lifting the Monza, with the 61 cm varmint barrel the weight is around 3,6 kg, the balance is appreciated thanks to the masses placed between the hands from which a remarkable agility in the movements derives. In the model with a 56 cm barrel, the weight drops to about 3,3 kg. The action is made of steel, an obligatory solution for the traditional locking system that we will now observe.
The castle has the front ring with the two mortises in which the locking flaps are housed, and a lower cylindrical appendage, internally threaded, which acts as a force discharge and as a fastening between the stock and stock while the second anchorage is placed behind the guard. Even the bridge is closed with the external profile which acts as a contrast to the bolt arm to implement the primary extraction: the relevant sections guarantee a remarkable rigidity aimed at precision.
The cylindrical breechblock has the two opposite front wings, obtained as they grow from the main section, and therefore the two guides for these appendices are made in the sides of the receiver. The very recessed face for a good support of the bottom is crossed by the hole of the striker, housing the elastic pawl of the ejector alongside; the fingernail extractor is fitted into the external surface of the cylinder, similar to the system of our Model 91, with a decisive functionality.
For the handlebar, upon our visual examination we can say that we allowed ourselves the luxury of machined the base peg from solid to which the arm is jointed with the comfortable spherical knuckle; the long firing pin with the coaxial kinetic spring slides inside: the tang protrudes from the breech cap as a warning of armed mechanics and the assembly can be disassembled without tools by following the arrows and symbols shown on the main cylinder; the release for the extraction from the castle is delegated to the traditional rocker lever placed on the left side.
In the lower part of the receiver there is the seat for the removable magazine with external release button: the 4 cartridges contained plus the one in the barrel bring the rifle's fire availability to 5. A second spare magazine is also supplied with the weapon. A long Picatinny-type slide is fixed above the receiver for mounting various optical solutions and integrated with it is the rear sight which, together with the red fiber optic front sight, allows shooting in the absence of optical aids; removing it reveals six holes for further systems to be joined directly to the castle.
Barrel, stock and trigger
We have already mentioned the two barrel sizes with lengths of 56 or 61 cm, 28,6 mm the breech section which tapers to 17,1 or 19,1 mm with a right-handed four-principle rifling pitch of 10:1" or 12:1”. At the muzzle is the screw cap that covers the thread designed to accommodate a muzzle brake or a sound suppressor, according to the rules of the territory of use. The barrel is screwed into the ring for a stable and secure joint. The stock has corrugations in the various grip areas for a firm grip while the holes are arranged for hooking the sling holders. A slide is also made at the top of the rod under the barrel so as to be able to mount a lighting system where necessary and possible.
A very favorable element is the movable cheek rest moved by a screw wing nut embedded in the butt: thus the optimal posture of the face and therefore of the eye in relation to the optics is determined in a few seconds. Finally we observe the soft rubber butt plate, useful for placing the gun on the ground since the detail is washable, then above all for diluting the already low recoil of the cartridge, favoring concentration in shooting for more sensitive subjects. The shotgun is delivered with a sturdy gray fabric scabbard completed by the company and model wordings, equipped with a side pocket and two central handles: the pair of adjustable shoulder straps is comfortable for easy transport even over longer distances.
The trigger sees the single trigger protected by the guard molded into the stock as a whole: it is of the direct type, but with a short pre-stroke to reach the clear and predictable point where the release takes place, here calibrated at 1925 g (average between 1888 – 1932 – 1954g). On the right side of the castle, in front of the handlebar, there is a two-position safety lever: activated, trigger lock and opening.
Considering the proposed sale price of €719,00 so far the conclusions can only be positive and we await a reconfirmation after the session in the range where we will try different types of cartridges. In the meantime we have already experienced Monza at the Bonicelli estate in Ceresole d'Alba. Soon the report of the expulsion..