By Douglas TateDazzling innovation is an axiom of fine Italian gunmaking. Even so, the gullwing Bertuzzi was a standout. By mounting the lockwork on an internal steel plate, brothers Elio and Remigio Bertuzzi created a gun with hinged sideplates that sprang open to reveal the engraved firing mechanism. In 2009 the brothers wound down production all the while lamenting that their sons had little interest in the family firm.
Then recently I received this: “Hello, my name is Paolo Bertuzzi, and I am the son of Remigio, one of the two Bertuzzi brothers. I have been working for some years in a factory in Gardone that specializes in mechanical techniques. Then, following the suggestions of my father and uncle—and under their control and cooperation—I have decided to restart the family company.”
Paolo Bertuzzi’s first gun is a “basic” over/under in 20 gauge, but he currently is working on a similar 28-gauge with a scaled frame. Both have been designated Zeus SE, where “SE” stands for “Super Extra.” They feature monoblock barrels, single triggers, ejectors and high-gloss oiled walnut stocks as standard. Barrel length, custom stocking and individual engraving are available, with prices on request.
Paolo is working in the same atelier where his father and uncle once worked and let me know that “. . . we still have some masterpieces of my family in our private collection.” Who wouldn’t want to see the treasures slumbering in these archives? If one thing is recalled about Elio and Remigio’s gullwing, it’s that it was designed to prompt the “wow” factor and have aesthetic value beyond the strictly utilitarian. Time will tell if Paolo can create fine guns that elicit an emotional response.