Piotti Smallbore Over/Unders

Piotti Smallbore Over/Unders

By Douglas Tate
Photographs courtesy William Larkin Moore & Sons

Sometimes the attractive elements of fine guns—the collectability of the smallbore, the reliability of an Italian over/under or the ravishing curves of a timeless classic—can seem elusive. But occasionally these qualities align themselves like the planets in a propitious horoscope.

The Italian firm Piotti offers a full line of fabulous shotguns, including such rarities as a “serpentine,” or sidelever side-by-side, and a “cani esterni,” or hammergun, but it is the company’s sub-bore “sovrapposto tipo Boss,” or Boss over/under, that is perhaps its most desirable firearm. F.lli Piotti (Piotti Brothers) chose the classic Boss-style sidelock action rather than, say, a Woodward or Italian triggerplate design, after a thorough comparison. “We chose the Boss-style sidelock action because, after several tests, we found that it is the least problematic and is more reliable than the others,” explained Emanuele Piotti, who has worked for Holland & Holland in London and is one of the four brothers who make up the firm.

William Larkin Moore & Sons, in Scottsdale, Arizona, is Piotti’s exclusive American importer. The company’s website describes the Piotti guns aptly: “On all models, the action size, gun proportions and weight are proportional to the gauge. The quality of the shaping, checkering, stock, action and barrel work generally exceeds the standards achieved by London gunmakers prior to WWII.”

Piotti Smallbore Over/Unders

This 28-gauge on a Boss-style action features one-off engraving in a relief ornamental pattern with three quail cameos.

The Moores recently received a small number of scaled-frame Boss-style Piottis in 28 bore and .410. “I just received a new 28-gauge [pictured here] yesterday, and it is absolutely beautiful,” David Moore told me recently. “The gun is as elegant and graceful as any shotgun ever produced. The engraving is a one-off, relief ornamental pattern that has never been seen before, with cameo scenes of quail on three sides. And, of course, the gun is stocked in beautiful Turkish walnut.”

Rarely do all of the elements of fine gunmaking coalesce as they do in a Piotti smallbore sovrapposto tipo Boss. It is as lovely as a Ferrari Barchetta and every bit as high-performance.

For more information, contact William Larkin Moore & Sons, 480-951-8913.

Douglas Tate

Doug Tate is an Editor at Large for Shooting Sportsman and is the author of British Gun Engraving (Safari Press, 2000).

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