William Powell Country

The William Powell Perseus
A Detailed Look


Article written by 06 July 2012

The William Powell ‘Gun Room Guys’ Rick Bond and Daniel Todd take a detailed look at the new William Powell Perseus, the latest over and under shotgun to join the range.


Name:             The Perseus

Calibre:           12 or 20

Barrels:           28” or 30” with 5 Multi-chokes

Stock:               Highly figured walnut

Action:             Rizzini’s O/U boxlock action

Price:               £1795

Tuesday 19th June 2012 was a very exciting time for us here in the Gun Room, as it was the morning the new William Powell Perseus arrived. The Perseus is our brand new entry level Over and Under which joins the other two O/Us in our range; The Phoenix and The Pegasus. All three guns are built by Battista Rizzini in Marcheno, Italy. When we started unpacking the guns we were extremely pleased. The stocks looked fantastic, all highly figured and beautifully finished and the half-pistol grips looked and handled great. The engraving was better than we remembered from the prototype and the woodcock underneath is a tasteful additional touch. So they look brilliant, but how do they shoot?

The Test

The official launch of the Perseus was at our ‘Try and Buy day’ on 22nd and 23rd June at Hexton Estate in Hertfordshire. It was a great event with plenty of people visiting us to try the various models in our range and this was our chance to put the Perseus through its paces on a short simulated game drive. The first thing I noticed was the balance. It sits perfectly between your hands which makes it feel lively and easy to mount. Once you have mounted the gun, it’s stock dimensions become apparent. So many modern O/Us are built with outdated flat stock measurements. This gun is different. The drop is nice and high at 1 ½” x 2 1/8” meaning you can see over the top lever and along the top rib nicely, perfect for driven game. The half-pistol grip is so comfortable, it really does have the feel of a much higher end gun.

As the clays started coming and the barrels got hotter, I really settled into the gun. Rizzini’s smooth and reliable action felt beautiful every time you open and close the gun. When you close it, it doesn’t clunk shut like an old gate! Rizzini uses this particular action for a lot of their guns (even guns costing 5 times the cost of this one) and it’s easy to see why. It really is well designed and the reliability speaks for itself. The trigger mechanism works beautifully, perfectly weighted and astonishingly crisp. The barrels are good and come in either 28” or 30”. All are fitted with a set of 5 multi-chokes and narrow game rib. The gun I’m shooting has 30” barrels which are probably the most popular choice. They are bored very well and they blacking is top quality. My only criticism would be the ventilated top rib. I much prefer a solid top rib but then that would add to the cost.

Sizing it up

All of the Perseus guns we have in stock come with 14 ½“ length of pull and as an added bonus they come with an extended wooden pad which can be fitted to lengthen the stock to 15”. This gives you the option of having a stock length which can be easily adjusted to fit you and can give you up half of an inch of variation in length. The 15” stock perfectly balances the 30” barrelled guns and for an average 6ft man would fit nicely. All guns are cast off (right handed) 1/8”. This gives sufficient cast for the majority of right handed shots but also allows for any alteration, be it more right handed cast or cast on for left handed shots. The average weight of the 12 bore is 7lbs 7oz which is virtually the same as the Phoenix and Pegasus. We’ve found this weight makes the gun really handle well, helps a controlled swing and also is heavy enough to reduce a sufficient amount of recoil. The 20 bore Perseus weighs in at a pound lighter at 6lbs 6oz and is built on a true 20 bore action. We feel that with the measurements we have built these guns to creates the ideal fit for the majority of shots. We hope that it will result in a nicely fitting ‘off the shelf gun’ that breaks the mould of very standard measurements which has historically been done by leading manufacturers.


The Perseus is fresh, exciting and a good looking gun ready to shake up the slightly stale over and under market. We firmly believe in its credentials and not only is it a competitor to the Beretta and Browning’s of this world but it’s pushing ahead, in looks, build quality, handling and value for money. If you’re tired of the same old over an unders and are looking for something unique then the Perseus couldn’t be more suited to you. If we didn’t believe in this gun we wouldn’t have put the William Powell name on it!

Key features

  • Available in 12b and 20b
  • Highly figured walnut stock
  • Set of multichokes
  • 28” and 30” chrome lined barrels
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Extendable ½” wooden pad
  • Great reliability and build quality

Rick’s Verdict

“At first I was dubious as to what kind of gun Rizzini could produce for us for that price, but I can gladly say I’ve been proved severely wrong. The Perseus is a truly great gun for the money without compromising on build quality or looks. It combines the excellence of Italian gun making with the class and style of an English design. I have no doubt it will feature on many a days shooting this season.

Dan’s Verdict

“The Perseus in my opinion is a fantastic success. It really does offer something different to most of the other guns on the market at this price. When you take into account it’s looks, quality and reliability it really does represent fantastic value for money. I predict that this gun will be a massive hit.”

For more information about the Perseus please get in touch with Rick or Dan in the William Powell Gun Room on 01295 701701 or visit www.williampowell.com

Daniel Todd (William Powell Gun Room)

Dan previously formed part of the William Powell team, a gun expert based in the Gun Room. Read more.

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