Connoisseur Mike Yardley tests the Krieghoff K80 Parcours

At a glance:

• Make: Krieghoff

• Model: K32 Parcours

• Bore: 12

• Barrels: 32”

• Chambers: 3” (76mm)

• Rib: 8-6mm

• Weight: 8lbs

• RRP: £9,555

We liked:

• The light long barrels

• The new, higher, stock dimensions

• The handling dynamics

We disliked:

• Not too sure about the action profile

In detail

First impressions

This month’s test gun, the Krieghoff Parcours, arrived to be tested for the best of reasons – because I had heard good things about it. I have shot many K80s. When well sorted, they are excellent guns – chunky, but notably steady and efficient, clay-mashing machines. Based, externally at least, on the old Remington 32 as recreated in Germany, they have a reputation for solid quality and some characteristics which make them stand out from the modern pack. The angular, sliding, top-cover action, for example, is distinct in both profile and mechanism, as are the barrels on most K80s, which dispense with side ribs and are connected by a hanger at the muzzles that allows for point of impact changes (an especially useful feature for Trap shooters).

The Parcours model, introduced a couple of years back, retains the well-proven sliding top action, but has traditionally ribbed, fixed-choke 32” barrels. These are lighter for length than the previous Krieghoffs. Consequently, this model provides quicker handling than its stablemates. First impressions of the test Parcours are still that it’s a big beast, but quite an attractive one. Looking at its silver-finished action, you will note fairly bold scrollwork (many decorative options are, however, available). The rest of the specification includes an adjustable trigger with a well-shaped blade, a barrel selector forward of it (not combined with the safety as usually seen), and a lockable safety – a feature geared towards the needs of clay shots, although this might be considered a gun that is equally suitable for game. The Parcours may also be fitted with an automatic safety making it more suitable for game shooting.

The test gun is generally well presented with good-quality wood. The wood and metal have the competent fit and feel that one expects from an established maker offering a premium product. It feels solid and pointable. As for the aesthetics, I suspect it’s a Marmite situation. Krieghoffs are distinctive, as noted, and there really is no mistaking their squarish lines, which have a sort of brutal, modernist elegance. To me, they look – like the Remingtons they’re inspired by – very much products of the 20th-century machine age. But that is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s part of the gun’s character.

Features and technical functionality

On the handling front, I have often found Krieghoffs to be pretty hefty. On first mounting this one, which weighs in at about 8lbs, I immediately felt confident in its dynamics. The barrels are lively as well as long with sufficient weight to remain steady. Their length and reduced profile makes them pointable, too. They are of monobloc construction and fitted with conventional joining ribs, as noted. The sighting rib is fairly narrow at 6-8mm. Chambers are 3” (76mm) and are chrome lined. The barrels have an internal bore dimension of 18.6mm (wider than many and better for it) with longer than average forcing cones set forward from the chambers. The fixed chokes are ¾ and full (though Teagues would be a possibility). The barrel wall thicknesses are thinner than ribless Krieghoffs because the stiffer, ribbed construction method allows for it.

Considering the pleasantly figured stock (and you can pay more to upgrade the wood further), the comb feels comfortable and is significantly higher than many Krieghoffs. The grip is of a sensible size, with not too tight a radius, and with a right-hand palm swell (much better than ambidextrous ones previously seen). Length of pull is 375mm with drop dimensions of 35 and 46mm at the nose of the comb and heel respectively. There is some right-hand cast – 6mm at the heel and 9mm at the toe. The fore-end is of an excellent new pattern, too, which fills the hand well and dispenses with a schnabel lip. The woodwork is hand chequered and oiled. A simple, but perfectly adequate, black recoil pad graces the rear of the butt. I might also mention here that a new stock bolt is available upon which up to three 40g balance weights may be placed.

The Krieghoff action is a bit different. The locking cover slides forward to engage with side wings on the barrels to lock the gun up. There are conventional trunnion-type hinging studs, upon which the bifurcated lump barrels pivot. The top lever is quite short, but the thumbpiece larger than average, offering good leverage and purchase. The sliding safety has a push-button lock. The barrel selector (a small lever) is positioned forward of the adjustable trigger within the trigger guard bow. The action body of the Parcours, like other K80s, is based on a steel forging and has top and bottom straps, unlike many over-and-unders which mostly tend to be trigger-plate designs (Browning/Miroku being an exception). Hammers are powered by helical springs positioned, unusually, to the front, and are low and mainly concealed in the action body. This arrangement results in especially rapid lock times.

How was it to shoot?

Though it is livelier than some Krieghoffs, this is still a big gun which requires a bit of upper body strength to shoot well. Balance is just forward of the hinge pin (where it should be on a 32” gun; long guns balanced out on the pin can feel ungainly). The Parcours feels exceptionally pointable, and its narrow rib suited too. Shooting the gun was an entirely positive experience. The tight fixed chokes munched clay birds decisively. The gun felt comfortable and the stock, with its reduced drop, contributed to low felt recoil along with the overall gun weight. Trigger pulls, which may be regulated to specification, were pleasantly crisp. The mechanical single trigger functioned well (though I was aware of its mechanism operating, more so than in some other designs). Overall this is a well-sorted, much-evolved gun, backed up by the first class service offered by Alan Rhone. If I was buying a Krieghoff, this is the model I would opt for.