Caesar Guerini Tempio 3-inch 12 Gauge
Gun Tests magazine recently ran an over/under match-up with a distinctly international taste to it. The increasingly popular Caesar Guerini represented the Italian trigger-plate actions in a test of general-purpose shotgun models suitable for hunting and casual clays use.
It is a 3-inch-chamber 12 gauge that would likely be the most expensive shotgun 95% of us might own.
The Caesar Guerini Tempio 3-Inch 12 Gauge, $3195, has a low-profile receiver, Prince-of-Wales grip, and schnable fore-end. The receivers "French grey" metal finish is a nickel alloy underlying full-coverage scroll engraving featuring Bulino-style gold game scenes. The Tempio also features a deluxe grade of Turkish walnut with a hand-rubbed oil finish.
With the stage set, GT set out to find if the Tiempo could possibly be worth a $1400 price premium between it and other guns. Heres what they said:
The CG style of over/under is similar to the better Battista Rizzini models. It is the sleek Italian triggerplate action that has found favor with many.
The tested CG Tempio came equipped with an option we werent looking for, the "DTS kinetic balancer," which is a more elegant way to balance your shotgun the way you prefer. It is certainly more elegant than gluing in alternator brackets and the like. Out of the box, the Tempio weighed in at 7.8 pounds with the installed balancer. We didnt like the buttstock-heavy feel the balancer gave the gun, and it rattled a bit, as you might expect from sleeve weights held between springs retained in place by set collars. We could not wait to remove the balancer; thats the first thing we did, giving the CG Tempio a 7.5-pound unloaded weight, with neutral balance. In any case, the DTS kinetic balancer came installed in the gun, but it actually is a $145 option. For field and casual clays use, we wouldnt get the balancer as an option. For a longer-barreled dedicated clays gun with a heavier, wider rib and barrel setit may be desirable.
We liked the distinct mineral streaks in the wood of the CG and the extensive checkering present on the forearmessentially wrap-around checkering. The buttstock had a palm swell in the pistol-grip area, another touch we welcomed. Visually, it makes both the Cynergy and 101 shotguns look pretty sad. We note that unless otherwise requested, the companys field guns come with a wood buttplatea notion virtually guaranteed to punish the shooter. Insist on a recoil-pad-equipped stock similar to the one tested here.
According to our team, the Guerinis receiver was the most attractive of the tested guns, a pleasant dark-gray finish with sharp scroll work that helped the gold-inlayed birds on both sides of the receiver and the bottom stand out nicely. The tasteful scroll work didnt end at the receiver, eitherwe thought the trigger guard was extremely well-done as well.
We found the CG tang safety to be overly stiff; it was hardly effortless to get off. In fact, for field use with cold or gloved hands, the button gave the thumb scant purchase to take off the safety, but a generous, prominent, steep ridge to put it back onthe opposite of what we would prefer. Only the Cynergy got it right as far as we are concerned. Caesar Guerini offered to lighten the safety under its customer service plan. The gun went back to CG, and they turned it around with lightning speed. According to Wes Lang of CG, the standard CG safety was modified at the behest of clays shooters, who were accidentally switching barrels with its more prominent center slide "barrel-selector" section. So what CG did was go back to the original safety style on their field gunsand that is the safety that was installed on our test gun and returned to us. It was much easier to get off, even though the profile didnt change much. But CG lightened the safety, so it was dramatically better than as originally supplied.
We continued to find a lot of value in the Tempios presentation. Where the Winchester and Browning shotguns were a skimpy in the choke department, CG provided five flush-mount choke tubes with the Tempio. The CG Tempio also came in a very good combination-lock equipped red-flocked casewhere the rest of the shotguns were shipped in cardboard boxes. (Browning requires a copy of your form 4473 and some paperwork to send you the Cynergy Club case.) They came in an eight-slot hard-plastic choke case suitable for regular or extended choke tubesanother touch the active shooter will appreciate.
Another feature unique to Caesar Guerini is the "Pit Stop Program." Once a year for three years, the original purchaser can send his CG to Guerini USA for a professional cleaning and tune-up. CG promises a five- to seven-business-day turnaround. This is another benefit that is up to the individual to value. We feel this is a couple of hundred dollars worth of shop labor, and CG pays your return shipping as well.
The more time we spent with the CG, the more we appreciated it.
However, some shooters find it appropriate for field models. Center: One of the things Browning got right was the Cynergy tang safety. It was effortless to work in either direction. Right: The CGs tang safety was overly stiff and its thin profile made it difficult to take off, to the delight of pheasants and quail. We sent our gun back to have the effort required to take the safety off reduced, which helped some.
It shot to point of aim with spot-on barrel regulation. The CG had the crispest triggers of the test, breaking right at 5 pounds. Yet another touch we noted and immediately liked was the stippled face of the gold CG trigger.
Gun Tests Said: Overall, the CG Tempio was an outstanding example of what we think a quality over/under should be. It has the looks, the handling, the triggers, the metalwork, and the overall responsiveness in the field to be a solid notch above most everything else in its price range. Also worth noting are the included hard case, three free "pit stops" of service, and a lifetime warranty. No over-the-counter written warranty comes with the other tested shotguns.