Caesar Guerini Tempio 12 Gauge O/U Shotgun
Caesar Guerini has been making quite a name for themselves in recent years, impressing many of us with their customer service, an idea impossible to associate with many Italian brands. The CG style of O/U is very similar to the better Battista Rizzini models I have used in the past. It is built on the sleek, Italian trigger plate action that has found favor with many, but its prevalence has been cut-short by less than thorough marketing and customer service attempts in times past.
Here’s a look at the basic specs of our tested Caesar Guerini Tempio $3195 retail model:
The CG Tempio has a 7 lb. 7 oz. unloaded weight, with perfectly neutral balance. It was hard not to notice the distinct mineral streaks in the wood of the CG and the extensive checkering present on the forearm; essentially wrap-around checkering. The buttstock has a palm swell in the pistol grip area, another touch I welcomed. The CG has a crisp trigger, breaking right at five pounds. The gold CG trigger has a stippled face, another noticeable and positive attribute I appreciated.
The receiver of the CG is extremely attractive: a pleasant dark gray, platinum 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 didn’t end at the receiver, either; the trigger guard was also extremely well-done.
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, we thought the safety was backwards, giving the thumb scant little purchase to knock off the safety, but a generous, prominent, steep ridge to put it back on, the exact opposite of what we would prefer. Many times the sound of a cackling rooster requires you to instinctively shoulder your shotgun, with no conscious effort that should be necessary to release the safety.
We advised Caesar Guerini of our safety issue. 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. What CG has done is go back to the original safety style on their field guns and that is the safety that was installed on my test gun. It was much easier to get off, not that the profile changed much, because it didn’t. However, CG lightened the safety so it was dramatically better than originally supplied. CG impressed me with their speedy customer service and lightening the safety was a big improvement.
There is a lot of value-added in the Tempio. CG provides five flush mount choke tubes with the field Tempio and six extended tubes on their clays models. To the extent that this could save the consumer some cash in aftermarket tubes, I applaud it. The CG Tempio comes in a very good, combination lock equipped, red-flocked case. Rather than giving us loose choke tubes, or choke tubes in little capped vials that fly all over the place, CG gives you an eight slot hard plastic choke case suitable for regular or extended choke tubes, another nicety that the active shooter will appreciate.
Another feature unique to Caesar Guerini is their Pit Stop Program that is included with all of their shotguns. 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 5-7 business day turn-around. I realize that many shooters are reticent to totally disassemble, clean, and lubricate their O/U actions. This is another benefit that is up to the individual to assign a precise value to. I feel this is a couple of hundred dollars worth of shop labor and CG pays your return shipping, as well.
One thing the savvy shopper is faced with today is what can only be expected of any mass-produced product, the notion of “sorry, that’s the way it comes.” That’s one of the things I like about Guerini USA: if what the catalog says isn’t exactly what you are looking for, several stock and other options are readily available. This is in stark contrast to most of the comparable “B-gun” options, where you like the exact configuration offered, or you are on your own.
The more time I spent with the CG, the more it was appreciated. It shot to point of aim with spot-on barrel regulation. Overall, the CG Tempio is an outstanding example of what I think a quality O/U 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 guns remotely in its price range.
It is hard not to be impressed with both this shotgun and the company behind it. The bluing, engraving, the wood, the handling, the triggers, the pattern quality and the overall build quality of the CG Tempio are superb. Caesar Guerini, the company, proved to be responsive and extremely customer-oriented. If you are looking for a shotgun to be proud of, you’ll likely not find any better than Caesar Guerini. It is one of the most satisfying O/U shotguns I’ve tested in several years.
Copyright 2009 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.