THE ROAD TO
A FEW MONTHS AGO READERS WERE
TREATED TO AN EXCELLENT REVIEW BY
TOM CERETTO OF THE CORTONA RANGE OF
SHOTGUNS BEING IMPORTED BY KALISPEL
CASE LINE. INTRIGUED BY THE REVIEW,
DON BRUNT DECIDED TO VISIT THE
FACTORY IN ITALY TO SEE HOW THE GUNS
ARE MADE AND MEET SOME OF THE
PEOPLE BEHIND THE PRODUCT RANGE.
TURKISH WALNUT IS USED THROUGHOUT THE RANGE.
LUCA RIZZINI, CURRENT
PRESIDENT OF F.A.I.R.
1971 WAS A GOOD YEAR
Not only was it the birth of a
‘certain journalist’, but it also saw
the creation of F.A.I.R. (Fabbrica
Armi Issodoro Rizzini), founded in
the heart of the Val Trompia
gunmaking region. From the very
start, the decision was made that
the business would combine the
latest technologies with the
traditional gunmaking skills that
have been handed down from
generation to generation in this,
the gunmaking heart of Italy. This
ethos still rings true today as a
wander around the
quickly confirms. Yes, there are
still the old benches equipped with
a multitude of chisels, oils and
gunsmiths tools, but they now sit
alongside advanced engineering
equipment, such as CNC
machines, that can produce 200
components in 24 hours without
any human intervention.
Go to a similar factory in any
other industrialized nation and you
might find an equal or even greater
level of technology being utilized –
however, you wouldn’t find the
same human touch which is
indicative of the Italian culture and
especially its gunmaking tradition.
The mood in the factory is
businesslike – but with that
relaxed, casual, humorous but still
intense character that the Italians
do so well. A joke is called across
the factory floor in Italian, no
doubt referring to one of the Italian
male’s favorite passions – soccer,
fast cars or women. A gentle
approving laugh is its answer.
F.A.I.R. President, Luca Rizzini,
is typically Italian and chatting to
him in the showroom it is apparent
that gunmaking runs in his veins.
His passion is obvious. He has
been at the factory since finishing
college some 20 years ago. The
founder of the company, his 62
year old father, now works on the
THE SPECIFICATION OF THIS CORTONA
LEGEND MAKES IT A POPULAR CHOICE.
SPORT MODEL SPECIFICATIONS
MARCHENO, VT ITALY
IMPORTER: KALISPEL CASE LINE
GUN TYPE: MODIFIED BOSS STYLE BOXLOCK
RECEIVER: STEEL CNC MACHINED
GUN WEIGHT: 7 LBS 15 OZ.
LENGTH OF PULL: 14.75"
DROP AT COMB: ADJUSTABLE
DROP AT HEEL: 2.40"
CAST OFF: 0.150"
TOE OUT: 0.20"
OVERALL LENGTH: 47.75" WITH 30" BARRELS
BARRELS: 30" & 32"
TRIGGER: MECHANICAL SET AND ADJUSTABLE
TRIGGER PULL: 5.5 LBS AND 6.5 LBS
SAFETY: MANUAL TOP TANG SINGLE SELECTIVE
RIB: VENTED 10MM
CENTER RIB: VENTED
CHOKES INCLUDED: FIVE EXTENDED 3 /4"
CONICAL PARALLEL LENGTH: 2.75".
IMP. MODIFIED: 0.033". FULL: 0.043"
OTHERS AVAILABLE AT EXTRA COST.
factory floor – always at his
happiest when working on one of
The 40 staff here enjoy their
work and take pride in what they
do, good news for the company
and better news still for the
customer – product is backed by a
AN ADJUSTABLE STOCK COMES
AS STANDARD ON THE
12 GAUGE MODELS.
material and defects.
According to Al Hague of
Kalispel, they have yet to have a
warranty claim since the guns
were first imported to the States in
2005/6. (The factory trained
service team is based in
F.A.I.R. is the second largest
exporter of O/U shotguns in Italy,
making between 12,000 - 15,000
pieces per year. As a result, the
basis for the Cortona’s action is
tried and tested. However, the
company’s expertise in production
goes further than that and is
acknowledged by other
manufacturers, many of which
purchase their own components
from F.A.I.R. In fact, you may
already have shot with a gun much
of which was produced by the
factory without even knowing it!
They are also one of the few
gunmakers in Italy producing
genuine small bore guns on scaled
Both wing shooting and clay
busting guns leave Gardone to
every corner of the globe with the
US being the largest single
market. Don’t be fooled into
thinking that the Cortona
is just another Italian
gun taken straight off
the shelf and shipped
to the States. Far
from it. Back
went to Italy
to ensure that
the guns would
suit the demands of
the US market. He
certainly achieved that
goal – ported barrels, a good
sized palm swell and an
adjustable comb are the kinds of
features rarely found on a
European spec sporting clays gun.
That tailoring of the product to fit
its buyers needs explains why the
guns have proved to be such a
MONOBLOC’S WAITING FOR THEIR BARRELS.
FASTIDIOUS QUALITY CONTROL EXPLAINS THE ABSENCE OF WARRANTY CLAIMS.
success – despite difficult trading
conditions resulting from the
current exchange rate against the
That positive growth curve is
reflected in the decision of Luca
Rizzini to expand the size of the
factory in Marcheno, from its
current 55,000 sq ft to well over
60,000 sq ft. This will allow for the
increased size of the finishing,
quality control and manufacturing
departments. A sound investment
considering that the company is
one of only a handful who produce
all their components in house –
except for stocks and forends.
Rigorous quality control is a
must for any company that
manufactures so many parts and at
F.A.I.R. this is an integral part of
…THE STAFF ENJOY THEIR
WORK AND TAKE PRIDE IN
WHAT THEY DO, GOOD
NEWS FOR THE COMPANY
AND BETTER NEWS STILL
FOR THE CUSTOMER.
every gun’s journey from parts bin
to dealer. Not only are individual
components checked, but once a
gun is completed it is taken down
into the subterranean firing range
for further testing. In fact, if you
have ever driven along the main
road that runs through the
Gardone Valley, you will have
passed over the range which
MACHINES AND ARTISANS
WORK SIDE BY SIDE.
stretches from one side
under the highway to
The Italian side of the
operation may be
passionate about its
products but no more
so than the team at
Kalispel Case Line.
Founded in 1974 by the
American Indian tribe,
the company initially
started life to provide
members of the tribe
on the small 4,654 acre
reservation. Based in
Cusick, the company
now makes up to 15,000
cases per year
designed to hold every size, shape
and grade of firearm or bow and
has a reputation for excellence.
Al Hague of Kalispel is
extremely happy with the Cortona
and was keen to explain why. “We
wanted guns that were well
proven, that we knew would be
reliable. The product had to meet
the standards of quality and
MULTI MILLION EURO INVESTMENT IN
EQUIPMENT KEEPS THE COMPANY AT
THE CUTTING EDGE.
RIGOROUS QUALITY CONTROL IS A MUST FOR ANY
COMPANY THAT MANUFACTURES SO MANY PARTS AND AT
F.A.I.R. THIS IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF EVERY GUN’S
JOURNEY FROM PARTS BIN TO DEALER.
EXTENDED CHOKES, PORTED BARRELS, AND A FIBRE OPTIC
SIGHT ARE ALL PART OF THE STANDARD SPEC.
THE ASSEMBLY PROCESS.
reliability that are synonymous
with our cases and it had to be
affordable for those who want to
enjoy their sport without spending
a fortune. The guns feel great in
the shoulder straight out of the
box, well balanced and pointable –
yet steady. We have had nothing
but positive feedback about them.
With a feature list equalling that
found on more expensive guns, we
are confident that the Cortona
range of Sporters meets the
requirements of shooters in the
US. We have 50 dealers around the
Country, with whom we have built
good relationships, though we can
sell direct to anyone who lives
further than 50 miles away from a
dealer if they would prefer not to
travel. We are pleased with how
the brand has grown in such a
short time and excited about the
future. Working together with a
quality manufacturer like F.A.I.R.,
we know the future will be bright.”
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