Sport shooter David Kostelecký, a representative of the Czech Republic in trap shooting, has won literally every trophy that exists in this discipline. He has been competing and gathering medals since the early 90s, and he won gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and silver in Tokyo in 2020. For over twenty years, he has been shooting the Perazzi shotgun, a product of the Italian family-owned company of the same name, which produces the best sporting and hunting shotguns in the world. He was thrilled to hear that Perazzi had recently passed into Czech hands: an 80% stake in it had been purchased by the global industry and technology group CSG, owned by Czech entrepreneur Michal Strnad.
How long have you been using the Perazzi shotgun? What brought you to choose it?
I have been using Perazzi as an athlete since 2002, i.e. for over twenty years. The company approached me in a situation where I was looking for a new partner who would provide me with not only a good weapon, but also really high-quality and personalized service. Perazzi has been great to me from the beginning. I have the best shotgun in the world and superb service. Originally, just like the rest of the Czech national team for trap, I used a weapon from a different brand, but I wasn’t satisfied with it. I had to insist on a transition to Perazzi—I was a pioneer in this—but thanks to me, other Czech shooters then made the switch to Perazzi too.
You’re not just a Perazzi shotgun shooter, you’re also the brand’s dealer on the Czech market. How does one actually go about selling such a highly specific product?
These are not run-of-the-mill goods. So I have a completely individual approach to every Czech customer. I’m not just a salesperson, I am a guide in the process, I put my name on the brand. Every single shotgun is produced individually for the customer. The ideal stock shape, which greatly affects the control of the weapon and therefore its shooting accuracy, is worked out directly with the customer in the Perazzi factory, and I am always there for that.
So when you are contacted by a Czech bidder who wants a Perazzi, what happens next?
The Perazzi is not a weapon for everyone. I’m contacted by people who know what they want. Each time, I meet the person interested in a Perazzi personally, advise them, and provide an individualized course for beginners. I’m actually a coach. Then I contact Perazzi, and by that I mean the co-owner Mauro Perazzi directly. I personally accompany the customer to the Perazzi factory in Lombardy, and there, figuratively speaking, we ‘take their measurements’ so that the gun can be produced made according to their needs, including the shaping of the stock.
Why is stock so important?
The shape of the stock is defined by shooter’s height, weight, and hands. Even a millimeter difference in the stock shape can significantly affect the shooting accuracy—at a distance of 30 meters, the hit will be shifted by a few centimeters.
How often do you actually visit the Perazzi plant?
It depends on orders. There have been some years where I was at the company twenty times; the Perazzi factory is basically a second home to me. I know Mauro and Roberta Perazzi, the founder’s descendants who run the factory, very well. They’re great people.
How hard is it to compete on the market with such a unique weapon?
It’s not easy, but our customers know what they’re getting into. That they’re getting the best weapon in the world, with half of it being crafted by hand. The Perazzi is such a specific item that it faces no competition in the true sense of that word. And it also comes with a unique set of services.
Could you explain to a layman what makes the Perazzi different from other shotguns?
It’s hard to find a gun manufacturer where the co-owner personally attends to the customer, measures his stock, and tests the gun with him in the shooting tunnel. Perazzi has a sophisticated weight distribution guaranteeing ideal movement of the weapon; it has the smallest possible recoil. And Perazzi has been a market leader since its inception. They were the first to come to market with a removable, replaceable trigger, a special barrel end that reduces pellet dispersion, and an adjustable stock.
How important is the quality of a weapon for good sporting results?
Fundamentally: a good weapon makes for a good result. That is why I wanted to switch to a Perazzi. After 20 years, I’m still only on my second Perazzi. I fired 500,000 rounds with the first one, and I could still keep using it, it’s basically intact. I know Perazzi shotguns that have fired over a million rounds and are still serving well.
Can you give an indication of what the price range for Perazzi shotguns is?
Prices for the sporting weapons start at 12,000 euros but can reach up to several times more depending on the customer’s requirements. It also depends on the gun’s decoration, i.e. its engravings. You’re buying not only a weapon, but also a work of art. The Perazzi is even purchased by collectors who don’t even shoot at all, it is also an investment asset of a sort.
Who uses Perazzi shotguns alongside competitive shooters? Is it a weapon for the rich?
I would disagree with that statement. Perazzi is bought not only by bankers, businessmen, and nobles, but also by gamekeepers and hunters. Even a person with a normal income can save for a Perazzi if his wish is to own the best gun there is. Women shoot Perazzis too, they’re great shooters. For example, Barbora Šumová, who represented the Czech Republic at the Tokyo Olympics in skeet.
Isn’t it a bit of a shame that Perazzi ‘just’ makes shotguns? Why don't they expand their portfolio to include other firearms?
Anything’s possible. And for some time they did actually produce a hunting rifle, for instance. Now with CSG as a strong global group buying a majority stake in Perazzi, the Perazzi family is gaining security, stability, and with that the space for a possible product expansion.
You’ve mentioned Perazzi’s acquisition by a Czech owner, the global industry and technology group CSG. How do you think this news will affect the global sports and hunting community?
It will be received with enthusiasm in the Czech Republic. It may cause a minor shock globally, and it will bring some anticipation of what the change of ownership will lead to. Crucially, the company continues to be co-owned and managed by the Perazzi family. And with the entry of a strong partner, it is gaining a new perspective. I am convinced that the sports and hunting community around the world will soon understand that this is a step that is important for the brand’s long-term stability, prosperity, and development. And it will certainly benefit the reputation of our country. The passing of Perazzi into Czech hands will put the Czech Republic on the map for the world shooting community.