Video: a visit to Cosmi – The evolution of a unique semi-automatic shotgun

The Cosmi is a semi-automatic shotgun that once you have seen it, it can't be forgotten for a lifetime because of its peculiarity. This is at least what happened to me a few years ago when as a child I simply saw a photo showing it open and it was still not clear to me what a "strange" rifle it was. 

Then I started the hunting seasons and gathered some experience, I realized that there was actually nothing strange in that gun – it was simply unique for its design and workmanship. Hence the desire to see it live and grasp its geniality.  

The genesis of the Cosmi semi-auto

The origins of this unique gun date back to the end of the 19th century, when Rodolfo Cosmi, a very passionate hunter born near Pesaro, Italy, in 1873, began to repair and then to build his first break action shotguns. In 1907 he added to the side-by-side guns an original semi-automatic model, which kept him busy in studies, calculations and tests for years, until he developed the final model in 1920. 

Thus begins the story of this complex and fascinating firearm, built with high craftsmanship techniques, with the best features of a break action shotgun, of which it retains the opening, with the slender and functional line of a semi-auto. 

Why keep a break action system? A simple distinguishing feature? Or are there well-founded technical reasons?

Obviously yes. This original system allows for placing the magazine inside the stock; the total safety of the gun; its perfect balance; the easy-to-check action and its quick cleaning

Cosmi semi-automatic shotgun
The original opening system allows the hunter to always check and enjoy the view of the internal mechanics of the gun.
Cosmi semi-auto
In the Cosmi semi-auto, passion for aesthetics and functionality of an extremely effective gun coexist.

No gun is in fact safer than an open shotgun in many hunting situations, and an open gun is also a firearm constantly under the hunter's technical eye. 

Moreover, the tubular magazine in the buttstock (this is the second distinctive feature of the Cosmi) balances the gun's weight, giving not only a feeling of less weight but also a great stability when firing. 

Placing the magazine in the stock allows for a total capacity of 8 shots, although in compliance with European law, there are two versions of the Cosmi rifle, with 3 and 8 rounds respectively (the 8-shot version has a magazine capacity reducer as standard). 

To load the gun, the action must be break opened like a common shotgun, the first cartridge is inserted directly into the barrel, moving the bolt thanks to the special lever, while the other cartridges are introduced simply by pushing them into the magazine, brass end to the back. When firing the first shot, the barrel moves back and the energy of the shot is used to eject the empty cartridge shell and insert the next cartridge into the chamber. The recoil spring is placed under the barrel, and a shock absorber system absorbs the energy reducing shoulder discomfort.

Cosmi company
There are few and necessarily qualified experts in the Cosmi company.
Cosmi guns
Every component of Cosmi guns is literally "carved out" of solid metal and machined.

No assembly line has ever seen the mechanical components of these guns, since they are entirely handmade, in limited numbers and exclusively in Italy. The 100% handmade production allows for the full customization of each gun, with barrel, choke, stock and engraving according to customer needs. Barrels are available with length and choke (fixed or mobile) at the hunter's request, with or without rib. All Cosmi barrels are machined from solid stock. The customer can choose among 3 different steel versions, all of them among the best available: Boheler Antinit; Boheler Inox; and a special aerospace grade steel (819AW). Customers also have the opportunity to quickly replace the barrel of their guns. All Cosmi barrels are tested for steel shot or other special alloys shot, so that they can be used in wetlands for waterfowl hunting, which is one of the most popular uses for this gun.

Cosmi semi-auto shotguns
From the first model of 1920, up to the Titanium super light models, Cosmi semi-autos represent a true icon of fine Italian guns.

Steel, wood and titanium

The internal mechanism of the Cosmi semi-auto is quite particular, being composed of an interlocking system that joins together the various components without a single screw. Each part is machined from a solid piece of 16 nickel-chrome steel. The mechanics is always well visible and maintenance is immediate, thanks to the opening system. 

The stocks of Cosmi guns are the best quality Caucasian walnut briarwood and are adapted to the customer's personal measurements.

An important history, however, is not always enough to guarantee success. So, in order to meet the needs of an ever-growing number of hunters and shooters too, since the early 1990s the Cosmi company has been widening its product range to satisfy the fans of lighter and small gauge guns. 

An Aluminum model and a Titanium model have been added to the Steel version of the gun, which allows to save up to 10.5 oz/300 grams of weight and are available with 70 mm or 76 mm (magnum) chambers, in the following gauges: 12, 16, 20, 28. 

The reasons that led to the birth of the Titanium model were dictated by the physical characteristics of the material itself. Titanium is in fact a metal whose specific weight is 50% less than steel but, at the same time, with a much higher strength and hardness. 

VIDEO: Cosmi, the evolution of a unique semi-automatic shotgun

This allows to save weight without compromising the strength and shooting qualities of the gun, and actually improving them. 

The acquisition of experience in Titanium machining over the years has led to continuous improvements even in the details. So, in 2012 comes the top of the range, the Cosmi Superleggero Titanio, featuring a receiver and internal mechanical parts entirely made of titanium for a weight saving of over 24.7 oz/700 grams compared to the steel model. 

Thanks to this innovative model, it is now possible to have a 12-gauge gun weighing not even 6.6 lb/3 kg with barrels without ribs, while maintaining all the features.

In short, hunting with a Cosmi gun allows lovers of beauty not only to have an object of absolute value in their hands, but also an extremely effective firearm with which to experience hunting in all its forms. 

Barrels of Cosmi shotguns
The best steels such as the Boheler Antinit and the Boheler Inox are used for the barrels, with or without ribs, with variable length and choke, chosen by the hunter.
The stocks of the Cosmi shotguns
The stocks, all made from select walnut, are made to the customer's measurements.
The particular shape of the receiver Cosmi rifle
The particular shape of the receiver influences the way a Cosmi rifle is engraved. In this photo, a semi-auto engraved by Dassa (photo: Holts).
Luca Gaeti administrator of Cosmi 
Luca Gaeti, administrator of Cosmi srl, shows the new Rigato model available in .45/70 and 444. Marlin calibers.

One final note for the finishes and engravings that embellish the gun: Cosmi allows you to enrich your rifle with a wide variety of handmade engravings

Each one is the product of the work of prestigious Italian and Belgian artists – customers can choose them from the company's catalog, modifying the decoration or the subject to their own taste.

One could think of Cosmi as an interesting and exclusive brand that's resting on its laurels. Nothing could be further from the truth. The evolution of the species is far from over – rather, it has just begun: in 2015, after an almost feverish wait on the part of fans, the .410 gauge version of the Cosmi semi-auto was introduced, becoming an "instant classic". In 2018, Luca Gaeti, a young entrepreneur and passionate hunter, entered the company and its management board giving new vitality. The first resounding sign of this renewal came at the beginning of 2020, when the rifled version of the Cosmi semi-auto, designed on the 28 gauge receiver and in the .45/70 and .444 Marlin calibers, was presented at the HIT Show.  But that's not all. There will be other novelties that we will talk about soon. Stay tuned!

For more information please visit the Cosmi website.

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