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Test: the 1983 Krieghoff K80 competition shotgun

The first competition shotgun from the House of Krieghoff was modelled on the Remington 32, discontinued in the United States shortly after the Second World War. The stability of the receiver coupled with exquisite material selection and craftsmanship were the factors that prompted the K32’s development, culminating in its launch in 1957. There is no doubt that the Olympic gold in Montreal in 1976 lent further impetus to the ongoing development of the K32 and the K80 eventually released in its place.

The K80 is seen as the legitimate successor to the K32, which prepared the ground for a successful introduction to the competition shooting circuit, not least due to the innumerable titles it had helped secure. As the name suggests, the shotgun was released in 1980. The K80 included a number of changes compared with the K32, for instance an improved trigger system and ergonomic modifications to the sportingly designed shaft. What’s more, the barrel rib allowed a certain degree of adjustment to accommodate the shooter’s personal preferences, which at the time was a sensational development.

Replaceable chokes became available as well, significantly broadening the shotgun’s versatility. What came afterwards is living history. Today we have barrel lengths between 71 and 81 cm that use a variety of ribs and replacement chokes to adapt to practically any sporting challenge. The K80 remains extremely popular, especially in the United States.

Krieghoff K80: entirely unretiring

Krieghoff K80 Competition shotgun
Krieghoff K80: Even after an impressive five-figure number of shots, the K80 still shoots as well as on day one
Krieghoff K80 in practice test
The 1983 Krieghoff K80 still does its job without complaint in skeet shooting competitions    

Our K80 gets its second wind after the graceful retirement of its previous owner. Since 1983 it has discharged tens of thousands of shots into the skies, but continues to delight its owner as if it were fresh out-of-the-box. 

The receiver still closes with a satisfying clunk and even the hallmarks of quality remain just as evident and attractive after 30 years of faithful service. It certainly lends credibility to the manufacturer’s claim that quite a few K80s have reached and even passed the 1-million-shot mark.

Krieghoff K80 firing test
Krieghoff K80: The shot load practically pulverizes the skeet.
Krieghoff K80 receiver locks
Krieghoff K80: The receiver locks cleanly and almost adhesively, even after three decades of service. 

The K80 allows the shooter to execute a clean swivel movement, partly due to its hefty mass. After all, the momentum it acquires once in motion seems to carry it forward as if on proverbial tracks. 

But this has pros and cons also, as the mass needs to be shifted quickly, which will not be to everyone’s liking. Shooters who find this model a touch heavy can easily switch to the relatively recent K80 Parcours, which weighing 3.6 kg puts around 300 g less on the scales.

Produced in Germany, it is practically inevitable that this degree of craftsmanship can only come at a price: The K80 is no exception. The entry level model will set you back around €10,000.00. Special features or individual engravings can quickly add a sizeable whack to this figure. But anyone willing to part with this amount of money is certain to be delighted by this premium class shotgun with the label ‘Made in Germany’. Its durability will also ensure that generations to come will have plenty of pleasure as well. The K80 retains its value and can therefore guarantee a high resale value. After all, even well-used K80s sold on the second-hand market will put a substantial dent in anyone’s wallet.


For more information visit the Krieghoff website

The Krieghoff ‘Gun of the Year 2016’ is also a K80 competition shotgun. Click here to read the article on all4shooters.com.

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