The Milano

The Italian Savage
; .

Savage's Milano 20-gauge shotgun is a well-balanced
and lively upland game gun.

Taking the first dove flying with the first shot fired on the 1st of September with a new 20-gauge O/U was a memorable experience. The second dove was a repeat performance.

Then I started to think about how hot I was on this opening morning and my dove shooting deteriorated forthwith. It’s just like the “Gambler’s” song—“Don’t count your money at the table.” When your shotgunning average is soaring, just fly with it, don’t analyze it.

Anyway, the joyful little wand in my hands on opening day was Savage’s new O/U game gun. Like most of the American firearm companies today, Savage has ventured abroad to bring home an attractive firearm at an attractive price. They’ve found a winner in Italy and appropriately, the new model is named, “Milano.”

The Italians have a gift when it comes to building delightful O/U’s. They simply have an innate flair for making lively, aesthetically pleasing shotguns.


First doves on the 1st of September with the first two shots.
What could be better?

More Than Fair

The new Savage import is made by F.A.I.R. of Marcheno (Brescia), Italy and the Savage Milanos are so marked. The F.A.I.R. acronym stands for Fabbrica Armi Isidoro Rizzini. The Rizzini firm is known not only for its game guns but for its competition models and O/U express rifles as well.

Looking at the Milano, it’s evident F.A.I.R. is a company blending excellent design with the most modern numerically controlled manufacturing processes. The end product is a balanced shotgun with great lines, nice cosmetic touches and close tolerances.

The Milano is offered in 12, 20, 28 gauges and .410. The shotgun frames are proportioned to the individual gauges, giving the guns the much sought after balance and weight distribution between the hands we often describe as “lively.” The balance point of the Milano 20- gauge I was shooting was right under the pivot point of the barrel.


Packed with soft lead shot, promotional
shotshells throw ideal patterns for doves.

Slim And Trim

Frame size matters. How often do we see inexpensive, clunky .410s and 28s built on 20-gauge frames? One of the most interesting examples of framesize-and-gauge combinations is the lively 16-gauge gun built on a 20-gauge frame. It’s common in Europe. Over here, the best-balanced American shellshucker I’ve ever shot is the Model 12 Winchester in 16-gauge, built on the Winchester’s 20-gauge frame. If you come across one, don’t let it slip by.

The proportioned frame of the Milano results in a shallow frame measuring only 2.3″ from the bottom of the frame to the top of the standing breech. The combination of the Milano’s shallow frame and the upswept line of the Schnabel fore-end minimize the distance
from the bore axis to the palm of the leading hand. This all-important hands-to-barrel relationship is exactly the mark of all fine game guns. We call it “pointability.” The Milano points.

Machine engraving? Yes, the Milano is graced with tasteful engraving motifs on the frame, fore-end iron, top lever and triggerguard. The quality of the engraving is so good it looks like handwork. The 20-gauge triggerguard carries a detailed woodcock in flight. Unfortunately, it’s blued so it doesn’t show in the photographs. While not machine engraved, I found the pierced fretwork on the top lever and the jeweled monobloc pleasing touches of class.

Laser cut checkering? Yes, again. The flat-topped diamonds are laid out in an attractive and functional pattern on the Schnabel fore-end and full pistol grip of the plain Turkish walnut stock. Those are some affordable advantages of modern machine tool production
Savage and F.A.I.R. have optimized in the Milano line.


Milano's shallow profile receiver is tastefully machine engraved.
The addition of jewelling to the monobloc is a nice touch, too.

Features Galore

All gauges in the Milano line are equipped with 28″, chrome-lined barrels, fitted to a monobloc. The 28″ length is a good compromise barrel length for a game gun. It’s fast to mount, provides sufficient momentum to your swing and places muzzle blast out there where it should be. The barrels are equipped with elongated forcing cones, automatic ejectors and a ventilated rib with a fiber optic front sight and brass midpost.

The barrel selector is integral to the tang safety. Sliding it to the right fires the lower barrel, left, the upper. The single, selective trigger is mechanically reset by recoil.

Three screw-in chokes tubes are supplied— IC, M and F. They’re chrome plated and carry the familiar 1-to-111- notch identification system. Savage warns no tighter restriction than modified should be used with steel shot, which makes sense, since Modified in lead is Full in steel.

The plain walnut stock has good dimensions for the average American shooter with a length-of-pull of 143⁄8″. Look as I might, I could not discern any degree of cast-off. My test gun was fitted with a solid rubber pad with a beveled heel to facilitate snag-free mounting. The current catalog shows a ventilated pad.

The Savage/Stevens brands have always been loaded with value. The Milano line continues this tradition and I predict it will do very well as the guns get out in the field.

Maker: Fabbrica Armi Isidoro Rizzini
Via 2 Giugno 7/7 Bis
25060 Marcheno, (BS) Italy
Importer: Savage Arms
100 Springdale Road, Westfield, MA 01085
(413) 568-7001,

GAUGE: 12, 20, 28, .410
CHOKE: Interchangeable F, M & IC
SIGHTS: Red fiber optic front with brass midpost
WEIGHT: 61⁄4 pounds
FINISH: Blued barrels, gray receiver
STOCK: Turkish walnut

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