Over the past few years we have all seen the prices of new guns continuing to increase. But are the guns getting any better? We all want the best value for money that our budget allows and there are many guns that will achieve this. One name that has become very popular over the past few years is an Italian maker called Caesar Guerini and I strongly believe their current shotguns to be fantastic value and a choice that will be money well spent.

I shot a Caesar Guerini some years back and in all honesty I wasn’t overly impressed. But times change, and after using the Caesar Guerini Invictus III Ascent I now have a completely different opinion.

Caesar Guerini started the production of shotguns in 2002 and they say their goal is to produce the very best shotguns possible at a price that makes your purchase a good investment. They are imported by Anglo Italian Arms, who offer a fantastic 10-year mechanical warranty with all their new products, which says a lot about how much they believe in their products.

Caesar Guerini have an impressive range of shotguns to suit all shooters, including ladies and juniors. For this review I chose a gun that appealed to me not only for its great looks but also because it handles incredibly well and is a little bit different from a normal sporting shotgun.

The Ascent

The range of Invictus shotguns is Caesar Guerini’s premium line. There are many models in the range, from the Invictus I, which has a basic silver receiver and a lower-grade wood set, all the way through to the Invictus IX, which has stunning deep engraving on its side plates and beautiful high-grade wood. There are also numerous barrel configurations, including the flat- rib sporter, the raised-rib Ascent and the adjustable-rib Impact.

The gun I am reviewing has the Ascent rib, which I am a massive fan of. The raised rib is very similar to the one on the Blaser F3 Vantage, which I am accustomed to using. It gives the shooter a very comfortable, upright head position that allows a quick and clear target acquisition. I find these raised ribs to be a great advantage with all types of shotgun shooting and would strongly like to emphasise that a raised rib is not just for Trap shooting disciplines. Not only is it a great set up for the points I previously made but for someone like myself who has had a back and shoulder injury, I have found they are so much more comfortable to shoot.

rob speed 1
An adjustable comb can create the perfect fit​​​​​


The Invictus III has a striking engraving pattern unlike most other shotguns on the market. It has deep floral engraving with fantastical creatures. I found that every time I looked at the receiver I would see something different, which I think is a great attribute in a gun you are spending a lot of money on. Let’s face it, you want something nice to look at that puts a smile on your face. The gold inlay on the receiver is eye catching but not too garish. It’s not something I’m normally attracted to, but Caesar Guerini have made it work with this model.

This model incorporates the Invictus System, which is a revolutionary new system that completely changes the way the barrel and action lock together when the gun is closed, making the whole thing stronger.

The locking surfaces are modular on the Invictus models, which creates a gun that is more durable than other traditional over- and-under shotguns. They are fitted with replaceable hinge pins on the barrel that, in symbiosis with the Invictus block, enable easy replacement of the locking system. It includes Caesar Guerini’s latest forend action control system, which allows the user to adjust the eccentric screw in the forend to tighten or ease the tension when opening or closing the gun.

More importantly, the Invictus range is ready for the future of steel shot loads. All models in the range are subjected to high- performance ‘superior steel’ proof and are stamped with the Fleur-de-Lys symbol.

Within the hard case you will find an incredible selection of eight extended chokes, ranging from Skeet to Extra Full.

I think this is great because you can experiment with what chokes work best for you with the cartridge you are using. Chokes are very expensive, so having them there to try without additional financial outlay is a great bonus.

The gun I used was fitted with an adjustable comb on the stock, which I find advantageous as I like a high point of impact. It was very easy to adjust the gun
to my exact preference. Some people don’t like adjustable combs, but a good gun fit is essential if you are to shoot to the best of your ability. In turn this will make you love the gun and shooting with it.

Due to the Invictus range being designed as a clay-busting tool they are quite heavy to help reduce recoil and improve handling. This Invictus III weighed in at 8lb 9oz, which I personally loved because it balanced perfectly on the hinge pin even though it has 32" barrels. The palm swell on the pistol grip fills the hand nicely and the beaver-tail forend sits well on your other hand. Once I had the gun set up I was excited to get out and use it.

Rob Speed 3
A shotgun that looks as good as it shoots

Field test

With the gun adjusted and a light modified choke screwed into the barrel, it was time to get out and try it on some clays. The reason for this choice of chokes was purely due to other Caesar Guerini users telling me that there was no need to over-choke the gun. This was fine with me because I am a great believer in a modified choke.

The gun handled and shot exactly as I had expected, with a very light recoil from the 28g fibre cartridges I was using. It was extremely easy to control on close and distant targets. I can certainly see why the Invictus models are becoming so popular with clay shooters all over the country.

The hits I was achieving were devastating through the light modified and modified chokes, so I didn’t change them. I certainly don’t think that any more choke would be needed on clays, and though I thought that I might need a bit more when heading out for some crows on my next trip, I didn’t. It was the perfect combination.

I found the Ascent rib to be as brilliant as I had expected it to be. I am used to a raised rib, which is probably why, but it was so easy to lock onto each target with a clear focus and a comfortable head position. If you have never tried a raised-rib shotgun, I implore you to do so. I strongly believe it has improved my shooting greatly. They are certainly not suited to everyone’s style of shooting, but if you are struggling to achieve your goals with your current shotgun it wouldn’t hurt to try one.

While out on my first outing with the Invictus III Ascent I made one subtle change. I found that my finger was barely touching the trigger, so as the trigger blade is adjustable I simply moved it back. I will say that the pistol grip on the Invictus models is better suited to shooters with larger hands – or maybe mine are just small!

I took the gun out for a day in the hide and I had some great fun with it. There was a heavy wind and the birds were very challenging, but the Invictus III Ascent made light work of the corvids. The 5.5 shot 32g loads were smooth on recoil and the longer shots were aided by a steady swing due to the extra weight of the sporting shotgun.

I won’t say it would be the best choice of hide gun for most shooters, but what I will say is that if someone is looking for a great investment for all types of shooting it would be a great choice.


I thoroughly enjoyed using the Caesar Guerini Invictus III Ascent and it ticks all the boxes for me. Whereas previously Caesar Guerini shotguns were seen as something that wouldn’t last very long, and the build quality didn’t compare to other well-made Italian shotguns, this is no longer the case.

Caesar Guerini have produced an incredible shotgun that is great to look at, handles well, will supposedly last longer than other traditional over-and-under shotguns and has the future of steel in mind. All new Caesar Guerini guns have fantastic aftercare with Anglo Italian Arms, which will reassure anyone that any mechanical problem will be dealt with promptly.

I imagine most shooters will have this gun for clay shooting, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t make a great gun for pheasant shooting in the game season or pest control in the spring/summer. Pick one up if you ever get the opportunity; the Invictus III is up there with the best.

Rob Speed 2
This is not a cheap gun but it looks considerably more expensive than the asking price

Tech Specs

Make:  Caesar Guerini
Model: Invictus III Ascent
Calibre:  12 gauge
Mechanism:  Over & under
Orientation:  Left handed (Right handed available)
Barrel length: 32" (30" available)
Stock length: 145/8"
Weight: 8lb 9oz
Chamber: 3"
Chokes: Multi
Steel proofed: Yes
Importer: Anglo Italian Arms
Warranty: 10 Years

More information available from Anglo Italian Arms
Telephone: 01564 742477

Price: From £6225