Bruce Potts discovers a bargain semi-auto shotgun in the form of the Armsan S620…
It’s a bit daunting these days looking for a first shotgun or good backup, as there are so many makes and models to choose from and the vast majority are Turkish! There are good and bad in truth but one make that is really worth a good look is the Armsan range. They offer excellent value for money and really are a step ahead of some other Turkish makes!
The model in question is the great little Armsan model A620 semi-auto shotgun that is available in 20- or 28-gauge. I plumped for a 20-gauge version that came as a synthetic stock option and additional junior stock also. For only £437 what’s not to like? Especially when you pick the A620 up for the first time and appreciate its light weight and overall good quality for what is in reality a budget gun.
First up you have two options, one standard length, which has a 14.25-inch length of pull that can also be altered with four possible inserts between the stock and action. If, however, you have a junior shooter interested in a spot of shooting, then a smaller junior stock is included, which changes to give a 12-inch length of pull. It is a black, hollow, injected synthetic stock material that has been further made user, or field, friendly with an overall soft touch finish. This not only makes the Armsan feel a million dollars but is practical too.
The butt section has additional impressed chequering, as does the forend for most of its length, which in itself is thin and long and allows a very good grip and forward stance of the supporting hand and to swing through fast shots. You also get a set of sling swivels, so that you can sling it over the shoulder when you make your way to the hide or across rough terrain.
Barrel, action and chokes
A set of three chokes and key are supplied in a plastic wallet covering ¼, ½ and full choke in 20-gauge. These are long, extended chokes that fit inside the barrel and stick out 2.5-inches from the main barrel. They’re proofed for three-inch chambers and have the fleur de lis proof marks for steel shot.
The barrel is 26-inches long with a slim 7mm vented rib and a single day-glo red element to the muzzle. It also has a very helpful three-inch chamber for running all manner of 20-bore cartridge options.
The action is a gas piston system with large twin ported barrel vents and sliding stainless steel piston ring that seals on firing and engages the operating arms that cycles the bolt system. You also have a dovetail cut into the top of the action for red dot or scope use, so further making the little Armsan more versatile. The bolt has a hard, matt blued finish with a large single claw type extractor, which is particularly brisk and reliable, as the ejector spur really hits those case rims out of the Armsan’s action.
Trigger-wise, it’s what you expect, black, slim and smooth with little creep and anyway you never really notice a trigger on a semi. The safety is your typical cross bolt trigger guard mounted type, which pushed left is fire and red warning ring visible and right blocks the trigger movement. The trigger guard has a nice scallop to it for visual appeal only.
In the field
First up, what a nice, trim, really well-balanced and performing 20-gauge. It digested all the test ammunition without a flaw, except for the subsonics, which is to be expected. The gas system is brisk with none of the delay of some large calibre semi auto shotguns and although the A620 is light, recoil is minimal, so a follow up shot is easily taken.
Standard case size is 65mm or 67.5mm but threeinch magnums cater for larger shot sizes and load weight. Shot weights of 21-grams to 34-grams are available in the 20-gauge, making for a good choice for the shooter for any shooting scenario.
Gamebore Traditional Game
This load is available in 24-gram and 28-gram loads, with shot sizes 6 or 7 for the former and 5, 6 or 7 for the latter. I had the 28-gram No 6 shot load with a fibre wad and 65mm case. Typically £7.85 per 25.
This cartridge is available in an impressive array of loads, all with a 67mm case Light 21-gram loads used primarily for subsonic applications due to its low velocity to 25-28-gram loads are more traditional for game and clays in shot sizes from 5 and 7.5 and velocities hover around the 1350 fps mark. You also have a choice of fibre or plastic wad. I used the Express 67mm Fibre wad with a 25-gram load of No 6 shot. Typically £7.90 per 25.
Lyalvale Supreme Competition
This is a light loaded 20-gauge for noise sensitive areas and silenced shotgun use. It uses a 21-gram shot weight of No 7.5 shot in a 67.5mm case, with a fibre wad and biodegradable obturator. Typically £8.25 per 25.
Fiocchi is available in 24-32- gram loads in 65- and 70mm cases respectively, with velocities of 1400fps. They also make a Magnum 75mm or three-inch with 1415fps; plastic wadded, it has a payload of 35-grams of either 2 or 4 shot sizes. I had the older GFL 20 load with No 6 shot in a 70mmm case and 28-gram weight with a fibre wad. Typically £7.80 per 25.
Other than their heavier 30-32- gram SP loads the VIP Game use a 30mm case, capable of high 1425fps velocity and is available in plastic wad and 28-grams of No 6 shot only or fibre wad and 28-grams or either 5 or 6 shot size. I had the 28-gram No 6 load to test. Typically £8.50 per 25.
Gamebore Super Competition
This is another subsonic load in a 70mm case and heavy 30-gram load with a fibre wad. Available only in No 5 shot, they sell typically for £9.25 per 25.
Remington Nitro Pheasant
The Express is a fast stepping Nitro Pheasant Magnum load with coppered plated 6 shot of 1.25ozs in a three-inch case.It uses a power piston one-piece plastic wad to protect the shot and the copper plated shot is designed for superior denser patterns. Typical £10.25 per 25.
Remington Shurshot Heavy Dove
Remington ShurShot Heavy Dove load of 2¾-inch case and a payload of one-oz of number 6 shot. Again, using a plastic wad, this load is designed to produce heavy hitting well-patterned load. Typically £9.75 per 25.
Designed for subsonic use below the speed or sound for silenced shotguns and also for use in noise sensitive shooting grounds. This is a 65mm case with a light 23-gram load of No.7.5 shot, so clays really, with a fibre wad. Typically £6.65 per 25.
Similar to the above load with a smaller No 7.5 shot and 24- gram load for training grounds and noise sensitive clay areas although still ground for close range silenced use on vermin. Typically £7.40 per 25.
I am a rifleman at heart, certainly, but I have to say if I wanted a first shotgun for my teenagers or as just a damn good do anything shotgun, the Armsan A620 would have to be by first choice. I am struggling to find anything wrong with the A620 for the price, may be no mag cut off but that’s it, a Turkish delight in my book.
|Make||Armsan Silah A. S.|
|Barrel length||26-inches, 28.5-inches with choke|
|Capacity||Two, plus one in chamber|
|Action||Gas operated piston|
|Stock||Black synthetic, soft touch|
|Contact||Highland Outdoors, www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates