Andrew Johnson looks at another Armsan semi and finds a sweet 20-bore that will suits all types of shooter
The influx of Turkish shotguns has been staggering, in terms of quantity, quality and the number of manufacturers. Some are average, others truly excellent, but all that I have seen, represent value for money. However those from Armsan appear to be too good to be true, although having used one of their 28 bores for two years after reviewing it, they are most certainly not. When the opportunity arose to look at their A620S I jumped at the chance as much for personal interest to see how it compared to the high grade wooden stocked 28 I have.
The test gun is a 20-bore, a calibre that has become more popular over the years both for formal driven game as for pigeon and rough shooting. With the advancements in cartridge technology it has become a calibre to be reckoned with and has taken the 12 bore down a peg or two! There are many gamekeepers that now use a 20 as their work gun as suitable ammunition is readily available!
This model is black as are many all-weather semis but when you handle it it’s apparent there’s a type of rubberised coating over the synthetic parts which affords the user a positive grip in all conditions, which is certainly an advantage! There’s impressed chequering on the forend and pistol grip, and as with other Armsans the forend is long which allows the leading hand to be pushed far forward if that is the user’s preference. For those with long arms like me this makes it a comfortable gun to shoot.
The length of pull (LOP) is 14 ¼” but the recoil pad can be unscrewed and any competent gunsmith would be able to extend the stock if desired. For the purposes of testing I added a limb saver, rubber-slip on pad which increased LOP to 15” still slightly too short for me but certainly made the 620 much easier to shoot. Armsan also includes a shorter (11.75”) alternative butt for youngsters and those of smaller stature; clever idea and all included in the price!
This is a standard, 3-shot (2 + 1) Section 2 shotgun using a self-regulating, gas/piston mechanism. Pleasingly it has a 3” chamber, which is a great selling point for those that require a little more oomph in some situations. There are three chokes supplied, improved cylinder, half and full and a fitting key also shims that give a slight addition to length and can alter the cast on the stock. The barrel is described as being 28”, but and this is the real selling point from a working guns point; it can also be 26”.
There is a two inch extension tube which screws into the muzzle to bring it up to 28”. Cleverly this accepts the same chokes so effectively giving two barrel lengths from one tube. Meaning you can use the 620 without the extension tube as a 26” gun. With semis obviously the action adds a considerable amount to the overall length of the gun, in some situations this can be quite a hindrance! So this 26/28” facility is a huge plus, especially when considering the whole package is less than £500. After all imagine what the cost would be of having a 26” barrelled gun and then getting a set of extended chokes made for it, most likely near to the total price of the 620!
For testing I used a wide variety of cartridges with both plastic and fibre wads. The loads varied from 21 to 34-gram semi magnum with shot sizes from 7.5 to 4 depending on what I was shooting. Most of the cartridges were from the RC range but I also used Gamebore, Hull and Eley to keep the British flag flying. The 620 handled them all well with no excessive recoil from the semi magnums and no function problems with the 21-grams either.
This really is a lovely shotgun to use; it handles well and just feels right when in the shoulder to the point of being an extension of yourself. For walking round trapping lines it’s lovely and light, yet with the correct cartridges more than adequate for any quarry encountered. When sat in a hide shooting rooks I shot without the extension tube, which in these confines was an advantage and seemed to make little difference to effective range although I was using #5 cartridges which do pack a punch.
As ever when looking at a shotgun part of the test is to shoot it on one of the simulated days we run, which give me the opportunity to fire over 100-shots in less than ten minutes at a wide variety of clay pigeons and to do so several times in a day.
Shooting at this intensity is a good test of any gun to see what it is capable of and the Armsan held its own very well! I used the 21-gram loads for this and had no stoppages or feeding problems, the long forend is a great advantage for these situations as it prevents the shooter from touching the barrel which does become hot enough to burn yourself easily.
There are only two niggles, but both are fairly minor! Firstly it is not possible to only remove the cartridge from the chamber a complete unload is necessary. Secondly the ejector is so strong it really kicks the empties out a long way, which makes picking up harder. The furthest I found from a shooting stand was nine meters, luckily the undergrowth was low and at least most 20 bore cartridges are yellow so they stand out. Typically the 620 comes with sling swivels and the receiver cut for an 11mm dovetail so you could fit a sight for boar shooting with slug!
All in all this a great gun for any youngster or grownup and at the price represents exceptional value for money and several of my friends had a look and are intending to purchase one when funds and their wives allow. Even our esteemed editor is thoroughly taken by the Armsan 620!
|Capacity||2+1 (Section 2)|
|Barrel||26” with 2” extension tube for 28”|
|Muzzle||bead red fibre optic|
|Stock||synthetic soft touch polymer (black)|
|Contact||Highland Outdoors (nearest dealer) www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates