Midland Gun Co Demon semi-auto
Mark Stone checks out the reincarnated Demon semi-auto from the new Midland Gun Co and discovers some real Turkish delight
Older shooters may well remember the Midland Gun Company whilst others may have owned or still own a Parker – Hale, the company that bought them out. One of the great Birmingham makers, just like certain other new-old names, the Midland Gun Company is back in business. This time however the guns are made by Kral in Turkey, the Demon name just denotes the model, nothing to do with the long demolished Demon Gun Works of 81, Bath Street.
The new Midland Gun Company is more than willing to answer any and all questions regarding the range’s manufacturing whilst the new owners make no claims about any form of lineage or any other type of tenuous links with the original company. By regenerating the name, the aim is to provide customers with the type of products that went before; quality shotguns that are of good quality and offer excellent value for money… And if the Demon semi-auto seen here is anything to go by, Colin Jones and his Midland team are well on their way to succeeding.
As soon as you open the semi-soft case (that comes as part of the deal), you’ll be stunned by the stock’s walnut. Billed as Grade 5 the superbly grained timber’s quality is standard to the entire range. Oil finished, I’ve seen guns costing three times the price with furniture that can’t hold a candle to the woodwork on this self-regulating gasser. The forend is well sized, long and rounded whilst the stock provides a pull of 14½” and a drop at comb and heel of 1 5/8” and 2 3/16”, with a vented recoil pad finishing off the butt.
The machine-cut checkering is precise, soft and decorative whilst the fit to the receiver is as exacting as you could ask for. With only the slightest hint of right hand cast bias; the Demon semi should suit shooters of either shoulder, something that is certain to increase its appeal. If there was a negative it was the narrowness of the semi pistol grip around the stock head. If you’ve got large hands, it doesn’t quite fill the palm sufficiently.
The dovetailed gloss black appearance of the receiver is broken up only by the white script that runs along the right hand side, along with the chromed bolt release, loading gate, fixed trigger blade and cross bolt safety. Remarkably Italian in looks, it’s safe to say that this semi’s reliability has already been built in. For further proof of the design’s source take a look at the detente button situated to the rear of the loading gate, just where the shell lifter hinges.
At 28” the shiny black barrel extends another 3/8” with the fitment of one of the Demon’s full set of multi chokes. Capped off with a high – visibility red bead, atop a neatly slotted and cross cut 7mm vented rib, the tube is well struck whilst the black choke tubes blend in nicely. Combine this with the black receiver and walnut furniture and it gives this Demon a true sporting appearance. With a 3” chamber, the capacity is the mandatory 2 + 1 so making this a Sect 2 shotgun. It is worth noting though that although the forend and magazine cap fit extremely well, the cap did tend to loosen off when shooting.
The first time I used the gun was on a local ‘straw baler’ comp where only fibre wad cartridges were allowed. This naturally meant that the Midland was loaded up with Express World Cup, a round it seemed to positively thrive on. Fitted with the ½ choke, the kills were clean whilst the gun’s 7lbs 2oz weight seemed nigh on non-existent during the mount and swing.
The Demon comes up and locates well into the shoulder all the while proving that my initial impressions of a quick 12-bore over a whole cross section of Sporting targets were well founded. Mechanically the action was very reliable with clean cycling of live rounds and empty cases. The rather heavy trigger pull of 9lbs isn’t especially detrimental although it could do with lightening up somewhat.
Moving onto Coniston SG’s Compact and ESP layouts, this time using Express 6 ½ Supreme Competition plaswads. Once again the Demon was on the mark, the ½ choke again revealing itself as the near perfect all round muzzle restriction for this semi-auto, with only longer range targets requiring anything slightly tighter.
If Midland’s Demon semi automatic is anything to go by then shotgunners are in for a treat and it looks like this great old name is in safe hands for the future. Like the original no frills models, it’s the quality and simplicity of this gun that provides the appeal initial owners have found so attractive. For me this Demon’s a sure fire winner on looks alone.
• You’ll never see walnut like this on any other semi - auto
• A well priced package with a full 3 year guarantee
• Working shotgunners will take to this new gun with enthusiasm
|Name||Midland Gun Company Demon|
|Capacity||2 + 1 (Sect 2)|
|Barrel||28”, 3” chamber|
|Weight||7lbs 2 oz|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates