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Miroku MK70

Michael Yardley tests the Japanese made Miroku MK70, and finds a first class all-rounder

The Japanese firm of BC Miroku are well known in the UK for their clay and game guns, they also make a lot of guns in the Browning range (such as the 525). Many have begun their serious shooting careers with a Miroku, I certainly did (see below).

The MK 70 gun examined here is ostensibly a game gun, but might also be used for sporting clays or skeet. It weighs in at about 7 pounds. A useful weight - not too light or heavy - which means it could be put to just about any shooting use. This gun is made even more versatile by its multi-choked 30" barrels (there is a 28" option, not to mention the similar, but fixed-choke, MK 60 also available in 28 and 30" guises).

Miroku guns are renowned for their consistent quality and value. They are not 'second-class' Brownings (though they began as flagrant copies - copies so good that Browning came to an arrangement with Miroku to make guns for them a generation ago). Mirokus have their own character and following. The MK38 32" for example is one of the best competition guns on the market regardless of cost and has been chosen by many top competitors.

I began my serious shooting life with a 28" double trigger Miroku over and under - it cost me a Victorian and Edwardian stamp collection, now worth tens of thousands, but it also introduced me to a sport that has been my life long passion. I also bought Miroku trap and skeet guns soon after. My first go at a DTL was with a Miroku - I scored 16 out of 25 at the Detling gun club at the age of fifteen.

First impressions

The test gun looks smart with its neatly engraved silver action, although the engraving is a little thinner than my preference - and I am not quite sure about the US style game scenes with pointers. The details of finish are excellent, though. Good wood to metal fit, neat machining, solid build quality - just my sort of shooting iron. 

Bringing the gun to the shoulder does not dispel the positive first impressions. The balance is a little front heavy, but the 6mm rib is well finished and presents a good picture to the eye. The gun feels good in the hands. The stock shapes are excellent with a first class pistol grip and a classic schnabel forend. This gun may not be expensive, but it is very well designed. Moreover, it is an evolved design where nearly all the details are right.

O.K., this is a good, well made gun, and it is offered at a reasonable price, but how does it compare with the opposition? I would say that the MK70, frankly, would stand in any company with regard to both its mechanical specification and its stocking. The engraving lets it down marginally on the aesthetic front - my preference would have been for a plain black action or a bit of scroll, but the market may not share that opinion.

The MK70 cuts the mustard in all departments, though. There are quite a few guns in this price bracket today, some of them strike me as rather poor value for money when compared to such a solid, well finished, and well proven product like this. Let's get the magnifying glass out and focus on some its components in more detail.

Test bench

The barrels bear Belgian proof marks for 2 3/4" (70mm) and 3" (76mm) shells. Forcing cones are short as Browning and Miroku have always preferred. The bores are quite tight too at 18.4mm top and bottom. If I was making guns, 18.6 would be my standard size because I find the wider bored guns seem to kick less. The interchangeable chokes are of the older, shorter style and if I bought the gun I would replace them with extended chokes with knurled extensions for convenience - they are so much easier when it comes to routine cleaning.

The barrels on the test gun are built on the monobloc system - as are all modern Miroku and Japanese made Brownings - but the jointing is invisible. This is most impressive. They are also quite light for length - a useful quality in a game gun or hybrid game-clay gun. They are equipped with solid side ribs. The sighting rib is ventilated. At the risk of sounding like a cracked record, let me note once again my preference for a solid rib on a game gun. Solid ribs just do not get as dented as easily in the field - this is especially true of narrow ribs. You can just about guarantee a 6mm rib will get dented eventually (although this one, notably, has bridges that are quite closely spaced).

Workmanship on the barrels is generally good. Internal and external presentation is impressive as one expects from Miroku. My only criticism barrel-wise, and it is a rare one for this brand, concerns the cutting of the recesses for the cartridge rims. It is not quite up to the usual standard, with evidence of some tool 'chatter' at the chamber mouths. Otherwise the barrels are very well put together. They are well polished and deeply blacked. 

The action of MK70 is the usual John Moses inspired Japanese version of the Superposed. The Miroku is a modification of the B25 without the attached forend of the latter gun and there are certain subtle mechanical differences too (the trigger for example has changed significantly over the years). Like the B25, there is a full width hinge pin and a wide, flat, bolt that comes out at the bottom of the breech face to mate with the equally wide slot bite beneath the bottom chamber mouth. Coil springs are employed to power the tumblers (early Mirokus, like early Beretta, used leaf springs).

The well shaped, plain steel trigger is inertia operated. One of the great strengths of the Miroku design is this mechanism's reliability - one of the best in the business. I am also very fond of the Miroku Browning style combined safety and barrel selector - one of the most practical to use. [That said, I still prefer double triggers on a game gun for instant, fumble-free, choke selection - not that double triggers are available on many mass made over & unders these days.]

Woodwork

The stock design on this gun is first class. The grip and comb shape are near ideal. It has taken Italian makers decades to move towards the sort of excellent shapes that Miroku have been making for years. The grip is excellent, offering plenty of purchase enhanced by quite coarse but well executed chequering. The great thing about it is that is locates the hand comfortably and positively. The depth of the grip is fairly even and there is no tendency for the hand to move forward in recoil. The forend is neither slim nor thick. Of its type, it is classic.

The stock is 14 3/4" long - ideal as a standard measurement - with a smidgen of right-handed cast (Miroku, like Browning, rarely put much cast on their guns). The drop measurements are 1 7/16" and 2 3/16". All this is very mainstream and sensible. The stock has a concave butt plate - which I prefer to a flat design - and there is a quite prominent toe which may be a little sharp for some users; any ladies buying an MK 70 would be well advised to round it off.

Shooting Impressions

The MK 70 shot well with quarter and full choke fitted. The latter constriction was a bit more than required, but I forgot to bring the other chokes to Braintree for the testing session!

You can rely on Miroku guns to shoot consistently and to keep on doing so for years to come. Felt recoil was a bit higher than average (and might have been improved with wider bores in my opinion). Muzzle control, however, was very good thanks to the excellent grip shapes. By any standard, this is an excellent gun offering especially good value for money and the prospect of many years of reliable service. I look at these Mirokus and compare them to some other guns which offer higher margins but which may not, in fact, offer any real-world advantage. You would not be disappointed if you bought one. It is the ideal gun for the person who does a bit (or, indeed, a lot) of game and pigeon shooting, but also enjoys a day or two at clays. This is a tough, well-made, gun. You could use it for just about anything.

My thanks to Andy Norris of BWM Ltd for his help with this test, and to Lyalvale (Express) and Braintree Shooting Ground.

Technical Specifications
Model Miroku MK70
Bore 12
Barrels 30" on test (28" is also an option)
Chambers 3" (76mm)
Action type B25 derivative
Rib 6mm ventilated
Chokes Multi
Weight 7 pounds approx.
RRP just under £1,000

All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates

Distributer information
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User Comments
  • Quite new to shooting mostly clays but a few game days and some pigeon shooting as well. I purchased my mk70 game 28" after looking at a lot of guns in the £750-£1500 bracket and i felt it was the best value gun and also so it felt perfect the first time i put it up to the shoulder. I have had it just over a year put about 2500 cartridges through it and it still quite tight and love using it and the most important thing is that my shooting has improved ten fold since I have had it. My advice to any body thing of a gun in this price range this is the one to go for.

    Comment by: Graham Worboys     Posted on: 10 Feb 2009 at 10:09 PM

  • Glad that you are enjoying using the MK70. Without a doubt Miroku guns are reliable and value for money, in fact I can't remember having heard any negative feedback on them.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 11 Feb 2009 at 09:53 AM

  • I bought my s/h 30" MK70 Gr.1 a year ago. It has been used exclusively for sporting and skeet.

    It is much heavier than the 7lbs approx. quoted in the above report, I make mine nearer 8 1/4 lbs. For clays I have not found this a problem. Might be more of a issue for game, but as I use an O/U 20 for game, not a worry to me .

    I have had several 12 gauge guns and feel the MK70 is one of the best in shooting terms and the best value for money. It is well built I have every confidence it will last for years with little attention.

    3 June 2009

    Comment by: Graham Mabbitt     Posted on: 03 Jun 2009 at 07:34 PM

  • I bought a good condition 2nd hand Mk 70 just about a year ago and am delighted with just about every aspect - especially the value for money.

    I particularly like the standard stock having a very thin butt plate as standard. I am tall and have my stock built up to 15 3/4 inch so an all wood 14 1/2 starting length means the finished pad is still reasonably proportioned. Highly recomended.

    Comment by: Steve Tindale     Posted on: 20 Jun 2009 at 02:37 PM

  • I have just bought my miroku mk70 30 inch barrel version however have not used it yet. All i can say that when i lifted the gun to my shoulder for the first time it just felt right. looks good and feels strongly made. Hope to get a day off from work soon to firstly give it a go at the clays before trying at pheasants or any other live quarry.

    Comment by: Peter Hogg     Posted on: 30 Nov 2009 at 08:23 PM

  • I started shooting clays with a mk70 sporter 4 years ago, traded it for a blaser f3 then traded that for a cynergy 30".
    The mk70 was the best of the bunch, my shooting went downhill as soon as i traded up to supposedly more advanced guns. The blaser just wasnt right even though the trigger pull was superb. The cynergy was an awful gun, very barrel heavy with an uncomfortable fore-end design.
    The mk70 stock design & pistol grip suited me to perfection. The only reason I changed it was because I found it recoiled quite sharply (not overbored) after 150 clays or so. I should have had a recoil pad fitted & bought some decent chokes.
    I am now going to buy an mk38 teague sporter. Spending more money doesnt guarentee a better gun, expensive lesson learnt.

    Comment by: Rob     Posted on: 15 Jan 2010 at 04:45 PM

  • Although i purchased a MK70 28" last Christmas for my 16 year old son. I have waited until now before giving this small appraisal.As this was to be his first shotgun we decided to go down the route of a decent quality new gun rather than a second hand model.Firstly the gun was a really good fit straight out of the box ,some thing that many people have semingly found with all Miroku's. As he is new to shooting both handling and ease of use were importan,t the MK70 shines through on both counts.I reckon hes put around 2500 cartridges through it up to now without any issues whatsoever ,it performs brilliantly at both skeet and sporting.
    I really cant praise the MK70 enough as a first gun or one for thre more experienced shooter it fulfills all your needs and then some.The value for money this gun represents is as good as it gets. 10/10

    Comment by: Gerry Noble     Posted on: 09 Jul 2010 at 09:29 PM

  • Can anyone tell me about a shotgun i own. It is a double barrel 12 ga, WesterField, made by miroku , model 325EMJ.


    Comment by: Donald Newby     Posted on: 10 Feb 2014 at 01:05 AM

  • Can anyone tell me about a shot gun I own ? stevens, savage arms 4/10 shot gun made in Westfield , Mass model 940E

    Comment by: Donald Newby     Posted on: 10 Feb 2014 at 01:09 AM

  • Stevens Mod.940 .410 shotgun was made by Savage Arms in Westfield Mass. could have been made from 1930s up to 1983.

    Comment by: Pat Farey     Posted on: 13 Feb 2014 at 05:23 PM

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