Catma 505 NM
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- Last updated: 04/03/2020
I tested the Catma 410 shotgun last time and found a good working and practical 410 over and under for an amazing price. This new Catma 12g over and under, imported by York Guns, is equally good and great value for money. It retails for £455, which is a steal and you get a really solidly built but good handling 12-gauge that shoots decent patterns. Fit and finish is actually good, an overall appearance is that of a well-built sporting gun. If you want to venture into the shotgun world and try it out, either for clays or vermin shooting then a Catma won`t break the bank. Sure, it won’t win any beauty pageant, but it’s surprisingly well-finished and mechanically very well-fitted and has everything you need.
Pretty standard design for a sporting/field gun and Schnabel forend, and nicely raked pistol grip, but the slight cast and comb dimensions give a very good cheek weld to suit me and my son, Jake, with correct eye alignment. The length of pull is a little short at just over 14.0-inches, but then again, I have 15.5-inches on my rifles! But it feels very natural to hold and swings effortlessly.
The chequered panels on the forend are small in comparison to the pistol grip, which by comparison has a good coverage, machine-cut but still offering amble grip to the hands. The soft black rubber recoil pad too offers a reassuring hold, but still allows a speedy shoulder mount without snagging due to its plastic tipped top or leading edge.
The walnut is a bit plain to be honest, standard grade with little figure, but I guess it’s stronger for it and for the price you can`t complain. The finish is a satin lacquer, again not fantastic, as when scratched it really shows up, but not a deal breaker, it’s pretty much weather-proof and you can just wipe off moisture at the end of the day. This Catma is for using, not posing.
It balances very well just ahead of the receiver, and so feels very light, and with 28-inch barrels is quite lively to swing, but recoil is quite manageable even with 32-gram loads.
This is the 28-inch option, with 30-inches available, I prefer a 28-inch for hunting, actually 26 is better for me but then I like to stalk through the undergrowth and tend to use shotguns for rabbits, vermin and squirrels. Here the bluing is the traditional polished and bright blue with a very nice even finish which I actually really like on this Catma, as they could have gone for a matt nonreflective finish, but the bluing lifts the exterior appearance as the action is matt blued.
Internally the 4140 steel barrels have 3-inch chrome lined chambers with a standard forcing cone length, from what I can see, and this 505 NM model is also steel proofed to CIP spec, so good for a wide range of fodder, which is nice to know even if you do not intend ever using steel, its strong enough.
The rib is 6mm, measures a bit bigger I found, with a single serrated edge running cross-wise to stop reflections and the sight is the normal single red dayglo element. It still allows a really good view of a flighting bird or clay.
You also have seven vents of 2-inches with slight inverted front and back edge to give interest, and the mid rib is similarly vented with five vents and then a solid rib to the action face. Lightens the gun and aids in cooling to boot.
The Catma is supplied with five flush fit chokes that are well-made and easily installed and removed with the supplied choke key. All in all, nicely made and presented barrels.
You have an all-steel action which gives a good weight and balance to the Catma 505 and also maintains longevity of the tightness of the action after many thousands of rounds. It’s a plain exterior which I like and suits the 505, as it’s not a showy gun. There is no engraving and you have a satin/matt blued finish that complements the blued polished barrels well. All you have is the name and model number stamped in and a small groove/recess to define the shape of the action profile.
Typical mono bloc bottom locking sliding lock to bite the barrel lumps and it opens easily but still feels very well-made and closes with a nice reassuring precision fit. Something you would not expect on a gun of this price and is better than the 410 version.
Top lever again is just blued and the hammers are set with the barrels opened to their full extent. i.e. each pull of the trigger fires one barrel in turn. Barrel selection is via a Beretta eske selector, left bottom and right top barrel, a bit shallow to move and only moves when the safety is set. This safety is manual and easily moved by contrast.
The alloy trigger guard gives enough room for big fingers and there’s a slim silver or polished quite wide trigger blade. There is a recess in the back of the trigger guard to stop recoil biting the firing hand – a good idea that does work well in use.
I was running a bit low on pattern boards so tested the 505 NM with Gamebore Blue Diamond and Hull Imperial Game load with the ½ choke fitted. Then we just shot a variety of ammunition with differing loads from 21- to 32-grams at clays at GB Shooting.
The Gamebore Blue Diamonds are a really good round, as this 70mm case with high 12mm brass head available in both fibre or plastic wadding and 24- or 28-gram loadings is designed for clay shooting and allows a high volume of shots. You can have No 7.5, 8 or 9 shot size for Sporting, Skeet or Trap. These are what we use for simulated game shoots and with the fibre wadded 24-gram load of No 7.5 shot size we had some decent patterns with even spread and good overall pellet count. Total 218 pellet strike with 71 inner hits and 147 outer hits within 30-inches. Light on the shoulder and easy to take a second shot if necessary, without losing the sight picture too much. Ejection was well timed and very positive.
Hull Imperial Game has always been a good all-rounder for game or pigeon. In the Catma 505 it proved this point, as the smaller 65mm case designed for more classic shotguns still performed superbly. I had the 65mm red cased load with fibre wad and holding a charge of 28-grams No 6 shot, so a nice game, pigeon or rabbit and squirrel load.
At 30-yards with ½ choke it shot a total of 208 total pellets with a good spread of 69 pellets in the inner 15-inch sectors with the remaining 139 No 6 shot pellets in the outer sectors. Mild mannered for a 28-gram load and positive ejection and decent patterns.
I was expecting another runof- the-mill Turkish 12g, but the Catma is a really decent 12-gauge over and under, albeit a bit plain. But it has the best bits in all the right places, i.e. decently made barrels that throw good patterns. A plain stock, but comfortable and a really nice solid and smooth opening and positive ejecting action design.
Expect some more Catma shotguns from York Guns in the future.