Kofs Sceptre SXE
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- Last updated: 20/09/2018
Kofs is a relatively new name to emerge from that ever-increasing deluge of Turkish guns to hit these shores; but boy, have they made a big impression! So much so, that I know gunsmiths that sold out instantly as soon as they stocked them on the selves. There is good reason for this, as the Kofs brands represent very good value for money, like any Turkish gun, but these really are good value.
The Sceptre range is available in 12-, 20-, 28-gauge and .410 and also with a choice of 28- or 30-inch barrels and interestingly at all the same price, £499 or £599 for an ejector model, as here. They are also available as left handers too. I picked the 28-gauge ejector SXE model, as 28g and .410 are my favourite calibres and I have a lot of ammunition types of each to test.
This is an all alloy construction for both strength and lightness, with the necessary inset steel inserts on the bearing surfaces, i.e. around the pining pins on the back face as a long oval plate. It’s the standard monobloc construction and locks with a full lower bite into the lumps. The overall finish is a satin silver that is very ornately machine engraved. The temptation is to over engrave these days and the Sceptre has good coverage with the usual scroll and acanthus leaves to the side faces and base but leaving the borders and the top tang plain. This looks nice and actually for a cheap gun is really well executed. The top lever itself is plain, no chequering and is blackened for contrast. The safety is automatic as the top lever is opened and the raised safety lever has shallow chequering and indicates bottom barrel in the right position and top to the left. The nonauto safety is £100 cheaper.
The trigger is stiff but soon loosened up after the testing but still had a 7.25lbs pull weight, no concern on a shotgun unlike a rifle. The trigger guard is aluminium like the rest of the action and blacked like the top lever. It all looks like there has been a lot of thought put into the design process and not just to knock out another cheapie.
Available in 28- or 30-inch barrel lengths, I had the 30-inch model, although having shot a few 28-gauges now I quite fancy a 26-incher with open chokes for wood/vermin work. Like all 28-gauges, they are 2¾-inch chambers and have a hardened chrome-lined bore with flush fit chokes at the muzzle.
They come with five chokes, so all clays and game are covered. Being 28-gauge, they have a petite profile, which is very pleasing to the eye, as too is the satin black finish. Smart and highly practical, at least for me whilst hunting.
The mid rib is well-fitted and ventilated with seven vents and then solid under the forend to the action, whilst the top rib is 7mm wide, with a serrated finish and has a gold bead up front for sighting.
The ejectors are well formed and activated via the sprung lower bars in the action frame and are a bit slow but no worries.
Turkish guns always have nice walnut stocks, both in quality or figure, as well as being correctly finished. This model had rather plain walnut but with good strength through the pistol grip and flowing grain that accented the overall mid brown colour. A rubbed oiled finish is good and practical too for a bit of repair if scratched out in the woods
The large, solid black recoil pad negates what little recoil there was, but its tactile nature did snag a little when shouldered.
The forend is correctly profiled for the smaller gauges and has two large chequered panels to the side and Schnabel forend, they are both nice looking and stops the leading hand slipping forward. It is removed via a small inset catch that is first pushed in and then lifted to release the forend from the barrel catch. Similarly, the pistol grip area is not too slim and has no palm swell, so fits a variety of hand sizes and has a good long rake that helps with good handling. There is cast to the right and this puts the eye directly down the barrel/rib.
The Sceptre is delightfully lightweight at 6.25lbs and literally leaps up into the shoulder. Ordinarily, lightness means stiff recoil but both the stock design and 28-gauge quell this to a mild shove at the shoulder. The Kofs handles extremely well with a good natural swing, and as said earlier, the eye is right down that rib. I am not keen on auto safeties but soon got over that when I saw the pattern boards. I fitted a ½ and full choke and shot the boards with the ½ choke.
First up were the really good Hull High Pheasant load in 7 shot size and 2¾-inch or 70mm case length and holds 23-grams with a fibre wadding system. On the pattern boards at 30-yards I had 72 pellets in the inner circle and well spread and 131 pellets in the outer for 203 total for the No. 7 shot. There were no holes and a good overall spread of shot.
Next up were the E J Churchill Hell Fire Game, which are expensive but with good reason, as they use fibre or wool wadding with both having copper plated lead shot to increase range and lessen deformation. These are 70mm cases with a 15mm high brass head and I had the wool load is 27-grams No. 5 shot, which at 30-yards achieved a total of 161 pellets on the board. 86 pellets struck the outer sector and a healthy 75 hit the central 15-inches. This was a very impressive cartridge in the Kofs but at £541 per thousand, that would nearly buy the Kofs out right!
The Eley Grand Prix 16- gram load is available in fibre and a 67mm case length and No. 6 shot, which is very light and a good close-range woods cartridge or woodcock. At 30-yards a total of 135 pellets on target with 79 No. 6 shot size pellets around the outer portion of the 30-inch circle and to the centre were 56 pellets. Very light recoiling and low noise. Finally, the Fiocchi F28 round uses a 2¾-inch plastic case and plastic wad and is a cost-effective and good allround 28-gauge cartridge. The 24 grams of No. 7.5 shot for this round on the boards at 30-yards and the ½ Choke shot pellets in the inner 15- inch circle containing 77 pellets and the outer 30-inch had 190 pellets for a total of 267 hits.
Everyone I had spoken too about the Kofs range of shotguns have been impressed. For the money, it is hard to find fault really, a long-term test may find fault, but I doubt it. A great price for any calibre and especially in the smaller gauges the 28g or 410 would make a superb vermin tool, not only for the smaller framed but seasoned shooters too. Buy one, they are going fast!
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