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- Last updated: 27/09/2017
If there’s one shotgun that’s made Yildiz famous, it’s their 410.
These diminutive shotguns give UK importer Entwistle Guns sleepless nights, as they ponder as to how they can keep up with demand. So popular are Yildiz 410s, that it could be a safe bet that nearly every shooter could potentially have one secreted away in their cabinets. Similarly, it’s not just the 410s, Yildiz producing a range of shotguns that are of a more than decent quality at a price that makes them extremely attractive to shooters of all types and abilities. However, the new Pro adds a new dimension to the Yildiz range in price, purpose and style.
Presented in a black plastic travelling case, with velvet slips for the action and stock along with barrels and forend, there’s also a small case containing a full set of flush-fit choke tubes; even before you assemble the Pro you’re thrown into optical confusion. Apart from the Yildiz name engraved on the lower edge of the Boss-style boxlock action, the Pro is visually at least a Perazzi. And it’s not just a case of it bears a resemblance, everything about the Pro is identical to its more famous Italian counterpart. Hence ‘it is but it isn’t’ but if you’ve always wanted to own a Boss-actioned shotgun but could never afford one, well, now’s your chance. Let’s face it, the Boss action is tried and tested and still rates as one of the best of its type, the reason Boss themselves still stand by it and the motivation behind various other makes employing it for their top models. If it wasn’t any good, Perazzi wouldn’t be what they are, some of the best in the world.
As might be expected from a Turkish shotgun maker, the semi-oiled walnut is rather nice. The stock is well-grained and of a good, Sporter style size, the soft rubber recoil pad effective and carefully fitted. Equally, with next to no palm swell to speak of, the neatly chequered grip is of a diameter and radius that should comfortably fit most hand sizes, to a degree that whilst the overall gentle cast means that left handers should actually be able to shoot the Pro without too much trouble. Move forward and the rounded, once again neatly chequered London-style forend adds elegance and ease of use. Held in place by an Anson latch, the style and size promotes fluid yet secure handling. The fit of the furniture is also noteworthy, in so much as care has been taken during assembly, the stock head perfectly mated to the action, the forend and irons neat in execution.
Fitted with the 28-inch barrels, with 30-inches available, the 3-inch chambered monobloc barrels are semi-gloss black finished. A 7mm vented top rib and orange bead are located on the top barrel, whilst a solid mid-rib indicates that the Pro is intended as much as a game gun, as it is a clay breaker. Move to the action and even down to the extended scallops or cheeks, you’re looking at a Perazzi. Finished in a satin black to compliment the barrels, the top tang, offset top-lever and broad, manual safety all carrying on the non-reflective theme; only the wide, polished black trigger guard and silvered, non-adjustable trigger blade add any form of brightness.
The unusual aspect would seem to emanate from the action’s satin surface. Around the shoulders, where the barrels and action come together, the finish shows very gentle wear. As to whether this is a form of antique, ‘used’ effect Yildiz has gone for, or the blacking needs to be intensified around these areas I couldn’t say. Whichever it is, it does add a slightly unusual effect to a brand-new shotgun.
In the hands, the Pro feels purposeful. Overall length is 45¼-inches, with an overall weight of 8lbs 4oz and a balance point ¼-inch in front of the hinges.
Length of pull is 14½-inches, whilst the trigger break of 5lbs 1oz is light, incredibly predictable and a pleasure to shoot with and far superior to many more expensive 12-bores. But looks alone don’t make for a shotgun that shoots and given the Yildiz reputation, look-a-like or not, the Pro still had to prove its worth!
Loaded up with 28g Cheddite Universal Trap ammo and Malmo Gun’s private layout at my disposal, the Pro was given its time in the limelight. Opening and closing easily, with a wide gape and strong, well-timed ejectors, the Pro feels usable. With a pair of Malmo’s clays flying in opposing directions, the Pro made short work of them, the patterning even, distributed from the ½ and ¼ chokes as fitted by the factory.
The gun mounts very nicely, balances and moves as per the shooter’s request. The trigger really is an absolute pleasure, whilst the offset of the short top lever means the Pro is opened, unloaded and recharged for the next pair birds in a matter of seconds. All the while the angles, stock head dimensions, stock size and butt pad mean that the sensation of recoil, even with more lively loads, is kept to a minimum. But the question still remains, does it feel or shoot like the shotgun it looks like? The answer is no!
The Pro feels right and shoots extremely well, to a degree that it transcends other Turkish makers who claim they make their country’s best. There’s no stiffness or clang when you open and close it, there’s none of the occasional grittiness about the action of trigger or any of the other minor niggles that beset many similar 12-bores. It positively eliminates clay pigeons, whilst the attitude in the shooter’s hands is of a shotgun that is alive and ready for anything. No, it doesn’t have the feel, persona or sensation of a Perazzi but I’d be surprised if it did. Instead the Pro is a 12g I’d take anywhere, fully confident that neither of us would let the other one down.
Now for what could possibly be described as the Pro’s sticking point. Whether you opt for the 28- or 30-inch barrels, or the adjustable stock Pro Trap version, at the time of writing they all cost an identical £2250. For what you’re getting, the price isn’t too bad but the question is would you spend over two grand on a Yildiz. Granted, there are plenty of Turkish shotguns out there that cost considerably more but they tend to be badged as something else. Yes, Yildiz’s Pro feels, shoots and handles far better than many similar shotguns and superior to certain of the budget Italian offerings. So, the answer is try a Pro for yourself but don’t be fooled, it might look like another far more expensive and desirable make and model, but….no it isn’t!
With thanks to Malmo Guns for making their private clay shoot available and for supplying the 28g Cheddite Universal Trap cartridges.
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