Yildiz SPZ ME
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- Last updated: 23/07/2019
Yildiz has recently transferred distributorship to Raytrade Ltd. and the full range of 12-, 20-, 28- or 410-gauges are held in stock in a variety of over/under, side by side, single or semi automatic configurations. Yildiz are very good value shotguns from Turkey and have always been held in high regard in this country for quality and reliability.
Turkey, the origin of the Yildiz, is famed for excellent quality walnut and, even on value for money guns, you often find nice pieces. This SPZ ME walnut grade was within the price range, good, strong straight-grained walnut with a nice deep dark colour and some figuring and a nice traditional oil finish.
The proportions are in keeping with the 20-gauge cartridge size, but handling is not affected; in fact, quite the reverse, lightness speeds up the flow and lessens fatigue. The length of pull is a good 14.25-inches (13-inch junior available at no extra cost) and has a slim, black rubber recoil pad at the rear, with a slightly rounded top and it does not snag on clothing at all when mounted. There is a small amount of cast and the low comb height naturally allows the cheek to ‘weld’ nicely to the stock, so important for correct swing and sighting.
The forend is narrow at 1.5-inches width and 10-inches long but again with the straight sided walls and generous chequering panels gives a good hold. The small Schnabel tip has quite a pronounced ‘beak’ and I found it good to rest the fore finger of the supporting hand, so that you knew you had the same hold each time for consistent swing. Inset into the bottom is the type lever type catch, finished in anodised silver to allow the barrels to be removed from the action.
This model wore the 28-inch monobloc type barrel system, although 26- and 30-inch multi choked versions are available; 26-inch sounds useful. It is a multi-choked barrel arrangement, supplied with 5 chokes of 1.75-inch length and I had fitted the cyl and ¼ choke, top barrel for testing.
Overall finish of the barrels is that of a satin black bluing colour, a good overall finish and practical and proportioned to the 20-gauge case size.
You have a top and mid rib, both ventilated by even profiled vents of 1-inch length. The top rib had 12 and the mid rib 9 to just under the forend wood, then completely free vented to the receiver thereafter. The top rib was 7mm wide in game style with a semi turned, serrated edge and single gold bead at the muzzle end for sighting. You have short forcing cones to the chamber and the large ejectors handled all the cartridges tested reliably. The chambers are 3-inch or 76mm magnum, so can use any of the typical 20-gauge cartridges on offer, even the steel variety, as they are steel shot proofed with the Fleur de Lis proof mark.
The monobloc design sees the barrel’s lumps engage around the front action pivot, to swivel and open the action and rear set to engage the locking bar that slides forward when the action is closed, ensuring that the barrels are tightly held down, back and in place.
The action, in keeping with the lightweight game and 20-gauge nature of the SPZ Yildiz, is made from 7075 grade aluminium to save weight but all the stress and wear areas have steel inserts, i.e. pins, pivots locking bar and action face for firing pins. This is held in place and can be replaced if necessary.
It is finished in that satin silver look and then machine engraved with radiating patterns around the pivot pins, etched scrolls around the top lever and then slight engraving to both sides and bottom. The right and left side have a flighting duck and the bottom a pigeon come dove in full flight. They add appeal without looking gaudy.
The top lever is the hold open type, which stays to the right with the barrels opened and down and the small serrated lever has a nice new and solid feel to it and the whole action does open and close very snuggly.
The safety is automatically activated as the top lever is opened and this sets the strikers too. A small green ‘S’ indicates safe and barrel selection is made on the smooth (except for a small raised serrated button) safety by pushing left or right, as usual. The strikers are not inertia type and fire on each pull of the trigger.
The trigger itself is smooth, narrow and has a small amount of play or first pull, before engagement but it is not noticed when firing. The trigger guard has enough room in front of the blade for a gloved hand, without looking overly bulbous, like some shotguns I have tested.
The ¼ choke top barrel was used for testing and, I have to say, proved really good for overall performance and pattern density. Other than some stiff 28-gram loads, the little Yildiz felt very reassured in the shoulder and, the rib and eye lined up really well. I choose some game loads and one light target load.
First up were the Hull Pro Twenties my son uses all the time for clay and vermin shooting. It’s a light load of 24-grams of No. 7.5 shot but everything seems to fall out of the sky nicely. The same was true with the Yildiz, we had a total of 185 pellets on the pattern boards distributed with 47 central hits within 15-inches and then evenly spread outside to 30-inches another 138 pellets all at 30-yards distance.
A very mild but evenly spread and good all round twenty-gauge cartridge this one and very light recoil too, always a bonus.
Second up were the more pokey Hull High Pheasants with a loading of 28-grams of No. 5 shot. This time, with the ¼ choke again, we had a total of 146 pellet strikes with 41 inner and 105 outer hits with the larger shot size. The pellets hit centrally and then spread very uniformly outwards; so, great for sitting rabbits or rats and flying and crossing birds.
Finally, the Eley VIP cartridge, with its load of 28-grams of No. 6 shot, showed very uniform patterns and achieved 156 pellet hits on the boards. Again, lovely patterns from the ¼ choke with 49 inner hits and 107 outer strikes, great density and again low recoil; a good all-rounder for game, this one.
The Yildiz was tight, ejected very well, patterned even better and handled like a slim 20-gauge should do, a very nice gun indeed!
Yildiz have always had a strong ethic for good quality at a reasonable price point and, more importantly, are manufactured at a consistent quality. This keeps longevity and more reliability in its lifetime and, what turns out to be a first purchase shotgun, often stays as the one gun in the family or at least passed to the younger shooter in turn. The SPZ ME, especially in 20-gauge, is a very nice handling and patterning gun that is certainly fit for purpose.
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