Yildiz Professional Magnum 20 bore semi-auto
- 14 Comments
- Last updated: 15/12/2016
Yes I know, another Turkish built semi-auto. But as times get harder the Turkish offerings get even more attractive and it’s not just because of the price… as the quality, build and balance of all of them improves as each day passes.
This Yildiz Professional Magnum 20 bore is a new model – well that’s rather an understatement, as the one seen here on test is number five off the production line! The importers are Entwistle Guns of Preston and they already have its immediate siblings ready and waiting for their new owners.
An Established Gunmaker
Yildiz are one of the oldest Turkish manufacturers in the business. Where they tend to differ from the rest is that old or new, the designs are as traditional as it gets, bells and whistles being left for the others to build into their models. Quite right to, simplicity meaning that there’s next to nothing to go wrong. All of the Yildiz range are well known for their robust, no nonsense qualities which in turn reflect in their affordability; this excellent little 20 bore setting you back no more than £550. And before you dismiss it as some form of cheap gasser, read on; it won’t take you long before you’ll be heading north-west to get one for yourself.
Short & Sweet
Open the box and its all there, a decent looking 20 bore semi-auto, a full set of flush fit multi-chokes and a decent sized choke key that you can actually get a grip of. The first aspect of the Pro Mag you’re struck with is that for what you’ve spent the gun looks far better than you’d imagine, and once you’ve assembled it the feel is remarkably different. The semi-oiled walnut sporter style stock is full sized with a matching rounded, decently proportioned forend. The small panels of machined chequering are well defined yet unlike many others, comfortable to wrap a bare hand around. The grip is nicely radiused and gently angled with no discernible palm–swell and whilst the cast is for that of a right-hander, a left-hooker could more than possibly get on with this sub-gauge gun’s configuration. A soft, curved recoil pad completes the stock’s looks whilst a full sized, surprisingly long threaded mag cap and integral ratchet holds the forend and the gun as a whole safely together.
There used to be a time (and there still is to a degree) when game gun barrels were less than twenty-eight inches in length, this little gun’s single tube measuring an exact 27’. So if you’ve never tried a shotgun with this length of barrel here’s your chance to find out why it used to find such favour, this anodised tube complete with a 6mm cross-cut vented rib an ideal ambassador as to why. Culminating in a 3’ chamber with a substantial barrel extension and deep ejection cut-out, apart from the fact you need to remember that to insert this protrusion and barrel into the alloy receiver you need the single-claw bolt in the battery position. Once done, by easing the bolt rearwards whilst continuing to feed the barrel into receiver, a final push sees the two parts then become one, the forend and mag cap attaching in the usual fashion.
The receiver itself continues the anodised finish, the semi-matte surface broken up by a fine white pinstripe along with the gun’s title and the only place you’ll actually find obvious visual reference to Yildiz apart from the minute script atop the chamber. Interestingly, like many other semis from this part of the world, the top of the receiver is dovetailed to allow fitment of a red- dot sight or similar, hinting at the multi-faceted uses this gun will have in its homeland and surrounding areas.
The bolt release sits in the usual position just below the ejection port whilst the bolt lock is a small pip that protrudes where the trigger-guard ends and the loading gate begins and is more or less diagonally opposite to the cross-bolt safety that sits just to the rear of the fixed trigger-blade. Not the most convenient if only because of its diminutive size, once you’ve become accustomed to activating the bolt lock with the tip of your finger you won’t have a problem but please take a moment or two to get used to it. When correctly deployed the loading gate drops down just a touch confirming the lock has been initiated.
Beneath the outer skin the rest of this Yildiz is simplicity itself, a single port located within the barrel ring exhausting gases into a small self-regulating valve. This in turn is mated to a surprisingly substantial recoil spring and slide that encapsulate and run along the magazine tube. Its features such as this that make this little Yildiz such an excellent little gasser; minimal parts, a basic design and a decent build quality all of which come together to make a gun that eschews modern gizmos so dramatically reducing potential failures.
Pick the Pro Magnum up and you’ll be instantly impressed by the weight and balance, the gun’s 6lbs 10oz sitting perfectly within the palm of the leading hand. A moment with the Arrow Laser Shot also confirmed that the Pro Magnum would shoot flat, a characteristic I’m particularly fond of since it suits my own personal style. But it was whilst gathering the dimensional details that this gun’s benefits were confirmed. With drops at comb and heel measuring 1 7/16’ and 2 3/8’ combined with a 14 13/16’ length of pull and 5lbs average weight of pull all come together to produce a sub-gauge semi-auto that’s full sized. Too many manufacturers when designing a smaller gauged shotgun have the tendency to reduce the overall dimensions which means the end result is almost toy like. Now whilst more diminutive shotguns have a place for smaller shooters, especially women and children, they tend not to suit the average adult male, an all too common fault that Yildiz have successfully negotiated.
At The Shooting Ground
Loaded up with 25gram fibre Express Special 20’s filled with 6’s and - unusually for me - shot through ¼ choke, since that was the one that was fitted when I collected the Pro Magnum, the initial results were noticeably impressive, with long distance clays still shattering even with the wider restriction in situ whilst recoil levels are so low its hardly worth mentioning them. Taking in a local Sunday morning fifty bird sporting layout, whilst first stand performance wasn’t something to boast about due purely to my own mistakes, stands two to five were a sheer pleasure and highlighted the one handling characteristic that needed to be overcome.
Due to the central weight of the Pro Magnum, it does require the shooter to drive it on, meaning that if you’re used to a shotgun that is slightly muzzle heavy and that maintains the swing momentum, you’ll keep stopping the Yildiz more or less mid-flight. In other words, it’s down to you to keep the swing going without relying on the gun’s weight to assist, since you and the gun don’t actually build up any mutual inertia, one of the physical downsides of any lightweight shotgun.
But whilst you have to do the bulk of the work around the clay layouts, the end results are undeniably impressive, and will pay off later with a rapid reacting response to bunny, crow, pigeon and dare I even say it, a startled pheasant. This Yildiz even brought a smile to this cynical shotgun tester’s face; I promise you that’ll you’ll enjoy shooting this cracking little 20 bore. Tightening the restriction up to ½ choke and staying with the same ammo, the Professional Magnum’s ability to find its target before lifting it out of the sky was and is up there with the best of them, to a degree that it’ll turn any shooter into a snap-shot maestro within minutes.
What More Do You Want
After you’ve shot the Pro Mag you begin to appreciate that whilst the big names are increasingly complicating their new semi-autos, the Yildiz train of thought more than has its place in the greater scheme of things. The basic design is well proven whilst general feel of the Pro Mag is that of a sub-gauge shotgun that’s intended to be used time and again without need to have constant attention. Its also proof positive that whilst driven game shooting might still be the bastion of the double-barrel shotgun, this cost conscious Yildiz is the way to go as a solitary rough shooter’s lightweight but extremely effective companion, a versatile friend on boundary days, a useful tool on late evening strolls along with the dog and even a surprisingly capably clay breaker.
I for one can’t find anything wrong with this 20 bore, the Professional Magnum fulfilling each and every role I asked of it whilst being a genuine pleasure to shoot no matter what the circumstances. This little Yildiz really is a nice little gun whilst the fact that the manufacturer has kept the proportions sensible means it’s not undersized and will actually fit most people who shoot it. It’s also yet another tangible reason why Turkish built shotguns of all types are finding such favour on the UK market, their quality, handling and abilities considerably in excess of their asking price.
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I got a yildlz 20 gauge shot gun for Christmas chocks or not mark but have notches on rim could you send something telling me which tube is what
mack lee29 Dec 2015 at 12:49 AM
I just aquired a yildlz professional 20guage shotgun I got five tube chock, my problem is that the chocks are not marked they do have notches on the rim of the tube but I don't know that they indecade could you send a chart or some info on this issue thank you
Gregorio ramos08 Sep 2015 at 02:09 AM
Will the 20ga magnum only shoot 3" shells
Frank Noe28 Sep 2014 at 04:43 AM
the pro magnum is the best shooting gun ever it worth her price they have all what need a hunter its better than any other
joe.oliver.chahoud(lebanon)23 Sep 2013 at 10:41 PM
The later Turkish stuff seems worth the money. I bought a Webley 812 (the latest model) which is an Armsan 612 and it works really well, can't fault it for £550. If you look really hard at some of the cheaper guns some parts still look a bit homespun. I bought a cheap Beretta ES100 (not gas operated) and the difference in quality is obvious.
peter john22 Jun 2012 at 07:10 PM