Yildiz Elegant A3 TME
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- Last updated: 15/12/2016
For many shooters a simple, basic 12 bore is the answer to all their questions. But finding a new, basic side-by-side can at times seem to be an insurmountable problem, the only answer being a used shotgun usually of Spanish origin. Not any more, Yildiz in conjunction with UK importer Entwistle Guns of Preston now offering a good, no frills side-by-side that’s equally at home on the foreshore as it is on a traditional walked-up day, the Elegant is a shotgun that’s all things to all men for well under a £1,000.
New For Old
Open up the familiar dark green Yildiz box and all you need is contained within. A full set of short, flush-fit multi-chokes, a large key and, should you need anything explaining, a small instruction booklet. The Elegant itself is as you might expect of a budget orientated side-by-side based around traditional looks and build. The semi-pistol grip walnut stock and splinter-style forend are finished off with a semi-oiled finish and noticeably deep cut panels of close cut chequering, the butt rounded off with a thin soft rubber recoil pad. In turn these are all well finished and fitted to the rest of the gun, most notable at the stock head that exhibits very clean lines around the scalloped areas and tangs.
What at first glance looks like an alloy boxlock action is actually a deep satin finish complete with etched scrolls, duck and dogs picked out in black. Mechanical in operation which means the gun doesn’t require the energy of the first shot to transfer the firing mechanism over to the second, the contracting components are the short throw black top-lever, wide manual safety-catch that also acts as the barrel selector along with the black trigger-guard that houses the fixed polished silver effect trigger -blade. Where the action is unusual is in the connection of the barrels, the more familiar double lumps of the 3½” chambered monobloc replaced with one extended lump. Slightly unusual in comparison to similar side-by-sides, the benefit of this is that even when discharging powerful magnum loads, the inherent strength of the action and lock-up will ensure no mechanical or physical problems occur.
The other uncommon aspect is that the semi-gloss barrels are metric in length measuring an exact 760mm (just under 30”). Almost imperceptibly flared around the muzzles to accommodate the choke tubes, the barrels are extremely well struck and are finished off with a 8-10mm tapering concaved rib, the view from my own perspective being a flat view over the fences with just the small brass bead the only other interruption between myself and the target.
Physically for what is meant to be a true wildfowling 12 bore the dimensions should to a degree suit most shooters. Drops at comb and heel measure 1 5/8” and 2 3/16” with a 14 5/8” length of pull that’s more or less ideal when mated together with thicker clothing. Weight wise the Elegant tips the scales at an exact 8lbs although repeated testing did little to depart from the trigger weight readings of 7lbs 6oz average on both barrels, rather heavy and a tad unpredictable especially when wearing thicker style gloves that are almost a shore line necessity in cold weather.
Taking my usual five minutes or so to mate the Elegant to my Arrow Laser Shot highlighted the fact that although initial indications showed the Elegant to be flat shooting, unusual for a side-by-side, this gun still shot for me a fraction high, this traditional format always erring towards the driven target and dialling in some additional lead. However, fifty or so sporting clays soon underline the required compensation and the correct muzzle to target visual relationship whilst the almost central balancing point - an inch in front of the hinges - meant the gun’s dynamics promoted a smooth, controlled swing.
Initially screwing in ¼ and Cylinder chokes and trying a selection of Express’ 28gram competition and 34gram game loads around fifty sporting clays and my preliminary high shooting findings were proved correct. To simplify matters at around twenty yards on a going away bird required the muzzles to be around twelve inches or so below the clay, whilst thirty yard crossers needed a sight picture of approximately six inches underneath. Once these shot placement visuals were sorted the Elegant quickly became a competent clay breaker although the gun’s ability to transfer recoil soon became apparent.
Shifting onto the Elegant’s intended targets and chambering some of Remington’s truly outstanding 3½” Sportsman non-toxics through ¼ and ½ chokes, this Yildiz’s ability to lift mallard out of the sky was seriously impressive although felt recoil did become rather noticeable with these big magnum loads. Wrapped up in heavy clothing and wearing thick gloves, the Elegant did prove its worth whilst highlighting one of what seems to be a Yildiz trait and something I’ve encountered with their other double-barrelled shotguns; the mechanical action and trigger group require the shooter to fully release the trigger between shots otherwise the second barrel will fail to discharge. In other words, gently release of pressure on the blade is insufficient to allow the transfer to take place. The minor downside is that you have to get used to this, the upside being that the Elegant is very positive and safe to shoot, the chances of firing your second shot too quickly eliminated from proceedings especially when the shooting starts to heat up.
On The Table
Let’s be quite honest and say that if there’s one thing I’ll guarantee the Elegant will do is put an economical and wholesome meal on the table for you, a consideration that could well become rather important the way things are going. Way back when, when wildfowlers hunted ducks, widgeon, geese and other such, as a way of making a living and to feed their family, apart from the famous punt guns that could bring down a whole flock of birds with a single shot, these old guys placed a lot of store in good, heavy-duty shotguns. OK many of them were larger than 12 bore but given today’s loads, a 12 is all you realistically need. Equally, unlike the Elegant, many a wild fowling piece wasn’t the ideal all-round game gun, a facility this Yildiz has by the spade full.
Yes, the handling tends to give the impression of being slightly old fashioned, a more than appealing quality in my opinion, and the feel of the trigger is overtly mechanical but whether it’s a 28gram game load or a 50 gram buffered magnum filled with non-toxic 2’s, the Elegant will happily deal with either. Is there anything I personally would change? Well actually there is, in so much as I’d prefer the option of a plain black action and it could do with being slightly heavier along with a thicker recoil pad, a fact that becomes apparent when shooting heavy loads. In older style shotguns, weight is one of the physical properties that dissipate recoil so another couple of pounds added to the Elegant would definitely help matters.
Apart from these small personal observations, one nothing more than cosmetic, there’s nothing at all wrong with the Elegant. It really is a shotgun that’s all things to all shooters even down to the fact that once you’ve got yourself accustomed to how it shoots, its an ideal choice for those who enjoy shooting clays in the side-by-side category. And lets face it, for £795 or £720 if you opt for the non-ejector, there’s hardly anything else on the market that comes remotely close to the Elegant in ability, quality, style or price.
PRICE: £795 (Ejector) £720 (Non-ejector)