- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 16/12/2016
Highland Outdoors are the new importers of Armsan shotguns and are now able to offer the UK shooter the full selection. These semi-autos offer exceptional value for money combined with shootability, dependability, a good rugged construction and all the bits and pieces you’re likely to need as standard. More or less all based around the same design, all any potential Armsan buyer has to do is decide on whether it’ll be a 12 or 20g and as to what grade or type of finish they’d like.
The A612S on test is the basic entry model which in most cases is the one that most shooters are likely to go for. Reason being, it’s a clay breaker, a duck gun, a vermin eliminator, a gamekeeper’s mate, a companion on a quad or anything else you might want to use a smoothbore for. Equally, at £429 its falls well into most shooters affordability criteria, a serious consideration in today’s market.
What you get for your outlay is a gas driven semi-auto that has had some thought aimed its way, a fact not lost on Armsan. Don’t believe me? Then look at the box the gun comes in, the outer surface covered in reproduction magazine gun reviews. Black synthetic it might be but as soon as you lift the gun you realise there’s a difference, the surface of the sporter style stock and deep honeycombed recoil pad and long, slender forend covered in a tacky feeling rubber coating. Add in the fine, moulded checkering and you have a gun that sticks to the hands even when covered in water. Nothing extraordinary or revolutionary in many ways but something that just sets this Armsan out from the rest.
Finished in matte anodised black, the 3” chambered 28” barrel has a vented 7mm rib and a gentle flair at the muzzle to accommodate whichever of the three flush-fit choke tubes you have fitted, a red lozenge bead completing the business end. Maintaining the sombre black finish, the alloy receiver employs the exact same outer surface as the barrel, even the single-claw bolt, trigger guard and blade all the same hue, only the silvered Armsan name and model number interrupting the unadorned metalwork.
To and Fro
Like most modern semi-autos to assemble the A612S you need to offer up the barrel extension to the receiver with the bolt in the forward or battery position before sliding each rearwards. It’s also the time you get to inspect the straightforward gas valve that sits within the twin port barrel ring, the simplicity of the design eliminating any potential problems of rotating it to suit various rounds or nipping rubber o-rings. Uncomplicated and easy to keep clean, why more manufacturers don’t keep to this basic design at times remains a mystery when years of use have continually proven that it works.
Fit for Purpose
When you first mount the A612S it actually feels to be a big gun. Weighing in at 7lbs 5oz with an overall length of 48 ¼”, whilst it’s no larger than most others of its type the physical presence of the A612S seems to magnify the size. Drops at comb and heel are a comfortable 1 9/16” and 2 7/16” with a 14 7/16” length of pull to the crisp 4lbs 2oz breakage trigger. The gun hefts and mounts with ease whilst the balance point directly beneath the union of the barrel and receiver belies the fact the gun has a slightly weight forward attitude. The benefit is that whilst the Armsan sits neutrally between the hands, a smooth, controlled swing is easily maintained as you pull through each target whilst the gun’s inclusive attributes means it should easily and comfortably fit most shooters.
Hooked up to the Arrow Laser Shot the gun displayed a perfectly flat attitude, the red dot of the laser translating to exact replication of shoot placement. Fitting ¼ choke and loading up with 28g Eley VIP Sporting fibres, the A612S shot perfectly straight out of the box, the first five stations of skeet straight the lost four targets of the remaining eight purely down to me. To shoot the Armsan is effortless, it swings and handles with grace and poise, the slim grip and forend allowing the gun to flow between the hands in answer to fast opposing clays.
Fifty sporting birds were dispatched with equal composure whilst ½ choke and a handful of 30g Eley Pigeon made short, effortless work of a few crows and woodies. No matter what the target the A612S required no more effort or input than to be loaded, swung and fired, the gun doing the rest. And whilst some shooters will require a more ornate finish or simply must have walnut instead of synthetic, after you’ve shot Armsan’s basic A612S its only a perverse form of vanity that’ll make you want one of the alternative models. The higher grade models certainly look the part but engraving and walnut doesn’t make you or the gun shoot any better so save your money, buy some extra shells and go and enjoy some enjoyable shooting.
In the great scheme of things there’s probably no one thing about the A612S that sets it apart from all the other Turkish semi-autos that now abound. But yet again it’s another prime example of how well a shotgun can be made, how well it’ll shoot and just how versatile a 12-bore of this type can be for all in for a genuinely affordable price. The individuality of this Armsan are down to the slightly more streamlined and therefore elegant profile, the slender forend and in this instance the rubberized coating all of which make the A612S very usable in a whole variety of conditions.
Whilst Armsan’s importer might have changed the way this gun shoots hasn’t. The last ones I tested were the red anodised competition version with extended chokes and a 20g but apart from the cosmetic and gauge differences, they shot the exact same as the A612S and that was and is like a good ‘un. Armsans simply shoot well, feel right and do exactly what they’re meant to. What more are you or I likely to want – oh yes, and they come complete with a 4 year warranty.