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Mike finds the Yildiz Pro Black Grade 4 Adjustable to be a great clay gun at a very fair price, and is impressed with the gun's mechanics, quality of wood and instinctive nature
credit: Mike Yardley
This month’s test gun appealed to me for various reasons. It’s a heavy 30" clay buster that might also be used for high birds late in the season. It’s well priced at £1,999. And it’s a gun I have tested before and had noted that it had potential but might be improved further. So, without further ado, here it is, the latest Yildiz Pro sporter.
First impressions of the Yildiz Pro BlackThe first thing you notice, apart from the hefty 8lb 3oz when you pick it up, is that it looks a lot like a Perazzi. The form of its black action and stock are very Perazzi-like. The price, however, isn’t. As noted, this hits the dealer’s shelves at just over £2K – about a quarter of the price of even the cheapest Perazzi.
Taking a closer look, our Yildiz appears to be well finished with remarkably good wood, laser-cut chequering of a sensible size and some tasteful and simple border engraving on the action. It’s a very plain look (like a basic MX8) but that’s fine by me. The overall effect is business-like and pleasing (and good wood brings the gun up aesthetically). I have no desire for bling on a clay or serious field gun.
The grip of this sporter is large and has a palm swell. The fore-end sports a schnabel beak that might easily be removed. The test gun is also equipped with an adjustable recoil pad and a good, quite thick, plain black, polymer ‘rubber’ recoil pad with stippled surface. It’s quite soft but not as soft or tacky as a Kick-EEZ. Nevertheless, I’d be tempted to wrap the heel and toe with vinyl electrician’s tape (as I do on all my competition guns) to prevent snagging on the mount.
Removing the fore-end, which is easily done thanks to the Deeley & Edge lifting lever-type fastener, reveals well-presented barrels with British-struck fleur-de-lys marks for 3" (76mm) chambers. The barrels are both bored at 18.6mm, which is more open than the norm (and about ideal for clay shooting in my opinion). There are ventilated ribs joining the barrels (save for the area under the fore-end) and a tapered – 10mm to 6mm – rib atop, the surface of which is neatly machined to reduce glare. The barrels weigh 1479g (3.26lb), which is lighter than I was expecting.
Looking past the chambers, one sees long forcing cones and barrels which are unusually straight and show no distortion from manufacture. At the muzzle end, there are mid-length multi-chokes. The muzzles themselves are slightly expanded to accommodate them. The difference in diameter forwards is about 2mm. This is not much, but it is visible. The chokes are 52mm in length (about the same as a Mobil choke) but with their threads to the rear (you see threads front and rear in different guns – Beretta go with a front thread, Browning have used both systems, their latest DS chokes combining front threads with a rear gas seal).
On removing the barrels of the Yildiz, I was impressed with the good joints between barrels and monobloc (better than I have sometimes seen in more expensive Italian guns). Indeed, all the machining work impressed here and suggested how fast Turkish gunmaking is progressing. The action is almost pure Perazzi in plan, and the ejector work is evidently Brescian-inspired too.The stock of the test gun was made of wood that was of much better quality than its price point might suggest. The stock shapes were large, and I was not especially fond of the palm-swell grip, but the actual stock dimensions were sensible.
The length of pull was not quite 14¾", which suited me well in a heavier gun. There was an extra 3/16" to heel and 3/8" to toe. This created a well-shaped butt sole with a nice concave shape as there should be (but often isn’t). The shelf drop dimensions were near ideal at 13/8" at the front of the comb and 21/16" to the rear. Additionally, there was an adjustable comb, although I did not need to make use of it as the basic dimensions suited me so well (as they would most of average height and build).
Technical detailsOver the years, the Perazzi MX8 has inspired many clones – several old ones from Spain (Aramberri and Kromson), the Gamba Daytona, the more recent Kemen, even the latest Purdey sporter owes much to the famous action. Various simplified versions have appeared which dispense with the drop lock and the V springs – and this Yildiz is one of them.
It retains stud-pin hinging and Boss-like draws and wedges in the middle of the action/on the monobloc. The latter don’t seem to be doing much – I can’t see any bearing contact (as in most Perazzis), but they certainly look as if they add strength as cross bolts once did.
There is an exposed, Perazzi-like central cocking bar, and recesses to either side of the action face accommodate projections to the rear of the monobloc which lock up like a Perazzi. Internally, like some Perazzis, helical springs drive the works rather than more fragile and harder to make V springs. It’s all solid and well proven (and, arguably, difficult to better conceptually).
How did it shoot?I always enjoy shooting guns that I have shot before to see if they have changed. In this case, I am happy to say that this Yildiz has much improved. Although it was a bit ponderous forward with its expanded muzzles (“a bit slow to move” as my shooting pal, Paul, put it), it was, nevertheless, comfortable to shoot, forgiving and instinctive (big compliments). Felt recoil was low.
The trigger pulls are a lot better than they were previously. Although this balances on the hinge-pin, it still felt a bit stock heavy. My favoured balance point for most 30" multi-choked guns is about ½" forward of the pin. I also found the grip a bit too big and the stock comb was thick. With the right grip design, I don’t think there is a need for a palm swell, and this comb might easily be tapered down (which would lose some weight). Overall, though, this is still a most impressive gun at a very fair price. I would much like to try a 32" version with fixed choke barrels.
Tech specsBore: 12Barrels: 30" with 32" optionChambers: 3" (76mm)Action type: simplified MX8 without a detachable trigger-lockProof: British fleurs-de-lysWeight: 8lb 3ozPrice: £1,999UK distributor: Raytrade Ltd Whitchurch, Hants RG28 7QATel: 01635 253344Email: email@example.com
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