Of all the shotguns brands I have used throughout my life, Miroku guns are what I have shot the most. They have stood the test of time and are without a doubt some of the most reliable shotguns on the market.

Miroku are a Japanese manufacturer, recognised worldwide as a top-tier producer of quality firearms. Interestingly, Miroku are largely responsible for the manufacturing success of many of the most important Browning products of the 20th and 21st centuries, which is why you may have heard that Miroku are very similar to Browning shotguns – they are part of the same family.

In the past I have heard Miroku referred to as a ‘poor man’s Browning’. I disagree with this as they are great value-for-money shotguns that are built to a very high standard and have a simply beautiful look that will never grow old.
Miroku MK38

Miroku MK38 Sporter

The MK38 model is supplied in three grades – 1,3 and 5 – and they come as either a sporter or a trap gun. Whereas before not all Miroku shotguns were not compatible with heavy steel shot, all the new Miroku MK38 shotguns are fitted with Invector Plus multi- chokes and the barrels are proofed for high- performance steel, making these guns fit for the future of shooting here in the UK.

Due to this gun being so close to my heart and not having shot the new version, for this review I have chosen to take a look at the Miroku MK38grade 3 Sporter Adjustable 32". Let’s see what has changed.

Aesthetically it looks virtually the same as the older MK38 Grade 3, with the addition of an adjustable comb on the stock. The receiver is exactly the same, with beautiful floral engraving and a rose in the centre on both sides. I have always preferred this engraving pattern to the Grade 5, It is unlike any other shotgun on the market.

The Grade 3 wood set is very basic and not very well figured. But this will make the stock a lot stronger and less likely to crack. After all, this gun is designed to be a clay-breaking machine, not a showpiece. This is reflected in the price of the gun, which makes it very affordable for many shooters. Cracked stocks are a very common occurrence with higher grade wood sets even if they are closed gently, looked after and maintained correctly. So for many shooters a Grade 3 may be a better choice than a Grade 5.

After years of these guns being presented in a cardboard box, they now come with a Miroku ABS case, which is a nice touch. They also have a great selection of extended Teague chokes, which include ¼, ½, ¾ and full. The pistol grip is quite thin compared with a lot of sporting guns on the market which now generally have larger palm swells. I have personally grown fond of a chunky palm swell, but strangely I really like how this gun sits in my hand. It is very comfortable and probably one of the reasons I used one for so many years.
Miroku MK38-2


Some years ago I owned an earlier version of this gun. The only real problem with it was that it didn’t have an adjustable comb, so I had to have one installed by a gunsmith to make the gun fit. One of the advantages with this revamped MK38 Sporter is that all the guns come with an adjustable comb. Now you can achieve a perfect simply by loosening a nut and moving the cheekpiece to wherever it is needed.

This is one of the neatest and easiest adjustable combs I have ever seen on a shotgun. With most, you need to loosen the comb and take it off the stock to move the pillars to adjust the cast of the cheekpiece, but with these Miroku models you don’t have to. There is a single nut through the butt pad and once it is loosened the cheekpiece can be moved to whatever cast or height you desire. It is so easy.

Going multichoked

After selling my old Miroku MK38 Sporter (I wish I hadn’t) I started using a Miroku MK38 Trap gun, which had ¾ and full fixed chokes. The high stock dimensions and chunky forend felt great, but the choking was just too much. Now that both models have multichoked barrels and are proofed for high-performance steel, the Trap model may be more popular with sporting shooters.

I highly doubt that many clay shooters will want to shoot steel through these guns, but there is no reason why the MK38 Sporter – or Trap – could not be used for game shooting, where steel may have to be used. There are many shooters, including myself, who prefer a Sporting or Trap designed shotgun for all types of shooting. The extra weight of these guns make them easier to handle and will generally help reduce felt recoil.

Field test

After adjusting the comb to my preferred height and spinning in ¼ and ½ extended Teague chokes into the barrel, I took the Miroku out to shoot some clays. After a few shots I found that I was getting quite a lot of recoil through the gun, which was rather uncomfortable on my cheek. I realised that hadn’t moved the comb high enough to have a good cheek weld so I was lifting my head after each shot. This resulted in the gun hitting me in the face. I took no time in adjusting the comb a little higher, which made it a lot more comfortable.

I will admit that the Miroku isn’t as smooth on recoil and muzzle flip as other guns I have shot recently. That is surprising as it does weigh 8lb 9oz, which in theory should soak up a lot of recoil. However, it handled nicely and the choke combination was hitting the targets well with solid hits, which is no surprise as Teague chokes produce incredible shot patterns in my experience. It is certainly a positive that these guns come with a selection of Teague chokes to cater for each shooter’s preference.

Disappointingly this 32" barrelled gun was not well balanced and rather front heavy, which is a shame as there is no balancing system to correct it. I wasn’t personally bothered by this as I would rather have more weight forward than back. That said, it is very well suited to someone who doesn’t want all the options of additional stock and barrel weights. If you pick up one of these guns and like the feel, look and handling, there’s no problem. You will be able to achieve the exact fit with the adjustable comb, put in the desired chokes and get shooting.
Miroku MK38-1


I enjoyed shooting the Miroku MK38 Sporter and it certainly reminded me why I used one for so many years. Given the great aesthetics, incredible reliability, future proofing and adjustability of this gun, the value for money is fantastic. The addition of the adjustable stock is the best thing about this gun. You can achieve the perfect fit so easily, as long as the length of the stock is correct.

I do prefer the chunky beaver tail forend on the Trap model over the Schnabel forend on the Sporter, but this is a personal preference. The style of forend and butt pad are the only real differences between the Sporter and Trap models. The stock dimensions are very similar and as the Trap model is now multichoked you can use it for all clay shooting disciplines. Basically if you want a Miroku MK38 and like a slim forend, buy the Sporter model; if you like a chunky forend buy the Trap.

This new modern MK38 is a strong contender in every aspect against other shotguns its price range. And it’s a shotgun that will last a lifetime.

Tech specs

Make: Miroku
Model: MK38 Sporter Adjustable
Calibre: 12 gauge
Mechanism: Over & under
Orientation: Right handed Barrel length 32" (30"also available) Stock length 147/8"
Weight: 8lb 9oz
Chamber: 3"
Chokes:    Multi
Steel proofed:    Yes
Importer: BWM
Warranty: 3 years
More information: BWM Arms Ltd
Telephone: 01235 514550
Price: From £2760