Yildiz Pro Sporter test & review
- Credit: Archant
The Yildiz Pro Sporter resembled a Perazzi at first glance, and with its impeccable build quality, Mike Yardley was keen to see how it performed on the clay ground
The quality of finish
The wood to metal fit
The tight CNC maching
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Recoil with heavier loads
Make: Yildiz (imported by Entwistle Guns of Preston)
Model: Pro sporter
Chamber: 2 3/4” (70mm)
Barrels: 28” (30” option)
Action type: Perazzi style
Weight: 7lbs 10oz.
I shot this gun on the Skeet and Sporting layouts of the Braintree Shooting Ground in Essex. I am very familiar with the targets at this well equipped ground as regular readers will know. I was much interested to shoot the gun; as a regular user of the guns it imitates, I was intrigued to see how it would perform. Sadly, it had 28” barrels which I do not normally favour. Anyway, cutting to the chase very few, if any, targets were missed in this unpressured context, but I did notice the recoil (and there were a couple of trigger malfunctions relating to 24g loads – the gun was evidently set up for 28 and heavier, as are most Turkish imports). With 24g Express HV it was fine, with 28g loads it was rather uncomfortable. I suspect though that with longer barrels, slightly enlarged bores, and slightly different stock dimensions this gun could be really something. The Spanish used to make cheap copies of Perazzis decades back; this gun is of a different quality. It only needs a little tweaking to be a real contender, and, a very well priced one. Bring on a 32” fixed choke Kemen pro...
We have another gun from Turkey for test. It is something a bit different, however. Enter the new Yildiz Pro. Yildiz is best known in this country for its small bores, imported most successfully by Entwistle Guns of Preston (who also supplied the gun featured in this article). The modern Turkish firm makes a wide range of guns, though we don’t see them all in the UK. We certainly don’t associate the name with mid-market competition guns (although this gun might be considered an all-rounder too).
Visually, the Pro looks much like a Perazzi or Kemen and might be mistaken for one with a quick glance. The similarity isn’t just skin deep, either. The plain black, but well-presented, low-profile action has a central cocking bar like a Perazzi or Kemen, trunnion hinging, and Boss-type locking. Unlike some Perazzis and Kemens inspired by the MX8 pattern, however, there is no detachable trigger lock. And, unlike the Kemen and some Perazzis, the action is powered by coil springs.
The lack of a detachable trigger unit probably helps to keep the price down on this interesting newcomer and also allows for a little extra strength in the grip (less wood needs to be removed to accommodate a detachable trigger lock and box). The use of coil springs in the action also offers economy in manufacture and aids reliability. At which point I might note that the Pro is being sold with an RRP of £2,250 – less than a third of the price of the better known bifurcated lump/Boss-bolted guns it imitates.
Quality of finish and general presentation are very good too. I have always liked plain black actions on my guns. This one is especially attractive. The pistol grip stock has some outstanding figure and I also liked the rounded fore-end. On mounting the Pro for the first time, it felt a little muzzle heavy (although overall weight is fine at just under 8lbs). The balance point is about half an inch in front of the pin. The grip, which is well angled and nicely chequered, felt a little small and square in cross section to my hand. It might be slightly reshaped and a bit deeper to achieve better purchase, in my opinion.
The barrels on the test gun are 28” long (there is a 30” version which I will also be testing soon) and made as nearly all mass-manufactured over-and-unders on the monobloc system. They are 3” steel shot proofed (at the Birmingham Proof House) and fitted with shorter-style multi-chokes and a 6mm vented rib. The sighting bead is a fluorescent red plastic rod held in a steel cradle. Solid side ribs extend back about three-quarters of the way (there are no joining ribs in the area beneath the fore-end).
Workmanship is good in all departments. I was especially pleased to see that both barrels were almost perfectly straight. You might think that one could assume this but, sadly, not. Many of the guns which arrive to me for testing do not have straight tubes. The fact that Yildiz meets this standard impresses. The barrels on the Yildiz have quite short forcing cones and these might usefully be lengthened on a competition gun. On game guns to be used in colder weather with fibre wad cartridges, excessively long cones and wide bores may be a disadvantage leading to gas sealing/obturation problems under some conditions.
The Pro’s action looks much like a Perazzi MX8’s externally. As noted, though, there is no detachable lock and, as also noted, the power for the works comes from coil springs (yes, I know some Perazzis have coil springs too – but, the classic Perazzi in my mind has leaf springs and a detachable trigger lock). Workmanship here is sound and the CNC machining appears impeccable. All controls fall to the hand. The top-lever is a little short, but well shaped. The Browning-style barrel selector works positively. Shaping and finish on the action body are excellent. The border engraving is neat. I thought the trigger blade well shaped, too, and I also like the silver finish. Trigger pulls were reasonable on the intertia-operated mechanism and ejectors well timed. The lack of a detachable lock mechanism allows for a selective trigger, which many will find useful.
The stock on the Pro was made from a really good piece of figured walnut. Indeed, a blank of this quality – with grain straight through the grip and beautifully patterned to the rear – might cost as much as £1,000 these days. The full pistol grip has no palm swell (a redundant feature on a sporter). Generally, I liked the stock, but the grip could be improved, as discussed. Stock dimensions were 145/8” for length (a little short). Drop at comb was just a whisker under 1½” (a little lower than the standard 13/8”, but fine) and drop at heel a little low at a smidgen under 2¼” (I’d bring it up to 21/8” or 2”). When I mounted the proven empty gun at 45 degrees (my quick test) I could lose sight of the bead with normal cheek pressure. A modern black ‘rubber’ pad is fitted to the butt sole. This is well shaped – slightly concave – and suited me well. It was not too sticky either.