EGE E61 Sporter shotgun - test & review

PUBLISHED: 11:05 15 November 2020

gun test EGE

gun test EGE

Archant

Mike Yardley is blown away by the fantastic value for money this Turkish Sporter shotgun from EGE Arms offers - the E61 - and can’t wait to try the even cheaper game gun they have produced!

gun test EGEgun test EGE

EGE E61 12-BORE - BRIEF OVERIEW

WE LIKE: The engineering and style; The stock and rib configuration; The reasonable bottom line

WE DON’T LIKE: The fact that other guns are so much more expensive when you can make something this good under £1,000

gun test EGEgun test EGE

TECH SPECS

Make/model: EGE E61 12 bore

Action type: monolithic with coil spring power

Barrels: 30” with tapered rib

Multichokes: Yes, 5 supplied similar to Beretta Mobil pattern.

Weight: 8 ½ lbs.

Warranty: 5 years

RRP: £849

gun test EGEgun test EGE

EGE E61 12-BORE - IN DEPTH REVIEW

This month’s test gun is an EGE made in Turkey and imported into the UK by ASI of Snape, better known perhaps for the AyA brand, and now as importers of Rizzini too. EGE, meantime, are based in Istanbul and a relatively new firm, having begun in October 2018. The two principals are Ertugrul Saydamoglu and Berat Ozan Ozsahin, who between them have 10 years’ experience in the Turkish gun trade.

They are already offering a wide range of shotguns – over-and-unders, single barrels and repeaters. When you look at their extensive product range, you can’t help thinking: how on earth did they manage this in such a short space of time?

Edward King of ASI brought two new guns for me to test: the focus here, which is an E61 Sporter, and the remarkably priced E60 workhorse field gun (£595). Both are built on similar actions. I chose to feature the Sporter because it shot so well considering its price point.

gun test EGEgun test EGE

First impressions

First impressions of the E61 are remarkably good considering this is a sub-£1,000 product. Our prototype is plain but modernistic. It is presented with a matt silver action, and distinguished by a black company logo and ‘EGE ARMS’ on both walls (production guns will have more discrete lettering). On the belly of the action is the model: E61. Personally, I always prefer a simpler style of decoration on less expensive guns. Attempts at ‘gilding the lilly’ never seem to work.

The overall level of fit and finish apparent in this inexpensive gun is remarkable. The wood (Turkish walnut, what else?) has surprisingly good figure and the laser chequering is neat, although my preference would have been for traditional panels rather than the modernistic ones evident.

The grip is well radiused and has a right-hand palm swell (not bad of its type). There is an adjustable comb – always a bonus on a clay gun provided it is not at the cost of too much extra weight rearwards. The recoil pad is well shaped and thick enough to be useful. The fore-end is full and comfortable. The only negative, and many won’t notice, was that the comb was a bit high (1½-1¾”) and more suited to a Trap gun than a Sporter.

The EGE bears significant resemblance to a Blaser F16. The action aesthetics and some of its mechanics are clearly inspired by the German premium brand, although it is not an outright copy. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. We will look at the mechanics in more detail in the technical section; suffice to say here that the E61 has a monolithic action with fixed top and bottom straps. It’s not a trigger plate. There is an inspection plate on the underside of the action which allows for disassembly by a gunsmith; there are parts such as the cocking cams which need to be removed before this can be accomplished.

The barrels are monobloc and generally well presented. The tubes are straight. There are a few internal imperfections. One barrel has been marked at 18.7mm and the other at 18.5mm at CIP proof (Birmingham). Such variation is unusual but not a serious issue. The tapered and ventilated sighting rib is really excellent with a nice white front bead. Joining ribs are ventilated too, running two thirds of the length of the barrels. They are absent beneath the fore-end, as is increasingly common. Multi-chokes, five of which are supplied, look much like Beretta Mobil chokes, which indeed I tried for interest – they fit.

While mentioning chokes, I am going to ‘fess up here. When I came to shoot the E61, I didn’t check the chokes! This was a bit unfortunate because none were fitted. Nevertheless, I didn’t miss anything on the Fennes layout, and Edward King stands as my witness! Lesson learned, and an interesting question presented – do we really need choke?

gun test EGEgun test EGE

Technical

The E61’s action has a single flat cocking bar about 10mm wide, running centrally like a Blaser or Perazzi. Forward, there are the usual trunnion-type hinge pins, which are replaceable. As might be expected, both main and sear springs are helical. Bolting is conventional with a Browning-style slot bite beneath the bottom chamber into which a full-width flat bolt engages as it emerges from the action face.

The single trigger is mechanical. The ejection mechanism is clearly Blaser inspired, with the distinct Blaser-style ejector trips. When you fire the gun and the hammers fall forward, two small supplementary pins protrude from the action face, as well as the usual striker pins. It looks almost as if there are four firing pins! These supplementary pins trip the ejectors, engaging with unusually shaped extractors. The latter have a spring-loaded plunger, which is impacted by emerging trip pins. It’s simpler than it sounds and should prove reliable.

gun test EGEgun test EGE

Shooting Impressions

I shot the gun at the Fennes Shooting Ground with Edward King of ASI. Getting straight to the point, the E61 shot a lot better than expected – far better than its price might suggest. All mechanical function was A1. Ejection and single trigger worked as they should. The safety cum selector was very positive. Felt recoil was good. The trigger pulls were better than I have come to expect from Turkish guns. They were not especially crisp, but they were not too heavy, breaking cleanly without excessive drag. Trigger pulls often let down cheaper guns. Not here. Overall handling was good. The EGE was a bit nose heavy (like many multi-choked sporters) but steady. The butt was well conceived (although the comb a little high). The forend was comfortable and hand filling. It would be picky to knock the E61 too much on detail. What it offers for the money is extraordinary. That the firm can offer an even less expensive game gun leaves you wondering just how on earth do they do it. Turkish guns have come a long way.

You may also want to watch:

gun test EGEgun test EGE

Shooting Impressions

I shot the gun at the Fennes Shooting Ground with Edward King of ASI. Getting straight to the point, the E61 shot a lot better than expected – far better than its price might suggest. All mechanical function was A1. Ejection and single trigger worked as they should. The safety cum selector was very positive. Felt recoil was good. The trigger pulls were better than I have come to expect from Turkish guns. They were not especially crisp, but they were not too heavy, breaking cleanly without excessive drag. Trigger pulls often let down cheaper guns. Not here. Overall handling was good. The EGE was a bit nose heavy (like many multi-choked sporters) but steady. The butt was well conceived (although the comb a little high). The forend was comfortable and hand filling. It would be picky to knock the E61 too much on detail. What it offers for the money is extraordinary. That the firm can offer an even less expensive game gun leaves you wondering just how on earth do they do it. Turkish guns have come a long way.

gun test EGEgun test EGE

Latest from the Sporting Shooter