Gun Test: Yildiz Pro Sporter

Yildiz has thrown the rulebook away with its affordable Boss-style shotgun, and Richard Atkins is impressed


Key Specs

Make: Yildiz
Model: Yildiz Pro
Type: Sporter
Action: SST with recoil reset
Gauge/chamber: 12g/70mm (steel proof)
Barrel length: 30”
Overall length: 47”
Weight: 3.80kg (8lb 6oz)
Special features: Adjustable comb
MSRP: £2,250 with hard case & 5 chokes
UK distributor: Entwistle Guns


Many guns in our gun shops come from Turkey. Yildiz is one of the longer-established Turkish brands in the UK and makes a wide range of shotguns along with smaller-gauge models and those with lightweight alloy actions; its .410, 28 and 20-gauge models and their Junior and Ladies ones are particular favourites.

A couple of years back at the IWA show in Nuremberg, mention was made of a new and totally different gun from Yildiz to be developed around the Boss-style action. Hearing little more for some time, I feared the project had stalled until Mike at Entwistle Guns informed me that he had just had the new Yildiz Pro Sporter back from proof testing. The next day, one was in my hands.

Like many shooting folk, I appreciate good engineering as well as the fine fit and finish of a well-made gun. Carefully assembling the barrels to the receiver then slipping the beavertail-style forend in place and slowly closing the empty gun confirmed for me that this gun had been properly put together. It closed with that reassuring ‘clunk’ that tells one that all the metal faces that should mate when closed had done so properly.

Boss-style action

It’s a brave move to base their new model on such a difficult design – makers such as Perazzi, Zoli and Kemen already do but Yildiz’s offering comes in at a third of the price. Yildiz is not setting out to invade the big names’ territory but rather to create a sound, solid and very attractive firearm, making this hugely strong and user-friendly design available to more people.

Just as there are aspects of John Moses Browning’s original design now seen in other makes based on the B25 original, so there are numerous guns that have taken their inspiration from the Boss design. I find it fascinating that actions designed at the turn of the 20th century still form the basis for so many models today.

Boss design is notably used by big-name makers and is in the top end of those using other designs for their cheaper models. Some modify it to allow less expensive and largely automated production methods but Yildiz is to be praised for retaining the key aspects that make this design so attractive.

Key features

A key feature of the Boss design is the way the barrels hinge to and are locked into the receiver. Of particular note is the interlocking method where the breech locks directly with the receiver walls.

Each receiver sidewall is machined with a substantial protruding radius form wedge, engaging with curved recesses in each side of the breech block. This relieves the hinge trunnions upon which the barrels rotate from the majority of stresses and hence leads to a lightly stressed action with long service life.

Final locking is neatly achieved and very sturdy, too. Protruding inconspicuously from the breechblock either side of the bottom barrel are two arched locking lugs. The top of these is engaged by bifurcated bolts that emerge from the breech face to lock onto the radius lugs as the action closes, creating a neat, exceptionally smooth and massively strong locking arrangement.

The Boss design is difficult to produce but modern machinery makes it far more possible than it was once. However, the sheer complexity makes for a lot of skilled machining and some hand fitting at assembly. Yildiz admit that it takes them four times as long to produce one Yildiz Pro action compared with their standard range and I applaud their commitment in bringing this splendid design to a wider market.

Internally, the Yildiz Pro action is refined. Although coil springs replace the Vs, the sear and bent arrangement is retained at the base of the tumblers, which helps produce crisp trigger pulls.

More than just strength

The Boss, with its barrel-hinge trunnion pins in the receiver side walls, has provided the inspiration for several other makers to produce guns with a lower profile receiver height. At 62.4 millimetres tall, it is almost five millimetres less than the original Browning design. Even today, some shooters find the lower profile more advantageous
to them.

The Boss design with its side-locking wedges results in a wider action than those without. The Yildiz receiver is 44.5 millimetres wide, while my Browning-based Miroku is 39mm. This construction is both an pro and a slight con depending on the type of gun you are seeking to produce. For clay target models this can be a distinct advantage – not only will the strength ensure very long service life, but there is some extra weight between the hands, allowing clay guns to not punish the shooter and to balance well, even when choosing longer barrel options.

The Yildiz also retains the sturdy single-action cocking bar that sits neatly in the receiver floor and is operated by a cocking cam fitted in the forend iron. The receiver of this model is hand-polished to a bright gloss with minimal engraving – just a neat chain-border outline to define the side bolsters and lower receiver profile.

The single selective trigger isn’t adjustable but is broad and smooth with a nice curve. Barrel selection is achieved by a Browning-style catch incorporated in the top strap mounted safety catch, which is manually operated. The second barrel sear is engaged via a recoil-operated selector mechanism that worked faultlessly throughout my testing.

Barrels

The barrels are made from 4140 grade steel and constructed on the almost universal monobloc method. Barrel blanks are stress relieved, deep-hole drilled and bored to size.

The bores are bored straight and well polished. Actual bore sizes are marked 18.5 millimetres (bottom) and 18.4mm (top), which makes them standard size, not over-bored. The forcing cones are standard length.

The Yildiz Pro Sporter is chambered for 70-millimetre (2¾-inch) cartridges, meaning that the opened case meets directly up with the forcing cones for a smooth transition of shot and wad into the barrel bore. This should result in less damage to pellets and no loss of gas to help achieve full velocity.

The barrel bores are coated with hard white chrome while the outside surfaces
are black. Barrels are joined by solid side
ribs from the muzzles to just under the forend where they are left separate.
Muzzles are bored and threaded to accept internal interchangeable choke tubes made to Yildiz’s own design.

The Yildiz Pro has a parallel, 10-millimetre-wide raised and ventilated top rib, very finely cross-hatched to prevent glare and has a short, red, optic fibre LPA front bead sight.

Pattern testing with clay loads resulted in well-distributed results. Some tubes shot slightly tighter patterns than marked – particularly the Imp Cyl (4-notch) tube, which shot closer to 3/8 choke.

Woodwork

The shape and sizing of the stock and forend of this Sporter are pretty good, too. No standard stock will suit everyone perfectly but this one was liked by several others during testing. The pistol grip is of fairly close radius in competition style; it’s well positioned such that the (right hand) slight palm swell fitted naturally into my hand.

The forend is of beavertail design and suited me well. The stock at 14½-inch pull length is well sized, though possibly slightly shorter than some might prefer. It is worth noting that this can be easily adjusted. This Sporter also comes with an easily adjustable comb, allowing you to change the cast so you are centring your patterns, providing some adjustment to the point of impact.

Final verdict

The Yildiz Pro genuinely impressed me. It looks very good, handles well and is heavy enough to soak up the recoil even of ‘hot’ competition loads without punishing the shooter. The solid lock-up of the action and weight between the hands definitely helps make recoil feel even lighter. Furthermore, the trigger pulls proved light, crisp and able to stand comparison with some fine (and more expensive) competition guns. This firearm points well, can be swung smoothly and sits solidly for second shots without undue disturbance.

The gun opens surprisingly smoothly for a brand new firearm and to a very good gape, which makes loading the bottom barrel easy. The spring-powered ejectors are very well fitted, properly timed and ejected cases efficiently and with no sign of cases over-riding the ejectors.

Is it perfect? Not quite – a tapered top rib and maybe ventilated side ribs could reduce barrel weight a fraction for a slightly faster handling gun but it is already a very smooth and competent performer. At its price point, I believe it is an exceptional gun that deserves to do extremely well. Well worth a look – you could be as impressed as I am.


This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of Clay Shooting magazine. For more great content like this, subscribe today at our secure online store www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk

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