Product Overview

Product:

Miroku MK70 shotgun review

Manufacturer:

Miroku MK70 shotgun
Price: £1000-£1500

The mid 1990s marked a technical milestone for the Miroku factory in Japan. It was the era in which they launched the MK70, and to build it and its sister guns they dramatically changed their barrel-making methods.

In previous Mirokus the barrels had all been built on the chopper-lump principle, just like fine English shotguns. This meant each barrel and lump was forged from a single billet of steel, bored and polished, then the two were hard-soldered together to form the complete barrel set.

For the new guns, Miroku invested heavily in a new barrel-making plant which employed the monobloc principle, in which the two tubes of a barrel set are manufactured individually, then sleeved into a separate, forged breech block which incorporates the lumps.

Despite what the purists said, and still say, this method produces barrel sets just as strong as the old process, and it is much more economical and adaptable for the manufacturer. It is used by all of the major Italian manufacturers, and many others throughout the world.

In Miroku terms, the MK70 took over where their well-loved model 7000 left off. Shooters with long memories will recall the 7000 set a precedent of its own: it set the fashion for flush-fitting multichoke tubes in an era when most of the tubes had knurled ends which protruded from the muzzles.

Who makes it?
The Miroku factory is in the city of Nangoku, in Japan’s Kochi prefecture on the island of Shikoku. They started building sporting arms in 1893, and at one time made guns sold in the USA under the Charles Daly name. Negotiations which began their long association with Browning opened as long ago as 1965. For many years, as well as making guns under their own name, they have built all of the more affordable Browning over-unders. They also make machine tools and automotive parts.

How adaptable is it?
The sporter is suitable for all clay disciplines except trap. It is also light enough to double as a field shooting gun. All models now have 76mm (3in) chambers.

How does it work?
Like all Miroku and Browning break-action guns, the MK70 follows, in broad principle, the general design features of the immortal Browning B25, designed by John Moses Browning in 1925.

There are some differences, the most apparent being that Mirokus and Miroku-built Brownings, are not blessed (or cursed, depending on which way you look at things) with the B25′s sliding, non-removable fore-end.

As in the John Moses original, all the MK70′s mechanical components are stacked in a logical order, one on top of the other. The gun, unlike so many these days, also has a full-width cross pin to form the jointing. This pin runs beneath the barrels, which means the action is deeper than designs in which the barrels hinge on stub pins. This, in turn, means the gun has slightly different handling characteristics to, say, a Beretta.

At the bottom of the action lies a full-width bolt which engages with a sturdy bite in the barrel lumps. Hammers, which are hinged at the bottom, are driven by coil mainsprings. Sears hang from the top strap, and can engage with a second bite in the hammers should the gun be dropped or knocked sharply enough to cause the sears to drop off the main bites. This is a wise safety precaution.

When the top lever is pushed over to release the bolt, a cam forces the hammers back. This allows the striker tips to retract in order to clear the primers and allow the gun to open smoothly. However, only the lower striker has a retraction spring, while the upper one is free-floating. This sometimes causes consternation when a Miroku shooter looks at his open gun and sees the upper striker tip protruding from the breech face. In fact, there’s nothing to worry about.

Exterior decoration of the action depends on whether you go for field or competition versions, and which grade you choose. There are three grades of sporters – one, three and five – all with different engraving styles but one thing in common: all are bright silver on the outside. Field models come in just grade one.

Barrels
- Miroku sporters and field models are offered with 28 or 30 barrel tubes.
- Side ribs are solid, while the top rib (10mm on sporters, 6mm on field models) are ventilated.

- 3mm white foresight is fitted.
- Chambers are 2.3/4 in (70mm) on competition guns, and 3in (76mm) on field models.
- Bores are internally chromium plated.
- Five flush-fitting multichoke tubes are supplied with multichoke models.

Woodwork
- Varies depending on the grade you pick, but all Miroku walnut is strong and very well fitted to the metal.
- The higher grades just have a more attractive grain and finish.
- Stocks on grade five models feature drop points.
- Sporter stocks are usually 143/4 in. at the centre, and are fitted with hard plastic buttplates.
- Sporter drops are usually about 1.1/2 in at comb and 2.1/2 in at heel. Some users think they shoot rather ‘flat’ – in other words you have to aim almost straight at a target rather than just below it. Sporters have Schnabel-pattern fore-ends, for which the term used by Miroku is ‘tulip’.

How heavy?
A typical sporter weighs about 7.3/4lb. As with all guns, weights obviously vary slightly depending on barrel length and wood density.

What the tester thought
Sporting Gun tested a second-hand MK70 sporter in April 2005. The gun scored 8 out of 10 for build quality, and seven for handling, styling and value for money. The gun’s reliability and the easy availability of spares came in for praise, although it was pointed out that, over time, firing pin tips could be prone to cratering. Spares, however, are available and easy for gunsmiths to fit.

Price
From around £1,200 for a Grade 1 Sporter up to about £2,300 for a Grade 5.

UK SALES: 01235 514550

Alternatives
Similar model Brownings fall into a similar price range, as do most Berettas featuring the ’600′ series action.

More information
From all Browning/Miroku dealers.

Useful websites
Just one: www.browningint.com Other Browning and Miroku UK sites may be still available, as they were earlier in 2006, but contain out of date information. To understand the company’s home website (www.miroku-jp.com) you need to be able to read Japanese.

  • Gerry

    Pedro, get your gun to a gunsmith A.S.A.P. it sounds like the chokes havent been put in tightly enough at some point, and the pressure of firing has got behind the chokes causing the bulging on your barrels .This is more common then you may think on multi choke guns as the barrel wall is thinner to accomodate the chokes.
    Remember there can be upwards of 10,000 lbs per sq inch coming down the barrels.

  • Pedro Camus

    I own a Miroku model 70 sport and while cleaning the outside of the barrels found that there is a bulge on both barrels where the chokes are located. Is this normal to accomodate the chokes? The outside diameter of the barrels at the choke area is 22.85mm whilst the diameter for the rest of both barrels is 20.50mm. Can anyone clear this up?

  • muhamad nazri bin annuar

    hi, i m from malaysia, sound about miroku 9000, it is for huntting or skeet gun? tq

  • Gerry Noble

    I recently purchased a Mk70 28″ m/c for my 16 year old son.As it was to be his first shot gun we decided to go for a quality gun at a reasonable price ,we tried just about every gun in the shop before settling on this particular model mainly due to the fact that it was a near perfect fit straight out of the box and he could handle it easily .This was proven out on his first session with his new gun ,3 rounds of skeet scoring 21, 23, and 19 ,which is pretty good going as he has only been shooting for 3 months .
    All round this has got to be the best value for money shotgun on the market at the moment,the overall build quality the ease of mount and general comfort make it a superb choice for any one either novice or experienced hand .

  • Mick Packer

    Can you please tell me what are the differences between a game and sporting shotgun. Also what are the difference between the MK70, MK60 and MK38 guns. Thanks.

  • roy thompson

    Hi Matt.

    Thanks for your comments and assurance that the Miroku Mk70 is a good gun.

    Perhaps I’m on the wrong track but I’m thinking there is a Miroku “Skeet Gun” which has a stock of different angle/shape allowing for more upward swing and with shorter barrels. This “skeet gun”, if specific, is not much good for anything else than skeet shooting and not versatile enough as a hunting gun for that reason, so I’m told.

    I want a gun for hunting and clay shooting ie: the sporter.

    The gun I saw didn’t appear to have vented barrels as you describe and I don’t know about the adjustable trigger.

    The woodwork was very pleasing to the eye, knotted with character and the shoulder pad was fixed to the stock as part of the gun not one of those push on things.

    Do you know if I can identify it as a Mk70 sporter or hunter by the serial number.

    If I have got it wrong about the specific only “Skeet Gun” I would be pleased to know.

    Looking forward to you reply.

    Roy Thompson.

  • matt

    Hi Roy, I’m from Aus too (Melb) Sounds like it’s a MK70 sporter. I have one they are great field and clay gun also good for skeet but shoot too flat for DTL. Can you remember if it had an adjustable trigger and vented barrels (holes between top and bottom barrels). The base model which does not have these things or a rubber kick pad sell for about $2,550 AU new at the moment. Either your mates gun has had a few extras added like the kick pad or it is a higher grade model. The base model came out in a cardboard box whereas the grade 3+ had the black plastic case, vented barrels, adjustable trigger, factory kick pad, better grade wood. These sell for about $3,200 new here in Melb. Can’t recommend these things highly enough – really well built quality gun at entry level price – Go for it – good luck

    Cheers Matt

  • roy

    Hello.

    Can someone help me please (I am writing from Australia).
    A friend has a Miroku (Mk70 I think) over and under. He wants to sell it as he doesn’t use it and it is just taking up space.
    I have seen the gun recently and wished I had taken a photo because he lives 500 miles from me. He says the gun is a “skeet” gun and hence my problem.
    I really want a sporter/field model as I don’t want to be limited to skeet shooting. I would use it for wild pigs, ducks and clays.
    The gun has a white bead mid mounted sight and 4 or 5 changeable chokes. Barrels look to be 30 inches and it has the flying duck etching on the breech outer casing. The shoulder end of the stock has a thick rubber padding with triangular honeycomb sections within and which is cut away, by approx 45 degrees downwards, at the top. The hand grip under the barrels (sorry about the poor terminology) has a downward lip at the end rather than a rounded curved end.
    The gun was in a black plastic?? box with accessories inside, I presume the chokes and tools.
    From the information that I have provided can anyone tell me if this is a “skeet” gun or “sport/field” gun. Ideas on its value would also help.

    Any advise would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards.

    Roy Thompson.