Gun reviews: Miroku Presidential shotgun.
It speaks volumes for the quality of this marque that the range now probably accounts for Browning’s core business in both Europe and the USA.
Think about Browning’s standing in the worldwide scheme of things and you start to realise this is no mean feat… especially in such a relatively short space of time!
Miroku’s great strength is it builds superb guns to fill a price niche which Browning can’t.
The cheapest Belgian-made over-under is the B2G at around £6,000, whereas Miroku slugs it out in the highly competitive £1,000 to £2,500 market.
These Japanese-made guns might be slightly less expensive than their Browning counterparts, but in my opinion they are very soundly made and often prettier from an engraving point of view.
But Miroku is also capable of making high grade guns – and the Presidential is one of them.
Browning fans might not like to hear me say it, but the build quality in guns like the Presidential is probably better than the B25 in its cheaper forms.
Mechanically the Presidential is the same as other guns in the Miroku range, but the difference inside is that every moving part has been polished to a very high gloss finish.
The mirror-like finish is such that you can almost see your face in it.
Basically the gun hinges around a substantial cross pin and is locked up by a full-width bolt.
The design of the pin and bolt ensures a long shooting life for this gun because there is plenty of surface area in the bite to hold the gun closed and tight.
Hammers are powered by coil springs with the sears suspended from above.
For safety’s sake a second bent has been cut into the hammer, so if the gun is dropped with enough force to fire it, the secondary sear should catch the hammer and prevent an accidental discharge.
The hammers on this action are not rebounding but striker drag on the primer is prevented by a cam on the top lever’s spring retainer.
When the gun is opened, the hammer for the bottom barrel is pushed away from its spring-loaded firing pin allowing the gun to open with no resistance.
The top striker isn’t spring loaded because the barrels move directly away from the breech face as soon as the gun is opened, thereby preventing any striker drag on an unfired cartridge primer.
Another plus point so far as this striker is concerned is that because there is no return spring, the pin has no step formed for it so the unit is inherently stronger.
The sears are lifted and cocked by an operating rod connected to the trigger.
This rod has an integral inertia block which is rocked back by recoil releasing the sear of the first fired barrel, before dropping forward to pick up the second sear.
Fired cases are ejected clear of the chambers by large hammers powered by coil springs housed each side of the fore-end iron.
As the gun is opened the ejector trip rods are pushed forwards by the re-cocking of the hammers.
These rods pick up the ejector sear as the gun is opened still further until the ejector hammer is released at the point where the gun is fully open.
The gun on test had 30in barrels with standard Invector multi chokes and the barrels are made to the now standard practice of monoblock construction.
For what it’s worth, Miroku make the neatest job of the jointing on their monoblock barrels but on this gun, for some reason, they have decided to engrave around the joint line – a practice followed by many of the Italian manufacturers.
This seems odd to me as it makes the line more apparent. If they’d left it as normal the line would be hardly visible!
As you’d expect with a gun of this quality – and price – the bores are finished to a very high level and the blacking is exceptionally good too.
For extra durability the bores have been chrome plated. The extractors have been given the same polishing treatment as the internal parts, and the same goes for the fore-end ejector work.
The 10mm ventilated top rib has been finished in a style that lends itself to Sporting shooting but the side ribs have been left solid.
Perhaps the most obvious feature of this gun that draws the eye is its foliate scroll engraving which covers the action frame and all its furniture.
It is very reminiscent of the Germanic styles used on the Browning B25s, and in particular the D5G. The work, I would say, is executed by hand, and is very well done.
The parts that make up the action floor are set within the pattern so when the gun is closed they appear invisible.
Woodwork is of course, superb, with highly figured honey coloured wood carrying a chequer pattern that is very fine, neat and hand cut.
The pattern has many points in a traditional style and is cut in a finer pitch to emphasise the far higher grading of this gun.
The stock has been nicely shaped to form a pistol grip and the fore-end sports a familiar Schnabel design.
By way of further decoration the pistol grip on this gun has been fitted with a white spacer and wooden grip cap with another white polymer spacer between the end of the stock and the butt plate.
White polymer diamonds have been inserted into the centre of the pistol grip cap and also into the fore-end at its forward end.
When compared against its Browning equivalent the Miroku is always a flatter shooting gun because of its stock dimensions.
Whereas a Browning will have approximately 50mm drop at heel, a Miroku will usually run out at around 56 mm.
In the past Mirokus usually came with shorter stocks but lately they’ve caught up with Browning and now have the same length of pull at 14.7/8in.
Overall this is a very pretty gun but the jury is out on the white spacers which, presumably, appeal to American buyers.
The owner of this gun is not keen on them and has asked that they be removed. I tend to agree with him, but it probably wouldn’t stop me buying one.
The workmanship is very good and all the polishing is done to a far higher gloss than you’ll find even on higher grade B25s.
For all that this gun is not hand built in quite the same way as a B25 but the time spent on the Presidential does come through and is clearly evident.
If you want a pretty gun to enjoy owning and shooting with then this is certainly worth considering.
It is not a very common gun so you will have something slightly unusual to get the attention of your shooting friends.
Just make sure you get the best price you can.
Alternative buys would be a high grade Browning B125 or a lower grade B25.
The Beretta Jubilee and the Perazzi Sporters also come into this equation.
Miroku Presidential shotgun
Build quality: 8
Value for money: 7