GUN EXPERT: Mike George
USEFUL BUY: Miroku MK70
SECONDHAND COST: Around £900
True or not, negotiations between the two companies began in the middle 1960s, and nowadays the majority of break-action Brownings are built by Miroku.
The similarities between modern guns with the Browning name and Miroku’s own guns are quite marked.
This gun’s equally at home on the Sporting range or out in the field.
Both feature the tall actions with low-mounted bolts and barrels hinged on full-width crosspins.
Two-piece ejectors are operated by spring-powered kickers mounted on the fore-end iron.
The handling characteristics are markedly similar, too, and generally different to guns with shallow actions and barrels hinged on stub pins – notably Berettas.
Stock drop points on better grade models.
This isn’t a criticism of either gun – some of us shoot better with Browning-type actions, while others prefer the Beretta style.
Many other successful guns have operated on Browning principles – notably the Winchester 101 series, which was built in Japan but not by Miroku.
Hard wearing metalwork and good quality walnut.
Miroku have been building sporting guns since 1893, and at one time made well-respected guns sold under the Charles Daly name in the USA.
The Miroku trigger system is one of the most reliable around.
They were also among the first makers of guns with flush-fitting multichoke tubes tightened and removed with a key.
Today’s subject, the MK70 Sporter, dates back to the mid 1990s, when it took over from the much-respected 7000 model.
It was one of the first Mirokus to have barrels built on the monobloc principle, in which individual barrel tubes are sleeved into a solid block at the breech end which surrounds the chambers and forms the lumps.
Rich, deep, blacking and a tried and tested lock-up.
Previous Mirokus had barrels built on the chopper-lump system, like the best of traditional English guns.
Despite what the critics say, monobloc barrel sets are just as strong, and much more economical to manufacture.
> Boxlock with conventional Browning-style action. Bolt runs along the action floor, with everything else stacked in logical sequence on top.
> Single, selective trigger with barrel selector built into the safety thumbpiece.
> Stock length is usually a little over 14.3/4in, with drops at comb and heel of 1.1/2in and 2.1/2in respectively.
> Basic grade guns have varnished stocks, with oil finish on higher grades. All new guns are multichokes with 28 or 30in barrels.
> Chambers are 3in (76mm), with steel shot proof. Weight is around 7.3/4lb, depending on barrel length and wood density.
> Excellent design features.
> Experienced and reliable manufacturer and importer.
> Well balanced.
> Always examine the firing pin tips on older guns. They were prone to developing cratered tips, but they are easily and cheaply replaced.
WHAT TO PAY
> All guns have crept up in price in recent years, but the MK70 is still good value at around £1,500 new, and you may do better than that if you shop around. Second-hand guns in good condition sell from around £900 upwards.
> BWM Arms Ltd, Moorbrook Park, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 7HP. Tel: 01235-514550.
> Full specification of new guns available at www.browningint.com/miroku