Miroku MK38: beautifully made and good value
Charles Smith-Jones believes the beautifully made Miroku MK38 is a top-class gun of choice for any serious Sporting clay shooter – and good value for money, too
Pros: Well-built, reliable, balanced and competitive
Price as reviewed: £2,090
Evolution of the Miroku MK38
Even as late as the 1970s, the serious Sporting clay shooter still had to rely on Trap or Skeet guns if they wanted to employ anything other than a game gun. Many found themselves seeking the competitive advantages offered by a longer-barrelled Trap gun, and at first Miroku simply flattened off the stock of their 3800 Trap gun to enable it to shoot more to the point of aim as opposed to high. They also opened out the chokes to make them more suitable for Sporting ranges. (Read what you should know about Trap guns and Trap shooting.)
Eventually, the Miroku MK38 appeared as Miroku’s purpose-made response, adding a proper Sporter stock to what were effectively a Trap action and barrels. In doing so, they created a heavier and more controllable gun to suit extended courses of shooting.
Although there is no doubting that the MK38 is a somewhat heavy gun, this is countered by excellent balance. And despite the weight, it has a solid feel and compact appearance. It handles positively and is built for a long day’s shooting without too much discomfort from recoil. It is available in a number of grades featuring varying qualities of walnut stocks and standards of engraving, but even the more basic grades are aesthetically pleasing with carefully chosen wood and tasteful embellishment.
As you might expect in a Miroku, the build quality is excellent and the wood-to-metal fit is first class. Miroku is also known for hand-regulating its guns before they are allowed to leave the factory, something that not every producer of mass-market shotguns does, and every one of their products is shot at test plates to confirm point of impact. As a result, you can confidently expect it to shoot to where you point it.
The monobloc barrels represent Miroku’s earlier steps towards this method of construction as their standard approach and away from the demibloc design once favoured. Although they are latecomers to this system, manufacturing standards are high and it is virtually impossible to see joints in the metal. Some gunmakers use engraving to disguise these joints; Miroku clearly feels there is no need.
Barrels are finished with a 10mm rib, white front bead and also a mid bead, though some users prefer to remove the latter as unnecessary.
The action is based on the Browning B25 Superposed design, though unlike the original Browning the fore-end is detachable, which allows for simpler and less complex machining, with a corresponding reduction in manufacturing cost. The fore-end is Schnabel pattern while the stock shape is typical of Miroku and has been widely copied. It fits most body shapes well and can be shortened for those with shorter arms or to accommodate a deeper butt pad. All of the chequering work is precisely cut, ensuring a firm and comfortable grip.
The plain steel trigger is fully adjustable, the barrel selector is sensibly sized and positioned where you might expect in the sliding safety catch on the top slide, and ejection is positive and reliable. A later model came with back-bored barrels and fitted with Invector Plus Teague chokes.
This gun is a first-class choice for the serious Sporting shot. Although a little heavy for an walked-up day in the field, the MK38 would be quite at home on a peg or in a hide, especially if a gun with removable chokes permits versatility of choice. Beautifully made, it will probably outlast its owner and represents excellent value for money. These guns hold their value well and are much sought after, so it is unlikely you will find one at a knock-down price. It is highly likely, though, that any purchase will not be regretted.
- Configuration Over-and-under
- Action Boxlock
- Choke Fixed or multichoke
- Chamber 2¾ or 3in
- Barrel length 30–32in
- Ejector/non-ejector Ejector
- Safety catch Manual
- Weight 8lb 1oz (30in barrels)
- Available in calibres 12-bore
- Cost new RRP MK38 Sporter Invector Teague £2,090 (Grade 1) to £3,640 (Grade 5)
- Cost used Upwards of around £1,000, depending on age and condition
A proven winner