Miroku MK70 Grade 5
Miroku admirer Jonny Carter finds this attractive all-rounder lovely to shoot and believes it's a match for guns twice its price
Miroku MK70 Grade 5
Overall Rating: 91%
Price as reviewed: £3,640
I shot a Miroku for a good few years and became a bit of an addict. In the UK, we have four models: the MK60, the fixed-choke all-rounder; the MK38, the clay demon; the MK11, the pretty game gun; and the MK70. WE are testing the MK70 Grade 5 here, a multichoke game gun.
The Miroku brand can trace its roots back to 1893, however its recent history dates to 1951, when it started making modern sporting guns. As the story goes, in 1959 Miroku gunmakers took a Browning Superposed, reverse engineered it and created a gun inspired by this legendary over-and-under — which over the next decade gained its own reputation for quality and reliability. Roll on 1967, when Browning, noticing that this Japanese company was making a gun almost as good as its own at a fraction of the price, commissioned Miroku to make a lever-action rifle. This was a huge success upon its launch, and so in 1973 Browning cemented its relationship with Miroku by co-developing a Japanese-built gun to its own pattern.
Looking at the Miroku MK70 Grade 5
For more than 40 years, Miroku and Browning over-and-unders (with the exception of the Belgian-built B25) have been made to identical standards in identical factories. When I worked in gunshops, I spent many hours telling people this so they wouldn’t be scared to buy a Miroku, rather than the go-to brands Browning or Beretta. The model we are looking at is the Miroku MK70 Grade 5.
This particular gun comes with 28in multichoke barrels, although 30in and 32in are available. It is supplied with five internal chokes and a choke key. The 10mm rib features both a front and mid bead, and it is fitted with an aftermarket fibre-optic front sight. I was always an advocate for fixed-choke Mirokus as I think the weight distribution feels a bit special. Where they flare the end of the barrel to take the screw-in chokes, this adds a few ounces right out at the front, which deadens a gun in a way that suits some shooting styles and disciplines but isn’t my preference. That said, this 28in gun still moves in the way an ‘all-round’ gun should.
The action on the Miroku MK70 Grade 5 is identical in lock-up and mechanical design to the Browning 525, with the hook of the barrel swing around a full-width joint pin, and a full-width bottom bite securing it when shut. The action is certainly taller than many others on the market, but this is not necessarily bad and it does make one of the best closing noises of any gun out there.
The outside of the action is covered in deep, flash-cut, large scroll engraving — it’s undeniably beautiful, being the perfect mixture of classy and loud. The stock and fore-end are the other beauty features on this gun. These guns are stocked in American black walnut, which is redder and has slightly less contrast in the grain structure and a lot more fiddleback than the more common Circassian walnut.
The stock is 15in long, finished with a thin plastic heelplate with good average dimensions, if a little lower than a modern clayshooter might want. This gun is truly designed for ‘all-round shooting’. It would be equally at home shooting Sporting clays as it would sat under pheasants or in a pigeon hide.
The reason I fell so in love with Miroku is that the guns never let you down and are so sweet to shoot you can’t let them down in the field.
Need to know
- Manufacturer Miroku
- Model MK70 Grade 5
- Calibre 12-bore Chamber 2¾in (Sporter version) or 3in (Field)
- Rib 10mm — with central tramline and double bead sight
- Weight 7lb 9oz
- Barrel 28in (30in and 32in available)
- Stock Pistol grip with hard heelplate
- Chokes Invector plus multichoke
- Price £3,640
- Importer ISB
This gun was lovely to shoot, and over our short reviewing relationship we shot a bit of Sporting, a bit of Skeet and a few pigeons.
For pigeon shooting, my biggest take away was how little energy this gun takes to shoot. By modern standards it is rather light, it soaked up recoil from a 32gm load like a gun 1lb heavier. Luckily, it is only 7lb 9oz, and so you can stand there at the ready for plenty of time without your arms falling off. I didn’t hit them all, but I was happy with how the gun performed on a cold and windy December evening.
Skeet is where this gun felt most at home for me, really showing off its instinctive nature. My MK38 was set up to have only a portion of what this gun offers in this area. Getting into a stand, calling pull and letting the gun top through a few rounds of Skeet had me leaving with a 23/25 and 24/25. It was easy to turn my brain off and trust my gut with this gun.
When it came to Sporting, it was perfectly capable and adequate. It didn’t set my heart on fire, but it moved well and broke clays. I found its ability to be repeatedly moved through the same lines not quite as good as its big, clay-smashing brother, the MK38, but as previously discussed this is a ‘do-all gun’ not a ‘clay gun’.
My only gripe is that the triggers are not as good as many other brands out there, feeling a little spongier and less crisp. That said, they aren’t at all bad and I never felt disadvantaged pulling mine.
Overall, the Miroku MK70 Grade 5 was easy to shoot, it’s well built and blends in with guns twice the price. Price is a big thing with Miroku, the firm always tries to keep its pricing slightly below the competition on a like-for-like model and that feels nice as a buyer. I would recommend this gun to anyone who wants just one over-and-under, especially someone who favours their game shooting, pest control and occasional local clay pigeon shoot.
- Action and barrels 20/20 Time tested and solid as a rock
- Handling 18/20 Very good as an all-rounder
- Trigger 16/20 Adequate but not amazing
- Stock 18/20 Beautiful; lacks interchangeable pads
- Value 19/20 Can’t beat them for the money
- Overall score 91/100 You would be proud to own this gun
You would be proud to own this gun