Turkish guns continue to make in-roads into the UK market, with the Huglu 103DE, which at only £720 represents great value for money, says Jason Harris.
The Turkish invasion carries on unabated with the Huglu 103DE. Huglu have been involved in gun manufacture for around 100 years, but ASI, historically famous for distributing AYA and more recently Rizzini shotguns, has taken over distributorship of these guns.
Huglu are continually working on their range and are in the process of introducing some new models. Among them is this, the 103DE. It’s a fairly plain workmanlike gun, but is given an elegant lift and look by its rounded pistol grip.
There are no frills here, but it does everything a modern O/U can do, with a single selective trigger and ejectors. The barrels are monoblock with 28in tubes and multichokes and the gun comes with a set of five choke tubes.
The barrels have 76mm or 3in magnum chambers and carry superior proof for steel shot.
The top rib is 8mm parallel, matted to reduce glare and has a brass foresight. The top rib is ventilated to reduce weight and maximise cooling. The side ribs are also ventilated. The bores are chromed for maximum protection. Externally the barrels are black chromed for further protection.
Mechanically the gun is relatively simple. The hammers are powered from behind by coil springs, with the sears suspended below the top strap. The sear-lifter-cum-inertia block lifts the first sear and is reset for the second shot by the tail disconnecting and pushing back the selector block. Inertia helps this as well, but the workings are effectively mechanical and so will fire the lightest cartridges.
The lifter can be moved left and right by a button on the safe thumbpiece to choose which barrel is fired first. The safe itself is manual, but can be made auto-safe if preferred.
The hammers have independent cocking rods that travel along the action floor and connect with the directly sprung ejectors to bring them into play when the gun is fired.
Cocking is achieved by a cam in the knuckle of the fore-end, which pushes both cocking rods back when the gun is opened.
The design is simple, which can be a good thing for long-term reliability. The parts are not finished to the highest standard, but are clean and functional and on the whole the gun is put together well and with care.
The action and furniture have a black finish, but there is also a silver finished version. The black is not exactly matt, but a sort of dull satin finish, which is very practical. There is minimal engraving on the metalwork. The gun has decorative raised side panels on the frame, which do add strength and the stock head is nicely shaped to flow back away from them.
The woodwork is quite plain as to be expected from a gun of this price, but it has some figure. Though the colour largely comes from the lacquer finish, it is practical and durable. It could be removed and the wood oil finished to bring out its best. This is best done when a gun has been used a bit and gained a few battle scars as these will often disappear during the re-finishing.
The stock has a nicely proportioned rounded pistol grip. Length of pull is 14½in, including a slim black recoil pad with a hard heel to reduce snagging as the gun is shouldered.
Drops at comb and heel are 23/8in or 60mm and 1½in or 38mm. The gun is cast for right hand by 3/16in. The stock is a little shorter than some, but this is no problem for roughshooting when, generally, more clothes are worn.