The market seems to be quite busy with Turkish guns at the moment, however the sub-£500 isn't so crowded and this new shotgun has woken a few people up
Over the last few months I have been hearing and seeing a lot of questions arising around Kofs shotguns. So, as I had only seen one or two in the flesh and not had one to dissect, I thought I would grab the opportunity to take a closer look when Sportsman Gun Centre offered me one to look over.
The market seems to be getting quite full of Turkish guns at the moment and a lot of people aren’t sure where to turn when it comes to manufacturers. There’s no doubt that the workmanship coming out of Turkey has improved massively over the last decade, but as with anything new coming to market sometimes people feel somethings are just too good to be true.
Kofs, as a manufacturer, makes several different models of shotguns in both O/U and side-by-side, from game and sporter models right through to coachman and cavalry guns, in a variety of calibres and barrel lengths. So far I have only seen the Sceptre model, but it looks as though there is another Turkish maker to add to the mix.
A new shotgun range from under £500
The sub-£1,000 market for new shotguns is a crowded place, but the sub-£500 isn’t, so – as you can imagine – a new shotgun range from around £499 has made a few people sit up and take notice. Is it too good to be true?
I was sent the Sceptre SXE 28-bore game auto-safe model, which retails for £599.99. Other guns in the range start at £499.99 and are made in 12, 20, 28 and .410. I know we are quite away from the game season, but by the time you get to read this the Glorious Twelfth won’t be that far away. Also let’s not forget the sporter is available in the smaller .410 and 28-bore and they’re a great little starter gun to get young shooters started. I have had several calls from parents wanting to buy the junior version and from what I gather they don’t hang around long on the shelf.
An impressive external finish
- The barrels were well struck and finished well above my expectations. The matt finish was simple and effective. All the edges were clean and well cut around the venting and the rib was well attached.
- The chokes were about the only pick up point in as much as there were a few rough edges and burrs – and only notches were cut in the end of the tube to identify what size choke it was, rather than writing, which can confuse some people– but in the great scheme of things, this is nothing to worry about. After all, how often do you change your chokes?
- The furniture was well cut inside and out. All the internals were tidy with no rough edges. The Schnabel fore-end fitted nicely in the hand and gave good control. The stock was also well cut with no roughness, which did impress me because corners tend to be cut with some affordable entry level guns.
- The wood-to-metal fit was very tidy indeed and the fore-end release catch was nicely inlet. Silly little things like that impress me as it’s the details that matter. The rubber recoil pad was quite a chunk at ⅞in thick, but that’s not a bad thing.
- The alloy action is where I think they have been able to keep the overall cost of the gun down. I’m unsure of alloy actions on bigger 12-bore guns as, historically, I have found them to loosen if they have a lot of use. But with 28-bore and .410 guns that often don’t get too much use, I’m not overly concerned. Internally, the action was very simple, effective and tidy.
- The CNC machinery was top notch with everything being well finished. Barring a couple of springs that I would want to beef up a little all was pretty impressive.
- The laser etching scrollwork gave just enough to liven up the action without going to over the top. I tend to find that laser etching is often better than game scenes – the details in the animals I have seen from other makers can often leave you wondering what you are actually looking at.
- Weight:5lb 6oz
- Overall Length:47½in
- Length of pull:14½in
- Drop at comb:40mm to 55mm
- Heel to toe:130mm
The Sceptre handled well. Granted, with it being little more than 5lb it was like waving a garden cane about compared to my 10-bore Greylag gun!
I have to confess I wasn’t on the ball when it came to connecting with the targets – it must have been the smaller pattern (that’s my excuse anyway) but when I pulled my finger out I didn’t disgrace myself. The gun shot well and for that sort of money it was a bargain.
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Scores on the doors
- Build quality: 22/25
- Handling: 23/25
- Styling: 21/25
- Value for money: 25/25
- Price: £599.99 (£499.99 for other models without auto-safe)
More information: Sportsman Gun Centre
On price alone for a junior gun or smaller calibre gun, I think the Sceptre is outstanding. It handles well and I had great fun trying this one. It would make an ideal first gun for a junior. My only reservation is that I’m not sure how the alloy action on the larger calibres would stack up to a lot of hard use, such as clay-shooting, but as a field gun this shouldn’t be a problem.
On price alone for a junior gun or a smaller calibre gun, I think the Sceptre is outstanding