Known for making Brownings, Miroku is something of an underdog as a manufacturer, buts its new sideplate is a class act, says Matt Hunt
The MK11 sideplate leads the Miroku brand to a much higher quality level than its previous over-and-unders.
The gun is a true hybrid from the Miroku/Browning stable, taking a lower action profile from the Browning B725 and an inertia trigger mechanism from the latest Browning B525. However, the action design and overall shape are unique and represent a giant improvement in aesthetics from all earlier Browning/Miroku sideplate firearms.
In achieving this, the classic Browning action has not been compromised nor reinvented in any way, ensuring the MK11 will be as strong and reliable as any of its predecessors.
A close look at the MK11
The barrels are of monobloc construction and the tubes are seamlessly joined to the monobloc. There is a choice of 28in, 30in and 32in barrels available, all with 3in chambers, steel proof and Invector-Plus choke system.
As barrel profiles are almost the same as the B725, I’m surprised the Invector-DS choke system has not been used, but this reflects the hybrid nature of this gun.
The barrel top rib is a 6mm solid game rib, which works very well aesthetically, though it does add additional barrel weight and takes the balance point forward of the hinge pin. It would be wonderful to see a 6mm to 4mm solid rib option as used on the Browning B15.
The action detonation and attention to detail on the fences is far more conventional than on previous Browning/Miroku sideplate designs, which, in conjunction with a perfectly angled sideplate, gives the gun a very slender and fine line.
These action lines are complemented, too, by the profiling of the woodwork. The lines throughout the gun taper perfectly to a slim and rounded fore-end.
Both stock and fore-end are made from grade five Turkish walnut and match perfectly. The grip has a familiar feel, and the traditional hand-cut chequering and oil finish give it that Best gun finish and look.
The engraving is an exceptionally bold design of deep-relief game scenes and acanthus scroll. It is a bit in-your-face — and, for my taste, lacks subtlety — but works very well with the overall appearance of the gun.
Need to know
- Manufacturer Miroku
- Model MK11 Game
- Calibre 12-bore
- Barrels 30in
- Chamber 3in (76mm)
- Chokes Invector-Plus multichoke
- Rib Solid game
- Grip Pistol
- Weight 7lb 5oz
- Importer International Sports Brands, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Price £6,199
The first thing you notice when shooting the Miroku MK11 is its overall weight. At just over 7¼lb, it’s a gun that can be carried comfortably in the field. Its slender action and woodwork profiles give it a thoroughbred game gun feel that previously was the reserve of Italian sideplate over-and-unders.
The top-lever operates smoothly with no harsh initial bite and with the perfect amount of bearing friction as the barrels open. On assessment of the bearing surfaces on the fore-end iron, bolt and bites, it was no surprise to see the level of hand-fitting and finishing that gives it this quality feel.
The gape on the gun allows top and bottom barrels to be loaded with ease and the close of the gun gave a very solid and reassuring feel.
The shape and feel of the safety catch remains unchanged from previous Miroku designs. However, the switch from a manual safe to a factory-fitted autosafe is a great improvement and will be embraced by UK game Shots.
On shooting the gun at simulated game targets with game loads, it handled superbly; even when shooting 32g cartridges, felt recoil through the factory-fitted recoil pad was modest. Notably, the gun had considerably less barrel lift when shooting top barrel first.
The ejection system is unchanged from previous Browning/Miroku models and spent cartridges ejected with ease, even when the gun was operating at high temperature.
It’s not until you put the gun back in its slip that you realise how different it feels and shoots from previous Miroku models. The small and subtle changes combined with the hybrid design makes the MK11 one of the best all-round game guns I have ever shot. That slightly heavy and agricultural feel of previous Miroku models has gone and, as a result, this gun is going to appeal to those discerning British game shooters who previously looked to Italian design to satisfy their needs.
Scores for the Miroku MK11
- Accuracy 17/20 What you’d expect from this maker
- Handling 1820 Superb, with modest felt recoil
- Trigger 17/20 Inertia mechanism from the B25
- Stock 19/20 Good-looking grade five Turkish walnut
- Value 18/20 Premium quality, underdog price tag
- Overall score 89/100 A great all-round game gun