GUN EXPERT: Mike George
USEFUL BUY: Miroku MK60
SECONDHAND COST: Around £895 – £1,500
That’s true to a point, but fashions change and improvements in manufacturing methods often mean that a design which was excellent twenty years ago may no longer sell very well now, and may no longer be economic to produce.
The secret is to strike a balance between proven designs and what’s right for today’s market and manufacturing methods and, by and large, the world’s major shotgun producers have got things right.
Browning and Miroku are good examples, particularly where their more traditional guns are concerned.
Miroku make the majority of the break-action Browning models as well as guns of their own, and all of them work on the broad operating principles laid down by John Moses Browning with his classic design of 1925.
I am sure there will be Brownings and Mirokus working on similar principles when the design is 100 years old.
A good current example is the Miroku MK60 – a delightfully simple shotgun which has been around since the mid 1990s.
And is not very much different to its predecessor, the MK6000.
Come to think of it, it isn’t that much different to the well proven MK70, MK38 and the Browning 525/425 ranges either.
The main difference to most of the rest of the Browning/Miroku family is that the MK60 is available only as a fixed-choke.
That’s a plus point to many shooters who have never believed that frantic multi-choke changing, either in the field or on the clay ground, was a key to success.
Also, fixed-choke guns often handle a bit better than multichokes because the barrel sets are generally a bit lighter towards the muzzles.
My only criticism of the MK60 in this respect is that I feel the gun should be supplied choked quarter and half instead of quarter and three-quarters, but that’s a personal preference and I also acknowledge that the gun has to have a world-wide appeal – not just in the UK.
The barrels are built on the monobloc principle, and are attached to the action by a sturdy lump and full-width hinge pin.
The bolt runs along the action floor. Inside, the hammers, which are driven by coil springs on guide rods, pivot from the bottom, while sears hang from the top strap.
The single, selective trigger is inertia driven to pick up the second shot, and the manual selector is combined with the safety on the top strap.
The fore-end is a Schnabel design, and stock length is usually 14.3/4in. Drop at comb is 1.3/8in, and at heel 2.1/4in.
The current MK60 is known as the MK Universal Sporting, and it is available in Grades 1 and 5, and with either 28 or 30-inch barrels.
Twenty-bore versions are also available.
On the second-hand market there’s a wide variety of grades in both sporters and field models.
New guns generally begin at around £1,300 for a Grade 1 12-bore.
Really good guns on the second-hand market are around £895, and we have seen second-hand high-grade guns at £1,500 or more.
The importers prefer all information to be sourced through the extensive Browning/Miroku/Winchester dealer network.
Details of new guns can be found by visiting www.browningint.com and following the link to Miroku.
Secondhand Miroku MK60 review