Top Shot Becky McKenzie compares this budget beauty to a Perazzi. Is this Turkish gun really that good?
When Jonathan at Orston Shooting Ground in Nottinghamshire suggested I try the Yildiz Pro Black Sporter I did not know what to think. Yildiz is a little-known brand to me and I have always thought of its guns as affordable starters.
The Turkish gunmaker Yildiz has a wide range of entry-level guns, but when Jonathan handed me the new 32in barrel Pro Black, I immediately noticed it had some absolutely beautiful wood on it. And they say looks aren’t everything.
Shouldering the new gun – being careful not to mark it – I found it came up sweetly. So I asked if they had a demo gun available. The demo gun was a 12-bore with 30in barrels.
Yildiz has been producing shotguns for more than 40 years. It uses modern manufacturing techniques and the finest Turkish walnut to produce capable, reliable, good-looking guns and there is a great range of models.
In the over-and-under range exported to the UK there is a junior range of guns, suitable for the younger Shot, or a woman, because it is lightweight and comes with a short 13in stock. It is available in .410, 20-, 28- and 12-bore, with barrel lengths ranging from 26in, 28in and 30in. (Read our review of the Yildiz .410.)
There are seven different variations of the Pro Sporter alone, including a colour case hardened version, which is very pretty. The two Pro Specials, which have nice engravings, are the Pro Trap Black and Pro Trap White. There is also the MX Trap, SPZM, SPZSM, and a few others. Alongside all the over-and-unders, there is a range of side-by-sides, some lovely semi-autos, a selection of pump actions (not my favourite) as well as single-barrel shotguns.
The Pro Sporter, which is Yildiz’s latest competition gun, is available with a standard stock, or adjustable comb stock. It has a steel, black action, which gives it enough weight to absorb recoil, associated with a lot of clay shooting, and all the cartridges we get through.
Barrel lengths available are 28in, 30in (tested) and 32in. The barrels are 4140 drilled steel, with a 7mm slim rib and a 3in chamber. This beauty comes with grade 4 walnut and it sure is pretty. It also has a nicely fitted rubber recoil pad. Stock length is around 370mm, stock drop comb/heel 38mm/60mm, single selective trigger with manual safety catch.
The search for a high-quality yet affordable gun continues to be battled out around the world with various manufacturers, but this Yildiz, fits right in that bracket. At the brand new price of £1,599 for a grade 3 wood, adjustable comb, or £1,899 for grade 4 – definitely worth the upgrade – this is a bargain.
It is a bit rude of me to say it’s a copy of a Perazzi, but it is ‘similar’ in a few ways. The jointing of the barrels to sides of the action, which creates the nice low profile of the Yildiz action, is akin to a Perazzi. The Yildiz Pro Sporter trigger group also shares similar characteristics to the Perazzi. There are superb crisp trigger-pulls a bit like you find on the MX8 – though I have to qualify that by saying I haven’t shot an MX8 for a while.
However, I use my MX2000 S frequently and that is a good benchmark. I must point out that the trigger is non-detachable, but how many of us actually ever detach our trigger group? In the 17 years I have been shooting, I have only done it once – after shooting in Dubai to hoover out the sand.
The action is black, with minor engraving – Yildiz Pro neatly engraved at the bottom of the action. This is also in the style of the Perazzi MX8. There is a silver trigger-blade around, which is a nice black trigger-guard. Again, rather like Perazzi – and Zoli for that matter – it has a Boss locking system. Nothing wrong with that.
With the dimensions of the stock, Yildiz has done its homework and, even for my female stature, it came into my shoulder with great ease. The pistol grip is quite deep, along with a good palm swell, the hand fits well and I felt I had a good grip of the gun.
The gun weighs in at a fraction over 8lb, a little more for the 32in, and the gun’s point of balance, to me, felt pretty much around the hinge pins and felt excellent in the hands. What really impressed me with the Yildiz Pro Black was how it handled when I shot it. Perhaps not as good as my Perazzi, but it was pretty darned good, nonetheless.
First impression on shouldering the gun for the first time in Orston’s gun room was: “Hmm, nice”. But you can say that about a lot of guns when you waft them around as you are bedazzled by the beauty of the wood.
I tried shooting the Yildiz Pro Black Sporter on the Sportrap layout and when it came to the fast sim pairs it moved how I wanted it to, with no fighting to get it there, no snatchy movements and no nasty surprises. It did the job with relative ease and smoothness.
On steady targets, nothing felt rushed, the sight picture was pleasant, and I really liked the slim 7mm rib because it didn’t take my eye away from the targets. It really is a good gun to shoot. Recoil-wise, not actually much to report here. There was no more perceived recoil than my own gun. I’ve read some reviews that said felt recoil was not so good with 28g cartridges and that the gun had a few issues cycling 24g.
I shot a couple of different 24g through it, and it worked faultlessly. With 28g it did feel a bit ‘punchy’, but 28g always does to me. My RC7s have quite a good snap to them, but the gun soaked it up good enough. These other reviews, I think, are a few years old, and done on a 28in barrelled gun. On the 30in test gun there was no problem. It would be nice to try a 32in.
Conclusion – Yildiz Pro Black Sporter
The Yildiz Pro Black Sporter really is made to a high standard, heavier than a few other guns in this price range, but I think this will benefit most shooters, as the weight itself makes this a nice smooth gun to shoot. It does not feel tiresome with the extra weight, as there is less felt recoil, no fighting to get it going, and certainly no fight to get it to stop and change direction, when you need it to. It felt a ‘natural’ gun.
This is a good-quality, well-made, handsome looking gun, at under £2,000, with good wood, plenty of chokes, and adjustable comb.
What more could you want? Oh, perhaps the Yildiz Pro Special, grade 5 wood, stunning engraving – which I will add here is fully hand engraved – all for the price of just under £4,000. And that really is excellent value for money.
UK Distributor: Raytrade Ltd
This is a good-quality, well-made, handsome looking gun, at under £2,000