Shane Robinson tests Yildiz's latest mid-range shotgun, a gun made as well internally as it is externally
I was really impressed when I reviewed the Yildiz Wildfowler Extreme. So when I was offered a close look at the Yildiz Pro Sport, I was more than happy to oblige.
I had heard a lot about this particular model and was intrigued to get my hands on one because Yildiz, as a brand, has always been associated with entry-level guns but has decided to take a big step into the mid-market. And after what I have seen, I really think it was a wise move.
I was sent the black action 28in version, which starts at RRP £2,250. There is a 30in version available as well as some higher-grade variations topping out with the hand-engraved “Special” edition at £4,200, which I am looking forward to seeing when I return the test gun.
In the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t that expensive when you think a new Silver Pigeon or Browning 725 will cost the best part of £1,700 and will generally use plainer timber, unless you opt for one of the higher-grade models.
How much would you pay for a hand-engraved gun?
The last nice gun we had in that had been hand-engraved was considerably more than £4,000.
As opposed to the satin finish of the Wildfowler, the Pro Sport’s barrels were nicely constructed and had been given a polished external finish, which set the tone of the gun nicely.
A set of 3in magnum chambers with chromoly steel-proofed internal lining will be capable of handling any load you need for the job.
A set of five flush chokes comes as standard, which is maybe the only thing I was a little disappointed in. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the ones you get, but, personally, I think a set of after market or upgraded chokes would be more appealing.
The 6mm non-tapered rib led nicely to a fibre-optic bead.
The furniture was a selected piece of upgraded walnut that was nicely figured, cut and matched to the fore-end, which I think is really important. Two pieces of non-matching furniture stand out like a pensioner at a pop concert (no offence to any concert-going pensioners). Even though there was a fair bit of right-hand cast, it wasn’t too awkward for the left-handed bloke to use. That may have been down to the lack of palm swell, as I often find guns with a right-hand palm swell put me off more than guns with right-hand cast, but, again, that’s just me.
Wood-to-metal fit was almost perfect. There was not a burr or rough edge in sight, and this is what really impressed me about this gun. The detail was there. Inside the fore-end where the fixings are was spotless. All around the ejectors and where the barrels fit into the action was immaculate. Even under the butt pad, when I removed it, was tidy.
The action impressed me the most. Lots of people say it’s very Perazzi-like and they’re right. It is simple and understated in the black version. Quite simply solid and well-made. The internal metal work was excellent. The CNC work was outstanding. Every piece was clean and rounded as it should be. It really was nice to see something made as well internally as it is externally for a change.
Had I been writing this article seven or eight years ago, all of the above probably would have been pick-up points and many people would have agreed with me. But, as a company, I think Yildiz has come a very long way in terms of quality and innovation. Its standards have improved 10-fold, as has the quality and the range of products.
According to the website, Yildiz manufactures more than 70 models of shotgun. I have to say that I have been converted over the past few years and I think there are more people out there with the same thoughts. The quality coming out of Turkey is definitely something to look at as a buyer and something to look out for as a competitive manufacturer.
I gave the Pro Sport a test run on the clays at Ivythorn and shot reasonably well with the gun. It works on a recoil set system and I had no issues, as I was using 28g Bornaghi 7.5 and I shot a respectable 41/50 with it.
Considering I prefer a wider rib, I was more than happy with how it went. I’ve heard of low load cartridges having issues setting off the second barrel, but as I didn’t have any light loads I couldn’t test this theory out.
I thought the Pro Sport was really well-made and very well finished. It handled nicely and performed as it should do. Even with the things I picked up on, I would happily put one in my cabinet.
It is a worthy contender in mid-range gun sales. I hope it does well and silences a few critics.
More information: Entwistle Guns
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Scores on the doors
- Build quality 24/25
- Handling 24/25
- Styling 23/25
- Value for money 25/25
A worthy contender in mid-range gun sales.