The Yildiz Wildfowler is a well-made bargain - that doesn't come from Spain, says Charles Smith Jones
Yildiz has been producing shotguns for 40 years and manufactures some 45,000 annually in a variety of models. It takes pride in its customer care and after-sales service, and also offers custom-made guns and special finishes.
Although Yildiz produces a wide range of side-by-side game guns under the model name of Elegant, UK importer and distributor Raytrade UK tends to offer only the 20-bore and .410 models, its rationale being that the UK market is already awash with 12-bore side-by-sides. Instead, it has focused on the wildfowling market with a model chambered for 3½in cartridges and barrelled for use with steel shot. Although this sector is usually dominated by semi-auto and over-and-under guns, the company has clearly identified a demand from those who prefer a more traditional shotgun configuration and met it
Unsurprisingly, the gun is called the Yildiz Wildfowler. It remains in production and should not be confused with the Elegant models, which are intended for a more traditional game-shooting market and chambered to 3in. To confuse matters, Yildiz also produces an over-and-under called the Wildfowler Extreme.
- The build of the Wildfowler is unlikely to disappoint, especially for a gun aimed at the more affordable end of the market.
- In common with all Yildiz shotguns, it is strong, well made and has a simple but effective mechanism and drilled steel barrels.
- The woodwork is walnut, available in several grades, with a semi-pistol grip and bold chequering to assist grip.
- The butt has a solid rubber recoil pad.
- It is an attractive gun with clean lines, good handling properties and dimensions that most adults will find comfortable.
- Both ejector and non-ejector versions are offered.
The mechanical action does not rely on the energy of the first shot to enable the firing mechanism for the second. While with the 3½in chambering it is possible to use heavy magnum loads, the relatively light weight of the gun itself might mean that some people may find themselves rather too aware of the recoil. Some examples appearing on the used market recently have been fitted with sling swivels on the butt and barrels in continental style. This is likely to be a modification made by owners after purchase, perhaps to free up hands when struggling with decoys and other foreshore paraphernalia.
- Laser-etched engraving on each side of the white metal of the action pictures a flying duck.
- A single selective trigger allows barrels to be switched using the non-automatic safety catch and, in keeping with a wildfowling gun, they are proofed for modern steel shot.
- Guns are supplied with a selection of five flush-fitting chokes and spares can easily be obtained.
- The choke tubes tend to be marked with a series of dashes to indicate their constriction, rather than having more definitive markings. The more dashes, the more open the choke: one dash means ‘full’; five mean ‘cylinder’.
- Spare choke keys are easily obtained.
- Most game guns come with fixed chokes.
I have to say I’ve been looking forward to reviewing the Yildiz Wildfower Extreme for quite a while. I first…
If you are looking for a traditionally built side-by-side that offers the rather more unusual offering of multichokes, the Wildfowler may well be an option worth looking at. Although the walnut stock, blued barrels and white metal of the receiver may not be to everyone’s taste in a gun intended for marsh or foreshore use, in reality the Wildfowler offers a great deal more. Despite being ‘no-frills’, this gun would not look out of place on a walked-up day. And being able to change chokes in what is essentially a game gun offers versatility and an extended range of shooting opportunities.
- Configuration: Side-by-side
- Action: Boxlock
- Trigger: Single
- Safety catch: Non-automatic
- Ejector/non ejector: Both available
- Chamber: 3½in
- Choke: Multichoke
- Barrel length: 28in or 30in
- Weight: 7lb
- Available in calibres: 12-bore
- Cost new: RRP £750 (non ejector), £850 (ejector)
- Cost used: From around £400 depending on condition
An attractive gun with clean lines and good handling properties