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Yildiz .410 side-by-side

Yildiz .410 side-by-side

The Yildiz .410 side-by-side has the general appearance of a conventional boxlock. However, this design does share the attributes of that benchmark design, the Anson & Deeley, in that it is delightfully simple.

It incorporates an unusual but mechanically effective bent or hammer notch (where the sear engages the hammer) and, as a single trigger gun, has the necessary mechanical changeover for second barrel selection.

The layout and geometry of the lockwork is neatly done and both the top lever and hammers are powered by helical springs.

This, in effect, is the Mark II model. The change to helical main springs gives, in this instance, an improved hammer strike. There is a centre cocking-rod, a full-width single-bite locking-bolt and the light alloy action body is fitted with a steel extractor cam and full-width cross-pin.

The action face is also fitted with a steel insert, but the crosshead-retaining screw, while practical, does look a little out of place on a gun.

The barrels appear to be laid parallel and are wider apart at the muzzle than one might expect. The other unusual feature is the absence of a rib between the barrel flats and the large and very effective fore-end loop.

This is not a fault, just something that strays a little from traditional-build features. Otherwise, the 28in barrels follow a conventional monoblock assembly, with a concave English-style top rib and small brass foresight bead.

The blacking is a black silk finish – both practical and attractive – while muzzles, breech and lumps are well-polished and the bores very clean.

Proofed in Birmingham for 76mm cartridges, the bore size is 10.3mm, which is well within the .410 size range and the fixed chokes measured full and half, though a three quarter/quarter option is available.

This shotgun has a light, honey-coloured stock and fore-end with some grain pattern showing. This has been enhanced by the oil finish and clean chequering.

The steeply curved pistol grip is quite comfortable and, of course, eminently suited to a single-trigger gun.

Stock dimensions are 1.1/2in drop at the tip of the comb and a good 2.1/2in at the heel. Length of pull from the trigger to the middle of the chequered plastic butt-plate measured 14.3/8in.

Cast-off is minimal on this particular example, but with noticeable toe-out for the right-handed shot. The fore-end is of generous dimensions for a small gun and in style hovered somewhere between English splinter and American beavertail.

At 4.3/4lb, this is an undeniably light gun, balancing just about on the knuckle of the action bar. It is, therefore, quick to the shoulder and requires mental concentration to mount consistently well.

The trigger pull was on the firm side, but was, nonetheless, remarkably crisp and almost creep-free. The combined safety and barrel selector passed all the tests with flying colours, preventing a discharge even with the most deliberately ham-fisted use.

There are no marks indicating barrel selection and this is not necessary. Move the safety/selector button to the left and that’s the
barrel that is selected; move it to the right and it selects the right-hand barrel.

Tested at 20 yards it threw just a little high, the bottom one third of the pattern eclipsing the ‘bird’ when viewed just above the foresight bead.

This is the kind of sight picture that does suits many shooters. Tested with a variety of cartridges, including Fourten (2in), Fourlong (2.1/2 in) and 3in, the patterns produced by this gun were actually best with the Fourlong.

The right barrel shot a bit higher than the left, but really only something you would be able to determine on a pattern plate. However, the patterns from this barrel were very good, with a nice even spread of shot producing a slightly tight half choke, based on pellet count.

It led me to conclude that, for many uses, the full-choke left barrel, while producing adequate patterns, might be improved by opening it out a little. After all, it is even patterns and pellet energy that makes for a good kill on artificial targets or game, and are all the more important with a small bore.

Being of the old school, I have never quite got used to the idea of using a .410 for breaking clays. So, to be fair, a suitable volunteer, another small-bore enthusiast at a clay shoot, was encouraged to prove how well it can be done.

The first few single clays were lobbed over at a genteel velocity and were no problem, most ending up as one-shot kills. Speeding up proved, if the shooter’s eye was in, that good scores were still achievable at the modest distances a .410 is normally used. The speed of handling and easy target acquisition all came in for praise.

To me, whatever the present trend for small-bore clay-busting, a lightweight side-by-side .410 is a hedgerow gun – a companion.

Does the Yildiz fit the bill? Of course it does, doing everything that is required of it. As a bonus, it is good-looking, the blacked barrels contrasting with the satin finished action.

The border decoration matches well with the panelled head of the stock and the nicely curved bow of the trigger-guard.

It is altogether a pleasing little gun at an economic price. For the shooter who wants something fancier there is the option of more decoration and better quality walnut or, to special order, a sideplate version with superior walnut and lavish engraving – something, it seems, for most tastes.

For more information contact Entwistle Guns, tel 01772 718048