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With its precise finish and solid shooting characteristics, this Perazzi-inspired Yildiz Pro Sporter offers exceptional value for money and quality that defies its price point.
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This month we are looking at a Yildiz Pro Black 30" Sporter in 12-bore. I’ve shot a few of these Perazzi-inspired guns; I especially liked the 32" Grade 4 20-bore (the starting grade for that model), but I asked Richard Ryan of Raytrade, the Hampshire-based importer, to send me a 30" 12 because I wanted to try the standard model which is actually listed as Grade 3. The RRP as tested with an adjustable comb is £1,675, and the non-adjustable version is £1,520 (the 20-bores with better wood still come in at under £2K).
The test gun weighs in just over 8lb – a good weight for a sporter. The balance is on the hinge pin. Other first impressions are good. Although the Pro does not look flashy with its plain black action and straight grained timber, the price point for a bifurcated lump, Boss-bolted gun immediately grabs your attention. You can’t help but wonder how they do it for the money (a comment which applies all the more to their budget SPZ model which begins at around £500). There is even a 5-year guarantee.
No corners appear to have been cut in manufacture. The wood-to-metal and metal-to-metal finish are first class, regardless of the price point. Meantime, there are other Pro Sporter models, the CCH with a colour-case-hardened finish (this is achieved chemically rather than by oven and bonemeal) and the bright polished ‘Pro Silver’. My own preference in competition guns, however, has always been for undecorated black actions as seen here, though my preference would be for a little more sheen on the action walls.
When you open the gun, it really could be a Perazzi. The engineering and machine finish is impeccable. Close inspection of the steel (UK) proofed, 3" chambered and mutli-choked monobloc barrels reveals no unpleasant surprises. I would not say they were quite up to the gold standard of a Perazzi for internal presentation; they are, however, very good and I especially liked the 11-8mm taper rib. The Hi Viz interchangeable foresight was fine (and is easily swapped for a brass bead or other preference – the thread is the same as a Beretta). Joining ribs are vented and extend back to the fore-end. My only real criticism concerned the flaring at the muzzle for the multi-chokes – it was a little too obvious.
Intrigued by the commercial genesis of the Yildiz Pro, I asked Richard of Raytrade to give me a bit more background. Both Yildiz (based in Central Anatolia) and Raytrade seem to be going from strength to strength recently.
“We took on Yildiz in 2019 taking the distributorship over from Entwhistle Guns who had already done much work with the factory to improve the brand for the British market, ensuring a reliable and very affordable product," says Richard. "We were buying both for ourselves and for Raytrade Australia which allowed us to put in very large orders and achieve a keen price structure. Significant price reduction opened up the market to the Pro Black range which was priced at over £2,000 previously. It has quickly achieved a strong position in the UK market. Yildiz were also the first manufacturer to introduce a 5-year warranty, showing their own confidence in what has proven a very reliable product, and a very well-priced one.”
No one could argue on either point. Yildiz are offering a Perazzi- or Kemen-style gun for substantially less than a base grade Beretta, and at a fraction of the price of the gun that inspires it. It appears to be made from first-class materials too, and shoots well.
My only negatives, and they are not many, is that the stock shapes could be improved. Turkish gunmaking is beginning to make some others look expensive now, and will keep continental European manufacturers on their toes. There was a time when quality was an issue. That time has passed. These guns pass muster.
The most remarkable technical feature of the Pro is how the level of precision machining and finish is achieved at the price point. Turkish gunmaking has come on leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, even the last 10. The advent of advanced CNC has changed much – and it’s all good news for the gun-buying public.
The precisely machined and well put together action here is clearly inspired by Perazzi. It’s so close that I have to say I would be hard-pressed to tell the difference if the Yildiz name wasn’t there. You’ve got the same hinging and bolting, the same central cocking bar. Hammers are driven by coil springs, and the ejector work looks identical too.
The single trigger is inertia-operated. This isn’t a detachable lock gun; it’s more like a selective trigger MX12 (or old MT6) than an MX8. The MX12 appeared in the late 1980s and has a fixed trigger lock and coil spring; the V spring much-imitated MX8 first appeared for the 1968 Mexico Olympic games, but has the option of helical springs now too.
This was a steady, stable gun to shoot. It didn’t quite sing to me as the brilliant 32" 20 did, but on the other hand, I didn’t miss anything with it either! It was a very predictable gun to use. If anything, it felt a little heavier than its 8lb weight. Stock shapes were adequate. I’m not a great fan of palm swells and tight radiused grips – they cause my rear elbow to rise and may check the swing a bit when shooting Sporting. But as noted, I didn’t miss anything, so the Pro is not far off being right.
It feels a quality thing too. I have always liked low profile guns with thick-walled actions (like Perazzis and Kemens). They feel solid. The double lock-up with draws and wedges and Boss-bolting to the rear inspires confidence. Bottom line? This is already one of the best value guns on the British market, and with a little development on the stock front it could be superb. Nevertheless, the Pro Sporter works very well. It is an outstanding buy and much recommended.
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