7 of the best shotguns made in Turkey
At one time, hunting rifles built in Turkey had a pretty horrible reputation. Which was justified. To be frank, a lot of the inertial autoloaders that came out of this country were junk. They didn’t cycle with reliable shells, and some of them were built with cheap metal. Years ago, I saw a piece of metal from a magazine tube smash a Turkish-made semi-auto during a pheasant hunt. He also started doubling down, firing the first shell, spinning it, then putting the second shell in the battery and firing it as well, all without pulling the trigger and it was all very dangerous. Double barreled shotguns were often built to a low standard too, and that’s nice. Wood bubbling in the tips, steel burrs on the receivers, and a poor fit anywhere the steel is fired are just a few of the issues I have seen.
But this stigma has largely disappeared from hunting rifles made in Turkey. Of course, there are still less than desirable shotguns from Turkey. But the majority of shotguns made there work fine and can include a beautiful walnut with a glossy finish, which emulates high-end branded shotguns. Some of today’s Turkish-made rifles can compete with models built in Europe, Japan, and the United States. The best of these shotguns are designed by top engineers and machined with precision CNC equipment. -quality firearms. Here’s a look at seven Turkish shotguns that are worth their price.
During tests, the CZ 1012 performed 5,000 revolutions without cleaning or lubrication and did not run or break. Ten years ago, few (if any) Turkish autoloaders could do this. The Turkish walnut stock has geometric angles that not everyone will like. But when I tested this weapon, I was impressed with the 1012’s ability to feed, fire, and eject everything from light target charges to 3-inch magnums. The layout of the controls is reasonable and there are no rough edges or ill-fitting parts. Everything about this gun is solid and well designed. Perhaps the most impressive thing is the price, which starts at just $ 645. The CZ 1012 shotguns are 12 gauge with a 3 inch chamber and are available with wooden stocks and tips that have receivers and barrels finished in matte black chrome or Cerakote. Synthetic camouflage patterns are also available.
I was a fan of the original Orion shotguns made by SKB in Japan, so when Weatherby resurrected the Orion nameplate in 2015, I was really hoping the brand’s Turkish made over / under would be as reliable as the old pistol. Fortunately, it is just as reliable. The Orion I own has all the features shooters and hunters want, like automatic ejectors, three interchangeable choke tubes, chrome bores, and a premium walnut with a clean wood-to-metal fit. The field version carries an MSRP of approximately $ 1,000. For those who don’t mind Weatherby’s high-gloss finish, there’s a muted matte blue version. If you’re into clay court shooting, Weatherby’s Orion Sporting (MSRP $ 1,099) costs about half the price of competing clay court over / unders. The Orion has a big front, but that doesn’t affect the weapon’s weight much (7 pounds), but does provide better grip. There are 12 and 20 gauge models available in 3 inch chambers.
Tristar has been in business for 25 years and the company continues to import some of Turkey’s best guns. It is difficult to make a low quality gasoline autoloader because there are so many more moving parts than in inertia guns, and the Viper G2 delivered. Tristar performs extensive testing on each new model that involves firing several thousand shots using randomly selected weapons. They are also of great value. I tested the Viper G2 Bronze ($ 900) in 28 gauge and fell in love with the pistol. The wood was exceptional and the bronze surface treatment on the receiver was a nice touch in a shotgun under six pounds. The pistol is also available in 12, 20 and 16 gauge, plus a .410 bore, a good option as there aren’t too many .410 semi-automatics being made. Tristars are also known for their patterns. The company uses Beretta and Benelli style choke tubes which add value to their guns as they all shoot very straight.
Weatherby’s Italian-made 18i semi-automatic shotgun receives the lion’s share of the attention, but don’t ignore the company’s Turkish-made Element semi-automatic inertia. Owner Adam Weatherby controls the Turkish factories that produce the company’s guns and sets extremely high build quality standards. There are four Element models available with wood or polymer stocks and blued, camo or Cerakote finishes with prices starting at $ 599. These weapons have proven their worth in the dove fields of Argentina where inferior semi-autos will die horrific deaths. The Elements I tested performed well and shot well, but there is a break-in period with them. If you want the element to cycle loads of skeet, you must first pass some heavier turkey or waterfowl rounds through the gun. Features include three starters (four in 12-gauge models, which include modified steel tubing / extended long-throw), fiber-optic front sight, drop and cast adjustment shims, and a chrome bore. The element is also available in 20 gauge.
I hunted doves in the Cordoba region of Argentina with Stoeger’s M3000 12 gauge and M3020 20 caliber. Last year I spent two days killing snow geese in Missouri with the company’s new M3500 Snow Goose shotgun. It’s a lot of high volume fire and a lot of abuse, and the Stoegers worked perfectly. One thing I noticed is that in order for these shotguns to work properly you need to lightly apply gun oil to the action from the start. Stoegers sometimes don’t cycle shells reliably, and that’s because shooters don’t take the time to wipe off the heavy packing oil they arrive in. Or, they buy a used one and don’t clean and grease the gun. These are low cost guns, so they need a little more attention, but they will work if you maintain them properly. The fit and finish isn’t what you’ll get with a Benelli, but for the money the M3500, 3000, and 3020 are all great values. The M3000 and M3020 shotguns cost $ 559 and the 3½-inch M3500 12-gauge starts at $ 669.
6. Tristar TT-15
Every competitive shooter wants to gain an advantage over their opponents, and for some that means spending a lot of money on a high-end shotgun. But you don’t need it, especially if you’re a weekend shooter or just joined a trap league at the local shooting range. Caliber 12 TT-15 Athletic is a solid choice for any discipline on clay. It comes with elongated choke tubes, a wide rib for better sight of the target, chrome barrels and ejectors for $ 990. It’s almost an 8 pound gun, which is good for getting the barrel through the target. In addition, the TT-15 Field is a great hunting option. It is available in gauge 12, 20 and 28, plus .410. I shot the 28, and it’s one of the most accurate over / under I’ve ever handled. Some guns fit perfectly, but I’ve found the Tristars to suit me better than any other gunmaker. The 12 gauge only weighs 7 pounds which is great for field hauling, but I like a bit more weight in the larger over / under gauges to mitigate recoil, so I would recommend one of the models from lower caliber.
The CZ Swamp Magnum won’t win any beauty pageants, but it’s a versatile shotgun that is suitable for every bird season. This is an ideal gun for turkey, waterfowl, or highlands that offers weight balance, tang mounted safety, and the flexibility of five elongated choke tubes, making choke exchange much easier. In the summer you can trap, skeet, sport clays and five-stand with synthetic top / bottom. Available in black or camouflage, the Swamp Magnum has 3½-inch chambers, which you can fire at your own discretion (a 3½-inch load generates a lot of recoil in a 7.1-pound double-barreled shotgun). It also comes with slingshot studs, a handy feature not found on many over / under as most are highland specific shotguns. The Swamp Magnum is priced at $ 1,109, which is a good deal for such a versatile and durable quality shotgun.