Up until just recently, the term “Turkish shotgun” conjured up images of a sweaty, rheumy-eyed peasant squatting in the middle of a dark, dingy room filled with gun parts. In one hand he clutches a rusty bastard file and the other a shabby hammer. You can now remove that image, because it’s no longer even remotely true.
CZ-USA is just one more manufacturer that has discovered that the Turks have invested heavily in CAD-CAM machines and intense worker training. Their quality control now rivals or exceeds European and North American competitors, and the big winner is, of course, the American sportsman.
CZ-USA’s latest import is an extremely classy side-by-side based on the ever-popular Anson and Deeley boxlock action. It combines the best of features for American-style shooting, with double triggers, screw-in chokes and–blessedly–a non-automatic safety.
The graceful, straight stock isn’t narrow in the grip, it’s anorexic. This makes the light, well-balanced piece feel extremely agile. Balance is just forward of the hinge, making the gun very quick to shoulder and point.
With its case-colored action, deep blued barrels and superb walnut, the Huglu-blue gun generated quite a bit of positive interest at my club’s range. There is a cliff of loose sediment on the skeet range, which functions as a patterning board. From 35 yards, I held the bead at six o’clock on a small stone in the center of the cliff. Both patterns overlapped at exactly the same point, with the rock high in the center; obviously a field gun.
The monoblock has the two barrels sweated in, with an abraded rib and a single bead, while a Deeley-style catch holds the narrow, Schnabelesque forearm tightly to the barrels.
Glenn Zanders provided hunting loads from Dynamit Nobel, which proved quite effective. They had considerable puissance, and recoil was noticeable in the just-over-five-pound gun. The slender padded butt was quite welcome. Compared to handling shotguns with checkered wood or blued-steel buttplates, this also reduces shooter anxiety when tossing it onto the rack at the range.
The 28 gauge is regarded as having a superior shot column to the 20 and less recoil for the effect downrange. Considering advances in ammunition technology, this has largely become academic, but the fact remains that the 28 gauge has an enviable reputation and a lot of enthusiastic followers. With gentle loads, this is a perfect gun for training new shooter and is much better than a .410.
The Bobwhite has a large single extractor and no ejectors, which, for most devotees of the 28 gauge, is just the ticket. The cost of 28-gauge ammo demands that most of us have to reload it to enjoy volume shooting, so it’s nice to have the hulls stay in the gun until they’re snatched into the pouch. Stepping on costly hulls is never a pleasant experience.
The gun came with five chokes, a one-size-fits-all choke wrench and a trigger lock. Two Improved chokes are provided for skeet and beginners and one each of Improved/Modified, Modified and Full.
The length of pull is a generous 14 1/2 inches. The rear trigger on this sample broke cleanly at five pounds, but the front was a bit stubborn, breaking at between seven and eight pounds. A quick visit to Court, our club’s side-by guru, should take care of that problem.
To get some objective opinions on the Bobwhite, I hauled it out to Oaktree in Newhall, the best trap and skeet range in California. Veteran scattergunner Ron Christie agreed to put the Bobwhite through a round of skeet and thoroughly enjoyed it. “It’s a fine little gun,” he reported. “Can I borrow it for the dove opener?” Ron was especially pleased with the balance and handling.
After the shoot, a large number of league shooters had a chance to check out the Bobwhite, and all were quite impressed with the classic lines and especially with fit and finish. In all, it’s quite a nice piece and especially so at a price most of us can afford.