In our November 2018 magazine we reviewed the Miroku ML 11 Grade 1 Sporter which is imported by Outdoor Sporting Agencies of Melbourne. The ML 11 AC (All Clays) is an upgraded version with the same rib but a silver nitride action and adjustable stock. It also has some interesting stock dimensions which complement the concept of this being an all-round shotgun for most clay target disciplines.
I really liked the black blued action ML 11 and this latest All Clay version is a step up again, the gun having been further fine-tuned with the addition of an adjustable comb to make it as versatile as a competition shotgun can be.
Stock and fore-end
This ML 11 Sport AC features an oil-finished walnut stock with very neutral dimensions. The specification sheet shows cast at heel is roughly 1mm and at toe approximately 3.75mm so there’s virtually no cast that I could see and it fitted me well as a left-hander. My right-handed mates felt the same which confirmed its straight proportions.
It’s close in size and feel to the legendary Browning B25 206 Sporter of a generation ago but with a medium high rib. We could all mount the gun comfortably and look straight along the rib and enjoy an upright head position and excellent view of the targets.
The well-made adjustable stock worked perfectly and while I didn’t need to tweak it for Skeet or Sporting it would certainly be a benefit for anyone wanting to establish a Trap shooting setting to make the gun shoot higher, something like 70/30 rather than its current 50/50. For fine-tuning your head and eye position, the lateral adjustment to the comb would make an ideal fit for the individual shooter.
Stock measurements are a fine example of the lower end of Sporting/Skeet capacity, the stock having a 39.7mm drop at comb and 60.3mm drop at heel with 375mm length of pull. This bucks the modern trend towards a higher stock structure for Sporting and Skeet competition guns (35mm drop at comb and approximately 50mm drop at heel) which centre the patterns a little higher (say 60 per cent of the pellets above and 40 per cent below sight point).
The black ML 11 had slightly higher stock dimensions than this test gun and shot its patterns approximately 60/40. The addition of the adjustable comb increases the ML 11 All Clays’ versatility enormously and allows further fine-tuning for perfect gun-fit and definitely allows for crossing between disciplines for those prepared to stick with one gun and do some patterning to see what settings suit best.
The stock has a thin Decelerator pad which is still good at soaking up recoil but we found this one a bit sticky when shooting gun down disciplines like Skeet and Sporting. It’s comfortable when mounted in the shoulder pocket but would benefit from a slightly rounded profiling on the top edge of the heel to reduce the chance of catching on your shirt or shooting jacket as the gun is mounted.
Only a minor issue but one worth Miroku thinking about with a gun so cleverly designed as this. Like its black action brother you could easily replace this with a thicker Decelerator pad to extend the stock’s length of pull, perhaps encouraging a fine fit for winter or summer shooting. The fore-end is of the beavertail-style compared to the schnabel or tulip-style of the black ML 11 and the jury is out on which is better. Frankly I like them both.
Beavertail fore-ends are usually associated with Trap guns where a precise and repeatable grip is an advantage but with the increasingly competitive nature of sporting clays world-wide, the feeling of precision in gun movement the beavertail provides is an interesting addition to a sporting gun, especially one specifically designed to cross over between disciplines.
Barrels and rib
The rib is 11mm wide over the action and tapers to 8mm at the muzzle, slightly broader than the black action ML 11 but this configuration in combination with the stock dimensions is the secret to this gun’s outstanding performance. Once again the rib between the barrels is ventilated and there’s one fine white centre bead and an effective green Hi-Viz front-sight at the narrower muzzle end.
The ML 11 Sport AC features a silver nitride action with fine decorative full length border on both sides in an almost fluorescent orange accent. The words Miroku ML 11 Sport are engraved on the bottom of the action in the same colour scheme and may not be to everyone’s taste but I rather liked it. Older readers may remember a B25 or B125 Browning trap gun called something like the GT with a similar look from about 30 years ago.
As noted before, Miroku shotguns have a full width hinge pin which provides a substantial surface area for smooth opening and closing.
Two of my friends and I tested the ML 11 Sport on Skeet targets shot gun down. The issue of the slightly sticky recoil pad and shape aside, it handled remarkably well and gave that particular feel of being in control of the targets rather than the other way round.
This gun is expected to retail for about $3100, excellent value for such a well-designed and versatile shotgun. I believe it can be had with a basic plastic Negrini-style case for about another $100 or a combination lock case for $160. A genuinely impressive competition gun that comes highly recommended.
● For a comprehensive review of the earlier Miroku ML 11 Sport see Australian Shooter, November 2018.
Manufacturer: BC Miroku, Japan
Model: ML 11 Sport AC (All Clays) limited to 50 guns
Gauge: 12-gauge, 3^ chambers
Action: Box-lock inertia cocking
Trigger: Single selective, tang safety, two spare trigger shoes
Barrel length: 30^ with 3^ chambers
Rib: Medium height 10mm max height tapering down to 6mm. 11mm wide tapering to 8mm at muzzle. Mid white bead and green Hi-Viz front-sight
Chokes: Four Invector Plus, quarter, half, three-quarter and full
Stock and fore-end: Attractive walnut with oil finish, medium pistol grip and beavertail fore-end.
Stock dimensions: 39.7mm at comb and 60.3mm at heel. Neutral cast with 375mm (14.75^) length of pull.
Weight: Approximately 8lb or 3.7kg subject to walnut density
Accessories: Choke wrench, instruction manual.
RRP: Approximately $3100 but shop around
Distributor: Outdoor Sporting Agencies, Melbourne