Last year I had the greatest of pleasure reviewing the Victory RT-25 Sporter from Turkey – a gun that impressed me beyond my expectations. This year I am pleased to say the trap version of the Victory RT-25 is on the bench for review and outwardly I am very impressed with the workmanship of these latest offerings from Turkey manufacturers, who appear to be going from strength to strength with their high-end shotgun production. I was extremely fortunate to have several trap models to evaluate – the basic models with silver and black receivers plus a high-end engraved model, the Deluxe. As mentioned, these guns are made faultlessly with sound engineering and premium materials, with the woodwork being exceptional for the price of the gun. But looks and elegance are not all that are desired in a trap gun; for high-end competition, they must be able to perform and from my evaluation of all three trap guns there is certainly no question about that! Let’s have a closer look on what is on offer.
These were faultlessly completed in a hard-finished black chrome, far more resilient than traditional bluing to scratching and adverse weather conditions. At 76cm or 30” on the old scale with the basic black model that I enjoyed using so much and fitted with interchangeable choke tubes and a parallel stepped rib the barrel set were designed for success! Fitted with a fluoro front sight and a white mid-rib beaded sight, the RT-25 Trap mounted perfectly once the comb piece had been correctly adjusted. Looking straight down the barrels and a little high, the Standard Black version was a dream to shoot as almost every target I shot at was turned to dust.
At the chamber end the gun was suited to 70mm/2 ¾” and was dedicated to trap with a non-selective trigger to always fire the bottom barrel first. I was not perturbed by the gun being dedicated for trap, as this is really what is desired by high-end competition shooters – a gun solely dedicated to their sport, whether it be trap, trench, skeet or sporting. The barrels weighed in at 1.61kg and swung beautifully, making shooting the Victory RT-25 a rare delight. The stepped rib was perfect; in fact, all aspects of the barrel design, even down to the reduced perceived recoil, made the gun a treat to shoot. As one who hasn’t shot trap for many years, as my targets turned to puffs of soot, it certainly bestowed a great deal of confidence, not only in the set-up of the gun but additionally its inner barrel design and chokes.
Design of the receiver was identical for each of the three models reviewed, except for the Deluxe model which came with ornate engraving and a fully fitted-out, all-leather carrying case. An excellent feature of these models was the provision of a drop-out trigger mechanism should the trigger ever give a problem with a broken spring or firing pin, especially during competition. The spare set can be easily fitted to the receiver once the faulty set is removed by moving the safety catch forward to release the catch to the rear of the trigger set frame. The booklet supplied with the gun gave excellent instructions to accomplish this with minimal effort. Trigger releases on the RT-25 Trap guns were quite standard and very even at 1.3kg each barrel. A little light but very fast and positive, too, for attacking the target and getting onto it as soon as possible. These guns were all very well prepared and functioned to the highest standard that could be expected of them.
The triggerguard, being integral with the trigger set, was very generous and suited those who might choose to wear thin leather gloves. All tools required were supplied with the gun, along with a spare set of firing pins and springs.
The stock and fore-end.
Walnut in the stock and fore-end of each of the three Victory RT-25 Trap guns was exceptional and well above the quality found in other manufacturers’ offerings of equivalent price. I especially liked the grain and character of the black standard model, which was quite unique. The colouring of the walnut was a little blanched but it matched up well with the black barrels and action.
All three Trap guns came with an adjustable comb piece for that little extra ability to fine tune the stock, and thereby the gun, to be as perfect a fit as possible. All tools were provided with the gun for this, too, and I must admit while shooting the black standard model, it fitted like a glove, as target after target was demolished. The other two guns were owned by other shooters so not wanting to alter the adjustable comb settings, the guns were fired as borrowed with devastating results on targets that I hit! In fact, I was more than impressed with both the patterns and perceived recoil of all three Victory RT-25 models, including the Sporter reviewed last year.
Although set up as a dedicated trap gun, I was impressed with the provision of a comfortable and significant recoil pad – not that 28-gram loads are hard hitting on the shoulder unless you are shooting hundreds of cartridges in a shoot-off or a large ‘program’ at a gun club with the potential to fire-off more than 250 cartridges. With the RT-25 Trap gun also being restricted to 70mm/2 ¾” competition trap loads, or shorter, recoil should never be a huge concern also due to the weight of the gun at 4.28kg/9lb. 6oz – heavy enough to soak up recoil from the fastest of loads!
Over the traps
In more than 40 years of testing shotguns, I can forthrightly say I have never experienced such enjoyment as I had while testing the black chrome standard model Victory RT-25. Much to my delight and even to my surprise, target after target was destroyed, with some targets deliberately left until they almost disappeared beyond the hill – these were guesstimated to be broken at around 60 metres. Yes, I believe the gun exceeded my capabilities on the day, as I had not shot trap targets for some time!
I found the Victory RT-25 Trap Guns to be exceptional and very well priced for what they had to offer. The standard model, in silver or black chrome, sells for around $7,500, while the engraved Deluxe model with its fully appointed, lockable leather case sells for $10,500. Both models are supported by a two-year warranty and supplied with all tools, a second trigger set and spare firing pins and springs. Value for money…I do not believe there is presently any better on the market with interchangeable drop-out triggers and such potential for shooters to improve their skills.
Manufacturer: Kizilkaya, Victory, Turkey
Model: Victory RT-25 Trap version Standard and Deluxe
Australian Distributor: Hunt’s Shooting Supplies, Cowra, NSW, 0428 453425 or visit huntsshootingsupplies.com.au
Overall Length: 1210mm /47 ¾”
Barrel Length: 760mm /30”
Overall Weight: 4.28kg /9lb. 6oz
Barrel Weight: 1.61kg /3lb. 8oz
Bore Size and Diameter: Under 0.726”/18.4mm, Over 0.727”/18.46mm, 12 gauge and 70mm /2 ¾” chambered Forcing cones lengthened approximately 20mm
Chokes: 51mm in length and fully internal. Cylinder: 0.710”, Imp. Cylinder: 0.705”, Modified: 0.700”, Imp. Modified: 0.695”, Full: 0.697”
Trigger Pulls: Under-1.3kg/2lb 12 oz., Over- 1.3kg/2lb 12 oz
Stock Dimensions: Length of Pull 380mm, 15”, Drop @ Comb: adjustable, Drop @ Heel: adjustable
Price: Standard model in either black chrome or silver, $7,500, in a canvas-covered vinyl hardcase with all accessories including a spare set of triggers. The Deluxe model with a silver receiver and striking engraving, provided with a full leather hardcase and all accessories is $10,500.
Warranty: 2 years