Miroku shotguns have a well-deserved reputation for quality, reliability and performance and have been one of the standout brands of sensibly-priced shotguns in Australia for many years. They’re offered in various models and grades which can become a bit confusing until you dig a little deeper to find they’re essentially all the same boxlock action with varying degrees of engraving and quality of wood.
The models also vary in terms of their use, field and competition guns set up differently with conventional or raised ribs of varying widths to suit different purposes. Their stock dimensions also vary dependent on use and clearly a great deal of thought has gone into the models we see here. Much Australian input has helped develop these models over time and no matter what grade of gun from their entry level Grade 1 models to the Grade V versions, they all work perfectly for what they’re designed to do.
The MK-60 Sport on review here is only available as a Grade V field version with beautiful timber and engraving – and that’s about it. I say this because we’re so used to all sorts of technological inclusions which aren’t featured on this gun, yet this is easily the best-handling Miroku I’ve ever reviewed or owned. That hard-to-explain ‘feel’ of a gun which is so important to shotgunners is different for all of us and is brought about by a combination of stock dimensions and weight distribution. This gun, as we’ll see, has some interesting attributes which make it handle very well.
These are 32” with three-inch chambers, a narrow untapered 7.6mm ventilated top rib and solid rib between the barrels, sighting via a single fine white bead at the muzzle and, being a field gun, there’s no mid bead. Rod Laidlaw from importers Outdoor Sporting Agencies told me these barrels are more conventionally bored 18.6 to allow for the use of felt and bio-degradable wads, which require a standard constriction to ensure correct gas seal on ignition and as the wads travel up the barrel. I wondered if this might increase felt recoil a little with plastic wadded loads when compared to most over-bored barrels but couldn’t feel any difference.
This gun is fixed choke with ¼ in the bottom barrel and ¾ in the top, a good compromise in a field model but I believe the next shipment will be ½ and ¾ to make the gun even more suited to Sporting Clays where these choke constrictions are popular among the top shots. I’ve never smoked Skeet targets so comprehensively as I did on testing this gun and while you’d never normally use such tight chokes for Skeet competitions, it was great fun to put it mildly and also proved how perfectly the gun fitted me and shot precisely where I was looking.
This is the same as all Miroku shotguns and as previously noted, a full width hinge-pin provides a large surface area for smooth opening and closing, lock-up achieved with a full width flat bolt which fits perfectly into a bite beneath the bottom chamber. This means the gun has a deeper profile than some other manufacturers’ over-and-under shotguns but it’s immensely strong and still looks elegant and in proportion to the rest of the gun.
The opening lever worked smoothly as did the trigger selector and safety, the trigger not adjustable but well located and comfortable to use with trigger pulls very crisp at around 4lb. The wood-to-metal fit was superb as seems standard on all grades of Miroku and the gun closed like a bank vault door with a reassuring quality ‘clunk’.
The stock on this gun is like going back in time to the glory days of the Belgian-made Browning B25 series 206, 207 and 208 model Sporters. These superbly made guns had an incredible ‘feel’ and were first choice for most top shots almost a generation ago. The rare 208 featured 32” barrels and was possibly the first long-barreled sporter and this Miroku feels very much the same but with the narrower rib of the 30” barreled 207 Sporter.
Anyone who’s owned or handled one of these guns will know what I mean. They had no bells and whistles, no screw-in chokes or adjustable ribs or stocks, just beautifully made and simple perfection in what they were designed for – and so is this Miroku. If you’ve a lazy $20,000 or so you can still commission one of those in the entry level decorated A Grade from Browning in Belgium, but for about a sixth of that you can have this Miroku which feels very similar and has far superior timber and engraving than a basic B25. Clearly not the same gun but a very worthwhile compromise in terms of price and performance.
What makes this gun handle so well to my mind are the stock dimensions and weight, combined with the light 32” barrels. Drop at comb is 39mm and 63mm at heel, the classic American field gun dimensions of 1.5” and 2.5” which won’t suit everyone but with virtually no cast, it means it’s suitable for left and right-handers. It encourages a comfortable upright head position and shoots exactly where you’re looking, with patterns about 60/40 per cent above and below the aim point.
The gun weighs exactly 8lb (3.63kg) and is balanced perfectly on the hinge pin. This weight will vary slightly with every gun due to the slight differences in weight of the dense and gloriously figured walnut used in these Grade V guns. The checkering is excellent and the teardrops behind the action denote a high grade gun and are perfectly executed. The pistol grip is only moderately full and quite slim, is good in the hand and contributes greatly to the overall feel.
There’s no recoil pad, just a nicely-shaped black plastic pad which is typical of English designed field guns to facilitate a good mount in virtually any conditions. The disadvantage of this pad is its total lack of recoil absorption but if the gun fits perfectly as this one did for me, this issue becomes less relevant. I had no recoil fatigue from testing it in a 100+ target session firing almost 120 shells.
This gun was designed for driven game shooting and specifically high pheasant shooting and was only available in the UK. It’s perfectly balanced over the hinge pin and feels light (even at 8lb) and very quick but stable to shoot. The combination of classic field gun stock dimensions in terms of the unusually low (by today’s standards) drop at comb and heel and perfect weight distribution, helped considerably by the light 32” barrels, makes the ‘feel’ of this Miroku something special.
I had to smile when I took delivery of the gun and saw it had no screw-in chokes, no recoil pad, no adjustable trigger, no adjustable stock or new-fashioned high rib. It’s simply a high grade field gun of the classic form designed and built to be perfection for what it’s intended. It’ll also work exceptionally well for Sporting Clays and be sublime in the field if you’re happy to risk taking such a quality gun into the paddocks, hills or duck swamps – I would as the considerable pleasure of using it would outweigh the risk of damage.
I can’t recommend this gun too highly for field use or Sporting Clays and competent shots will also enjoy it for casual Skeet where the chokes destroy targets in a way that’s hard to describe. You’ll probably miss the odd one as I did due to the tighter chokes where reading the target’s line becomes as crucial as the lead, but who cares when the bulk of them are turned into black smoke balls?
It’s almost 60 years since the late Malcolm Fuller brought Miroku shotguns to Australia in 1963 and his sons John and David continue the tradition to this day. There are subtle technical inputs and modifications to the various imported models to make them even more suitable to our conditions and give serious shooters every chance to maximise their potential. That was certainly my experience – this gun is a fine example of where less is more.
Manufacturer: BC Miroku Japan
Model: MK60 Sport
Gauge: 12 gauge
Action: Boxlock inertia cocking
Trigger: Single selective, tang safety
Barrel length: 32” with 3” chambers
Chokes: Fixed chokes ¼ and ¾ or ½ and ¾ next shipment.
Stock and fore-end: Grade V walnut with satin finish, medium-to-full pistol grip and Schnabel fore-end. Stock dimensions 39mm at comb, 63mm at heel. 1½” and 2½” with minimal cast for right-handers.
Weight: 8lb (3.63kg).
Accessories: Instruction manual, plastic Negrini cases of different qualities extra on purchase (ask dealer for prices from about $150).
RRP: Approximately $3600.00
Distributor: Outdoor Sporting Agencies