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Girsan MC312 12ga 26" Walnut/Blue, Inertia-X Drive
by Charles C Date Added: Thursday 13 June, 2013
A friend and I just received two Girsan shotguns from Bud's. Mine is the MC312 Deluxe 26" (Walnut/Blue) and his is the MC312 23" Walnut/Blue). The basic difference in the two shotguns is, the Deluxe has engraving on the receiver and a gold tone trigger and it cost $50 more. Our original plan was to pick up the shotguns, take them to the range, clean and assemble, and then fire some rounds. Alas, it was pouring rain here so this review will start with my non-firing notes and I will finish it out after we get them in the field to test fire.

Starting from the outside the first thing I noticed was the hard case the shotgun comes in was a step up from what I expected. Rather than the flimsy cases so often that come with weapons this one was a little more well made with much better latches. It is not airport approved but a darn nice case non the less. Opening the case the weapon is found broken down with the barrel not attached. This allows the case to not be so long and easier to carry/manage. The shotgun comes with one choke already in the barrel and four more as well as removal tool in a small case for storage. I have to say the Turkish wood is very nice with nice grain and walnut color on a satin finish that while not mirror polished (which I did not expect nor want anyway) has a very nice shine. The overall appearance is excellent indeed for a shotgun at this price point. As stated earlier, one (mine) is the engraved model. The engraving is very nice but I am not overly impressed with it. Frankly, viewing the standard non-engraved model up against my engraved model, I wish I had saved the $50 and took the standard myself. I was not detracted to the point of returning the shotgun though and will keep it. The bluing is actually deep black and is well polished. It has a great look that greatly compliments the walnut wood and I feel anyone would say it is certainly not only meets but exceeds standard you would expect in this price range. In short, overall appearance of this shotgun is an easy 5 stars. I wondered when I ordered if choosing the wood model(s) would cause the shotgun to be more heavy than I would like. It is not. At just a tad over 7 lbs (unloaded) it is not bad at all. Plus, the weight distribution and balance is excellent so the shotgun feels lighter in the hands than it's actual weight. Another real plus is grip position as related to the trigger. When holding the weapon in the firing position my trigger finger (when placed on the trigger to fire) rest right on the pad and is perfect for me. On appearance the only negative I have to say is the trigger guard is made from a composite and is not metal. It just can't cost that much more to have a nice metal trigger guard. But, I have the same complaint on two Browning rifles (that cost more) I own so Girsan does not corner the market alone with a cost savings I believe they should have gone without. In summary both shotguns in appearance and feel, were beyond my expectations and I am very pleased. If the shotgun functions and shoots as good as it looks it will be a simply awesome weapon at this price.

Weather cleared and we were off to the range. We had very limited time but were able to get a real feel for just how good these shotguns are. We both used identical ammo, Federal #6 2 3/4 in order to compare consistency or lack of between the two virtually identical shotguns. At all ranges and chokes tested the two shot consistently identical. Because we were pressed for time we only tested the modified choke that comes in the barrel, the skeet and the full. With all three round after round delivered virtually the same pattern which is a real plus. Once you know your shotgun and results with any given choke, it will remain the same which certainly improves your hits over misses. The only time we broke from using the same ammo was as we were finishing, I loaded some 00 with the full choke and found it held a very nice and tight pattern. Again, consistent shot after shot. During all this we were using full size silhouette target se we could gauge and see full pattern displays. On my target with the 00 I took three shots. One in the abdominal area, one in the chest area and one head shot. All three hits looked virtually identical. This brings me to the green fiber optic front sight. While I prefer red (orange) I was very pleased as the day had heavy overcast yet the sight did come on bright and was easy to acquire the target. The rounding off at the top of the but was a great idea and it does make a difference. I was wearing a very loose fitting shirt and while practicing shouldering the shotgun from the ready position over and over and as quickly as I could, it never snagged. Anyone that buys this weapon will definitely like the no-snag stock design. I shot almost a full box of ammo and also practiced (very) rapid fire. The shotguns ate and spit every round without any incident or failure of any kind. Accuracy and the ability to get back on target when firing rapidly was also very impressive but that did come with a price. The perceived and actual recoil on this shotgun is higher than I expected. If you are thinking you are going to have some recoil dampening due to the semi auto action operating, just put that thought out of your mind. In short, she kicked like a pump or a single shot and yes, you do feel it. Now remember though, it is summer and I am at the range in a very thin cotton shirt. The recoil is hard but there is a silver lining to this cloud. When firing there is very little lift and it seems about all comes right straight back at you. Thus, you are not coming far off your target at all and resetting and firing can be done quickly and accurately. I certainly would have liked to have felt less recoil but the accuracy and overall feel of the weapon make that pretty much a non-issue. However, I thought I would mention that for those that are not great lovers of the 12 ga shotguns to begin with. In conclusion, these shotguns are extremely well packaged, come with a full assortment of chokes, function perfectly and accurately, and look simply fantastic. At $649 for the standard and $699 for the deluxe (both shipped) you are getting more shotgun that you are paying for. I'm glad I took the chance on buying this what was from me an unknown brand. I really like it and would recommend the shotgun highly.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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