Thanks to the generous folks from Atlantic arms, I received a Natmil BR-99 12 GA shotgun for a quick review. While this is my first formal review, I have been shooting for many years and for the past 7 years I have been working a a firearms instructor for the Coast Guard.
Upon opening the box I found the shotgun sealed in a heavy plastic bag along with two 5rd magazines, three choke tubes, a wrench and a well illustrated owners manual. As is typical with European firearms, the serial number is found on the glower receiver, upper receiver and on the barrel near the muzzle. The fit and finish is very good especially for a firearms retailing in the $600 price range.
The bolt operates much smoother than my M870 or my 590. The polymer is cleanly moulded and feels similar to my Benelli Nova. Having no pervious experience with Turkish firearms, I was pleasantly surprised with how well it was put together.
The recoil pad is well padded and a fixed sling loop is set just forward of the pad similar to a A2 stock on an AR. The cheek piece feels pretty comfortable with both iron sights and optics. The safety operates just like an AR and is easy to switch to fire from the shoulder. Getting it back on safe takes a bit more dexterity, but for someone with larger hands it will likely not be an issue. The pistol grip is comfortable and comes with finger grooves. It reminds me of the Mako grips, and while it's not a rubber MOE it it definitely functional.
The magazine release operates smoothly, but the magazines do not drop free. The magazine well is beveled and is free of any excess material. The magazines are steel bodied and feel sturdy. They feature a follower that has a spring loaded plunger that operates the bolt hold open device, similar to AWB era Armalite AR-10 magazines.
The sights are AR style and are easily detachable, with a spring loaded front post and a four position, fully adjustable rear mounted in a carry handle. There are two apertures, a "v" notch and finally a post. The aperture openings are too small for me to easily use and if I decided to keep iron sights on this gun, I would choose a Larue or a Daniel Defense fixed rear.
The handguard is made from a smooth polymer with a picatinny rail on the top. Hopefully I'll be able to find an extra handguard, so I can try and add some texture for a better grip in the Louisiana heat. The handguard is held on by a typical shotgun style barrel retention cap, with a sling loop that can be placed on either the left, right or bottom position.
The barrel is 20" and is chrome lined with threads for the win choke style tubes.
Disassembly is fairly easy and here is where I feel this weapon stands out from its competitor, the MKA 1919. The feed ramp or guide pivots down with the use of a lever mounted on the left side of the magazine well, thereby preventing any damage to this vital part. Another possible advantage it the recoil pad attachment. Since the pad attaches from the the bottom of the stock, it's less likely to damage the pad when breaking the weapon down for routine maintenance.
The bolt operates smoothly and is largely void of tool marks.
In preparation for the range, I removed the issued sights and installed an Aimpoint Comp M2 in a Larue LT 152 on the Anodized Aluminum upper receiver.
Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I'll be able to hit the range this Friday and follow up with a Range report.
In the mean time feel free to ask questions or offer suggestion on pictures.
Did they change the name from Akdal to this?
I think it's a different company producing this gun. Either way there are defiantly some improvements over the MKA.
Originally Posted By serbu50:
Did they change the name from Akdal to this?
We NATMIL partnered with Uzkon / NATMIL TK produce this gun separately from Akdal and have full permission from the Turkish government to produce this design of shotgun.
We have improved on our competitor's flaws and are able to offer this gun for a much lower price with much higher margin to our dealers/distributors.
Since I got the afternoon off work today I decided to hit the range and see what the BR-99 could do. I took an assortment of slugs, buck and bird shot.
I had a stovepipe on the first magazine of Winchester Buckshot, and a failure to feed with some Federal low base target shells, but since both issues were within the first 50 rounds, I'm not too concerned. After all, my Benelli M1 Super 90 choked on the Federal value loads. Recoil wasn't too bad, but Remington 1oz slugs suck no matter what gun they are shot out of.
I had a couple failure to feed when using the bolt release, but since they seemed to go away when I slapped the bottom of the mag when seating it in the gun, I'll attribute that to operator error.
The round count for the day was:
Wolf 1oz Slug - 10
Remington 1oz Slug - 10
Winchester 00 Buck - 10 (1 stovepipe)
S&B 00 Buck - 10
Remington Heavy Dove - 25
Federal Target - 25 (1 FTF)
When I got home and began to field strip it I had some trouble betting the barrel out of the receiver due to a ball detent on the gas regulator coming loose, but after a quick restaking every thing seems to be in order.
All in all, it's a fun shotgun and i can't wait to get some more rounds downrange as soon as I can get some more magazines.
I forgot my Contour mount, but I managed to get some video that I'll post after some editing.