Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review
Part 3 - External and Operational Features
March 24, 2012

Akdal MKA 1919 Review

In this part of the Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review I cover the externally visible features along with the operational features of the MKA 1919 shotgun.  These first three photos were also shown in Part 2 of this review and are included in this part to give you some overall views of the shotgun.  Keep in mind that you can click on any photo in this review to bring up a higher resolution image showing the details even better.

 

The MKA 1919 Shotgun measures 39.5" in length which is different from both website length (39.95") and the Owner's Manual length  (40.5").  The length of pull measures about 14.25".  The height of the shotgun measured 9.2" with the carry handle and 7.5" without the carry handle and front sight.

Figure 1
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 2
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 3
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The shotgun without magazine weighed in at 6.98 pounds which was greater than the 6.5 pounds per the specifications.  I believe the 6.5 pounds stated represents the shotgun weight without the carry handle or front sight.

Figure 4
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

An empty magazine weighed in at 0.72 pounds which gives a total weight of 7.7 pounds without any ammunition.

Figure 5
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The MKA 1919 comes with an internal choke system and three chokes.  The cylinder bore choke is installed below.  The front sight is made from some type of polymer material and is clamped on the barrel with two Allan head screws on the lower side.  There is also a set screw on top of the barrel to help prevent rotation.  Later in the review when I take off the front sight, you can see that the barrel has some lines on the clamping surface to assist with anti-rotation.  The photo also shows the "handguard secure cap" and front sling ring.  The finish on the steel barrel and other steel components is a matte blued finish.

Figure 6
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The front sight post has the same square shape that you would find on a normal AR style rifle and is integrally molded into the front sight body so that it is not adjustable.

Figure 7
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The side profile of the polymer front sight shows that the MKA 1919 tries to keep the same basic profile as a normal AR-15 front sight housing.

Figure 8
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The shotgun serial number is marked on the front lower portion of the barrel.

Figure 9
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 10
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 11
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

This is a better view showing how the front sight post is integrally molded into the polymer front sight.  Years ago, polymer components would have given me some concern, but with the polymers such as glass filled nylon on the market, my concerns are not as great.

Figure 12
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The two piece polymer handguard is held in place in the front by a plate and nut.  Removing the nut will only allow you to remove the handguard.  Under the handguard is the gas regulator nut which you must remove to remove the barrel.  I cover this in the next part of the review.  The handguard halves are identical and mate together with ridge and groove connections so that they will stay aligned.

Figure 13
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Both the top and bottom of the handguard have a flat ribbed surface with 15 holes to all for ventilation through the handguard.

Figure 14 - Top Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The sides of the handguard are ribbed to provide for a reduced slip gripping surface.  With the secure nut tight, the handguard is held securely in place with very little perceivable freeplay.

Figure 15 - Right Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 16 - Bottom Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 17 - Left Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

In the receiver area, you have three major components; Carry Handle Rear Sight, Upper Receiver and the Lower Receiver & Pistol Grip portion of the stock.  The Carry Handle Rear Sight is made from polymer material and has an aluminum side plate for clamping to the receiver rail.  The rear sight is adjustable in both elevation and windage.  The Upper Receiver is machined from aluminum and has an integral upper rail.  The Lower Receiver, Pistol Grip and Stock are integrally molded from an impact resistant polymer material.

Figure 18
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The Carry Handle Rear Sight is held in place with two large polymer thumb screws which have some type of steel nut embedded inside because I was able to detect steel with a magnet.

Figure 19
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 20
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The aluminum upper receiver has "M.K.A-1919" machined into the right side and the serial number is dot-matrix stamped into the forward end.  The polymer lower receiver has "RAAC, Scottsburg, In" and "MADE IN TURKEY Ucyildiz Arms. Inc. Istanbul" mounded into the right side.  The lower receiver also includes ribs around the magazine release button to prevent an accidental pressing of the button and this also keeps the same styling as a traditional lower receiver. You have to look close, but the magazine release button is actually polymer with a Allan head screw that passes through the button to the magazine catch on the opposite side.  One improvement (my opinion) I see they could make would be to add "S" & "F" around the end of the selector on this side along with a mark/arrow on the selector end showing the position of the safety selector.

Figure 21
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The trigger had a rough feel like it was sliding over ridges as it traveled 0.08" to then hit a firm spot and finally released the hammer at an average of 6 pounds 7.5 ounces based on 10 pulls.  The pistol grip has finger grooves and other texturing grooves to help maintain a slip free grip.

Figure 22
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

These next two photos show the bolt in both the open and closed positions.

Figure 23                                                                 Figure 24
Akdal MKA 1919 Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The bottom of the lower receiver also has a plate showing the serial number of the shotgun and you can also see that the pistol grip is hollow.  One thing important to point out is the thick polymer walls around the magazine well which should give this polymer lower receiver all the strength needed to accept future high capacity magazines.

Figure 24
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 25
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The left side of the upper receiver has no markings or significant features.  The left side of the polymer lower receiver has "MKA 1919 12GA./MAGNUM (3")" molded into the receiver along with "S" and "F" marking around the safety selector.  As I do these reviews, I try to stay as consistent as possible with the model names of firearms, but this shotgun seems to switch up the designation on a regular basis.  Machined into the upper receiver is "M.K.A-1919" while the lower receiver has "MKA 1919".  Not that it really matters, but I do prefer to see a little more consistency.  The magazine catch and bolt stop are steel parts and I believe the selector switch is aluminum.

Figure 26
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The polymer carry handle rear sight is adjustable in both elevation and windage.  The sight has both a peep and notch, but these two aiming points are at significant elevation differences.  During range testing I will try to evaluate their significance.

Figure 27                                                              Figure 28
Akdal MKA 1919 Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Review

When you remove the carry handle, you see that the upper receiver has an integral Picatinny rail which based on my measurements seems to meet MIL-STD-1913.  The rail also has a V-notch machined down the center which I found helpful when realigning the front sight, but you would never be able to use this notch for any type of aiming because you cannot get your eye down to that level because of your cheek position on the stock.

Figure 29
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The photo below shows the bolt open and a magazine in place with 3" 00 Buckshot.

Figure 30
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The front of the lower receiver nests in a notched area in the front of the upper receiver.  In the next part of the review I show disassembly and there you see that the bolt normally called a stock bolt is actually the upper receiver retention bolt that when tightened pulls the upper receiver rearward and the lower receiver into the notch.

Figure 31
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The buttstock, which is integral with the lower receiver and pistol grip, keeps the same A2 styling as you would find on a AR style rifle fixed buttstock.  The buttstock also includes a sling swivel ring at the toe end just like it's AR counterparts.

Figure 32
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 33 - Top Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 34 - Right Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 35 - Bottom Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 36 - Left Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The recoil pad is made of a relatively soft rubber and measures approximately 1/2" at the center.  I feel the rubber is of the correct hardness for a recoil pad, but the thickness should have been increased to allow a greater reduction in felt recoil since the intent of this shotgun is really geared towards higher power ammunition.  Overall, it is not bad, but I think it could be better.  The recoil pad has the Akdal symbol molded into the end and the pad can be removed by removing the two screws by inserting a Phillips screwdriver in the two holes and loosening the screws.

Figure 37
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The MKA 1919 Shotgun comes with two 5-round magazines.  One is designed for 2.75" shells and the other for 3" shells.  The magazine body is formed from stamped/ molded steel and has a polymer follower and floor plate.  As I mentioned above, the weight of the magazine is about 0.72 pounds empty.

Figure 38
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 39 - Front Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 40 - Right Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

On the rear of the follower is a tab that sticks out when the follower moves to the highest position after the last round is chambered.  It is this tab that engages the bolt stop to hold it open after the last round is fired.

Figure 41 - Back Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

On the left side of the magazine is a notch for the magazine catch.

Figure 42 - Left Side
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The photos below show the top and bottom of the 2.75" magazine.  The follower is formed for the shape of the shell and the floor plate includes a positive identification marking so you know which magazine is the 2.75" versus 3".

          Figure 43                                                        Figure 44
Akdal MKA 1919 Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Review

After studying the two different magazines, the only significant difference is the length of the feed lip.  The photo below shows the two magazines with the correct 00 buckshot in each.  You can see how the 2.75" magazine has longer feed lips to support the shorter shell more as it is stripped from the magazine when the bolt moves forward.

Figure 45
2.75" Magazine                                                            3" Magazine
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Since many people may be more interested it configuring their MKA 1919 shotgun into a flat top version, I have removed the carry handle and front sight to show this configuration in the following photos. 

Figure 46
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

One thing to notice is that the barrel has some texturing in the area where the front sight contacts the barrel when the sight is clamped in place.  Also, the set screw contacts the top of the barrel to prevent rotation of the sight and may make a mark on the upper surface as shown below.

Figure 47

In this configuration, the MKA 1919 Shotgun has a very sleek and simple look and would be perfect to match up with some type of 1x holographic or red dot sight.

Figure 48
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 49
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

These next several photos show the different sides of the carry handle rear sight.  As mentioned previously, it is a polymer part with an aluminum clamp plate.  The rear sight is adjustable in both windage and elevation.

Figure 50
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 51
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 52
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

This last photo shows the polymer front sight removed.

Figure 53
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The MKA 1919 Shotgun has an internal choke system and comes with three chokes, choke wrench and case.  The chokes are marked with notches on the end.  A 12 gauge shotgun has an un-constricted bore of 0.729" in diameter.  The values below compare the ideal internal choke diameters against the measured diameters for the chokes that came with this shotgun.  In all cases, the measured diameter was within 0.003" of the ideal diameter which in my mind says the chokes are properly marked and the constrictions match what you would expect for each choke.

  • 1 Notch - Full - Ideal 0.694", Measured 0.691"
  • 3 Notches - Modified - Ideal 0.709", Measured 0.712"
  • 5 Notches - Cylinder Bore - Ideal 0.729", Measured 0.726"

Figure 54
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

The chokes measured about 1.48" in length, 0.81" in outside diameter and the threads on the chokes are about 0.62" in length.

Figure 55
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

Figure 56
Akdal MKA 1919 Review

 

Thoughts

At this point in the review I have many thoughts and the majority of them are positive.  The MKA 1919 has a good solid feel and the full up weight of 7.7 pounds without ammunition is a reasonable weight.  The option to be a traditional AR carry handle style shotgun or a flat top was a great idea giving the final user the option to choose their sight/optic preference.  The integrated Picatinny rail on the upper receiver is a big plus by preventing the opportunity for a receiver mounted rail to work loose.  The 6.5 pound trigger pull is a good weight, but there was some roughness during the initial travel.  Overall the trigger is not bad, but eliminating the initial roughness could make it better.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page or below.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 


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