Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review
Part 6 - Range Test
April 19, 2012

Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

In this part of my Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review I cover my range test results for this shotgun.  Actually I had three different shooting sessions as part of my range tests.  For my range tests I wanted to get a basic idea on the operation, reliability and shoot-ability of the shotgun.

 


Range Test: Session 1

In the first session I focused on trying to understand and adjust for the point of impact of the sights.  To do this I setup on a bench at 25 yards and used Winchester 2.75" slugs.

                          Figure 1                                                             Figure 2
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

In these next two photos I show my three shot groups with the peep sight adjusted all the way down (left target) and then all the way up (right target).  Unless you intentionally aim high on your target, I feel that a normal sight picture (center of the post in the center of the peep) using the peep sight would not work for this shotgun.  If you adopted a center post high in the peep, it may work, but you may also cover your target more than desired with the sights.

Figure 3 - Sight Down                                            Figure 4 - Sight Up
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Next I flipped the V-notch sight up with the elevations still adjusted to the maximum height.  The photo below right shows the three shot grouping at the top of the target.  Based on my above data, I didn't feel a need to move the sight down because it would only have moved the group point of impact down a similar distance to that of the two groups above.  Moving the sight down would give me about a 3" high point of impact from center of the target at 25 yards for 1 ounce slugs. While writing up this review, I realized data would have been better than math and will try to do better in the future.  I then played around with a ballistics calculators at both the Winchester and JBM Ballistics websites and believe that 3" high at 25 yards would provide about a 160 yard zero and around 10" high at 100 yards.  If you were to plan on shooting slugs as your primary round with the V-notch sight, I feel you would need to develop a sight picture that would compensate for the high point of impact or install a different sight.

Figure 5                                                                 Figure 6
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Since I had a another sight, I installed and zeroed a BSA Tactical Weapons Sight for the rest of my range tests for this day.  During these tests I shot a variety of 3" slugs, 2.75" buckshot and 3" buckshot.  There were no failures to feed, fire or eject during this time and the shotgun performed great.

Figure 7
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review


Range Test: Session 2

In my second session of range testing, I started out by pulling the shotgun out at a family shooting event and letting everyone take their turns as desired.  Honestly I don't know the number of shells put through the shotgun during that time, but I'm sure it was several boxes.  It clearly points differently than a traditional shotgun, but once we got the hang of shooting the MKA 1919 at clay targets, it was effective at busting them apart.  Note that I reinstalled the carry handle rear sight for the clay target shooting.

Figure 8
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

I always like to get some pattern data using buckshot when range testing a tactical style shotgun.  FYI, although the photo below shows the BSA optic on top, I switched it back to the carry handle after shooting some more Wolf Power Rifles Slugs.

Figure 9
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

For gathering the pattern data, I shot freehand from 7 and 15 yards.  Keep in mind that since buckshot is a multi-projectile shot shell, the pattern will change from shot to shot and these groups are just general examples of what you might expect from the MKA 1919 at these distances when using the cylinder bore choke.  During the first two groups I was shooting the Hornady Critical Defense 2.75" 00 Buckshot Shotshells.  I have shot these many times in the past and they consistently produce tight groups.

Figure 10                                                            Figure 11      
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Figure 12 - 7 Yards                                               Figure 13 - 15 Yards
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

I then shot some Wolf 2.75" Power Buckshot 00 Buck for the first time.  The pattern at 7 yards was tight but the pattern seemed to widen a little at 15 yards compared to the Hornady, but overall not bad.

Figure 14                                                                 Figure 15       
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Figure 16 - 7 Yards                                               Figure 17 - 15 Yards
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Next I tried out some Hornady Varmint Express #4 Buckshot and ended up with similar results for both 7 and 15 yards which is a good example that shot patterns can change with every shot.

Figure 18                                                              Figure 19
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Figure 20 - 7 Yards                                               Figure 21 - 15 Yards
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Last I wanted to try out some of the Wolf Target Sport Shotshells for the first time so I set my son up to shoot a couple of boxes while I tossed some clay targets.  Based on his success rate at busting targets and based on how well the shells cycled through the MKA 1919, I was pleased with Wolf Shotshells performance.

Figure 22                                                            Figure 23                        
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review   Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Figure 20
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

During this 3rd session of range testing, I had two jams.  The first was due to me wanting to try out the 3" magazine with a 2.75" shell.  Out of 10 shells fired using the 3" magazine I had one jam.  After the second jam, I inspected the shotgun and found that the handguard was starting to work loose.  I removed the handguard and checked the gas regulator nut and it was also working lose.  I believe the gas regulator nut working lose was decreasing the pressure to cycle the shotgun.  Once I tightened the regulator nut the shotgun continued through the ammunition without issue.


Range Testing: Session 3

Before this third session of range testing, I inspected and cleaned the shotgun and retightened (as tight as I could by hand) the gas regulator nut.  My goal was to cycle some ammunition through the shotgun to see if the gas regulator nut would work loose again and also to monitor a wear area on the inside top surface of the upper receiver.  I took the shotgun to another shooting event and had at least another 100+ rounds of various ammunition fired through the shotgun.  Just as before, the forearm nut and gas regulator nut continued to loosen.  Tightening them is simple and requires no tools, but it is something you would want to check after every couple of boxes of ammo.  If you were to tighten them using some type of tool, it may be possible to prevent them from loosening, but I didn't do this because they were not intended to be tightened with anything other than your fingers.

The wear continued on the inside upper surface of the upper receiver.  This next series of photos shows the wear in the "As Received" condition and after each range test session.  As you can see, the wear on the upper receiver continued throughout all my range testing.

Figure 21 - "As Received" Condition
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Figure 22 - After Range Test Session 1
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Figure 23 - After Range Test Session 2
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

This next photo shows some of the shavings that had fallen into the lower receiver.

Figure 24 - After Range Test Session 2
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Between sessions 2 and 3, I colored the wear area with a black marker to see if the wear was going to continue or perhaps reduce.

Figure 25 - After Range Test Session 2 And Colored With Black Marker
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Based on the bright wear area shown after range test session 3, I believe the wear is continuing at a constant pace.

Figure 26 - After Range Test Session 3
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

In the photo below, I believe you can see the slight wear happening to the steel locking block.  With steel being much harder than aluminum, I believe the wear on the locking block lug will progress at a much slower rate.

Figure 27 - After Range Test Session 3
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

Throughout my range tests, this wear condition did not seem to have any impact on the function of the shotgun.  Even though I shot somewhere between 300 to 400 rounds through the shotgun, this number of shots would not be considered a test of the long term durability of this shotgun.  Only more range time will be able to say if this becomes a real problem that impacts the function of the shotgun.  My general thoughts are that the shotgun would probably still function even if the material in this area of the wear were removed.  The locking block has a ramp on the front that would engage the ramp on the rear of the barrel extension located inside the "U" shaped slot below.  These two ramps should push the locking block back into place as it cycled forward.  Keep in mind that this is all speculation on my part and at the end of the day it is up to the manufacturer to decide if this is an issue that needs to be fixed and the proper way to fix it if needed.

Figure 28 - After Range Test Session 3
Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review

This next video strings together some footage taken during my range tests.

 

Thoughts

This is a tough one.  I really like the MKA 1919 Shotgun.  It operated with ease, cycled well and was fun to shoot.  On the flip side, you will need to figure out the best sight picture for your shooting conditions if you plan to use the sights that come with the shotgun.  This may not be an issue for many people because I would expect many people will want it as a flattop version using some type of optical sight.  Next, the handguard nut and gas regulator nut will work lose over time and will require you to tighten them after shooting a couple boxes of shells.  Lastly, I had a wear issue with the bolt locking block and upper receiver.  I'm sure this is not per Akdal's plan so I talked with RAAC (the importer) to see if this is something that has been reported on other shotguns.  It seems that the wear has already been reported, but this wear condition does not occur on every shotgun and no case has been reported where the shogun would not function properly.  RAAC has already given feedback to the manufacturer and sent along a link to this review to help show the situation.  After talking with RAAC, I feel like they are actively working towards getting the MKA 1919 platform in optimum condition.

Like I said, this is a tough one because even with these imperfections, I like the MKA 1919 shotgun, it functioned, and it got tons of interest each time I pulled it out of the case.  Additionally, the potential for high capacity magazines is extremely appealing and I can see this platform (magazine fed AR style shotgun) to be one that is here to stay.

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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