I have just returned from picking up my Grade V. I would like to share my observations of the gun with you and the others at LCS.
To those who suggest that Ugartechea is not capable of producing a ‘high-er’ grade gun I would invite them to examine my Grade V. As Features Editor for both TrapShooting USA and ClayShooting USA, I have the opportunity to examine lots of guns – SxS’s are a passion with me – and after spending an hour measuring and examining just about every nook and cranny of my gun, I will say without reservation that for the dollar, it is one of the finest SLE’s I’ve seen. I’ll start with my initial reaction to opening the package – the wood was excellent in figure, match to the forend and finish (thank you for picking this gun for me). The gun I discussed with you from another maker – and of a higher grade than this – was not even in the same breath of discussion in comparison to the wood and finish of the Grade V. I had suspected that I’d have wood pore filling and additional finishing to do – not the case. I might hand rub a coat of slacum oil – I might – just for the heck of it, but the finish is excellent. I next looked closely at the checkering – very, very well done. Sure there were some flat diamond tops and a run over into a border here and there, but damned few – far fewer than that ‘other’ maker’s gun – and this isn’t a Purdey or a Holland and Holland.
I next examined the barrels – no solder flash on the rib joint and the bores were a perfect .727 each. Right barrel was .010 and left .020 – industry standard for IC/MOD (and those numbers were exact!) Barrel flat was nicely polished as was the hook. I assembled the gun and checked for ejection with both snap caps and empties – vigorous and perfectly timed. Trigger pulls were 4.5 front and just about 5 back – ideal for a field gun. Auto safety worked smoothly.
Next I violated your warranty policy by taking the left lock off but I hope you’ll allow me this faux pas ( I don’t expect it will be returned for warranty within the 2 year limit!) since I had to see inside the lock and especially in comparison to the ‘other’ makers gun. Brian, I was impressed! I could find a few file marks using a glass – everything else was nicely smooth and polished. The inletting was good – again not Purdey or Holland and Holland level but one Hell of a lot better than that ‘other’ gun. Everything fit snug and the trigger plate line really required you to look hard to find the seam. The engraving is very, very nice – if it is rolled on as I suspect, then Ugartechea has the process down pat. On the action around the balls, the fences were nicely done as was the trigger guard. I was leery about the coin finish – with this engraving pattern it really is impressive and a nice compliment to the rest of the gun.
The water table and the knuckle of the gun were polished to a mirror finish, striker bushings aligned as were all the screws on the gun. Balance is right where I like a field gun just in front of the hinge pin. I am looking forward to shooting it this weekend.
Brian, for $3995 I do not know how Ugartechea can present such a fine shotgun – but I am certainly glad they can. And I want to thank you again – you selected a superb gun and I appreciate it.