Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
April 21, 2012

If you've been following firearms over the past couple of years, you know that AR platform rifles are more popular than ever and it seems that every manufacturer wants a piece of the market.  Another growing platform on the market is the tactical 12 gauge shotguns and the competition among the manufacturers is just as fierce.  Given the popularity in growth of both of these weapons platforms, sound reasoning would conclude that any manufacturer/importer willing to come to the table with an affordable and reliable product that can merge these two weapons platforms is positioned to take a hunk of the market by storm.  This may be exactly where Ucyildiz Arms and RAAC Inc. have positioned themselves with their introduction of the Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun.  The MKA 1919 Shotgun is a semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun that maintains the same ergonomics and controls as AR platform rifles and is also fed by a box magazine just like it's rifle counterparts.  These features have been accomplished while still maintaining the same reliability of a conventional gas-operated action that you would find on most shotguns today.

Before taking on this review, I had several questions relating to this shotgun such as who is Akdal, Ucyildiz Arms and RAAC Inc., what types of capacity magazines are available for this shotgun, and what is the price?  The first answer is that Akdal is a brand of Ucyildiz Arms who is a Turkish firearms manufacturer and the MKA 1919 is imported into the US by RAAC Inc. (formally Russian American Arms Company).  This being an imported firearm immediately answers the question about the magazine capacity which is limited to 5 rounds per magazine (out of the box).  Luckily, RAAC is working to have higher capacity American made magazines in the near future.  The MSRP on this shotgun is $699.  A quick search on the internet revealed that this price (or more) seems to be a going price for this shotgun.  Holding this price point is a good indication on the popular demand for the MKA 1919.  Knowing that there are some good firearms coming out of Turkey, that high capacity magazines are on the way, and that the MSRP is at a reasonable price makes the MKA 1919 is a great shotgun to review.  Fortunately I was able to get my hands on one for this review.

 

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the RAAC website on 3/3/2012 and gives an Overview, Key Features, and Specifications for the  MKA 1919 Shotgun.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.  I may also add commentary after these marks as necessary to explain some items if needed.

Overview & Key Features

  • The Akdal MKA 1919 is a gas operated, semi-automatic shotgun manufactured in Turkey by Ucyildiz Arms*.
  • The MKA 1919 not only resembles the M16 rifle but the control and function are similar.
  • The MKA 1919 is unlike any other 12 gauge shotgun in the U.S. as it is very light, ergonomic, and magazine fed.
  • The MKA 1919 semi-automatic shotgun uses a conventional gas-operated action which is located around the support tube that runs below the barrel.
  • The return spring is also located around the same support tube which is concealed by an enlarged polymer hand guard.
  • The MKA 1919 barrel can be very easily removed from the upper receiver.
  • The upper receiver is manufactured from an aluminum alloy while the lower receiver, pistol grip, and stock are manufactured as one piece from impact resistant polymer .
  • The MKA 1919 comes with two 5-round metal detachable magazines and 3 internal chokes.
  • The magazine release button mimics the M16 rifle location.
  • The manual safety also duplicates the M16 style being located on the left side of the receiver above the pistol grip.
  • The top of the receiver has a carrying handle and integral Picatinny rail for mounting rear sights, or any optical accessories.
  • The MKA 1919 12 gauge shotgun is appropriate for all levels of hunting and sporting enthusiasts.
  • It comes in Black and "BONZ" camo versions and is reasonably priced for our distributors and customers alike.

Specifications

  • Model - MKA 1919
  • Operation - Gas operated Semi-auto Shotgun
  • Caliber - 12 gauge Caliber should really be Gauge
  • Chamber: 3"
  • Range - 35 mt.
  • Weight (Empty) - 6 1/2 lbs The review shotgun weigh in at 6.98 pounds without a magazine and 7.70 pounds with an empty magazine.  I believe the 6.5 pounds stated represents the shotgun weight without the carry handle or front sight.
  • Barrel Length - 47 cm. (18.50")
  • Magazine Capacity - 5 Round
  • Safety - Manuel safety lever
  • Overall Length - 96,40 cm. (37.95") The review shotgun measured 39.5" in length which is also different than the length of 40.5" stated in the owners manual.
  • Overall Height: 9.2" with carry handle, 7.5" without carry handle and front sight
  • Mobile shock - 5 cm — 10 cm — 15 cm I'm not sure what they are talking about here.
  • MSRP: $699 for the black version

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • The structure of the MKA 1919 has a very solid feel and the way that they attached the lower receiver/stock to the upper receiver seems rock solid.
  • The action has a smooth silky feel which based on the looks of the shotgun seemed to surprise me until I reconsidered that the action is still a conventional gas-operated action that has been around for years.
  • 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.
  • In my view, this is a very simple shotgun design and I wonder why someone else hasn't already thought of this concept (AR platform concept based on normal shotgun style gas operated system).
  • The ability to use high capacity magazines is clearly a big pro.  Once they are available, I hope to convert this shotgun to be compliant for high capacity magazines and get one for a review.

Pro/Con/Comments (You Decide)?:

  • 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.
  • Disassembly is not difficult, but the need for a screwdriver, socket, extension, ratchet and rubber mallet adds to the complexity and makes disassembly/reassembly more time consuming.  All these tools are needed to separate the upper and lower receivers which allow you to remove the bolt assembly and carrier.  Since I consider cleaning the bolt assembly and carrier a standard part of cleaning a shotgun, this design will probably nag me for years to come.  On the positive side, this design does produce a rock solid mating of the two receivers and I feel that Akdal keeping the lower receiver, buttstock and pistol grip all one part has a positive impact on the potential conversion of the shotgun into one that is compliant for high capacity magazines.
  • I believe there are opportunities for improvement in design with one being to add a steel insert into the back of the upper receiver for the receiver retention bolt.
  • Depending on your shooting condition/ammunition, you may need to adopt a slight non-standard sight picture.  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.
  • The handguard nut and gas regulator nut may work lose over time which will require you to tighten them after shooting a couple boxes of shells.  This is not a difficult task and can be performed in about 1 minute.

Cons:

  • 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.
  • I had a wear issue with the bolt locking block and upper receiver (see part 6).  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.

Bottom Line:

After studying the Akdal MKA 1919 Shotgun for about 2 months while taking and posting 200+ photos, writing commentary on the shotgun in these 6 parts of this review, and range testing this shotgun several times, I can honestly say that I have become a fan of the MKA 1919 Shotgun.  This shotgun cycled everything I put through it, the AR style platform generated tons of interest among my shooting friends every time I took it out of the case, and the thought of high capacity magazines is extremely appealing.  Is it perfect? Not yet.  If you've taken the time to read the entire review, or at least the comments above, you will know that the shotgun I received has a couple of issues.  Yet, with any new product (cars, cell phones, firearms, etc.), you will find things that need to be tweaked along the way.  The important thing is that the manufacturer make right any wrongs with regard to advertised features, quality and workmanship.  If you have read some of my other reviews, you know that I have sent more than one firearm back to the manufacturer so first time perfection is hard to achieve by any manufacturer.  The reason I'm saying all this is so that you will not be swayed too much by some imperfections.  After talking with RAAC (the importer), I feel that RAAC will work with the manufacturer to get things worked out and that the MKA 1919 Shotgun is a platform that we will be seeing much more for many years to come.  There are a couple of American manufacturers already making aftermarket conversion parts for this shotgun and I think you will see even more in the future.  If you are looking for a tactical style semi-automatic shotgun, my recommendation is to study this review and others, as well as checking out an MKA 1919 in person the next time you are at the gun store.

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