For many firearm enthusiasts the Berika brand has until recently been relatively unknown but with their latest straight pull shotgun making headway in the Australian market, it has now become a strong contender for those looking to make a straight pull purchase.
While an average gun lover knows that fine gunstocks are usually made of Turkish walnut, it`s good to know that Turks also know how to build the rest of a gun. Actually, Turkey has registered over 300 gunmakers, most of them spread in tiny villages across the countryside.
Even though some of you may have already encountered Turkish firearms, one fact is undeniable, and that is that Turkish arms are a mix of East and West.
It means that most of the Turkish manufacturers started their production lines with designs very reminiscent of prominent western designs such as Berretta, Benelli, Browning, Winchester and many more. Normally, over time, the Turks strived to build more original designs and offer more unique solutions in their firearms.
About Berika Firearms
On the other hand, production and labor costs prevented western manufacturers from making shotguns that compete in price with guns like Turkish Berika.
Berika Firearms is one of the largest shotgun factories in Turkey established in the Beysehir, a large town and district of Konya Province in the Akdeniz region of Turkey.
Berika is a maker of reasonably priced shotguns that are priced and targeted towards casual shooters and hunters.
Along with the traditional over/unders and side-by-sides, from the production lines of this Turkish shotgun manufacturer came down classic single shot break-action guns, semi autos with tube magazines and semi-automatics with detachable box magazines. The Berika also produce common pump action and lever action shotguns, but also, they offer less conventional shotguns based on a AR 15 platform as well as models with straight pull action.
While the Berika`s fine doubles and gas-operated semi auto hunting shotguns have buttstocks built of supreme walnut wood and feature high value cosmetics, their tactical variants come with synthetic stocks and pistol grips in black or, for a few dollars more, in flat dark earth (FDE).
Although the traditional side by side and over & under guns sovereignly have ruled over the hunting fields for more than a century, modern quick-shooting repeaters pushed double-barrel break-action guns into the background.
That trend is particularly noticeable in New World countries like USA and Canada, as well as Australia. Until recently, Australia’s shotgun market was dominated by lever-action shotguns, but today the best selling scatterguns are straight-pull bolt-action models.
One small digression before we go on Berika. Throughout the development of firearms, there have been a number of unsuccessful ones, but bolt-action systems remain the most reliable and successful. Better informed gun owners know that bolt action mechanisms are divided into two systems – turn-bolts and straight-pull-bolts.
Probably, the turn bolts are the most widespread type of bolt-action mechanism. The turn bolts require lifting the handle and so rotating the body of the bolt and unlocking the action. The most recognisable representative is a Mauser 1898, and then Krag-Jorgensen, Lebel and Mosin-Nagant.
As its name says, the straight pull bolt means the user only has to grasp the handle and pull it straight back without lifting to open them in order to chamber the cartridge and extract an empty case. The most popular bolt-action mechanism with linear movements is Mannlicher, Schmidt, Lee, and Ross.
Speaking of Down Under Land, a set of more and less favorable circumstances influenced that mechanisms like lever action and straight-pull bolts experience an unprecedented expansion.
Completely in line with Berika’s motto “Shoot Like a Hunter Feel Like a Warrior”, Australian shooters and hunters accepted the straight-pull scatterguns by this respected Turkish manufacturer.
And quite unexpectedly, these shotgun types are overwhelmed with the avalanche of straight-pulls due to the greater ease of purchase under most firearms owners existing licences. Without a doubt, there has never been a better selection of straight pull shotguns in circulation at any time in history than there is today.
With a new slim design straight pull action, these guns are perfect for use both in IPSC shotgun matches and hunting. Unlike conventional turn-pull bolt design, the straight-pull requires from shooter only to move his arm linearly to cycle the bolt.
Along with turn bolts, the straight pull is one of the best manual operating systems ever devised. Fundamentally, the idea behind this simple concept was the rapidity of fire with reducing the required movements by half (two instead of four).
Berika Black Ops 20″ Shotgun
While the Berika Arms is offering tactical AR-15-style semi-automatic shotguns similar to the MKA 1919 for other countries, a series of Black Ops shotguns have been made exclusively for the Australian market.
Berika Black Ops shotgun utilises a proven system based on straight-pull bolt, which is a specific type of shotgun mechanism designed to be accessible to the majority of Australian hunters.
The Berika`s straight pull design allows you to simply pull the large bolt handle backward for fast ejection of spent 12 gauge shells. After that, a return spring pushes the bolt forward again allowing for the quick reloading from the box magazine. A rotating head then locks the bolt into the receiver and re-cocks the firing pin. Since the ambidextrous bolt handle is located close to the rear of the receiver it will enable easy cycling for users of all sizes.
Interestingly, the early models featured a bolt that remain locked in the open position after the last shell is fired. However, being under pressure of Border Force, and to avoid similarity with a AR 15, Berika has to modify the gun. So, they put out of action bolt hold open (BHO) feature that kept the bolt locked in the open position. In this updated version, the bolt of the Black Ops cannot be locked in the open position after the last round is fired.
The Berika barrels are made of high quality 42CrMo4 (4140) steel blocks and tested with high pressure testing cartridges. All barrels have an interior plated with hard white chrome and an outside plated with black chrome. The package also includes five different chokes and flip up sights.
While the Berika shotguns are available in a huge range of barrel configurations ranging from 18.5 inches up to more politically correct 28 inches long barrels, Black Ops comes equipped with a 20 inch barrel which is topped with a ferocious-looking muzzle brake.
Like barrel, receiver and almost all internal parts are machined from government certified mil-spec steel bar (not investment casting).
Compared to more conventional Berika models, as enhanced features, the Black Ops sports two kinds of attachment systems. The full-length Picatinny rail and M-LOK style slots across the barrel and upper receiver for attaching optics and sights.
Berika Black Ops is a 12 gauge shotgun supplied with a pair of detachable steel magazines. The box magazines have a capacity of five rounds but optionally you can buy a 10-shot banana style magazine. This Turkish shotgun can handle everything from light field loads to heavy 3-1/2- inch magnums.
For better recoil management, the Berika heavy duty shotgun features fixed, one piece synthetic, chassis-type stock with an adjustable cheek riser and buttpad. The AR style molded rubber grip is a nice touch.
Final Thoughts on the Berika Straight Pull Shotgun
Besides all black “Black Ops”, the AR style Berika 12g is offered as Desert Storm and Navy Seal models, which are flat dark earth and silver respectively.
The shotguns from Berika come from the factory with a 1 year warranty against factory defects and issues, but with the recommendation that the firearm may require a ‘break in’ period of about 20 heavy loads.
If you are looking for a very well made and dependable AR style shotgun that is designed to be reliable, the Berika Black Ops will fill your needs and more.