CalendarCalendar   Photos  * FAQ
It is currently Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:23 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12 ga
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:07 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:07 pm
Posts: 1528
Location: Westchester Co, NY
This is a review of the Dickinson Arms 12 ga boxlock side by side, model SBE. It is made in Turkey and has somewhat convoluted origins.

So, let’s start at the beginning. Smith & Wesson allegedly came up with a unique, patent pending trigger plate design for an upland sxs gun, the S&W Elite Gold, went to Turkey, “built” a factory and introduced the gun in 20 ga to the US in 2007 (clarification welcome). It appears that S&W did a poor job of marketing these guns that were MSRP $2550 when launched. With the Great Recession and poor sales, it appears that S&W “dropped” the gun in late 2008 or early 2009. A number of these S&W Elite Golds ended up in Cabelas and later at CDNN, where they were selling in the $1200 range, chiefly in single trigger POW or English DT configuration 26” or 28”. With only a few 26” SNT POW now available at CDNN, prices on the 28” DT English stock guns are creeping up and are now available on GB and GA at $1600 +.

According to S&W’s original releases, not only did they plan a huge number of model variations, but the Elite Gold SxS would also be offered in 12 ga. As far as I can tell (again, clarification welcome), that never came to fruition.

The S&W Elite Gold was extremely well reviewed garnering a Field & Stream Best Hunting Shotgun in its annual “Best of the Best” reviews http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/other/Elite%20Gold%20Best%20of%20the%20Best%20Final.pdf. Several SGW members have purchased these guns and their reviews have been equally positive. The “heirloom warranty” was certainly a reassuring feature. With S&W having “dropped” these guns, there was a good deal of speculation about what had happened to their “abandoned factory” in Turkey and whether these guns were still being made. With extensive research, SGW members turned up iterations of the gun in a Commando Arms catalogue from Turkey (I have no current info on Commando Arms other than the on-line catalogue) http://www.commando-arms.com/ and information that the manufacturer of these guns was a company called UTAS. Whether the Turkish company UTAS ever owned the manufacturer of the S&W Elite Gold is unclear, but they do not now and their portfolio is entirely focused on the “combat” shotgun market. It would appear from the research currently available that there was no “abandoned S&W factory” and that this A&D boxlock side by side was being made before the S&W Elite Gold and may still be made by more than one entity in Turkey.

More digging by SGW members turned up what appeared to be the same guns as the S&W Elite Gold, offered in both 20ga and 12ga, now named Dickinson Arms, and imported by IAC Imports of Billerica MA (in fact situated in CA), a division of Interstate Arms Corporation. IAC currently imports two “reproduction 1897 pump shotguns” and a rather horrific looking “home defense” pump action gun. The Elite Gold look-alike shotguns were found available at Cabelas. SGW member 2fewdasafield has actually spoken with the management at IAC Imports and may have more information.http://www.iacshotguns.com/about.html

IAC imported these guns from AKUS Silah Sanay TIC AS http://www.akus.com.tr/en/hakkimizda.htmlAnd both the Commando Arms catalogue and AKUS websites refer to the model of this gun as SBE, also the first letters in the serial number on the gun. For more information from AKUS: http://www.akus.com.tr/en/5.html

Now, about the gun I purchased from Cabelas in Scarborough ME. I received a NIB Dickinson Arms, 12 ga, Anson & Deeley boxlock ejector, with color case hardened receiver, double triggers, 28” rust blued barrels, fixed choke, and straight grip (English) stock. There was no mention of choke constriction in the gun library listing. Mine came IC/IM, which is a nice combination in my view, offering potential IC/M patterns with spreader loads, and M/F with steel. Cabelas is selling these for $1399. They will negotiate downward. Not entirely unsupported, it came with an alleged 2 year warranty from the manufacturer. I haven't had the time to open it up, but my theory is that S&W had the rights to a trigger plate action and that AKUS and others are making essentially the same looking gun but with the tried and tested old A&D boxlock action.

First, the wood. I have been very unimpressed with the pictures of the wood on S&W Elite Golds that I have seen on-line. However, I was very impressed with the much lighter and very nicely patterned wood on 2Few’s Elite Gold. The wood on the Dickinson is somewhere between that on 2Few’s Elite Gold and the plainer wood that I have seen on most Elite Golds. The Dickinson comes with a urethane or varnish finish that I think mutes the wood pattern. The oil finish option would substantially improve its appearance. This is the lowest grade wood available on the SBE and clearly the Turks are capable of putting together some lovely furniture in higher grades. The 24 line checkering is well done and the wood to metal fit is very good. The checkered buttplate is as per the Elite Gold. LOP measures just over 14 7/8”. It is nice and slim through the wrist but feels solid.

Receiver. I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about the process of color case hardening to speak with any authority here. All of the literature claims true bone case hardening and I have no reason to doubt that the process was used here, but I am not entirely impressed with the results on this gun. Coloring is uneven and very sparse around the edges. This appears to be the same as the Elite Golds that I have seen on-line but slightly less well executed than on 2few’s Elite Gold. The firing pins are not bushed. The receiver is rounded but feels less so than the Elite Gold. This speaks to my theory on the trigger plate vs box lock action.

Barrels. The rust bluing is even, deep and well done. The file cut low-raised rib is well proportioned and sits well in the sight plane, tipped by a single brass bead. The chopper lump barrels are chrome lined and suitable for steel shot. The locking bar is jeweled and the forend connects easily and snugly. The importer name IAC, Billerica MA appears upside down on the right barrel.

Weight. UKAS lists the SBE 12 ga as 3.0 kg, equivalent to 6lbs 9.6oz, and according to my scale, it actually weights 6lbs 10.4oz. This is a little heavy for a true upland bird gun and seems exponentially heavier than the Elite Gold in 20ga. However, my initial impression (not having yet fired it) is that it points extremely well, balances just in front of the hinge and, for me, that somewhat higher weight should help me even out my swing.

Overall Evaluation before firing. This is not an Ugartechea or an AyA and it would not be readily confused with any $4,000 - $5,000 guns. Nor however is it likely to be confused with any of the Huglu offerings currently available in the US. I believe that the gun, if offered by a reputable and consistent importer with certainty of warranty and service work would sell in the $1500 range and, that with higher grade wood, could sell in the $1750 range. It appears to be a good quality, well-made shotgun that’s a bit heavier than optimal but stands a cut above any of the economy side by sides in the market . In my estimation this is a mid-range Turkish gun, not quite on par with the lower end of the current Ugartechea or AyA portfolio, for example, but with higher grade wood and greater attention to detail, capable of getting there.

Image
Note that it comes with the same Royal Blue faux velvet bag as the Elite Gold
Image
Image
Image
Image
The Wood is better than my photography but not stunning
Image

I hope this review is helpful and look forward to any information or clarifications that our learned SGW colleagues may have.

_________________
Oldfarmer wrote:
Idiots breed at a much higher rate than people with common sense and not all of them are able to find government work.


Last edited by RPRNY on Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:19 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:53 pm
Posts: 16284
Location: Living in a Facist state--Connecticut.
RPRNY.....


As you suggested, I "looked to Texas". That 12/28 DT, English is on its way to Ct as I type. Thanks man! :D :D :D :D :D

_________________
2fewdaysafield. Huglu Drifter. Have Huglu, Will Travel

Robert E. Lee's 200th birthday was 1/19/07. I hope AP Hill takes that hill at Gettysburg in every dream he has. Freedom isn't free. 11B; 54E20

OMG has a whole new meaning. OBAMA MUST GO!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:28 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:18 am
Posts: 7792
Very interesting review. Especially useful is the comparison to the low-end Uggies/AyAs - that really helps put it into perspective.

You are right- the finish seems to have muted the wood pattern and a strip with an oil finish would help bring it out.

Is the stock held on by a thru-bolt? It appears not since it doesn't have a buttplate but the absence of a thru-bolt would make bending a lot easier.

This is in the disposable gun price range and since it's steel rated would make a nice waterfowl gun. Hmmm.....

Many thanks for your thoughtful comments and I look forward to a shooting report when you get back.

_________________
Frank
___________________
"Pumpster" is because of pumpkins, not pump guns.
It's SxS, DT splinter/English for me!
Shotguns speak in many voices and fortunate are those of us who hear more than one.
May God bless our Union.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:30 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:36 pm
Posts: 2358
Thanks for the great review and congrats 2few. I found your evaluation interesting, it must not be of the same quality as the S&W Gold Elite guns because having owned several Uggies, grade I's to grade V's (Lion Country Supply) and several AYA's and Merkels as well, I personally would rate my S&W Gold Elite on par with any of them that are similarly configured, mine is a magnificent gun, the wood on mine is pretty average grd III wood but the gun overall is excellent, considerably nicer than my grd I thru III Uggie boxlock guns (comparing apples with apples) my side lock Uggies were excellent guns. Anyway I'm really eager to hear about yours 2few and your take on it.
Thanks again for the great review, good job.
Strat


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:01 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:53 pm
Posts: 16284
Location: Living in a Facist state--Connecticut.
Hey Strat......

This is RPRNY's review of the Dickinson gun he just received. I'm waiting for mine to get to Hartford. Once I have collected mine, RPRNY and myself will get together and compare these two 12 gauge guns to my 20 gauge S&W Elite Gold. Should be interesting to see how they all compare side by side.

_________________
2fewdaysafield. Huglu Drifter. Have Huglu, Will Travel

Robert E. Lee's 200th birthday was 1/19/07. I hope AP Hill takes that hill at Gettysburg in every dream he has. Freedom isn't free. 11B; 54E20

OMG has a whole new meaning. OBAMA MUST GO!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:34 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:59 pm
Posts: 2919
Location: Flathead Valley, MT
You're starting to come around, Frank! ;)

I'm waiting with baited breath to see what she looks like inside and if this is truly a variant of a round action with the "patent pending" trigger plate.

MD

_________________
Me: I love you, dear!
Wife: You just bought another shotgun, didn't you?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:19 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:07 pm
Posts: 1528
Location: Westchester Co, NY
I just want to reiterate that the only thing I was somewhat disappointed by in my DA is the varnish finish. The wood itself is good, not great, but looks dull under the shiny finish. 2Few's is supposed to be an oil finish and may give a much better picture.

Also, I have to confess a 20 ga bias in SxS that may have colored my review. A) I was extremely impressed with 2Few's S&W 20 ga and B) I am a sucker for the much lighter 20 ga., so by necessity the 12ga doesn't compare as well in my mind - but I am more grouse hunter than pheasant hunter.

I doubt that these 12ga AKUS guns are trigger plate actions. While rounded, they are not a real round body like the S&W 20ga. Perhaps 2few will be able to open his up before I get back to the States and we shall see. I am looking forward to pics of the oil finish.

_________________
Oldfarmer wrote:
Idiots breed at a much higher rate than people with common sense and not all of them are able to find government work.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:02 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:43 pm
Posts: 812
Location: High Plains
Nice write up!

I'd like to handle a 20ga!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:50 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 3995
Location: Neosho, MO
JWP58,
CDNN still has some S&W Elite Gold 26" barrel, POW stock, single trigger guns left at ridiculously low prices if you like that flavor. I've got one and it is my favorite 20 ga SXS.

_________________
An elderly gentleman, his faithful dog, and a 16 ga SXS. All is right with the world.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:36 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:17 am
Posts: 951
Location: Buckner, MO / Grafton, IL
Nice write up RPRNY. I just handled a few of these at Cabelas KC today. I thought most had nice CCH colors and wood to metal fit. I thougth both 12 and 20 ga models were heavy. I didn't put them on a scale but they felt well over 7 pounds. Cabelas was discounting them at under $1100. The had both single and double trigger modles in both gauges. No 410s however - darn!!! Cabelas discribed them as "overstocks" - whatever that means. Not bad prices for an ejector side by side!

_________________
Robin

Support system for English Setters;
Molly and Emma

In dog beers - I've only had one.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:39 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:07 pm
Posts: 1528
Location: Westchester Co, NY
FWIW, I have learned more about these guns since my previous posts; some of the info now on 2Few's "Dickinson Arms" post on the Huglu Forum.

AKUS only makes the SBE (the same model as the S&W Elite Gold and DA 12ga) in 12 and 20 and the 7 pin sidelock (H&H) only in 20ga. The weight of my 12 ga SBE is near-as-dammit 6lbs 11oz.

The AKUS SBE, aka Dickinson Arms, (12 and 20) are in fact trigger plate actions but based on frame size, the 12ga is less "rounded".

_________________
Oldfarmer wrote:
Idiots breed at a much higher rate than people with common sense and not all of them are able to find government work.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:00 am 
Tournament Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:10 pm
Posts: 263
Location: South Central ND
My gun is not any less rounded than my S&W. The action is in fact the same dimensions (measured with a caliper) as the 20ga S&W I have. They appear to the eye as being slightly different in size due to the larger barrels of the 12ga. Only the balls of the action are larger due to the barrel size of the 12ga. Mine is of the same quality as the S&W I have in fit and finish of the metal and wood excluding the checkering. It is good checkering on the Dickinson but a little more care was taken on the S&W. That is no big deal to me though. I hope they hold up as well as my S&W has!

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:48 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:28 pm
Posts: 3751
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Thanks for the write-up. If I had seen it earlier I won't have posted as much blaa-blaa regarding these guns in the Huglu Forum. I purchased a 20 ga. Dickinson DT with IM/M barrels from Cabela's Hamburg, PA store. I figured the chokes could be opened up if indeed they are as stated. I'll need to bend the stock anyways, darn LH'er that I am. In that regard, my gun came with it's "Certificate of Guarantee" plus a user's manual. The manual has a breakdown of the gun and it indeed does have a stock bolt hidden behind the screwed on inner wood butt plate. It also shows that the trigger plate has most of the "guts" attached to it, making it the same as the S&W Gold Elite. My gun has some figure to the stock, hard to see under the poly finish, but you can tell it is not a plain 2 x 4 piece of wood. Not a bad gun for the money.

_________________
Don

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
― Benjamin Franklin


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:29 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:57 am
Posts: 4
I purchased a Dickinson from Cabela's last year. 12 ga.sxs . Took it out last week, and it wouldn't fire. I discovered that something was missing in the safety/trigger mechanism after breaking it down. Cabela's says no warranty.
I'll be looking for help on Monday.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:25 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:07 pm
Posts: 1528
Location: Westchester Co, NY
Mine came with an owners manual and parts schematic as well as a manufacturers warranty. I take it Cabela's are saying that you have had it for x amount of time and they will no longer honor any implicit warranty. If yours has arrived with no manufacturer's warranty and you are not comfortable taking it apart to find out what is going on, best bet is to find out who had the repair contract with S&W on the Elite Gold as they will be familiar with the gun and may have access to parts etc.

_________________
Oldfarmer wrote:
Idiots breed at a much higher rate than people with common sense and not all of them are able to find government work.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Arms/ Elite Gold, UTAS, Commando Arms AKUS 12
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:50 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:57 am
Posts: 4
I was told by Cabela's it had a 90 day warranty. I noticed that part in the trigger assembly that attaches to the safety is free floating like something is
missing. guess I'll have to call a gunsmith on Monday.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Registered users: 62-10, 75' Forty, battuedave, bernie, bigbearbear, BigRed, Bing [Bot], birdshooter, Blackgold32, bobfar, Bubzola, casonet, clays99, cowpoke, DanG, dcblvsh2, Degle, dirty girdy, Diyelker, eiderz, Eriehunter, esetter, fungunner, gjw, GLS, gman69, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], Google Feedfetcher, Grousen, Gvt22, High Rib 52, Hizzoner, hopper810, Icemon, jaguarxk120, Jje1228, jmshunts, joe606, JST, jwr50, K80Doc, KCoker, KRIEGHOFFK80, Kyler Hamann, lesstow, Long Range, Louisdmt, lsclmmr, maggs01, majorfadal, marist89, MAX & TOBY, MHWH, mike orlen, mtchamber, Ned Fall, niner, oregunner, P.Muerrle, pro2slow, quail-chaser, Raven2009, Rayco, RMc, Rudolph31, Sikiguya, Slickdriver21, spud3201, StormRhydr, straightsixes, streamrocks, Sweetcorn, TheBigLebowski, thestumper, tjh12glen, TomP41, TurnitinBot [Bot], WAGinVA, wayntxsporting, wjonessc, XRoads, Yahoo [Bot], yfdcap


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group     -  DMCA Notice