& Harris - Gun
Reviews - Archive - MacNab highlander light.
the last few years there has been an expansion of the number of
gunmakers making guns of extremely lightweight.
clay shooters, the last thing needed is a light gun. After all
weight will absorb a certain amount of recoil. And in the extreme
environment of competitive clay target shooting what isn't needed is
a gun that kicks too much.
for game shooting, a gun that can be carried all day without drawing
attention to itself by making its owner too tired must be something
to give consideration.
order to make a serious challenge to the weight of a gun, the makers
have looked towards materials technology. Browning and Beretta have
both made guns recently using lightweight materials, as have Fabarm;
these have now been joined by John Macnab.
is a relatively new company that has carved itself a significant
niche, particularly in the small gauge market.
Highlander is MacNab's mid range priced gun and is available in
various gauges and configurations, with both silver and colour
hardened action finishes.
This addition to the range should compliment the others very well.
Of course there is nothing new about alloy actioned guns. Franchi
made them in the 70's as did Verney Carron.
Franchi was very popular at that time in the UK, in fact at that
time Franchi and Miroku were probably the main suppliers of OU guns
in this country.
with most things, manufacturing and design have come quite a long
way since the 70's. the Aircraft industry has brought non ferrous
alloys on in leaps and bounds.
or two critical points need attention with alloy actioned guns in
order to give the gun longevity.
The cross pin or pins on which the guns pivot open need to be steel
for maximum resistance to the wear of constant opening and closing.
other area is the action face; around the striker holes which due to
the pressure of firing can cause rings to appear around the hole
that if left unchecked can cause the hole itself to become closed
up, so preventing the striker from reaching the primer, and causing
order to prevent this, the action face has a titanium insert
dovetailed into it. This has been very neatly done from the bottom
of the standing breech so it is not visible other than on close
than the action frame material, the gun is mechanically the same as
the other Highlander gun.
The hammers pivot at the bottom of the trigger plate, with the sears
being suspended from underneath the top strap.
selector block works on inertia; i.e. recoil is need to reset for
the second shot. Selection for either barrels is achieved by a
rocking button in the centre of the safe button. A screw under the
trigger can adjust clearance for the selector though this is
certainly best left to a gunsmith, but is a useful facility for a
manufacturer to leave in for gunsmiths that may subsequently work on
The safe button itself is a nice shape and is also very comfortable
to move backwards and forwards. The safe is automatically returned
when the gun is opened.
is by independent cocking rods for each side. These rods are captive
by the hammers so that they will only engage the ejector mechanism
when the gun has been fired and the cocking rods move forwards.
ejector springs themselves directly power the extractor, and are
housed in the monoblock. The ejector trips that release the
extractor are also housed in the side of the monoblock. And having
been pushed up to engage with the extractor by the cocking rod as it
comes forward by the firing action of the gun, the trips are then
pushed back to release the extractor by a boss in the action that it
contacts as the gun is fully opened.
barrels themselves as already indicated are made on the tried and
tested monblock system favoured almost universally by mass producers
tubes are well struck up and appear very true. This can be said
equally for the bores which are highly finished and very concentric.
An odd comment to make, perhaps you might think, but the truth is
that it is very difficult with smaller bore to make them straight
and true. The problem becomes more exaggerated, the smaller the
top rib is a parallel 6mm and is ventilated, more, I suspect in
order to add to the weight saving than as a cooling aid on this gun.
Though, none the less it would also have that benefit. The top rib
is also matted to reduce glare and is finished with a brass
finish on the barrels is very good, being a very deep gloss black.
This is nicely contrasted by engine turned sidewalls on the monblock
where it joints into the action.
chambers are 76mm or 3" magnum to take pretty much anything in
the way of ammunition. The forcing cones, although they couldn't
really be described as long, are not short either, which will help
to make the gun shoot more comfortably. And at the other end the
chokes are 1 / 4 and 1 / 2. A good choice to suit most game shooting
with all MacNab highlanders the wood is very good. Nicely coloured
wood that shows its figure and carry's a good oil finish.
wooden butt plate adds a classy touch and is also very well fitted
to compliment the close wood to metal on the rest of the gun.
pistol grip is rounded in a classic game gun shape, which is swept
back to give a gip somewhere between a straight hand and full pistol
grip. Overall it gives a very attractive look to the gun.
forend shape is quite a sharp schnabel. It is very slim and
comfortable to hold. The forend snap release is a button that
protrudes through the front of the forend and again gives a classic
look usually found on English guns.
chequer pattern on the stock is nicely laid out, though on the
forend I think a pointed pattern would look better though what's
there does afford very good grip.
main feature of this gun is, of course, the action. And its weight,
or more precisely, the lack of it.
For me I think it looks good. More sculptured than some of its
competitors, with raised side panels and nicely detonated or carved
fences. And with more engraving of game scene and scroll work as
well. It is also well contrasted by its black finished toplever,
safe and trigger guard.
don't know whether it is possible but I think this gun would look
really good with a colour hardened action.
if you are looking for light weight, at 5 lb 6 oz this one shouldn't
tire you too much.
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