ATA Turqua rifle review

Review: ATA Turqua Synthetic hunting rifle


The ATA Turqua sporter is the first bolt-action rifle to be manufactured in Turkey, a country renowned for its shotguns and, to a lesser degree, handguns. The Turqua is a departure from tradition. 

Certainly it’s an engineering innovation from ATA, Turkey’s leading firearms manufacturer, which exports to over 70 countries. New rifle manufacturing by ATA Arms is fully modern, with the universal use of CAD/COM systems and CNC machinery, laser-cut checkering and injection-moulded stocks.

ATA Turqua rifle review
Safety catch is a large knurled button and a red dot is revealed in firing mode. A second cocking indicator protrudes from the bolt sleeve.

The heart of the Turqua rifle is a massively proportioned magnum-length action – and it’s really long! The slab-sided, flat-bottomed receiver has an overall length of 225mm and a width of 30mm. The tang is an extension of the receiver — short, thick and impossible to bend. 

The trigger is attached to the underside of the bridge and extends to the end of the tang; the rear action screw is located in front of the trigger housing and the front screw is threaded into the recoil lug.

The trigger has a steel housing and weight of pull is adjustable from 0.8 to 1.6kg through a hole in the trigger guard. The two-stage trigger on the test gun was crisp enough, but broke at 1.8kg; I quickly lightened it to release at 1.134kg – a safe and reliable weight – with no creep or over-travel.

The three-position safety is on the right side, just behind the bolt stem. A large knurled button, it locks both bolt and sear, but in the mid-position allows a live round to be removed from the chamber safely. When the rifle is cocked, the safety is thumbed to the rear and the bolt handle is locked down — a feature I am in favour of. 

ATA Turqua rifle review
The Turqua comes with two detachable magazines – one holds three rounds, the other five.

Like so many other new hunting rifles, the Turqua has a minimal-sized ejection port that adds rigidity to the action, but unlike some other guns of a similar design, it’s possible to top load the Turqua quickly and efficiently. The ejection port on the test gun is short, only 70mm in length as the test rifle is chambered for the .308 Winchester.

The short .308 cartridge normally has a short bolt travel. While the three-lug bolt renders a low 60 degree lift, it doesn’t have shorter linear travel because the bolt head extends 30mm into the long receiver ring before locking up. Because the locking lugs don’t protrude beyond the diameter of the bolt, no lug raceways along the inner walls of the receiver are needed; only a round hole. This makes for a close-tolerance fit between the two and smooth, wobble-free travel. The lack of raceway channels along the middle of the receiver also contributes to exceptionally thick and rigid sidewalls, making the action strong and hefty.

ATA Turqua rifle review
Receiver is very heavy and rigid. Note integral recoil lug and adjustment screw for trigger weight

The deeply counterbored bolt face houses a plunger ejector and Sako-style claw extractor.
A gas port is drilled into each side of the receiver ring. Back at the bridge, a massive shrouded bolt sleeve blocks any escaping gas that might move along the bolt body.

The Turqua’s round bolt handle curves back and has a pear-shaped, hollowed-out, tear-shaped knob with a row of serrations around its circumference.

The 600mm button-rifled barrel is chrome moly with 1:11 twist and its length was a surprise to me at a time when many hunters prefer a 550mm barrel for a .308. The barrel is what I’d call medium weight. ATA offers the Turqua with a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee.

Bolt release catch is neat and unobtrusive. It rides in a longitudinal slot in the bolt body giving precise non-binding control.

The bottom metal is alloy with a magazine latch in the front end. The magazine doesn’t just drop out but requires manual removal. The Turqua comes with two magazines — three and five-shot. They are made of polymer with a low-friction follower and hold the rounds in a single column.

The injection moulded, classic-style stock has a straight comb adjustable for height by simply pressing a button on the right side of the butt. To lock the adjustment you simply release the button and press down slightly on the comb. 

Rubbery panels inserted into the grip and fore-end replace a checquering pattern. Stock furniture consists of two sling swivel bases and an 18mm thick buttpad. Length of pull can be adjusted using two recoil pad extensions which come with the rifle — one installed and one spare.

All exterior surfaces of the rifle are a non-reflective dull black which is sensible and serviceable.

ATA Turqua rifle review
Turqua action has flat bottom, thick side walls, integral recoil lug and double-stage trigger with steel housing.

The forend is reinforced with struts making the stock very rigid and stable. The grip has a circumference of 134mm, and the fore-end is 160mm at the mid-point just in ahead of the front action screw. The Turqua’s stock is just about as rigid as you can get, and there’s no chance of it warping when exposed to excessive heat or cold. 

The barrel is free-floated from the receiver ring forward, with the gap between forend and barrel being extremely narrow and consistent.

To make attaching a scope easy, the Turqua synthetic comes with a 148mm long Picatinny rail. This is a pious idea, since the spacing of the holes in the long receiver would position standard ring mounts too far apart to accommodate the majority of short-tubed modern scopes.

The soft rubber pad soaks up recoil quite effectively, although the all-up weight of the outfit, (4.5kgs) field ready with scope, sling and four cartridges helps reduce kick.

ATA Turqua rifle review
The Turqua lived up to its guarantee of MOA accuracy using five of the six factory loads tested with it

The best three-shot cluster from the Turqua rather surprisingly came with the 175gn Edge TLR, which shaded the 185gn Berger, with a best group measuring .67 inch. It’s not only extremely satisfying, but gives a good indication of what to expect when a brand-new rifle shoots that well straight out of the box with factory ammunition. The first group was awesome but I knew it to be a good load which seated Federal’s top big-game bullet. 

The Turqua was tested with another five Federal loads, all of which showed more than acceptable accuracy. Average group sizes varied from 0.88in (Edge TLR) to 1.3in from the 150gn Fusion, which was the only load not to average less than MOA. Overall, the rifle shot everything really well and lived up to its sub-MOA guarantee. 

For testing I used the three-shot magazine and round after round slid smoothly off the polymer follower. Feeding, extraction and ejection were flawless. The recessed magazine release (in front of the magazine well) is positive, the pear-shaped bolt knob has a good feel, the Turqua’s handling qualities are excellent, and it comes up smoothly. 

To me, the outfit is a bit heavy for a .308, but it’s a lot of gun for the money.

The Turqua is available in two other models as well as the Synthetic tested: Walnut with classic-style Turkish walnut stock; and heavy-barrel Turqua Tactical Laminated weighing 4.5kg and has the butt adjustable for length, the comb for height and a threaded muzzle. All three models offer the same choice of calibres – .243, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308. The Turqua comes with a five year warranty.  

ATA TURQUA SPECIFICATIONS

Type: turnbolt , push feed action

Calibre: .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win( tested)

Magazine capacity: 3-shot and 5-shot magazines supplied

Barrel: 610mm. button-rifled, medium profile; 1.11 twist

Weight: 3.4kg

Overall length: 1135mm

Metal finish: matte black

Stock: black composite synthetic, adjustable L.O.P
and comb height.

Sights: none: action drilled and tapped; Picatinny rail supplied

Maker: ATA Silah Sanayl AS Turkey

RR Price: $995

Distributor: Nioa


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Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He has been writing about firearms and hunting for more than 65 years, has published many books and uncounted articles, and has travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject is unmatched. He has been Sporting Shooter's Gun Editor for longer than anyone can remember. Nick lives in rural NSW, Australia.

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