I got into shotgun ownership right around the time that the last massive ammo shortage took place, back in 2012. I got a Remington 870 for my birthday that year, and then purchased a Mossberg 590A1 in 2013, during the height of the ammo shortage. With my tiny high-school student budget, I found shotguns cheaper to shoot than my rifles, and ammo much more plentiful. It's funny that now, 8 years later, I've done the same thing.
I purchased a Charles Daly 601 DPS shotgun for two reasons; shotgun ammo is still mostly cheap, and I wanted to see how a Turkish copy of an Italian shotgun could perform. This isn't a review, but rather my first impressions of the 601 DPS.
What is the Charles Daly 601 DPS?
The Charles Daly 601 DPS is a semi-automatic, gas operated 12 gauge shotgun. It is produced in Turkey, and sold under the Charles Daly line owned by Chiappa Firearms. Sounds pretty cookie cutter, right? Well, it isn't.
Plain and simple, the Charles Daly 601 is a copy of the Benelli M4 shotgun. When I say copy, I don't mean "inspired by", I mean a clone. This may sound surprising, but as I came to find out, it shouldn't be. Benelli's patent on the M4 design and gas system recently expired, and the factories in Turkey took advantage of this, and started pumping out clones. Charles Daly isn't the only company to do so, as we also found the Toros T4, which appears to be a slightly nicer version an M4 clone than the 601 DPS.
The 601 DPS uses the same gas system as the M4, same bolt design/function, and very similar furniture. Much like the MP5 clones that have been coming out of Turkey for a while, this attempts to be a "budget Benelli". Does is stack up to it's much more expensive counterpart? Well, I'm trying to find out.
Features of the Charles Daly 601 DPS
The CD 601 DPS has features that are basically the same as the Benelli M4. The aforementioned gas system of the 601 is a copy of the Auto-Regulating Gas System (A.R.G.O.). Benelli made this with the M4 shotgun back in the 1980's, and it has proven to be reliable.
The capacity of the 601 DPS is also the same an M4, at 5 rounds in the tube, and one more in the chamber. I haven't tested it yet, but I'll see if the 601 DPS will accept a Benelli magazine tube, to expand capacity. The forend for the shotgun also attaches in the same manner as the M4, and uses the same sling attachment method.
Barrel length of the DPS is 18.5", and the blaster uses Benelli pattern chokes. It shipped with a full set of 5 chokes, and a wrench.
The shotgun comes with ghost ring iron sights, and an optics rail as standard. This is great, as optics are the norm on well, everything these days.
The stock on the DPS is not an exact copy, but is very familiar to the newer style of rubber and polymer M4 stocks. Much like most shotguns, it is far too long, and is cumbersome.
Price is a big part of the appeal of this shotgun. MSRP is $649, and I personally paid a total of $605 shipped and transferred to me. That is a steal. Well, a steal as long as it works. What were my impressions, and first function testing results?
First Impressions of the Charles Daly 601 DPS
After I picked up the CD 601 DPS and brought it home, I took the shotgun apart, entirely. Damn, it is really just the poor man/woman's Benelli M4. Build quality seemed to be good for the price, and the action was extremely slick.
The stock really does suck. There's no way to skirt around it, it feels cheap, and is far too long. This is a common issue, as most companies ship shotguns with very long stocks that are not suitable for a lot of shooters. I'm 6 feet tall and 220 pounds, and I found it to be too long. I'm keeping the stock on until I find a replacement, but I did tape up the sides of the rubber buttpad to help alleviate the "grippiness" of the pad. Without doing so, the stock would pull and grab on my clothing, making shooting more difficult.
Shooting the Charles Daly 601 DPS
I fired a range of ammunition through the 601 DPS on the first outing with it. The gun was properly lubricated, and was shot rather quickly. Below are the ammunition types fired, and reliability of them.
- 160 Total rounds fired
- Winchester 2.75", 1200FPS 7.5 Shot (Low Brass)- 75 rounds fired, 10 Failure to Enter Battery
- Winchester 2.75" 1400FPS 2 Shot (High Brass)- 25 rounds fired, 2 Failure to Enter Battery
- Federal 2.75" 1200FPS 7.5 Shot (Low Brass)- 25 rounds fired, 5 Failure to Enter Battery,
- Kent 2.75" 1550FPS Steel BB (High Brass) -25 Rounds fired, 1 Failure to Enter Battery
- Federal 2.75" 1 & 1/8 Ounce Slug (High Brass)-10 Rounds fired, no malfunctions
Reliability with low brass shotshells was 85%, and was 95% reliable with high brass. Each malfunction was a failure to enter battery. While shooting the gun, it felt as though it struggled with the low brass shotshells due to their low payload. The gun felt like it was short-stroking, as it would cycle, but not hit the complete travel to fully cycle. Malfunctions were easily cleared by racking the bolt handle.
The gun was extremely soft shooting, even with slugs. I've shot a range of semi-auto shotguns over the years, and this felt like one of the most comfortable ones yet. I will chalk that up to the gas system. However, I think that there is more at play here. The shotgun generally feels "oversprung". Mainly, the action spring that runs through the stock feels like it needs some compressions to break it in. I plan on leaving the bolt locked to the rear while the gun is in storage to hopefully make it more reliable.
I plan to shoot more a lot more rounds through the 601 DPS over the next few months. We'll see how close to the Benelli M4 this Turk14 can really be!