buying a gun

Our experts have written about all aspects of buying a gun. Whether you’re looking for your first-ever shotgun or whether you’re looking for a second-hand bargain. Read our gun reviews which will give you an informed opinion and where you can search by manufacturer, price or type.

Perhaps you’re considering buying a rifle for stalking or upgrading your favourite over-and-under. Or maybe you need an air rifle for pest control.

No matter what your interest, we’ve got it covered. Browse through our comprehensive list of articles, hints and tips on buying guns to make sure you’ve got the background research covered.

Shotguns | Rifles | Over-and-Under | Side-by-Side | Air rifles | Buying a gun second-hand | Budget guns

second-hand guns

Finding the one – your perfect gun

Buying and selling guns is part and parcel of the enjoyment of shooting. It’s all about finding “the one”. All I can say is count yourself lucky if the first gun you clap eyes on fits the bill perfectly and that, shunning all others, you stay faithful to it ever…

A-Z guide to shooting terms

What’s my best gun for shooting clays and game?

Q: Having just taken up the pastime of clayshooting 
(the skeet discipline), and having more than a passing interest 
in gameshooting, I find I am bamboozled by the choice of shotguns that are available. 
I would prefer to buy a 12-bore side-by-side rather than an 
over-and-under shotgun, but 
are side-by-sides…

lightweight 12-bore shotguns

Three secondhand lightweight 12-bores

“I have turned 70 and, although I can still walk fair distances, the 8lb Sporter I use for all of my shooting has become rather too heavy. I am therefore looking for a lightweight 12-bore – either O/U or semi-auto. Recoil doesn’t bother me too much as nowadays as I…

second-hand guns

A gunsmith’s guide to buying guns second-hand

What’s the best way to go about buying guns second-hand  though? What do you look for and what are the potential pitfalls? To find out more I visited The Country Sports Shop in Devon to speak to the experts. I met shop manager Chris Lamb, himself a keen shooting man…

Browning B525 Game shotgun

Secondhand Browning – three of the best for an all-rounder

Max price: £1,250 Type: O/U game or Sporter Main purpose: clays, pigeons and game Preferred make: Browning Mike George’s buying advice for choosing the best used Browning for an all-rounder When John Moses Browning’s famous B25 model first appeared in the gun shops in 1926, the makers boasted that it…

Beretta A400 28-bore semi-auto

Second-hand small-bore shotguns – what to buy?

A second-hand 28-bore or a .410? With more than £1,000 to spend on a small-bore shotgun, either a 28-bore or a .410, our reader has plenty of scope. In fact, he could buy a new gun if he so wished, particularly if he looked at the Turkish market. If he…

bargain second-hand semi-auto

The best second-hand semi-autos for under £850

“I wish to buy a semi-auto, mainly for clays but also for a little pigeon shooting. I don’t really want to spend more than £850, and I want one made by one of the major, well-established manufacturers.” Finding a bargain second-hand semi-auto Did you know up to 75 per cent…

clayshooting grounds

Three of the best second-hand clayshooting guns for beginners

Buyer’s brief:  “I have been shooting clays for the past six months with guns hired from the shooting ground. Most of these have been various versions of Beretta Silver Pigeons, which I do like, though I have no experience of other guns. I have a budget of £1,000 to £1,500,…

second-hand gun for £1000 Beretta

How to choose a second-hand gun for £1000

Mike George’s buying advice for a second-hand gun for £1,000 The most common request I get from readers is advice on buying a first gun. It’s also one of the most common queries received on the forum section of our website. It all depends on the amount of money the…

Bespoke shotgun from Purdey £132,000

The making of a Purdey shotgun

‘You can tell a Purdey person when out shooting – they’re understated, not flash’ If you’re lucky enough to visit Audley House, James Purdey & Sons’ emporium on Mayfair’s South Audley Street, which has been home to the distinguished gunmaker since 1883, you’ll witness first hand the rich history bound…

Beretta 687 EELL

Three of the classiest boxlocks around

“I would dearly love to be able to afford a sidelock O/U from a prestigious maker, but I can’t afford one. Instead, I am going to have to settle for a side-plated boxlock. I have a budget in mind, but I will happily exceed it to get the right gun.”…

side by side shotgun

Is the side-by-side shotgun history?

“Snobbery and inheritance are the only reasons why people use a side-by-side.” So said one keen Shot, once described as the best of his generation. “But I’m not that bothered. I just like to shoot straight.” Once upon a time, the side-by-side was the only gun to use. Turn up for…

What’s a good second-hand rifle for deer stalking?

Q:  I want my son to come out stalking with me; he is keen and a good shot. Can you recommend 
a good-value second-hand rifle? Will any brand be OK providing the rifle meets the right specifications, and 
if so what specifications should I be looking for? A: It is…

Secondhand value-for-money semi-auto shotguns Hatsan Escort Magnum

Three value-for-money secondhand semi-auto shotguns

Hatsan Escort Magnum Target Price: £330 In the 1960s, two trend-setting semi-autos were introduced – one from the USA and the other from Italy. Both were no-nonsense guns that became favourites, primarily with clay target and pigeon shooters. The American offering was the Remington 1100, while the Beretta A300 came from Italy. The Remmie was so…

Northern Shooting Show

20 popular second-hand all-rounders

If your budget is £750 and under Baikal This is one of my top 10 guns built in the last half century and it’s cheap, reliable with the Baikal reputation for toughness. On most over-and-unders the ejectors can be turned off, and firing the top barrel first is selected by…