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

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…

woman with shotgun in field

A look at three second-hand, low recoil guns

It surprises me that sensitivity to recoil seems to have little to do with physical build. I’ve met guys built like Jack who find recoil painful, and also skinny guys like me who don’t seem to suffer at all. It’s not that I don’t bruise when shooting heavy loads, but…

game gun

Three popular game guns to buy second-hand

Mike George’s buying advice for game guns When people ask for multi-use, most experienced shooters recommend a sporter. Sporters are built to tackle our domestic sporting disciplines and similar targets under the international FITASC rules, all of which try to simulate targets encountered in field shooting. Most sporters weigh within…

Benelli Montefeltro bolt lock

Second-hand super semi-auto shotguns

Mike George advises on buying second-hand semi-auto shotguns Over the years the Italians have made some super semi-autos. In the 1970s, Franchi autos were a great favourite among pigeon shooters while some of the Berettas from the 1980s – notably the A302 and the A303 – were legendary for their…

clayshooting

Tips for buying a first clay gun on a budget

Mike George’s tips on buying a first clay gun I can understand you wanting something better than the old AYA. It’s not that there was anything wrong with it in its day, but it’s a non-ejector and it is many years since AYA stopped making non-ejector guns. So, not only is it getting a bit long…

Browning B525

Wanted – a bargain claybuster to replace old Browning B325

This reader’s Browning B325 could date back to 1995 when the model was introduced, and I am guessing it is around 25 years old. These guns keep their value, and a reasonable example is worth at least £500 on the secondhand market. However, this gun’s owner tells me it has definitely seen better days. The woodwork is scratched,…

First gun advice

First gun advice for my son. A 20-bore or a .410? What’s best?

A: Mike says: It depends on the sort of shooting your son is going to be doing. If his first gun is just for a bit of general vermin control around a farm, then the .410 might be okay. However, if he’s going to do clay, game or pigeons over decoys, then I’d go for the 20-bore and…

Gundog with picker-up

Our 10 most-read gun reviews

1. Favourite .22lr rifles Which rimfire rifle should you choose? Should you go for a heavy varmint barrel? Will you choose a synthetic or more traditional wood stock? Opt for the ability to change barrels and calibres? Most gun cabinets will have at least one rimfire in residence for pest control and…

On a budget? These guns are under £500

Guns to buy before the price goes up

If I was thinking of buying a new gun I would be tempted to do it right now, as prices could well go up quite steeply in the not-too distant future. It’s because of the decline in value of Sterling, which is bound to affect all imports soon. At the time of writing, £1 was worth only…

decoration on Lincoln Vogue

Lincoln Vogue over-and-under 20-bore

Is appearance important? Of course it is, especially when it is your shotgun, your pride and joy, whether family heirloom, sought-after second-hand model or brand new “just out of the box”. But beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and what suits one owner may not appeal to another. There are certain basics that most shooters…

side-by-side hammergun

Don’t discount second-hand side-by-side shotguns

A: English boxlock shotguns represent fantastic value for money because they are rather unfashionable at the moment. The Italian over-and-under carries all before it. A boxlock made between the wars or just after World War II is a classic handmade sporting gun. So is a hammergun. Both represent very good value for money in the current market. Assessing a…

Perazzi MX12 Pro Sport

The gun I always wish I had – the Perazzi MX12 Pro Sport

In Italy in 1946 life must have been tough for a young lad with an ambition. In recent years the country, under Mussolini, had gone to war on the German side, but had surrendered and joined the Allies in 1943. Then came the struggle to throw out Hitler’s forces, and the eventual capture and execution of Mussolini by a…

William Powell Perseus

Three second-hand game guns worth looking at

ATA Arms Lightweight Field The late and much respected shooting writer Gough Thomas expressed the opinion that the ideal weight for a game gun to shoot 1oz of shot was 6lb, while 6lb 6oz was right for 1 1/16oz loads. The book in question – Shotguns & Cartridges for game and clays – was first published…

Winchester Model 23

Second-hand guns for gamekeepers and clayshooters

Winchester Model 23 Side-by-side classes in major sporting contests don’t seem to be as popular as they were, which is a pity because they formed a friendly link between clay and gameshooting. Nevertheless, using a side-by-side for club Sporting targets can be great fun, as well as sharpening up the reflexes ready for the autumn. Of course,…

Remington Spartan

The super cheap gun in my fantasy gunroom

To me the Baikal is in the same league as a 1940s prefab or a 1950s Ford Popular. The prefab gave ordinary folks a taste of living in a dry, well-designed, warm house with an indoor toilet, a bathroom and a fridge, while the dear old Popular, with its crude side-valve engine and cart-spring suspension, gave working…

Beretta 687 EELLClassic

Top 10 guns for game

Beretta 687 EELL Classic £6,850 A modern icon, the EELL from Beretta is amongst the most sought after guns by sportsmen and women up and down the country, and with even a cursory glance it is easy to see why. With a design lineage stretching back to 1979, Beretta’s 680 line of guns have long…