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

clayshooting grounds

Three of the best second-hand clayshooting guns for beginners

Buyer’s brief: “I have been “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…

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…

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…

check gun is fitted properly

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…