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

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…

first clay gun

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…

Huglu 103 DE

Budget shotguns

Lincoln Premier A bestseller, the Premier satisfies the need for an elegant and practical shotgun at a reasonable price. It features fine chequering, internally chromed bore and chambers for improved lifespan and better distributed shot patterns, and is available in 12- or 20-bore. Key features: Three-year warranty as standard, fine-pitch laser chequering with double-grip pattern. Bisley Price: from £800   Huglu 103 DE…

hunting rifles

Hunting rifles – Parker Hale M81

The M81 rifle was Parker Hale’s top-of-the-range hunting/stalking rifle and completed a portfolio of bolt-action rifles. These included classic, clip feed, deluxe, standard, African and varmint grades, to name a few. Pure English styling The M81 was a refined version of the hugely popular 1200 model rifle, with more classic styling, and was introduced in 1986.…

Sauer 404

The Sauer 404 bolt-action rifle

The 202, the predecessor of the 404 was launched in 1993 and was seen as one of the best rifles around. However, the new 404 has many mechanical improvements over the 202, one being the safety catch. When you push the safety catch up to make the rifle “live”, you are physically cocking the rifle. Moving the safety catch…

AYA No 1 action

The AYA No. 1: the best gun I never had

When I edited the very first issue of Sporting Gun, back in 1977, I asked Fred Buller of Chubbs of Edgeware, then one of the country’s leading gunsmiths, to nominate the best new gun for a newcomer on a limited budget. Without hesitation, he recommended the AYA Yeoman. In the era it was a tough but well-balanced, sweet-handling side-by-side boxlock –…

Miroku Universal MK60 engraving

Three secondhand Sporters

Miroku MK60 Universal Grade 5 In the 1980s a type of gun for the Sporting disciplines was just evolving. All too many Continental manufacturers were trying to palm us off with slightly modified trap guns, while their game guns were too light and often too tightly choked, and skeet guns were too open-choked and not nearly steady…

Schultz & Larsen Legacy .223

On test: Schultz & Larsen Legacy .223

Schultz & Larsen (S&L) comes from Denmark and has a long history of making precision rifles and barrels. It has become a household name for its excellent cut rifled barrels and its new CNC machinery produces quality at an a ordable price. Schultz & Larsen offers a good range for stalking rifles and this Legacy model is designed for…