Are you in the market for second-hand over-and-under shotguns? Wondering what would be best for you? Here our expert Mike George picks out his top 20 12-bore all-rounders from four price ranges

If your budget is £750 and under

Secondhand sporters

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 pushing the single trigger forwards. There are several models to choose from, with prices down to £250

Imported by York Guns 

Yildiz O/U Sporter

Yildiz O/U Sporter

Forty years ago the majority of budget-priced guns on the UK market came from Spain. Then it was Italy’s turn, and now it is Turkey that is producing guns which are not only cheap, but also generally well made. One of the leading Turkish companies is Yildiz. Their output is around 45,000 guns a year, and in comparatively recent times a sporter has been added to the range. The price is certainly attractive, at around £875 (in 2017) for a new gun with an adjustable comb, so a good second-hand version should cost well less than £750.

Imported by Entwistle Guns

Lanber Sporter

Lanber Sporter

Lanber Sporter

The Sporter had been a terrific gun for newcomers with an eye on their budget for a number of years, and good handling was down to advice from a British sporting champion. Sadly the Spanish Lanber factory stopped producing shotguns in 2013. However, a supply of spares is available in the UK and so second-hand, this gun is still a force to be reckoned with. Good examples from £450 upwards.

Formerly imported by GMK, who hold spares

Franchi Harrier

The takeover of Franchi by Beretta transformed the reputation of this gun. Previously considered something of a dodgy buy at times, largely to the erratic availability of spares, it then became a well-engineered and reliable gun available at a good price. Prices around £560.

Imported by GMK

Winchester 6500 Sporter

Winchester 6500 Sporter

Sadly the Japanese-built 6500 went out of production in the 1980s. It was the last of the famous Winchester 101 series, and created specifically for the European market with lightweight barrels and renowned handling. I’d still recommend it but spares are scarce and BWM Arms regret that they are unable to assist. There is a cult following, so beware of artificially high prices. £740 is fair.

Spares are scarce and sadly the Browning/Winchester importer can’t help.

 

If you can stretch to up to £1500

Your choice of second-hand over-and-under shotguns is a bit more extensive in that case. Here are some that I rate.

Miroku MK 60 Sporting Grade 5

Miroku MK60

If you prefer a fixed choke to a multichoke, this is the best way to go in this price class. The MK60 been around in various forms since the mid 1990s and is a delightfully simple shotgun, built on the same principles as made famous by Browning, and built in the same factory as the current Browning 725. There are several versions and grades, with prices for a good Grade 1 well under £1,000.

Imported by BWM Arms

Beretta Silver Pigeon I Sport 20 bore

Beretta Silver Pigeon

The original Silver Pigeon was the successor to the Beretta 687, and the mechanism is similar to that of the 686 – and all of the famous “600” series, for that matter. Like all break-action Berettas, it has a shallow action with barrels hinged on stub pine. There many versions of the gun in 12-bore, plus examples in 20 and 28-bore. Barrel options for Sporters are 28in, 30in and 32in. Good examples from £950 upwards.

Imported by GMK

Secondhand sporters

Browning B25 B2G

Browning B525

Due to the high cost of building an affordable version of John Moses Browning’s immortal B25 in Europe, the cheaper Browning’s are built for Browning by Miroku in Japan. In 2003 Browning introduced the B525 which replaced the B425. At one time, there were 14 different versions of the gun, including an appealing section of field models. There are some excellent second-hand guns available for just under £1,000.

Imported by BWM Arms

Rizzini Premier Sporting

B Rizzini Premier

B.Rizzini guns are not to be confused with the cheap E. Rizzini guns imported during the 1980s, although they are built by a company founded by a member of the same Italian gun-making dynasty. The Premier Sporting model has a plain but elegant finish and is available with 28in, 30in, 32in and 34in barrels. It has hammers hinged at the trigger-plate and sears from the top strap, while a low-mounted bolt runs along the action floor. Good second-hand examples from around £1,400

Imported by ASI

Browning

Browning Elite Game

If you’re looking for something a bit lighter then you’ll find the Browning Elite Game around 8oz lighter than most Sporters. It is basically a B525 Grade 3, built by Miroku in Japan. It is a multi- choke, utilising Browning Invector stainless steel tubes, with a 6mm game-style rib. Good examples sell from £1,250 upwards.

Imported by BWM Arms

Going up to £3,000 for a second-hand over-and-under

Secondhand sporters

Beretta 682 

The Betetta 682 is one of the most successful sporters ever built. The first guns were built in the early 1980s and their handling was a bit unresponsive. The Beretta engineers took notice of the opinions of British shooters and the 682 was rapidly developed into a super gun with versions for all of the major competition disciplines. Sporters and trap guns are available with adjustable stocks at extra cost. Sporters are all multi-chokes. A good second-hand example such as a 682 Gold E will cost less than £2,000..

Imported by GMK

Guerini Maxum 

The Italians may have an economy that is frequently in a mess, but they still make guns that people want to buy. This is a typical Italian sideplated boxlock, with hammers driven by coil springs. Multi- choke barrels, with steel shot proof, have 2 3/4-inch (70mm) chambers and long forcing cones. There’s also a good selection of barrel lengths up to 34in. Second-hand prices from £1,950

Imported by Caesar Guerini UK

Gamba Daytona shotgun

Gamba Daytona

Gamba Daytona 

You’ll find Gambas are relatively rare on the market, probably because people tend to hang onto them as they are strong and long-lasting. So worth investigating if you come across one. Some have probably been built with extra features to the order of individual customers. Multi-choke and fixed- choke trap versions are available. Prices at around £2,000

No current UK importer. Information at Rentogamba

Beretta DT10

The gun has a drop-out trigger mechanism, while the hammers are hinged from the bottom and powered by V springs rather than coil springs. The gun no longer features on the importer’s website, having been replaced by the DT11. Second-hand prices around £2,300

Imported by GMK

Blaser F3 

The German-made Blaser is precision finished to the point where all parts are instantly interchangeable. Inside this gun’s boxlock action, sliding hammers powered by coil springs operate in the same plane as the firing pins.  You’ll find competition and game versions in many grades, but the basic version is well-priced for a quality gun. Prices from £3,000.

Imported by Blaser Sporting Ltd

Secondhand sporters

Browning B25

A modern classic, offering excellent quality and workmanship. It also handles well. The B25 was the last shotgun to be designed by John Moses Browning, and the first guns went on sale in 1926. Guns are now made to individual order in the custom shop in Belgium. All are boxlocks and many of them are sideplated. The suffix in the gun’s description (for example B2G) refer to the standard of finish. Expect to pay well over £3,500 for a gun in reasonable condition.

Imported by BWM Arms

 

Perazzi MX12

Perazzi MX12 Pro Sport

In 1968 designer Daniele Perazzi built the MX8 Trap gun for the 1968 Mexico Olympics, regarded as one of his early triumphs in the company. This Perazzi does not have a drop-out trigger mechanism unlike many Perazzis, all of which are boxlocks. Expect to pay at least £4,500

Imported by RUAG

Beretta SO5

Beretta SO 

Beretta’s sidelock SO series, designed by Tullio Marengoni, dates back to 1935, with competition guns for Trap and Skeet. The first Sporters came in the 1980s. There are many different specifications, most have beautiful engraving and are fixed-choke. £5000 plus

Imported by GMK

Merkel 

A current popular model is the 2002C — a boxlock with sideplates — though there are some fine sidelocks as well. Guns, which are built in Suhl, Germany, are similar in design to some top AYA models. £5,000 plus.

Imported by Viking Arms

Krieghoff over and under Sporter

Kreighoff K80 

This is a beautifully built and balanced gun that will suit the most demanding competition. The K80 has been a favourite for around 30 years, but has been constantly refined and improved. Many standards of finish and engraving are available. The unusual hooded locking mechanism is similar to that on the discontinued Remington 3200. Prices for good guns start at £6,000.

Imported by Alan Rhone 

Pricing information

If you’re looking at the second-hand market then condition is your first priority. It also is responsible for the broad ranges of prices that you’ll come across, that can vary broadly from gun to gun. You certainly need to shop around.

It’s also important to consider that the original new price of a second-hand gun may not be reflected in the second-hand value. Some guns hold their value better than others. The availability and prices of spares and repairs, continued existence of manufacturers, and importers, and even fashion, all have influence.