airgun pellets

What if I load airgun pellets backwards?

Q: I’ve heard that loading airgun pellets backwards is a great way to achieve a dum-dum effect when controlling pests such as rats. Does it work and could it damage the barrel of my airgun? A: Loading airgun pellets backwards is unlikely to harm your barrel but it is not conducive to accurate…

test the Webley & Scott 1012 Sporter

We test the Webley & Scott 1012 Sporter

Tester: Doug Florent Occupation: Owner of Oxford Gun Company Age: 72 Years shooting: 40 Type of shooting: Competition clay shooting Having shot at competitive level for many years, Doug knows his way round a Sporter. As he assembles the gun he notes the deep, polished blacking and the quality of the gun’s components. “This looks a good gun for the money.…

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…

Checking rifle accuracy

4 things that affect rifle accuracy (and how to correct them)

Next to calibre or cartridge choice, the subject of rifle accuracy (or lack of it) is the one that most frequently frustrates rifle shooters. It is a problem usually associated with older rifles, as new rifles these days are well made and accurate “out of the box”. However, even the best rifles can go sour. The rifle is…

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…

BSA Mercury

BSA Mercury airsporter reviewed

In the 1970s, when I was a teenager and mad keen on air rifles, there were two camps you fell into. You were either a British BSA or Webley shooter or a German Weihrauch or Feinwerkbau user. I was defi nitely in the Teutonic camp as my Weihrauch HW35 went everywhere I did. However, as pocket…

man with sound moderators

Five sound moderators on test

Once quite uncommon, the sound moderator is now as standard a piece of equipment as is a scope when you buy a rifle. But every shooter’s needs will be different. For a stalker who only goes out on a few shoots a year a lightweight moderator may be best, while for those who shoot a lot and need…

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…

gun fit

All about accurate gun fit

Why do you think that, historically, accurate gun fit has not been at the forefront of the minds of British shots when buying or indeed using guns? “If you go back to when I started in the workshop here in 1977, we very rarely altered a shotgun. There was also very little in the sporting…

over and under shotgun

The rise of the over-and-under

On a shoot day in October I had a fascinating conversation with a fellow gun about his switch from a side-by-side to an over-under. After more than 30 extremely successful years of game shooting with the former, he decided the time had come to seek out even greater consistency, particularly on the high birds, and make the switch.…

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…

Man shooting with Baikal 12 bore

My first gun – a Baikal single-barrel 12-bore

Strictly speaking my Baikal single-barrel 12-bore was not my first shotgun. That honour goes to a BSA Snipe, a single-barrel shotgun given to me by my cousin Geoff Hoyle. He was a target pistol shooter of some renown, an editor of a target-shooting magazine and really wasn’t that interested in shotguns. He generously passed the Snipe on to me as…

man shooting .17HMR

Is this new rimfire cartridge any good?

A: Yes, this new cartridge looks to be very interesting to anyone who likes small calibres. It is a rival to the .17 HMR cartridge, which is also a rimfire, but the WSM or Winchester Super Magnum is a more powerful round. Its brass case is roughly 50 per cent thicker than the .17 HMR The .17 WSM…