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…

Baikal shotguns

23 things you should know about Baikal shotguns

Baikal shotguns are inexpensive BUT reliable A new over-and-under would be about £617 A new side-by-side would set you back about £562 They are made in the Russian city of Izhevsk in the Western Urals They probably aren’t created from melted-down battle tanks However they are built like a T34…

Wildfowlers

Shotgun cartridges for geese reviewed

A wild goose chase can be exactly what it says on the tin, so when  you get the birds in range you want the confidence that you are packing sufficient power to get one in the bag. Goose shooting can take place in a range of different scenarios, from decoying at close range to foreshore flighting…

Browning B725

Browning B725 Hunter G3

The B725 from Browning has been out in the wild for some time now. The range has been steadily expanding since 2012 with a variety of finishes and weights in order to compete in seemingly every conceivable section of the over-under market. It is somewhat surprising, therefore, given the ongoing trend towards long guns designed for serious game shooting, that this is…

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…

Cartridges in belt

How to choose the right cartridge

There are lots of different makes and thousands of configurations of cartridge on the market, so many in fact that even many experienced shots don’t fully understand all the terminology. When it comes to choosing cartridges, everyone has their own ideas. Despite the increasing popularity of the 20 bore shotguns, the 12 still rules the roost. By virtue of its versatility…

airguns

Controlling rabbits with firearms certificated air rifles (FAC)

What’s the best way to approach rabbit control? That depends on a considerable amount of factors, including habitat, land use, neighbouring land, and so on, for each job. On very few occasions can you rely on just one method to control rabbits where a landowner will be satisfied. This year, I have been using my…

What to do in closed season?

What’s the best cartridge load for standard driven pheasants?

Q: As we move towards the pheasant season can you recommend the best cartridge load for standard driven pheasants, and I don’t mean 60-yard skyscrapers? A: I think cartridges are very much a personal preference and I would say that whatever gives you confidence when you are shooting is the correct cartridge for you. Shooting is a mental game…

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…

airgun target

Can an airgun barrel be too clean?

A: If you used a cleaning kit that was designed for airgun barrels it is very unlikely that you’ve caused any damage. The most likely cause of the loss of accuracy is your barrel being too clean, as pellets seem to run best when there’s a fine film of lead in the bore. I’ve known it to…

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…

16 bore

The rise and rise of the 16 bore

A recent advertisement by ASI – the importer of AYA guns from Spain and, more recently, Rizzinis from Italy – bravely announced that “16 bore is the new black!”. This seemed a bit cryptic on first reading but on further investigation disclosed that there was a bit of a fashion reference going on. Black, it would seem, is the…

Airgun pellets

Picking the perfect airgun pellet

The airgun pellet is an important link between the shooter and the target. It can make the difference between Olympic gold or bronze. For most airgunners it can just mean the difference between a hit or a miss, but that’s equally important as Olympic glory, especially when you are hunting. Pellets come in four main calibres (sizes): .177; .20;…

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…

gun cleaning kit

Difficulty cleaning a rifle

A: Cleanliness is next to godliness but when cleaning a rifle, especially the action area, it is very difficult to clean the section where the bolt recesses into the action. The locking lug area in a rifle’s action accumulates primer residue, cleaning solvents, debris and brass chips. These can all affect a rifle’s performance. I use a Sinclair…