Straight out of the box, shiny and new, complete with guarantee and dealer back-up. Want a new shotgun but concerned about the cost? Here are some choices that won't break the bank ...
I’ve listed the recommended retail price here. These shotguns are under £1000 – although you may find that some guns are available on a deal so that you can save a bit more.
The most commonly used gun for game shooting is almost certainly the 12-bore double and the over-and-under is very popular. In fact, on some shoots, the side-by-side is now in a minority.
If you want to bring a smile to your shooting companions’ faces then arrive with a Baikal on a shoot day. As long as you can handle the leg pulling that is bound to ensue.
If you’re wondering why this should be then it’s because Baikals were originally subsidised by the communist Soviet state, and as such had a basic finish with stocks that looked as if they had come from reject wooden pallets.
However, the performance of the gun was ways better than many shooters believed and today most Baikals are finished attractively and nearly all have walnut stocks.
These guns are strong (but not heavy), reliable and have noticeably good chrome-lined barrels.
Baikals tend to have long model numbers instead of a name. But for around £620 you can get a single-trigger ejector over-and-under with auto-safe and multi-chokes in 12, 20 or a fixed-choke 28-bore at the same price.
For a side-by-side, Baikal produces a single-trigger selective ejector 12-, 20 and 28-bore, which is available with 26in or 28.1/2in barrels.
You can rely on a Baikal giving you reliable service for a good many years. This is a well-made, uncomplicated gun with a decent finish. From £560 plus.
If you like the idea of something as strong and reliable like the Baikal, but want a more fancy finish, then you should investigate the Turkish Huglu.
Current models are the 103DE and FE, marketed as lightweight ejector guns.
A single selective trigger and multi-chokes are the norm. You’ll notice that the lock work is simple and well considered.
Barrel lengths are available from 26in to 30in. The whole manner of the gun is reliable for long-term use.
You can opt for the standard walnut stock or for a bit extra have some more elaborately patterned wood.
Prices start at £779 to £951, with a three-year warranty from Edgar Brothers.
If you need the reassurance of a name that’s a bit more familiar then the Italian-made Lincoln might be for you.
The Premier Basic fixed choke in 12- and 20-bore is available for £800 or so, while a multi-choke version is £100 or so more.
In line with UK market requirements, these are nowhere near as basic as the name suggests except for being non-ejectors.
Otherwise, you have 29in barrels, single selective trigger, auto-safe and a pleasantly decorated action.
This is a brand that has built up a good reputation and the ejector Premier Gold can be sometimes found at a few pounds under our budget. From £800.
This brand is becomingly increasingly important in the market and is making its mark. These are true lightweight guns with aluminium alloy action bodies and mainly walnut stocks that make the gun look as if it should be more expensive.
If you can go above £1000 you’ll find a good choice of Yildiz guns and for the money you’ll get a nice-looking gun.
Prices start at £615 for a single trigger ejector over-under and go up to £945 for a specially hand-engraved gun.
Wildfowers particularly will appreciate the lightweight and attractive Yildiz. The elegant side-by-side wildfowling gun, which would easily serve for high pheasants, is listed at £740.
These shotguns used to be a bit basic in my opinion, but in the last few years the quality and finish has been improved upon, and a greater choice of models made available.
Strongly made, these guns are a bit heavier than the competition and come in a choice of finishes.
The Berri Lux side-by-side retails for around £799.95, while the popular and more upmarket Anthea comes in at about £930.
On the over-under front, there is the Torro, a striking-looking gun, usually with dramatic colour-case-hardening – this is the same price as the Berri Lux. From £800.
This company established their reputation on the basis of conventional and reliable guns offered at affordable prices.
Latterly the company has improved the finish and decoration of the shotguns but without having to increase the price – probably due to a more efficient manufacturing technique.
The Lanber Field Deluxe has a suggested retail price of £900 and for that you get an over-and-under with 28in or 30in barrels, multi-chokes, chromed bores, single selective trigger and auto-safe.
Alternatively, for the same money, fans of the 20-bore have the option of the Lanber 20-bore Field with lightweight aluminium alloy action body.
Here the Elos A Field creates an intriguing blend of conventional and state-of-the-art technology.
However, in spite of the technology you could think that the Fabarm is slightly conservative in appearance, with traditional styling.
It handles steel shot especially well and, while it is a non-ejector, it is Fabarm quality as usual.
If you take some time to look around, you should find one for around £1000.
Webley & Scott
Sometimes you just feel better with a gun that you recognise.
If that’s how you feel, then here’s the Webley 900 over-and-under.
It’s possible to obtain one for around £800, complete with carrying case and set of five choke tubes.
I’ve tried to list a fair cross-section of shotguns within the £1000 budget but of course there are several more.
Pump-action guns can be found for the wildfowler at economic prices, for example, the Benelli Super Nova at £600 or so.
Take a look at the shotguns on offer in our Marketplace