Can you give me any advice on which shotgun to buy, as a first-time purchase, to be used as an all-rounder? I am a novice and have a budget of £1,000. Does this enable me to buy a gun for clays and game shooting? I am drawn to a Fausti Windsor Sporting and have also been looking at a Beretta 686 Trap. Where do I start?

Bill Harriman
If your main shooting will be game shooting then an over-under is the best choice. I would avoid one with interchangeable chokes, as most of us do not shoot well enough to gain any significant benefit from them. A single trigger and selective safety catch are both useful features.

Most modern guns by the larger makers are similar in terms of build quality, reliability and durability. My preference is for Browning or Beretta. These two leading makes have excellent reputations built on quality products over the years. Spare parts are readily available.

When choosing a gun, it is important to make sure it fits you properly, otherwise you will never hit much and your confidence will suffer. Have a lesson with a professional coach who can make a note of your measurements for you. If you can find a shooting school with a try-before-you-buy scheme so much the better.

It is a buyer’s market at the moment and there are many excellent second-hand guns available.
Always go for a gun with a warranty and remember that some gentle haggling will usually bring a reduction in price.

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