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What’s the best gun to start clay pigeon shooting?

What would be the cheapest but best gun for shooting clays and small game, and, second, what would you call essentials. By this I mean what would I need before I was able to own a gun and clay pigeon shooting?

David Frost
At 14 you can have a shotgun certificate but you may only be lent a shotgun. When you reach 15 you may be given a shotgun but you are not allowed to buy one until you are 18.

Until you are 15 you must shoot under the supervision of someone aged at least 21.

When you apply for a certificate the police will want to know what arrangements are in place for you to be supervised.

My personal preference as a starter gun for a teenager is a 20-bore but others will hold different views and may suggest a 12-bore.

There’s a wide range of ammunition available for the 20-bore and it’s the smallest of what I regard as serious shotguns.

Getting a gun may not be as much of a problem as finding somewhere to use it.

If you live near the coast you could join a wildfowling club.

They have access to coastal shooting and often more besides.

If you live inland there may be a pigeon shooting club or something similar.

Many people embark on a shooting career by starting in the beating line on a local shoot.

At the very least this will qualify you for the beaters’ day at the end of the season.

Join one of the shooting organisations such as the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Countryside Alliance or the National Gamekeepers Organisation.

All three provide insurance cover and often run training days for young shots. Good luck – you’ll enjoy it!