Gun buying guide We’ve covered all aspects of purchase in our gun buying guide here with many articles on the subject. You could be new to shooting and looking for a first gun. Or maybe you’re in the market for a second-hand bargain.

Our experts have tried and tested both and second-hand guns in our extensive gun reviews which cover rifles, shotguns, air rifles, semi-autos and pump-action shotguns.

You’ll get an informed opinion and you can search by manufacturer,  price or type.

Perhaps you’re considering buying a rifle for stalking or upgrading your favourite over-and-under. Or maybe you need an air rifle for pest control.

second-hand guns Should you buy new or second-hand?

Whichever route you go down you’ll have the excitement of taking out your gun on its first shoot.

Many British-made shotguns are more affordable now than they have been for years but most guns purchased are imports.

Buying new means you have certain statutory rights and a guarantee which usually covers parts and labour for a certain period.

But if your budget is limited you could think about buying a second-hand model of the gun you really want. You’ll stay within your budget and avoid depreciation.

inspecting a shotgun Buy the best you can afford 

This holds true whether you are buying a new gun or second-hand.

Makes that are affordable include Bettinsoli and Sabatti, along with anglicised versions such as the Lincoln range of over-and-unders. Turkish brands such as Yildiz, Huglu and Khan, some with stunning walnut, are really the sort of gun to consider buying new.

If you’re buying second-hand, our gun buying guide is always to buy a gun that’s in the best condition. Rizzini and Caesar Guerini are the sorts of gun with nicely styled stockwork and good handling where buying second- hand can make savings. As for the two stalwarts, Beretta and Browning, from the point of view of a second-hand purchase, sometimes, if you are lucky, savings can be made, but generally they hold their price well, which is one of the attractions of ownership.

Buying privately

Q: I would like to get a shotgun and, with a limited budget, I have decided to buy one second-hand. I have seen a private advert for a model that I like the sound of and the seller sounds reputable (he is known to several of my shooting friends). Is there anything I should be aware of before going ahead with a private purchase?

A: Bill Harriman, Chief Firearms Officer at BASC advises: ” I always think it is a good idea to buy a gun from a dealer rather than from a friend or private person’s advert. Admittedly you will be paying for the dealer’s profit, but this does at least give you the security of buying a gun whose state has been properly assessed and described. Also, if anything does go wrong, it is generally more effective to sue a dealer who will be protective of his reputation and vulnerable to the attentions of the police.”

Shotguns | Rifles | Over-and-Under | Side-by-Side | Air rifles | Buying a gun second-hand | Budget guns

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