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


Top 10 guns for game

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20 of the best shotguns for under £1000

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15 of the best shotguns for clay pigeon shooting

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Is the side-by-side shotgun history?

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What you need to know about adjustable shotguns

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Are adjustable gunstocks a worthwhile investment?

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Getting a first air rifle

My parents bought me a second-hand Diana Model 23 .177 air rifle in 1984 as my first air rifle. The bluing was well on its way out and the cheap beech woodwork bore the marks of a life of hard graft. A series of hatches were etched into the stock,…


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The evolution of an Italian design classic

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What would be the best all-round shotgun for you?

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Should I get an air rifle or a rimfire?

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Here’s what you need to know about fixed-barrelled guns

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Choosing the right stalking rifle

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What to look for when buying a gun

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Italian shotguns Beretta Silver Pigeon 1 (2019) Field

Italian shotguns

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