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What’s a good budget shotgun for clayshooting?

Some proven claybusters to be considering

clay pigeon shooting grounds near London

The first thing to consider when buying a first clay gun

It’s crucial that you buy a gun which fits you. Otherwise your shooting will suffer and you might as well not be out on the clay ground.

If you’re buying your gun at a gunsmith’s they will check it for gun fit. The easiest way to check is to mount the shotgun to your dominant eye in front of a mirror. Close your other eye and see where your dominant eye is looking. If the gun doesn’t fit when mounted your dominant eye won’t be looking straight down the rib. (In addition, you can get injured if your gun doesn’t fit probably, with bruising under your cheek, jaw, shoulder and forearm.)

Options to think about

Here’s what our reviewers suggest for a first clay gun with prices that will suit a relatively modest wallet.

Lanber Sporter

Lanber Sporter

Lanber Sporter

A well-made and reliable option for a first clay gun if you want to buy second-hand.  Don’t go for very old guns from the early 1980s, because they are mechanically different to later models. Remember that with all second-hand guns condition is more important than age. You should be able to get a Lanber Sporter from around £450 and if you’re left-handed there are a few guns around with left-handed woodwork.



First clay gun

Franchi Harrier

Franchi Harrier

Overall this gun represents good value for money and it definitely will prove popular among those who are new to clayshooting or game shooters looking for an additional gun for some clay shooting. Second-hand you can expect to pay around £495.

Bettinsoli Diamond Line

Bettinsoli Diamond Line

Bettinsoli Diamond Line Sporter 

Don’t let the word diamond put you off. The name might suggest a top price but this is very much an entry-level clayshooting gun. It’s good looking with some smart engraving.  The weight is just about right for a Sporter, and it could be used for occasional game, pigeon and wildfowling trips. £825 from McAvoy Guns

Yildiz Sporter

A competition gun that offers excellent value. Use a light clay-busting load and it will absorb any recoil, making it a very comfortable gun to shoot. Our reviewer commented that “it was very suited to competitive shooting”. Turkish guns are becoming increasingly popular these days and with good reason. From £699 second-hand.

Pump action shotgun

Hatsan Escort Pump 12G Pump Action

Hatsan Escort Pump

You can pick up a second-hand one of these from around £250. Go for a new version and you can expect to pay around £376.  Rugged and reliable and good for a fun clay session.

Bettinsoli Super Sport

The Bettinsoli Super Sport

Bettinsoli Super Sport 

Described as “a clay shooter’s dream” in terms of build quality, handling and price by Sporting Gun when the magazine reviewed it last year. At the time the RRP was £500. One of the best value for money models on the market, it stands out from the crowd.  

A bit pricier – look out for these clay guns below on the second-hand market

Beretta SV10 Prevail shotgun review

Beretta SV10 Prevail

Beretta SV10 Prevail 1 Pro

Sporting Gun tested this gun in 2014 when the price was £1,900. The average on the second-hand market today is around £1,350 and it’s good value.

Miroku MK70

Miroku MK70

Miroku MK70

There are several grades available, and a Grade 1 is around £1000.

Zoli Kronos shotguns

Zoli Kronos

Want a clay-shooting gun that’s a bit out of the ordinary – then consider this one. Our reviewer said it was ‘well-made and finished’. The design and workmanship are sound and the gun is quite elegant.

What do our readers recommend as a first clay gun?

We asked our Facebook followers for some tips for a first clay gun and here is what they said:

George William Pursley “Something that fits you and that you like. Go to the club and try a few out.” 

David AllcottATA Arms Sporter. A cheaper version of a Berretta. Or Miroku MK38 trap sporterised.”