With so many different brands and models on the maket, finding a gun at the right price is tough. So, we’ve given Mike George the hard task of listing his top 20 new and used guns for under a grand

Marocchi SI 12

Marocchi SI 12 semi-auto

Marocchi Si 12 semi-auto

Country of origin: Italy

Price: £875 new

Back in the 1960s and 1970s a semi-auto shotgun was thought of as a knock-about tool for pigeon and vermin-control duties, and prices matched this description. Then they seemed to go a bit posh, with prices well over the £1,000 mark. Now the “semi” seems to be returning to its roots.

Most of the new breed of cheap-and-cheerful guns seem to be made in Turkey, so it is good to see a sub-£1,000 gun made in Italy, and doubly good to note that it is inertia rather than gas fed, just like a Benelli or the latest incarnation of Browning’s Auto 5. What’s more, the bolt head turns to lock, and regular readers will be disappointed if I don’t, as usual, say “just like a Kalashnikov.”

The gun is quite elegant, with plain but serviceable woodwork and neatly-applied chequering, although one reviewer has described the golden pheasants on the black action as “chickens”. That said, there are more up-market versions with better woodwork and, I hope, minus the hens. There are also synthetic-stock versions.

  1. 1.
  2. 2. Webley & Scott 1012 Sporter
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
  5. 5. Lanber O/U
  6. 6. Beretta Silver Pigeon
  7. 7. Beretta 682 Sporter
  8. 8. Yildiz Wildfowler Extreme
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Bettinsoli Diamond Line Sporter
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
  19. 19.
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