A reader is looking for a lightweight 12-bore
- Max price: £1,000
- Type: don’t mind as long as it’s a 12-bore
- Purpose: Club clays and pigeons
- Preferred make: any.
Mike George’s buying advice
Normally I am a bit wary of recommending lightweight guns, because the recoil can be a bit tiring over a long day’s shooting. However, Fred assures me that he rarely exceeds 50 sporting targets in a day, and doesn’t normally fire that many shots at woodpigeons.
As far as his clay shooting is concerned. Fred will have a selection of lightly-recoiling cartridges to choose from, with shot loads as light as 21g. If he takes the semi-auto option, he can pick the lightest cartridge that will cycle the mechanism. The action of the semi-auto will reduce the recoil anyway.
I find my 12-bore is getting a bit too heavy to carry game shooting all day, so I’ve changed to…
Beretta A1391 Lightweight shotgun: The Beretta AL 391 semi-auto shotgun has won plenty of friends and fans since it arrived…
Both game- and clayshooters alike will find plenty to admire in the Bettinsoli Crypto Lite, a stylish and lightweight crossover…
Q: I’ve started struggling with recoil when using my 12 bore: what can I do to reduce it? Is it…
It is interesting to note that what is thought of as an ideal gun weight has changed over the years. The recommended weight for a side-by-side game gun used to be 6½lb to 6¾lb, but nowadays most O/U game guns tip the scales at around the 7¼lb. Sporters are usually 7¾lb or more, but are designed to be comfortable over a 100-target competition.
So let’s have a look at some lightweight 12-bore shotguns.