lead-free bullets

The pros and cons of lead-free bullets

There is a growing push towards lead-free bullets. But what are the pros and cons of lead-free bullets? These are the advantages and disadvantages as I see them and of copper bullets. There are serious considerations for both but lead shot is, of course, being phased out over a five-year…

Beretta Silver Pigeons

The evolution of an Italian design classic

It’s one of the best-known, best-selling shotgun designs of all time, but does that make the Beretta Silver Pigeon or 68 series one of the best guns of all time? Gunmaking is a little like the industrial version of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. The most adaptable survive. The best…

Holland & Holland Royal Game Gun

Why Holland & Holland ‘Royal’ guns are sought after

Mark Sullivan works quietly at his bench, producing the heart of many bespoke gun-building projects. An auctioneer by trade, he used to work at Holland & Holland. Now he works for the wider trade, happy to let someone else put their name to his work while he remains quietly anonymous…

Shooting with over and under

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

How to choose your best all-round shotgun If you had to have one gun that would work for you in all your shooting, what would it be? This would not necessarily be your dream gun and some tough choices would have to be made. We are talking here about someone…

Game shooting

How does your shot measure up?

Like much in game shooting, our choice of shot size has evolved. The era before international corporations dominated the UK shooting market, and US-style marketeers brought professional persuasion to an unsuspecting public, was quite different. But not necessarily bad. There is much in modern game shooting to be proud of,…

Hatsan Escort 
.22LR rifle

Should I get an air rifle or a rimfire?

Air rifle or a rimfire Q: I am thinking of buying an FAC-rated air rifle for pest control. Would this be better than a .22 rimfire? A: I like FAC-rated air rifles for certain pest control duties. They offer a significantly higher energy rating over the legal standard 12ft/lb energy.…

fixed-barrelled guns wildfowling

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

Semi-auto and pump-action shotguns have been around for a long time but have not been as popular in the UK as they have in the USA. Shooters shy away from them mainly because of the uncertainty of how to operate and handle them in a safe way. Those that use…

black powder

Black powder licences … what you need to know

Thinking about using black powder? You’ll need a licence from the local police and a reason for using it. Having a gun proofed for black powder should be enough. Of course you can make your own black powder cartridges and you can also buy them if you prefer.  But first…

choose a stalking rifle

Choosing the right stalking rifle

Perhaps you have already done a bit of stalking, possibly as a guest using the estate rifle, and now you have been truly bitten by the deer bug. It’s time to choose a stalking rifle – but where to start? Your biggest decision, and one you need to make even…

shooting rabbits

Are pump-action rifles really a valid vermin tool?

Q: I see quite a lot of classic .22 rimfire pump-action rifles at auctions. Are they really a valid vermin tool? A: They certainly are! Your first choice would be a newer bolt-action or semi-automatic rimfire for rabbits, but some older model rimfires are tremendous value for money and have…

steel bio wad cartridges

What did our tester make of the latest ‘eco-cartridges’?

Margaret Heffernan, the writer and entrepreneur, said: “For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument and debate.” Shooting has had this in spadefuls of late, largely on the topic of cartridges. In February 2020, the British shooting organisations unanimously voiced their support for the phasing out…