lightweight 12-bore shotguns

From top: Beretta AL391 Light, ATA Arms Lightweight Field, Bettinsoli Crypto Lite

If you’re out on a day’s roughshooting, then the weight of the gun you carry is going to be a consideration.

You don’t want a day’s shooting spoiled by having to lug around a heavy shotgun that makes your arm and shoulder ache.

This is when lightweight guns come into their own and there are several to consider.

Over time the ideal gun weight has changed, with guns becoming heavier. The recommended weight for a side-by-side game gun used to be around 6½-6¾lb. Now it’s nearer to 7¼lbs.

One issue with lighter guns is recoil – with less mass in the gun it will ‘kick’ more. You also have to have a more deliberate swing.

Our gun experts have reviewed several options for lightweight guns, both new and second-hand, which you can read about here.

Winchester Wildcat .22 LR semiautomatic

Winchester Wildcat .22 LR semi-automatic

The Winchester Wildcat It’s nice to have another .22 semi-automatic rifle appear among the usual contingent of Rugers and Remingtons. This Winchester, though labelled as such, is made in Turkey. Named after Winchester’s renowned Wildcat .22 LR ammunition, it evokes cherished memories for me of running the Bridgend Stores, on…

Lady Gun

Browning 525 Liberty Light

My shooting career started way back in 2005 and I have always shot ‘off the shelf’ guns, although these days they have a custom fit stock. These guns are designed largely for male shooters, so getting the chance to try the Browning 525 Liberty Light, which has been designed specifically…

Berretta Ultraleggero shotgun

Beretta 12-bore Ultraleggero

The thinking behind the Beretta Ultraleggero I often find myself staring into the gun cabinet and pondering how an increase in steel shot usage could affect my current guns and how it will inform my future purchases. My conclusion is that, with a 12-bore, I see no great change in…

lightweight rifles

Best lightweight rifles – we test a selection

I was two-thirds the way up ‘the Ben’ and puffing some when my companion started. “You should get a lightweight rifle, like mine,” he said. At that moment any rifle would have been too heavy, but I refrained from replying that maybe the 40-year difference in our ages ought to…

lightweight 20-bore shotgun

Is a 20-bore better than a 12-bore for long, walked-up days?

The proposition was put to me recently that the ideal gun for walked-up shooting is a lightweight 20-bore side-by-side shotgun. It got me thinking, in these days where 20-bore mania is still gripping the nation, what is the enduring appeal of the Victorian ladies’ gun to the strapping six-footers who…

Sako Finnlight 2

Sako Finnlight 2

The new Sako Finnlight 2 — based on the hugely popular Sako 85 action — is a leap towards stalking rifle perfection. There is still the well-proportioned synthetic stock, stainless steel construction and fluted barrel to reduce weight but with the addition 
of a tough Cerakote external finish. Appealing features…

Remington Model 700 Mountain SS

Remington Model 700 Mountain SS reviewed by Shooting Times

There is a perception with shooters that bigger is better but I’m not so sure about that — after 40 years of stalking and shooting, I like to be as efficient as I can. That means packing as little as I can get into hand luggage on an overseas trip,…

Chapuis C40 12 bore

Chapuis C40 12 bore reviewed by Shooting Gazette

Prior to picking up the Chapuis C40 for this month’s review the only other French shotgun I had shot before was a Darne made in the same region of France as the Chapuis but with a unique sliding breech action. So on opening the travel case I was quite relieved…

lightweight 12-bore shotguns

Three secondhand lightweight 12-bores

“I have turned 70 and, although I can still walk fair distances, the 8lb Sporter I use for all of my shooting has become rather too heavy. I am therefore looking for a lightweight 12-bore – either O/U or semi-auto. Recoil doesn’t bother me too much as nowadays as I…

Beretta Ultralight Gold

Beretta Ultralight Gold reviewed by Shooting Gazette

Long-term experts in using alloy metals in constructing their guns, Beretta build the Ultralight Gold largely from a tough, lightweight aluminium alloy with the main wearing parts of the gun being made from tougher stuff. This is most clearly seen in the action face where a titanium insert will take…

Sako 85 Carbonlight

Sako 85 Carbonlight

There are plenty of centrefire rifles available to British shooters in the sub-£1,000 range but those wanting a more prestigious yet value-for-money rifle have the Sako 85 model as their option. The Tikka T3 range caters for most needs but the Sako 85 Carbonlight extends the choice and boosts the…

Sako Finnlight rifle

Gun reviews: Sako Finnlight rifle

Gun reviews: Sako Finnlight rifle: This Sako Finnlight is a tough yet lightweight stalking rifle, that allows for the worst of the weather, but still gives accurate results.

Bettinsoli Crypto Lite

One of the smaller Italian manufacturers, Bettinsoli is nevertheless a name many British sportsmen and women will be familiar with, thanks to its importer RUAG, which is also responsible for bringing Perazzi’s guns into the UK. The Crypto line is a relatively new addition to Bettinsoli’s portfolio, marketed as being ideal for game and clay shooters alike. At first glance this 12 bore…

Turkish shotguns: ATA Lightweight Field O/U

ATA Arms Lightweight Field Over-and-Under

We appear to be going through a kind of renaissance in the British shooting trade, with a variety of new guns emerging on to the market – many of these coming from Turkey. Turkish ATA Arms are being distributed in the UK by Wildhunter, a company that has been making inroads with a range of sporting accessories and are now branching into…

Bettinsoli Crypto Lite review

Both game- and clayshooters alike will find plenty to admire in the Bettinsoli Crypto Lite, a stylish and lightweight crossover gun from Italy

Beretta Ultralight Gold 12-Bore shotgun

Beretta Ultralight Gold 12-Bore shotgun review

Beretta Ultralight Gold 12-Bore shotgun: With clever construction and intelligent use of metals on this lightweight 12-bore, the Italians have got it right once again.

Beretta A1391 Lightweight shotgun review

Beretta A1391 Lightweight shotgun: The Beretta AL 391 semi-auto shotgun has won plenty of friends and fans since it arrived on British shores - and I can see this new lightweight version following suit too.