wood pigeon

What is the right weather for shooting pigeons?

Most articles written about pigeon shooting mention, at some stage in the proceedings, the weather conditions on the day in question. Indeed, I have written many times, how Paul and I wait for the “right” weather, when planning a sortie. So what, in order of preference, are we looking for? Wind…

Secondhand Shotguns

Three secondhand shotguns

Mike chooses three secondhand shotguns on the market priced from £450 up to £1,050 to help you make your next gun purchase a bargain. Hatsan Escort Xtreme Max Target Price: £450 It takes a manufacturer with extreme self confidence to advertise a 12-bore semi-auto shotgun as able to cycle loads all the way from 24…

Beretta 687 EELL

Beretta 687 EELL

The Beretta 680 series has been around since 1984 and it’s still enjoyed by many of us today. So, this newly updated 687 EELL model, with scroll engraving, has undoubtedly got a serious history of previous EELL’s to compete against. This newly engraved 30in, 3in chambered, 12-bore EELL is elegantly engraved, in a way that the majority of us…

Mallard stick head

Stick to it

Marc Cotterill used to be a mechanic, working on lorries, but three years ago he turned his hand to stick making. “My grandfather had always made sticks and carved the heads, but only as a hobby,” Marc told me. “He taught me to carve the wood and how to make up…

Rabbit clay shooting

Tips for shooting vermin

Here we look at how a variety of vermin species can be simulated with clay targets. All you've got to do is practice hitting them!

Secondhand High-grade guns

Three secondhand high-grade guns

If you’re in the market for a high-grade gun but don’t want to pay the full price, the secondhand market has plenty of prestige brands. Here Mike chooses three secondhand high-grade guns from Beretta, Perazzi and Purdey. And with prices starting from just under £2,000, maybe your next gun purchase can…

Bettinsoli X Trail Sporter shotgun

Bettinsoli X Trail Sporter shotgun

Bettinsoli X Trail Sporter shotgun : The quality of even so-called ‘cheap’ guns has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years.

man holding shotgun

One gun fits all

The telephone at shooting schools invariably starts to ring more frequently once the first pheasant shoots of the season are behind us. Right now mine is busy with shooters trying to find answers as to why their early outings have not met with the success they had expected. I’ve asked…

walked-up woodcock

What is a rough day’s shooting?

Last week, I received an email from one of the subscribers to my YouTube channel. He had been watching one of the latest head-cam videos and he asked what the difference is between a walked-up and a rough shoot, which got me thinking. The first thought that came to mind is that…

Winchester 101 Super Grade Game

Secondhand Winchester selection

Fifty-two years ago, Winchester introduced a new O/U shotgun which, in the eyes of many shooters on both sides of the Atlantic, set the standard for all medium-priced factory-made guns to be judged by. It was the famous Winchester 101, built on the Kodensha plant in Japan, and it was to remain in production for more than 20 years.…

dog training hand signals

The dog training hand signals you need to know

Depending on the kind of dog work you intend to do, you may know that it needs to be trained to take hand signals and to be able to be sent back, left or right. If you plan just to go beating with your dog, then you may never need…

deer stalking

How to avoid being seen, smelled or heard when stalking deer

Lately I was asked: “What do you consider the most important technique that should be put into practice while deerstalking?” I have to say the question found me a little off guard. At the time I was giving a DSC1 lecture on roe deer and it wasn’t the question I was expecting.…

Benelli 828U O/U

Benelli 828U O/U

First impressions of the Benelli 828U O/U – it’s design for design’s sake. Surely Benelli would be better off sticking to what they do best, semi-auto shotguns? That may prove to be true, but I hope I am wrong, I have been wrong before! The gun seems to be aimed at the US market for hunting guns…

wildfowling decoys

How to make wigeon tufts for wildfowling decoys

Over the years I have made numerous wildfowling decoys, but one of my favourite creations are my homemade wigeon tufts. These are a simple invention that are most suited for half-light or moon flights. In low light conditions the most visible part on a wigeon is the white patch on…

Savage .22/.410 combination

Savage .22/.410 Combination

Combination guns are not that common in the UK, probably because of the type of shooting we do, our terrain and our licensing laws. They are common in Germany and Austria, however, sometimes with three or even four barrels. There are many calibre combinations with any mixture of shotgun and rifle barrels. The terrain can be more extreme…

Secondhand aluminium gun

Secondhand aluminium guns

Mike George picks out his recommendations for secondhand aluminium guns. Bettinsoli Crypto Lite Bettinsoli are well respected as makers of entry-level guns, and a new Crypto Lite (now known as the Crypto Extra Lux Lite) comes in at just over £1,200. The gun pictured is last year’s model, weighing 6lb 5oz. The gun achieves…

Taransay castaway

Castaway on Taransay – the hunter’s version

Taransay lies just off the Isle of Harris and is perhaps best known as the place the BBC series Castaway was filmed. After a night in a luxury lodge on Harris with other hunters and international journalists where the group enjoyed a delicious meal, the group were kitted out with…

Krieghoff K20 scrolling

Three value-for-money second-hand European shotguns

Lincoln Premier 28-bore When Sporting Gun first reviewed this gun in 2004, we gave it high praise because it was a bargain-priced gun built on a proper 28-bore action. Over the years we have seen 20-bores built on 12-bore actions, and rather more 28-bores and .410s built on 20-bore actions. As…