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bimini



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 6:22 pm    Post subject: Advice please  Reply with quote    

I'm new to shooting... I've recently got a shotgun licence and am now on the lookout for a gun. I'm going to look at a second hand gun next week. What should I be looking for? How do I know if it's good value? Is there a guide price guide somewhere (something akin to Glasses car price guide would be good!)?

All advice gratefully received.

Thanks in advance.

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh blimey - that's a tricky one. There are hundreds of guns, if not thousands, and one costing 75 might be perfect for you, and one costing 30,000 might be a turkey!
Have you ever shot before? What sort of shooting do you want to do?
There are essentially two decissions to make - 12 bore or 20 bore, and side-by-side or over-and-under.
All have their devotees, but if you're new to shooting, a 20-bore over and under might be the best choice; it's got less of a recoil, it's light enough to carry all day traipsing around the hedgerows, and the over-and-under configuration is, for many people, a help to accuracy.
But a cheaper option would be a 12-bore side-by-side - one of the spanish, non-ejecting box-locks shouldn't set you back more than 150 and would be a perfectly servicable gun (I've used one for nearly 30 years, and it's still the gun I can hit most things with, as it's become like an extension of my arm, and it's cheap enough to risk out in the marshes and foreshore silt when fowling).
Whatever you go for, do get some practice in. Ask in your local gun dealers where the nearest friendly clay shoot is so you ca get your eye in. Try the gun on all sorts of targets, ideally with someone who can help you with perfecting the gun-mounting, swing and follow-through (always much easier with someone standing behind you than trying to work it out yourself).

bimini



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks. I've been clay shooting a couple of times borrowing one of the club guns but think that I should get my own and get used to the same gun rather than using a different one every time.

I will want a gun good for clays and also for pigeons/rabbits etc.

Was thinking about a 12 bore side by side... mostly because that's what seems to be a popular choice for many people.

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

a 12-bore side by side is certainly likely to be the cheapest, and as it's also the simplest mechanically, there's less to go wrong.
The most important thing is fit - the stock should be the right length. too long and it will get caught on your clothing or under your armpit when you mount the gun; too short and you'll crane your neck forward, tilt the gun and never hit a thing!
It should also be safe and sound - there should be no movement between the barrels and the action when you wiggle it, and the firing pins should not be protruding when it's cocked. if you're in doubt, have a gunsmith give it the once over - most guns are fine and robust as they come, but you do get the odd dangerous piece offered for sale, and it's not worth taking risks with gun safety.
Ideally, take someone with you when you go looking for the gun, and try to buy from a proper dealer or gunsmith rather than through the small-ads or online. A reputable gunsmith will ensure that any shotgun sold is safe and reliable.
Oh, and if you're wanting to shoot clays, get an ejector. It's more expensive, but it makes reloading quicker, and will stop impatient types behind you tutting and grumbling (particularly if you're shooting with a side-by-side - a lot of clay fanatics look upon us side-by-siders as carrot-crunching yokels with straw between their ears!).

bimini



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

oops.. I mistyped my previous message. I had intended to say 12 bore over and under! However your advice about side by side makes sense.

Thanks.

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hi there, i'm Gervase's wife and I also shoot. I have a really nice 20 bore Beretta (over and under) which is a pleasure to shoot with. It's light and easy to use. What Gervase isn't telling you is that more often than not he will use my gun rather than his - as do other male friends of ours. I know quite few blokes who use 20 bore shotguns in preference to 12 bore...even if they do keep quiet about it...

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mary-Jane wrote:
Hi there, i'm Gervase's wife and I also shoot.


And is there a link there, we wonder?

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

hedgewitch wrote:
Mary-Jane wrote:
Hi there, i'm Gervase's wife and I also shoot.


And is there a link there, we wonder?

Only when I'm pre-menstrual...

hedgewitch



Joined: 26 Nov 2005
Posts: 5834
Location: Daft wench GHQ
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well, that's fine All a woman needs then is chocolate, wine and a smoking gun

madmonk



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 835

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mary-Jane wrote:
Hi there, i'm Gervase's wife and I also shoot. I have a really nice 20 bore Beretta (over and under) which is a pleasure to shoot with. It's light and easy to use. What Gervase isn't telling you is that more often than not he will use my gun rather than his - as do other male friends of ours. I know quite few blokes who use 20 bore shotguns in preference to 12 bore...even if they do keep quiet about it...

Why didn't you say so before I'M SURE I WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN SO CHEEKY

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bimini, it's a hugely subjective topic. Gervase's advice is very good for starters.

I would add that there's also a difference in barrel lengths, chamber sizes (you may want 3" if you expect to shoot geese regularly) etc, etc.

Personally I've shot for near on 20 years with the same beretta semi auto. Some people wouldn't touch them but it's light, easy to point and reliable. If I had to sell it and buy an another gun I'd probably get an old ou baikal.

I've owned a few more expensive guns over the years but always gone back to my Beretta as it suits me

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 06 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mary-Jane wrote:
What Gervase isn't telling you is that more often than not he will use my gun rather than his - as do other male friends of ours.

But that's only on 'proper' shoots. For a walked-up afternoon around the hedgerows, or an evening out on the foreshore, it's the manky old 12-bore every time.
Why, it's even got a crescent-shaped scar on the stock where I had a misfire one evening on clays with a friend pulling for me; I managed to smoke the first one heading towards me, but misfired on the second and had time to turn the gun round and whack the thing to oblivion like W.G Grace before it hit me in the chops.
That's something you'd never dare do with a Purdey (or a Beretta)!

bimini



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 06 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for all comments.

Will a 20 bore do the job on all targets e.g. will it be up to pheasants etc?

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 06 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A 20 will be fine for just about anything other than stratospheric geese on the foreshore. For pheasants, no problem. For clays, likewise. It's a good all-rounder, really.

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 06 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gervase wrote:
A 20 will be fine for just about anything other than stratospheric geese on the foreshore. For pheasants, no problem. For clays, likewise. It's a good all-rounder, really.


I rest my case...

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