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Having just got my first farm permission I now have a reason to get a shotgun. I've had the ticket for awhile but no reason to get one. My first thought was "Where to get some basic advice on what to get and what to avoid"? Got to be Pigeon Watch surely? So why can't I find anything guys? I would have thought this topic would be at the top of the sticky list.

Obviously I'm a noobie at the shotgun thing but won't buy anything without some idea of what I should be buying. If I can't find it here perhaps someone can point me to a good website?

I will go for a couple of taster lessons but I'll want to go with my own gun.

 

Thanks. Paul

 

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dont buy your own gun until you really know what is best for you.......most shooting ranges will have a small variety of guns for people to have lessons with.....when you have put several hundred rounds down range you will start to get and idea what you are looking for.................

 

When a friend of mine started pigeon shooting..he was advised to get a really cheap old Russian Baikal O/U.....several years down the road he know has several thousand quids worth of guns..........but the gun he uses 90% of the time is that old £60 quid Baikal which has been hacked about extended ...cast...covered in mud...blood..dog poo..and is still good for another 50 years............

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+1 for Ditchman's advice. Asking us to tell you what gun to buy is like asking us to tell you which lass to marry. It's a very personal, subjective thing, with hundreds of variables. You'll 'probably' want a 12 gauge in either semi-auto or over-under flavour......probably.......

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There are quite a few first time buyers threads scattered around the forum. Generally speaking the advice on what to buy is one of the big three names, Browning, Beretta or Miroku with Winchester coming in a close 4th. Of course your budget will have some bearing on what you can buy. But I`d go for something that`s second hand. It won`t lose value when you walk out of the shop and there`s a decent chance you`ll buy something else after a year or so anyway. If you want the most bang for your buck then Miroku are almost certainly the best value of the big three.

 

All are good quality guns that tend to hold their value. Browning and Miroku seem to fit some people well, whilst others find Berettas a better fit. From my experience Winchesters fall in with Brownings for fit.

 

If it`s something you`ll mainly be using in the field there`s little point buying something that`s high grade. You don`t want to be fretting about scratching your nice woodwork or it getting wet or dropping it in the mud.

 

For pigeon guns a lot of people go for semi-autos, they`re easy and safe to load in the hide and you have the advantage of 3 shots rather than 2 with an O&U or SxS. A pump action is also an option. If you opt for the semi/pump option you may want to add a few names to your list. Armsan, Baikal and Hatsan all do reasonably priced guns and you could possibly consider buying one of those new. I don`t know a lot about the first two but Hatsans can be bought for around £300 new and come with chokes, shims and a 3 year guarantee.

 

However I do agree with others that have already posted that you should try a few guns out before you buy something. You`ll have a better idea of what fits and what seems to suit you. For instance it`s no good buying a nice light field gun if when you shoot it it kicks the hell out of you. Go somewhere and try a few guns. Don`t be afraid to ask other shooters if you can try their guns. As long as you`re polite and careful with it most will be happy to let you have a go. Especially if you explain your situation. Aside from that shooting clays is fun and also good practice for the pigeons. Clays also have the advantage of being there when you want to shoot them rather than having to wait for a pigeon to turn up.

 

SxS may also be an option for you but as I know very little about them and don`t particularly like them anyway, I`ll leave someone else to comment on that option.

 

Hope that helps a little.

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Do you have a budget?

Any preference whether it's a semi, O/U, sxs.

Wood, synthetic

 

Not much info so far for people to throw ideas at you.

Your budget is the most important factor here.

Edited by Cosd

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There are quite a few first time buyers threads scattered around the forum. Generally speaking the advice on what to buy is one of the big three names, Browning, Beretta or Miroku with Winchester coming in a close 4th. Of course your budget will have some bearing on what you can buy. But I`d go for something that`s second hand. It won`t lose value when you walk out of the shop and there`s a decent chance you`ll buy something else after a year or so anyway. If you want the most bang for your buck then Miroku are almost certainly the best value of the big three.

 

All are good quality guns that tend to hold their value. Browning and Miroku seem to fit some people well, whilst others find Berettas a better fit. From my experience Winchesters fall in with Brownings for fit.

 

If it`s something you`ll mainly be using in the field there`s little point buying something that`s high grade. You don`t want to be fretting about scratching your nice woodwork or it getting wet or dropping it in the mud.

 

For pigeon guns a lot of people go for semi-autos, they`re easy and safe to load in the hide and you have the advantage of 3 shots rather than 2 with an O&U or SxS. A pump action is also an option. If you opt for the semi/pump option you may want to add a few names to your list. Armsan, Baikal and Hatsan all do reasonably priced guns and you could possibly consider buying one of those new. I don`t know a lot about the first two but Hatsans can be bought for around £300 new and come with chokes, shims and a 3 year guarantee.

 

However I do agree with others that have already posted that you should try a few guns out before you buy something. You`ll have a better idea of what fits and what seems to suit you. For instance it`s no good buying a nice light field gun if when you shoot it it kicks the hell out of you. Go somewhere and try a few guns. Don`t be afraid to ask other shooters if you can try their guns. As long as you`re polite and careful with it most will be happy to let you have a go. Especially if you explain your situation. Aside from that shooting clays is fun and also good practice for the pigeons. Clays also have the advantage of being there when you want to shoot them rather than having to wait for a pigeon to turn up.

 

SxS may also be an option for you but as I know very little about them and don`t particularly like them anyway, I`ll leave someone else to comment on that option.

 

Hope that helps a little.

 

Many thanks DM.

Some useful info there. It'll be a long time before I look at spending serious money on a gun to last a lifetime. It's very frustrating when looking at gun prices etc because all you see are numbers that are complete double dutch to a newbie.

It's also frustrating when you ask for info on a forum and get philosophy instead. I'm 67 yrs old and I could probably sell some of it.

We all know that you can pick up any shotgun and eventually hit pigeon with it. For a youngster with maybe the whole gamut of shooting in front of him I would advocate doing everything properly but for me I just want a first gun to keep or move on later.

I'm after general stuff like weight, synthetic, length, chamber, cartridge, chokes for pigeon, what makes to avoid, how to tell a shot out barrel. I'm right handed and left eye dominant, would more or less cast help with that?

I haven't fired a shotgun since i was a teenager. I will have a couple of range sessions but I'll be doing it with my own gun. Hopefully it will be a reaonable fit but I'll find a way to use it. It won't matter if I don't hit everything I point it at. I won't be trying to make a living out of it.

When I was a teenager with an airgun I was mad keen on the shooting thing and after reading that you don't aim a shotgun I tried it with my air rifle on a target about a foot square about 25yds away and blow me if I didn't hit it more times that I missed. I was absolutely amazed but that was when I had two good eyes.

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Buy new simple reason you know what you are getting, and you do not have the knowledge from the sounds of it to buy a good used gun, this can be a nightmare for experienced people at times. With new that is instantly removed from the equasion.

As you have not shot for years you probably wont have much idea what style or ga of gun you want, 20 bores are ok but 12s are more common ammo tends to be cheaper for 12s. So i would say 12 bore.

So far its new and a 12 bore, so next action type style. you need something that can shoot loads from 24 to 36 gram that about covers all pigeon shooting scenarios a 70mm chamber will do all you need, but guns are more often than not in 3 inch these days and its no loss a 76 mm chamber in fact its generaly more practical and will stand you in good stead if you drift into wildfowling for example. So 76mm

Action style pigeon shooting can be high volume you can put a few rounds out in a session and recoil although generaly aceptable in any gun the gas operated semi auto is probably the gun to at least start with, and in your case its not like you have any set preferences enbeded in your thiunking from past experience. So gas operated semi auto 3 inch.

Your left master eye so you will perform best shooting off your vleft shoulder, without a doubt so left handed gun.

My recomendation is a synthetic stocked left handed Hatsan escort its 3 inch gas auto left port so no gas in your face, and its 295 pounds brand new. Reliable and they have progressiivly got better with each model, the curent ones are awesome. and for the price you wont find anything near it.

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+1 for Ditchman's advice. Asking us to tell you what gun to buy is like asking us to tell you which lass to marry. It's a very personal, subjective thing, with hundreds of variables. You'll 'probably' want a 12 gauge in either semi-auto or over-under flavour......probably.......

 

It's the one with the big knockers, obviously ;)

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you wouldnt go far wrong speaking to WABBITBOSHER.............

Don't tell him that poor lad , I daren't speak to him , he has to many bargains I'd need a van if I ever visited

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Buy new simple reason you know what you are getting, and you do not have the knowledge from the sounds of it to buy a good used gun, this can be a nightmare for experienced people at times. With new that is instantly removed from the equasion.

As you have not shot for years you probably wont have much idea what style or ga of gun you want, 20 bores are ok but 12s are more common ammo tends to be cheaper for 12s. So i would say 12 bore.

So far its new and a 12 bore, so next action type style. you need something that can shoot loads from 24 to 36 gram that about covers all pigeon shooting scenarios a 70mm chamber will do all you need, but guns are more often than not in 3 inch these days and its no loss a 76 mm chamber in fact its generaly more practical and will stand you in good stead if you drift into wildfowling for example. So 76mm

Action style pigeon shooting can be high volume you can put a few rounds out in a session and recoil although generaly aceptable in any gun the gas operated semi auto is probably the gun to at least start with, and in your case its not like you have any set preferences enbeded in your thiunking from past experience. So gas operated semi auto 3 inch.

Your left master eye so you will perform best shooting off your vleft shoulder, without a doubt so left handed gun.

My recomendation is a synthetic stocked left handed Hatsan escort its 3 inch gas auto left port so no gas in your face, and its 295 pounds brand new. Reliable and they have progressiivly got better with each model, the curent ones are awesome. and for the price you wont find anything near it.

Thanks for the effort Tony. You've certainly blown away some of my preconceptions. 3in chamber, shooting from the left shoulder, gas, semi auto. You've defo given me something to think about.Haven't looked at my SC for a while but i'm almost sure it's sec2. Is that normal? Are there restrictions? Is there much difference in cost from 70 to 76 mm shells and is it worth thinking about reloading?

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Reloading in my mind ...is something to do to get some peace and quiet away from the mrs and the TV..........it gives you the pleasure of shooting your own shells...but it is not going to save you any money (nowadays)...........maybe you will save a little on loading "specialist" ammo...but yet again you wont be using that stuff much anyway...

 

reloading is a total different "hobby" to shooting...some people have done it for years and are still looking to acheive perfection.........get some shooting under your belt first, find a cartridge that suits your gun and chokes....dosnt need to be an expensive one either.........cartridge sales are a racket.....then think about reloading as a seperate hobby...if you have plenty of spare time on your hands !!

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Thanks for the effort Tony. You've certainly blown away some of my preconceptions. 3in chamber, shooting from the left shoulder, gas, semi auto. You've defo given me something to think about.Haven't looked at my SC for a while but i'm almost sure it's sec2. Is that normal? Are there restrictions? Is there much difference in cost from 70 to 76 mm shells and is it worth thinking about reloading?

You can shoot any round shorter than three inch, its not like you must shoot 3 inch if you dont need to.

You can have a semi auto with two in the magazine i in the chamber. Opperation is straight foreward, and as you have little experience, you have no pree concieved ideas on any perticular action type. You will take to the auto like a duck to water.

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Reloading in my mind ...is something to do to get some peace and quiet away from the mrs and the TV..........it gives you the pleasure of shooting your own shells...but it is not going to save you any money (nowadays)...........maybe you will save a little on loading "specialist" ammo...but yet again you wont be using that stuff much anyway...

 

reloading is a total different "hobby" to shooting...some people have done it for years and are still looking to acheive perfection.........get some shooting under your belt first, find a cartridge that suits your gun and chokes....dosnt need to be an expensive one either.........cartridge sales are a racket.....then think about reloading as a seperate hobby...if you have plenty of spare time on your hands !!

I'm with you there Mr D. I think i'm gonna like reloading. Do love a project. Back in the day when I was into photography I was **** at taking pictures but I loved to mess around in the darkroom. I used to like doing big enlargements.

I'll let the media types have fun with the inuendo there.

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You can shoot any round shorter than three inch, its not like you must shoot 3 inch if you dont need to.

You can have a semi auto with two in the magazine i in the chamber. Opperation is straight foreward, and as you have little experience, you have no pree concieved ideas on any perticular action type. You will take to the auto like a duck to water.

So there's no shoulder in the chamber then? I'm liking the semi auto thing but shooting from the left is a bit to far I'm thinking.

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I'm liking the semi auto thing but shooting from the left is a bit to far I'm thinking.

 

You might be surprised. There`s a guy at our shoot who is right handed, left eye dominant. He learnt to shoot left handed and he`s become so used to it that he says it feels wrong now if he tries to shoot right handed.

 

I have a Hatsan semi auto and it`s been fine, a very reliable, nice shooting gun. I bought it for pigeons but these days I use it on clays as well. Pattern with 1/4 choke is excellent on all the cartridges I`ve tried. For the money and as a first gun with what you`re wanting it for I think it`s a decent choice.

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So there's no shoulder in the chamber then? I'm liking the semi auto thing but shooting from the left is a bit to far I'm thinking.

Well threes a shoulder forcing cone but its longer than an opened 76mm so fine for anything shorter.

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Reloading in my mind ...is something to do to get some peace and quiet away from the mrs and the TV......

either that or buy an old land rover, or just an engine :lol::lol::lol:

Edited by viking

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dont buy your own gun until you really know what is best for you.......most shooting ranges will have a small variety of guns for people to have lessons with.....when you have put several hundred rounds down range you will start to get and idea what you are looking for.................

 

When a friend of mine started pigeon shooting..he was advised to get a really cheap old Russian Baikal O/U.....several years down the road he know has several thousand quids worth of guns..........but the gun he uses 90% of the time is that old £60 quid Baikal which has been hacked about extended ...cast...covered in mud...blood..dog poo..and is still good for another 50 years............

 

I am all for that .. great advice

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You really DO need to have a couple of 'try' sessions with various guns before you spend any money, and in particular with what you describe as a master eye situation. A decent Instructor should be able to identify that and at the same time give you some idea as to what stock measurements you should be looking towards getting. A gun that is too long or too short by more than 1/2" can be the most uncomfortable thing to use which can lead to you developing all sorts of bad habits, headlifting, bruising etc. which can then put you off shooting. You would not really consider buying a car based on what the sales person told you..............or would you ?

Edited by Westley

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Agree with the idea of not to rush into a buy. Semi-autos have a lot of positives in a pigeon hide but I bought a second hand one and although I could shoot well with it, I preferred my O/U and hated picking up the widely scattered shells...particularly in long grass....so I rarely used it and eventually passed it on. Best to try a few guns out and have an instructor guide you on fit if you are outside the "average" size. I would recommend you consider what other uses you will have for it as if you want to shoot some duck or geese with steel cartridges then need a minimum 3 inch chamber.

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as a first gun a spanish sxs 1/4 and 1/2 choke an aya yeoman comes to mind, you could pick one up for around £100 pounds as said before speak to wabbitbosher, my wife is left eye dominent she shoots off her right side and closes her left eye and shoots very well, I shoot clays with an under and over and game with a side by side, go to a local clay ground and ask to try a few different guns, i would stay away from new guns until you have a better idea what you want to do with the gun.

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Hi guys.

Had a look at the Escort. Funnily enough a shooting friend uses one. Can someone explain the different names please.

Just looking on guntrader and i find,

 

PS

Extreme

Magnum

Supreme Max

 

Paul

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