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Looking for 1st gun recommendations, I will mainly use it for rough shooting over spaniels but also an odd night at duck/pigeons, looking for a o/u that won’t break the bank and also not sure if I would be better with a 20b or a 12b?? Any advice would be welcome 👍

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if you are shooting over spaniels that you can control to work fairly close in.......then go for a 20bore  choked open and a 1/4.....it will also be light to carry...and fast to use...:good:

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So you want ONE gun:

1) That is comfortable to carry,

2) Is capable of firing (if in England and Wales) non-lead shot at duck,

3) Handles well enough for the "odd night" February roost shooting pigeons.

To my mind that means it must be reliable and easily serviced with available spares, proofed for a least 70mm in either 12 Bore or 20 Bore and capable of firing non-lead. Which if you discount bismuth and unless it bears the fleur-de-lys proof mark will be standard steel....so no more that half choke in either barrel and lastly light enough to carry when walking up. And has an action that is comfortable carried broken on your arm.

I'd look at something with maybe 28" barrels....30" if you must....and for what you need I reckon most of your shots will be under thirty yards? Some even as close as fifteen to twenty yards on roost shooting pigeon?

The first barrel I'd have fairly open and the second barrel is that debate about how you use your chokes. Some say even if the first barrel is open have the second two degrees tighter. Their reasoning being you can use it as a first shot at the back bird of an incoming pair (like a focused narrow cone) or as a second shot at a going away bird that you've missed or to give some "law" to that going away bird and/or allow it to settle down in flight. 

Personally I've always had my game guns bore IMP and IMP and anything for duck when lead was legal HALF and HALF. I don't subscribe to the supposed benefits of barrel selection.

I'd personally try for something under eight pounds in weight and always bear in mind that although a 20 Bore will be lighter the selection of cartridges in a 12 Bore will be broader and FWIW even as low now as 21 gram and 24 gram. Also a 20 Bore having a narrower action may actually be less comfortable weight for weight the same carried broken on your arm.

I hope it helps. 

Edited by enfieldspares
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1 hour ago, enfieldspares said:

So you want ONE gun:

1) That is comfortable to carry,

2) Is capable of firing (if in England and Wales) non-lead shot at duck,

3) Handles well enough for the "odd night" February roost shooting pigeons.

To my mind that means it must be reliable and easily serviced with available spares, proofed for a least 70mm in either 12 Bore or 20 Bore and capable of firing non-lead. Which if you discount bismuth and unless it bears the fleur-de-lys proof mark will be standard steel....so no more that half choke in either barrel and lastly light enough to carry when walking up. And has an action that is comfortable carried broken on your arm.

I'd look at something with maybe 28" barrels....30" if you must....and for what you need I reckon most of your shots will be under thirty yards? Some even as close as fifteen to twenty yards on roost shooting pigeon?

The first barrel I'd have fairly open and the second barrel is that debate about how you use your chokes. Some say even if the first barrel is open have the second two degrees tighter. Their reasoning being you can use it as a first shot at the back bird of an incoming pair (like a focused narrow cone) or as a second shot at a going away bird that you've missed or to give some "law" to that going away bird and/or allow it to settle down in flight. 

Personally I've always had my game guns bore IMP and IMP and anything for duck when lead was legal HALF and HALF. I don't subscribe to the supposed benefits of barrel selection.

I'd personally try for something under eight pounds in weight and always bear in mind that although a 20 Bore will be lighter the selection of cartridges in a 12 Bore will be broader and FWIW even as low now as 21 gram and 24 gram. Also a 20 Bore having a narrower action may actually be less comfortable weight for weight the same carried broken on your arm.

All good advice.  My only (and it is very mild) disagreement would be that 8 pounds is fairly heavy for a 'field' gun (rather than a competition gun) - even for a 12 bore.  5 x field o/u's I can measure easily (one 30" barrel, the others 28") ALL weigh under 8 lbs and 4 of the 5 weigh under 7 1/2 lbs.

My advice would be to try as many as you can and find one that fits well and shoots well for you.  The 'big names' are always easier to trade in if you do want to change.

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3 hours ago, ditchman said:

if you are shooting over spaniels that you can control to work fairly close in.......then go for a 20bore  choked open and a 1/4.....it will also be light to carry...and fast to use...:good:

Go for a 20g anyway. The gun will be nice light and handy and will do the job if you can put it in the pattern.  Just heard one or two poor reports on KOFS so may steer clear of them.   I have shot a Yilditz 410 for five full seasons driven and only recently had a service and new springs fitted, cost £90 so on top of the £600 for the gun over 5 years I cannot complain.  I recon that at about £7 a day inclusive of purchase and running expenses and I still have the gun.

Edited by Walker570
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Laurona are often overlooked. Solid, made to last, chrome inside barrel and black chrome on the outside. A lot of gun for your money. Also sold as Winchester 91. Bought one new in the mid 1980s and it paid for itself many times over.

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On 17/07/2021 at 15:19, Gordon R said:

Laurona are often overlooked. Solid, made to last, chrome inside barrel and black chrome on the outside. A lot of gun for your money. Also sold as Winchester 91. Bought one new in the mid 1980s and it paid for itself many times over.

Don't know what part of the country your from but if your near enough to South Yorkshire, you are more than welcome to try out a Laurona o/u that I have for sale.

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On 17/07/2021 at 15:19, Gordon R said:

Laurona are often overlooked. Solid, made to last, chrome inside barrel and black chrome on the outside. A lot of gun for your money. Also sold as Winchester 91. Bought one new in the mid 1980s and it paid for itself many times over.

Was the gun to have back then and in the late 70s. As said solid gun.

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