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Help me please!

1505 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  jockshoot
I would be delighted if I could gain some sound advice from this forum ( I am new to clay shooting, and the forum ! ) regarding the future purchase of my first shotgun. I have in mind, o/u 12g


but what models & barrel length would be suitable as an all rounder. I would probably be looking at spending around £800/$1300.
Thanks & Regards
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With that budget you should be able to get a good second hand gun from all those makers. But a couple of points - is that the budget for the whole shebang or just the gun? You may have to buy a safe, and you may have to have the gun fitted, that could consume about £100 to £150 on top of what you pay for the gun. Depending on your local Constabulary.

Get a copy of Sporting Gun from your local paper shop, (Not W.H. Smiths) and view the ads there. You will find used guns from £500- £1500 in private ads and dealer ads. I would avoid getting a higher grade gun - Browning offers up to Level 6 but mechanically it is no better than a Grade 1 gun. Miroku's seem to sell for higher prices than Brownings, but are not necesarily better guns, IMHO so you may get more for your cash that way. All three are good reliable long lasting guns, I have shot all three over the years and still do. I have one Miroku that was a rental gun at a trap range, conservative estimate it has had 500,000 rounds fired through it.

Barrel length, Unles you are a tall guy, I'd start with either 28 inch or 30 inch tubes. If it is fixed choke, go for 1/4 and 1/2. If you are around 5' 11" or more, you could go to 32 inches but I'd not recommend it for a beginner.

Will you mainly shoot trap, skeet or sporting clays ? I used a fixed choke Beretta 686 in 28 inch for about 8 years, shot everything with it, and got what I paid for it when I part exed it for a new gun for my daughter.

Welcome to the game


PS. I am a relocated Geordie, living in Florida, would love a lamb pie right now ! :p
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Of the three you've mentioned I like the Berettas the best. If you don't mind a less fancy gun take a peek at Ruger. Funtionally they are the equal of the others, well made, and a little less expensive.

Thanks for the swift reply!! And sound advice, I appreciate it.
I am really glad I found this forum.
Where did you get that flag Roger??

I have considered the cost of the gun cabinet so the figure was for the gun with possible gunfit.
I will get a copy of Sporting Gun and peruse the ads as you have said. I agree, a used gun around the lower grades would be perfect for me.

I am 5' 10" so the shorter barrels would seem to be the best
bet. I am glad you mentioned chokes!! as that was a question I should have asked too !! :lol: I assume by that answer about fixed choke means I can also consider multichoke??

As for what I will be shooting, I have only been shooting skeet so far. Will the type of gun matter as to the type of clay target, or can I shoot most of them with the same gun??

Beretta 686 sounds very good!!

Best Regards


The weather in Florida will certainly be better than the North East! :lol: Although here it has been a wonderful weekend!!
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Thanks Pumper !!
I will have a look at both!!


If you are mainly shooting skeet, I think the 28 inch tubes are the way to go. Multi-chokes are a feature, but the way you use them can be a problem. I have seen folks in the US with a holster to carry a rechargeable battery driven Black and Decker screwdriver with which they are spinning chokes in and out for every station at Sporting Clays :lol:

Don't do it, if you are shooting skeet, before you go to the club put in the skeet chokes,

If you are shooting trap, before you go to the club, put in the 1/2 and 3/4.

Before you go to the Sporting Clays club, put in 1/4 and 1/2 and leave the rest at home.

Your coach will tell you when you are ready to change chokes on the sporting layout.

Pumper - the Ruger guns are quite pricey in the UK compared to the US, second hand Ruger Red Labels are advertised in the UK at around $1,000 :? The current issue of Sporting Gun has a review of used Rugers btw.

Keith, I just talked to my UK family, "wonderful weekend weather" means different things. The top temp today in Newcastle, has not been seen in Florida for about 3 months as the MINIMUM temp 8)


The flag comes from the Avatar library you can access when editing your profile - but you would want the Cross of St Andrew no?
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Thanks for your reply, your advice is just what I need. I will bear in mind when I shop all that you have told me.

I know, we tend to get carried away with what we think is "high" temperatures here in the UK :lol: They are few and far between!!

I have looked in the avatar library, but there are no flags for Scotland. I see Pumper has one so I will ask him where he sourced it.

Hi Pumper,
May I ask where you got the Scottish flag from? I would really like one.


as to your avatar....go to the user control panel called "Profile", its in the list of items up near the top of the page....scroll down to Avatar Control Panel, there is a gallery or you can just cut and paste the above text minus the ** and make sure to hit the "submit" button.
Thanks for the link, I am happy now!!

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