Fit over fashion

Q I’ve just applied for my shotgun licence and I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I’ve been to my local gun shop to put a deposit on my first gun and they showed me three guns in my price range. One is a little-used Miroku 7000 at £785 then there is a Winchester at £850 (not sure which model) and the other is a new Bettinsoli at £750. Which should I choose? I’ve been told different stories about the Betti and advised to go for the Miroku – I can’t make my mind. Can you help? I’ll be using the gun for clay shooting only at my local club, which shoots Sporting and DTL.
Malcolm Billing, Staffordshire

A As a new shooter there are a number of factors that might affect your choice of first shotgun: type of shooting discipline – Sporting, Skeet, Trap – budget and aesthetic appeal, but the unknown factor for you as a new shooter is gunfit.
Even if you can get some advice on the fit of the gun, with regard to stock length, comb height and cast, it may be premature if you have not learned the correct stance, grip, gun mount and technique for hitting a moving target.
Of course, it may feel right and appeal to your eye and your pocket. You could start by explaining to the seller what you think you want and asking for their advice and possibly a recommendation.
With regard to the actual guns that you mention, I cannot say which one will physically suit you the best, but if you can try a few guns belonging to your shooting acquaintances you may be able to form some ideas about gun weight, barrel length and ‘feel’. That may enable you to start a ‘preference list’. Perhaps a little homework on prices at other shops may give you an indication as to the best price out of the three. You might like to consider long term durability and resale price, which may give you a totally different choice. Chris Miles

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