Best affordable Sporter shotguns

A taste of Champagne for Prosecco money? We look at the best affordable Sporter shotguns below £3,999

Sporting shotguns or ‘Sporters’ are, as the names suggest, developed to shoot Sporting clays. They are by far the most popular guns in the hands of clay shooters today, outselling specialist models designed for disciplines such as Trap many times over. 

And for good reason. A Sporter is a versatile tool, one that excels at Sporting clays but can turn its hand to many other disciplines too. In fact, buy a modular Sporter, like a Krieghoff K-80 or a Blaser F3, and you can transform it for specific disciplines by mixing and matching components.

These are some top-dollar guns from two premium brands, but there’s no pressure to invest the kind of money they cost if you don’t have it. Fortunately, whether you’re a novice or seasoned shooter, you’ll find the entry- to mid-level Sporter market a crowded treasure trove, where intense competition drives quality up but keeps prices down.

Our high-tide mark is a smidgen under £4k, but we’re going to start at a far more more affordable £689.99. So, before you pull the trigger on a new purchase, read on to discover eight Sporters that we believe offer outstanding value.

Beretta 694 Sport 

RRP £3,645

Creeping in below the £4k mark is the Beretta 694, which has been met with universal acclaim. This is a brand new gun developed, in Beretta’s words, to ‘dust clays and win medals’.

The 694 is more business-like than pretty, but buried in its strong, modern-looking action are a host of impressive features, including redesigned ejectors and a particularly robust trigger mechanism. The low-profile top lever is a breeze to use, whether right or left-handed, and there’s a clever fore-end latch system that incorporates a piston operated stud.

The stock is ergonomically designed with a tight radius and reduced shoulders to provide an excellent field of vision. Beretta’s superb B-Fast balance system is standard, but you can also spec an adjustable stock for an additional £330.

Barrels: 30in, 32in

Yildiz Pro Black 

RRP from £1,349

Looks familiar? Yes, squint hard in poor light wearing your mate’s glasses and the Pro Black does bear a passing resemblance to a Perazzi, both inside and out. 

To be clear, there are some substantial differences. There is no detachable trigger unit and the action is powered by a coil spring rather than a V spring. These differences aside the Pro Black is an outstanding gun that’s beautifully engineered.

We think Yildiz is generous with its wood grades. Grade 3 wood comes as standard, and it looks stunning. But, an additional £400 buys you mouth-watering Grade 4 wood. Adjustable stocks are available for a £150 premium, and further custom options can be specced too. 

Brand snobs will never show a lot of love for Yildiz, but for the rest of us this is a cracking gun.

Barrels: 28in, 30in, 32in

Caesar Guerini Magnus Sporting 

RRP £3,350

Caesar Guerini’s Magnus Sporting is a reassuringly chunky gun to handle but its lines remain as lithe and svelte as a thoroughbred. This gun won’t leave you much change from our £3,999 budget, so plenty has been spent on cosmetic and quality components. It’s not all show and no go though – it handles as good as it looks.

The stock and Schnabel fore-end are hand-oiled. The comb accentuates a pistol grip that should be comfortable for a wide range of hand sizes. Ventilated, sporting, multichoke barrels feature a 10mm tapered ventilated rib for accurate target acquisition. 

The action is highly decorated – every millimetre of metalwork is adorned with scrollwork or a game scene. These scenes are laser engraved and hand-finished to a high standard.

Barrels: 28in, 30in, 32in, 34in

ATA SP Black Sporter Adj 

RRP from £689.99

The SP Sporter typifies the kind of Turkish guns that are currently being brought into the UK and remarkably cheap. That’s not to suggest there’s anything wrong with them, far from it. 

What you get for your money is good-looking, well-finished, contemporary, single-trigger, multi-choke, auto-ejector shotgun that is more of a gun than many of us will ever need with a solid steel alloy action. 

This could be your first gun, or a ‘beater’ to take the kind of everyday abuse you don’t want to inflict on your quiver of fine Italian metal. It’s a capable choice for both roles, and much more.

Barrels: 30in

Fabarm ELOS N2 Sporting 

RRP £1,425

£1,425 buys you a robust, forged steel, satin-black action sandwiched between a walnut stock and fore-end, along with a solid action, an adjustable trigger, a rubberised adjustable comb and interchangeable multi-chokes.

Fabarm’s Tribore barrels are well-regarded for being ultra-tough if somewhat unusual. A forcing cone funnels shot into an over-bored main section that subsequently constricts at about eight inches before the muzzle. Fabarm’s ‘hyperbolic’ chokes are longer than normal too. All this is said to decrease friction and increase velocity without sacrificing pattern.  

Barrels: 28in, 30in, 32in

Benelli 828U Sport 

RRP £3,545

Lithe, purposeful and menacing in black, the 828U Sport looks like it’s spoiling for a fight straight out of the box.

A carbon-fibre rib sits atop the 30in barrels, and a unique, patented steel locking system has been developed by Benelli’s engineers to reduce wear and tear on the action. 

Small weights can be added or removed from the buttstock. The gun features a shim system with five drop shims and four cast shims that enable up to 40 custom stock positions. Finally, Benelli’s Progressive Comfort System makes this a forgiving gun to shoot.

Barrels: 30in

Breda Zenith Sporter

RRP £2,325

The Zenith Sporter was launched at the British Shooting Show earlier this year by Brescia gunmakers Breda. James Marchington reviewed it in the September issue and found it a smart, well-mannered clay-buster that deserved attention. 

It’s refreshing to see that Breda has taken a contemporary direction with the Zenith’s angular engravings. Where many recent guns have ‘borrowed’ heavily from iconic models of the past, the Zenith is its own design rather than a tweaked version of something else. What’s here is just a very good, solid gun.

Fit and finish is outstanding, and all Zeniths are supplied with attractive Grade 4 timberwork as standard. This is a lot of gun for the money.

Barrels: 30in, 32in

Browning Ultra XS Pro Sporter Adj 

RRP – £3,725

An Ultra XS Pro Sporter is essentially a Browning B525 on steroids, a real clay-busting machine. 

The Ultra XS sports an adjustable stock, eight Invector Titanium extended chokes, two spacers, three Inflex recoil pads and three trigger shoes. It can also be fine-balanced using Browning’s stock and barrel counterweight system. 

If you’ve shot Sporting today but want to shoot Trap tomorrow? No problem. It is quick and easy to reconfigure the gun to suit pretty much any discipline. At £3,725 it is at the top end of our budget but then it’s so versatile this could be the last gun you ever choose to buy.

Barrels: 28in, 30in, 32in

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