Sporting Clay shotguns: The editor’s choice

James Marchington lists his personal favourite guns for Sporting clay shooting

This month I thought I would give you my personal take on the guns that have given me the most enjoyment shooting clays. Inevitably that means I have hit a few with them too – there’s little enjoyment in missing everything!

Bear in mind that I am no top level shot – you won’t find my name in the CPSA averages, and the most I’ve ever achieved at clay shooting is a handful of corporate and charity shoot wins. If there are a few obvious names missing, remember I have shot quite a variety of guns over the years, but I haven’t tried everything.

These are my favourites among the guns that I have used. I’m sure I would absolutely love shooting a Krieghoff, or a Perazzi, or a Blaser F16, but so far I haven’t had the opportunity, so they’re not on the list. Maybe next year!

Browning B525 SL

RRP: £2,175

You might say I’m biased as this is my current gun, but then, I bought it because I liked it, rather than the other way around. Browning’s 525 action has always just felt ‘right’ to me; there are slimmer and lighter guns around, but I find a bit of heft keeps me steady and soaks up the recoil.

The laminate model has an even more solid feel, which I assume must be due to the stock being not just wood but a significant amount of resin used to bond the layers.

The adjustable comb has allowed me to get the fit just how I like it, and it shoots like a dream with what to me feels like very little recoil. And the looks? Well, you love it or loathe it. Personally I think it looks rather smart, and the plain polished action sets off the grey laminate very nicely to my eye.

Browning B725

RRP: £1,595

This is the entry level version of Browning’s lower profile 725 action, and an excellent choice as a second gun for anyone starting to take their clay shooting seriously.

It incorporates some of Browning’s most useful performance-enhancing features, such as back-bored Vector Pro barrels, their extended chokes and an Inflex butt pad, without going overboard on embellishments.

It’s a no-nonsense clay breaking machine and a joy to shoot straight out of the box.

ATA Silver Line

RRP: £900

Every time I shoot an ATA, I can’t help wondering just how they do it for the money.

This Silver Line model not only shoots well, it looks fantastic for a sub-£1,000 gun, with eye-catching scroll engraving on the action, and remarkably nice, well finished woodwork.

It even comes with a selection of multichokes in the box – amazing value and well worth a look.

Miroku MK38

RRP: £1,750

Ah, the old faithful Miroku has to have a place in this list. This is another no-frills gun that offers fantastic value. It comes at an entry-level price, but shoots well and has a superb reputation for reliability – you could buy one today and still be happily shooting it for years to come.

Personally, I really like the MK38’s looks too – it’s nothing too fancy, looking just like a gun should, with decent wood and subtle but attractive engraving on the action.

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