As we gear up for the 2021 Clay Shooting Classic, we’re exploring how you can set off on your journey from amateur to the Classic. This time we’re looking at what gun options a newcomer has, so here are our top picks!
Wondering what the best shotguns for every budget are? We’ve put together a list of what you get for the money in terms of new competition guns. Inevitably we’ve had to trim the list to just the top picks, so there are plenty more excellent guns out there.
Just because they don’t appear in this list, it doesn’t mean they aren’t a good choice. One of our latest gun tests, the new Browning B725S really deserves a place here, as does the Beretta 694.
We’ll be adding to this list in the future – let us know what you feel deserves a place on it. Here are our choices for best shotguns for every budget
ATA Nickel Adjustable
The ATA Nickel Adjustable is another superb-value gun from the ATA stable. With an adjustable stock, it is ideal for those wanting precision gun fit without the price tag. Matte-finish oiled walnut, matte finish barrels and minimalist nickel-colour action make for an attractive, contemporary-looking gun. Multi choke barrels.
RRP – £1,095
The Italian-made Lincoln Vogue doesn’t always get the credit it deserves, but it’s ultra-reliable and handles as well as any similarly priced gun. Low recoil and internally chromed bores for an improved lifespan make it a good gun for young shots. The Vogue looks good, with scroll engraving on a black action and gold game bird details. Comes with multi-chokes in an ABS case.
Beretta Silver Pigeon Sporter
Probably the most popular gun of its era, and many people’s first introduction to the sport, the Beretta Silver Pigeon action has been tried and tested over the years, and is renowned for its durability and reliability. Thanks to the low-profile action, the Silver Pigeon handles superbly, feeling well balanced and smooth in the swing.
Scroll engraving and oil-finished wood gives the gun that classic Beretta look. Available in 12, 20, 28 and .410 gauge, and complete in ABS case with spare chokes, the Silver Pigeon offers a great all-round package in terms of price, quality and value.
Caesar Guerini Summit
As far as competition clay guns go, the Caesar Guerini Summit takes some beating. Available in 12, 20, 28 and .410 gauges with a choice of 28″, 30″, 32″, or 34″ barrels, there is an option to suit almost all shooters.
The pistol grip sporting stock has a slight palm swell and nice radius on the grip, which makes the Summit a very comfortable gun to shoot. The build quality is superb – something that is backed up by Caesar Guerini UK’s 10-year mechanical warranty – but in the unlikely event that parts do need replacing, this can easily be achieved. Complete with eight multi chokes and ABS case.
The Blaser F16 offers German reliability and handling at an attainable price point. It’s very well balanced and smooth in the swing, thanks to its low-profile receiver, with little felt recoil. Typically crisp trigger pulls and adjustable trigger for comfortable length of pull.
Great off-the-shelf gun for most, but if you want to really customise the F16 to suit, there are balancing systems and adjustable stocks available as optional extras. The F16 has a minimalist grey action that complements the ‘fusion’ walnut stock – this is laser-enhanced to give improved figuring. Cased with spare chokes.
Browning Ultra XS Pro
RRP from £3,645
An all-round competition gun based on the reliable 525 action, with an internal weighting system and adjustable comb and trigger. The Browning’s balance and fit can be easily refined to suit the shooter’s needs. It’s smooth to shoot and sports Inflex recoil pads. The action has restrained decoration, complemented by an oil-finished walnut stock and a Trap-style fore-end.
RRP from £4,415
Another impressive all-rounder, based on the 690 boxlock action but featuring grade 3 oiled woodwork and hand-finished engraving. The 695 has Steelium barrels with a tapered sporting rib for better target pick-up. The gun is smooth to shoot and trigger pulls are crisp and responsive. It comes with an upgraded ABS case and spare chokes. This is an affordable, premium-quality competition gun that is a pleasure to shoot, with Beretta’s usual high standard of craftsmanship.
Perazzi High Tech
RRP from £9,880
A favoured Sporting competition gun, and for good reason. Compared to the MX8, the heavier action on the High Tech is well concentrated between the hands, resulting in a gun that is fast handling yet steady to shoot, with minimal recoil. A reverse tapered rib affords an improved field of view and rapid target acquisition. If you are thinking of ordering a new High Tech, take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Perazzi factory to choose your woodwork and have your gun fitted and made to measure – it is an experience not to be missed!
Beretta DT11 TSK
RRP from £10,775
The ability to adjust every aspect of the stock on this gun makes it the perfect solution for all shooters – male and female alike. The balance is perfect, resulting in the smoothest of handling. The light and reactive trigger is adjustable too. There is absolutely zero recoil or muzzle flip. The glove grip ensures the trigger finger reliably falls into the right position. The visuals may not be to everyone’s taste, but aesthetics won’t aid performance, whereas gun fit definitely will.
Krieghoff K80 Super Sport
RRP from £13,900
(Depending on engraving and wood selected)
This is a top of the line competition gun, with an adjustable comb and tapered 32″ barrels for better target acquisition and improved weight distribution. Each Super Sport from Krieghoff is hand-balanced at point of manufacture to account for variances in wood weight – as standard this leaves the weight slightly forward, but it can be adjusted to suit. Optional titanium chokes take some of the weight out of the end of the gun and offer an improved pattern. Another selling point of the gun its impressively low recoil, which supports fast recovery between shots and precise handling. The Super Sport is backed up by a 10-year warranty.
More shotgun round-ups from Clay Shooting Magazine
- Guns for lady shots
- Best clay guns for 2020 – Our top picks
- Top shots’ gun choices
- Sporting Clay shotguns: The editor’s choice
- Best semi-auto shotguns – our top picks