A new ven­ture

Sporting Shooter - - Ask The Experts -

QAfter my son shot clays on a stag week­end he is now hooked and wants me to join in. As a for­mer com­pet­i­tive pis­tol shooter, I want to try this new ven­ture. With a bud­get of up to £400 for a used gun, what do you rec­om­mend, and also what bar­rel length would be best? We will both be seek­ing a club and lessons but it would be nice to start with our own kit.

ADON BRUNT replies: It’s good to hear that you both want to get started but your plan of hav­ing one gun be­tween you might prove dif­fi­cult. It de­pends on the com­par­a­tive size and stature of you both. If your son is 6'2" and you are 5'6" then it will be very dif­fi­cult to buy a gun that will fit you both. How­ever, if there is a big dif­fer­ence be­tween you both, then a slip-on stock ex­ten­sion will help and you may also need a comb raiser – nei­ther of these will cost a great deal.

Re­gard­ing your bud­get, I would, if pos­si­ble, try to ex­tend that by £100-£200, which will al­low you to pick up a sec­ond-hand Beretta, Brown­ing or Miroku. These three brands are the most widely avail­able and they are likely to be ro­bust enough to be a good pre-loved op­tion. Plus, if you need to sell them on again you won’t lose much on the money you've spent. A new gun in that price range will de­pre­ci­ate more quickly and may not be as well built.

As for bar­rel length, I would ex­pect that with your bud­get you will strug­gle to find any­thing other than 28" bar­rels; but that is fine for a starter gun and there is no need to worry too much about longer bar­rels un­til you have mas­tered the ba­sics and are shoot­ing 60% plus. Re­mem­ber, though, that as a for­mer pis­tol shooter you need to un­learn us­ing the bead on the gun as a sight; fo­cus past it and stare hard at the tar­get at all times!

Each month's win­ner will re­ceive a can of Cogswell & Har­ri­son gun oil

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