Semi-auto shotguns have a lot going for them. They offer great value, along with smooth shooting and minimal recoil. A semi-auto is great for wildfowling or in a pigeon hide, but they’re also popular with rough shooters and gamekeepers – and they’re favoured by a good few clay shooters too.

But with such a variety to choose from, which one should you go for?

We collared Ian Hodge, of Ian Hodge Shooting & Fieldsports Supplies, to tell us which guns sell the best, and why, in his shop near Wadebridge in North Cornwall.

Semi-autos on the rack at Ian Hodge Fieldsports

“The Browning Maxus is a super reliable gun, fast loading, a good quality gun and not silly money,” he says. “The camouflage finish is popular if you’re going to be shooting on the foreshore or in a pigeon hide. The camouflage on the Maxus is put on really professionally; it won’t wear off or scratch easily.”

Next up Ian shows us a Winchester SX4. “This is priced in the mid range at around £680. There are different variants with wood, black composite or camouflage, they vary a bit in price. If you want something that will shoot a bit smoother than the cheaper guns, this is the one to go for. It’s reliable, handles well, and it’s a top seller for us.”

Ian Hodge reckons the Hatsan Escort is amazing value at £299

For sheer value for money it’s hard to beat the Hatsan Escort. “It’s fantastic at £299 for the standard gun with a three-year warranty. They’re super reliable too – we’ve seen them going on after 10 years and more. At that money, for a farmer or pest controller, it’s a no-brainer. I don’t know how many Escorts we’ve sold – it’s so many I’ve lost count!”

Find out more at the Ian Hodge website.

And check out the results of our viewer survey to see which semi-auto shotguns were most popular with the Fieldsports Channel audience. 

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