So you’ve got £5,000 to spend on a new shotgun – lucky you! What are you going to choose? Obviously you’ll want your new gun to be future proofed, so it’ll need to be proofed for steel shot. An over-and-under is the most popular choice, for good reason. But that still leaves a big range to choose from – so what would an expert recommend?
We put Ian Hodge of Ian Hodge Fieldsports on the spot. He sells a huge variety of shotguns at his shop near Wadebridge in North Cornwall, and he picked out three that he can recommend without hesitation.
First up is a Caesar Guerini, sporting a price tag for £2,200. “It’s an Italian made gun and absolutely lovely,” Ian says. “It’s beautiful to look at and beautiful to shoot. I shot one of these on my syndicate last year. People say you should look at the engraving and look at the wood, and this is certainly a pretty gun – and fortunately it shoots well too. If you don’t want to spend too much then I would recommend this gun.”
Next Ian takes a Browning from the rack. It’s a Browning 525 Crown, priced closer to our budget figure of £5,000. “It’s got the basic design of the Browning 525, but this one’s a bit different. You don’t see it about in the field too much. The wood is beautiful and the action has a grey-silver inlay of pheasants instead of the usual gold inlay.”
“The Browning name says reliability. They say you can only wear in a Browning, you can’t wear it out. I’d certainly agree with that.”
For the final gun in his top three top picks, Ian goes for a Beretta EELL, at just a few pounds under our £5,000 budget. “This is one of the most famous Berettas after the Silver Pigeon,” he says. “In many ways this is like the Silver Pigeon, but moved up with better quality wood and the sideplates with beautiful engraving. We sell a lot of these for 21st birthday presents, because people realise this is a gun that’s going to last.”
See the range of guns on offer at Ian Hodge Fieldsports.