Your first target shooting gun could prove to be a considerable investment decision, so you should really take care to ensure that you spend your budget wisely. Take plenty of time to carefully consider the kind of shooting you anticipate participating in. You may be thinking of turning or static targets at your nearby shooting club, but it is also possible you may want to try out clay pigeon shooting. Perhaps you will even want to also use your new firearm for vermin management too? Some firearms can be quite specialised equipment designed to be used mainly for a particular role. For your first purchase you ideally want to avoid these types of guns.
For a lot of shooters a decent ‘all-rounder’ gun would definitely be the best option. A ‘sporting’ or ‘field’ gun type would be the best choice for wide range of shooting activities. This is especially relevant if you have not yet decided on the main type of shooting sport you will concentrate on. As you progress with the sport you will most likely find yourself eventually buying several guns for the different aspects of target and field shooting. However, until you have decided what is best for you and, of course, taking into account the high cost of specialised firearms, at this stage there is no need to break the bank!
Since it is quite likely that you will trade in your initial gun sooner or later – perhaps because you have made the decision that shooting isn’t for you (preferably not!), or simply because you want to upgrade. This is the reason it is sensible to obtain an initial rifle or shotgun that is very easy to sell on or trade in.
In the first instance it is highly recommended that you consider a second-hand gun, which is not going to depreciate in price compared to the way a brand new rifle or shotgun would. You could invest in a second-hand gun for about £400-500 and then sell it later on at a similar price level. It is the same with cars – get yourself a brand new one and its value has already plummeted by the time you get it home! Just because it is no longer brand new.
Some people may be persuaded by historic or antique firearms because these often increase in worth. Even so, purchasing an antique rifle or shotgun is a very specialized subject and must only be considered carefully with good advice from an expert.
For a starting gun, it is a good option to purchase from a nearest gun retailer or dealer – they usually know what they are talking about and will undoubtedly be qualified to advise you about what best suits your needs and financial constraints. You’ll also have the protection of any warranty – buy your first gun independently and you may save a few pounds but you do not have any money-back guarantee or after-sales service; should the gun become faulty, you are on your own. A firearm dealership will also be able to make sure that your chosen rifle or shotgun fits you correctly.
Remember to save sufficient money for a secure gun cabinet, an effective cleaning and routine service kit, a carrying bag along with a tutorial or two!