Top ten game over-and-unders
Beretta Silver Pigeon
You simply can't go wrong with this well proven classic. The Silver Pigeon is an evolution of the old 55 and 56 models, and nothing is more durable in the field. It’s good value and available with all sorts of decoration including new ‘colour-case-hardened’ models.
Distributed by GMK, www.gmk.co.uk Prices from £1,160
Beretta made their first copy of a Boss in the 1930s and it quickly evolved into their deluxe SO range of guns. These are true sidelock guns, bench-made in the traditional manner. They incorporate an extra bolting system, of a sliding bolt locking a short projection from the breech-face.
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Distributed by GMK, www.gmk.co.uk Prices from £14,000
The traditional B25 is still preferred by some of the country’s best game shots. The gun has more life in it than many of the mass-produced guns and is available in some very up-market grades. B25s are getting somewhat expensive, but that does not seem to affect demand.
For info see www.browningint.com Prices from £8,000
Excellent value for game shooting and it works well at clays too. The little Browning 525 20-bore 28in multi-choke is our pick for live quarry: reliable, consistent build quality and at a very good price. Browning are known for longer than average stocks – 147⁄8 in is the standard.
For info see www.browningint.com Prices from £1,300
The MK70 is a Browning style gun made in Japan at a very reasonable price. There is no loss of quality as a result, although of course the gun is plain finished without any added bells and whistles. There is also the excellent option of the MK60 fixed choke model. Best Buy.
For info see www.browningint.com Prices from £980
Purdey took over Woodward in 1948 and acquired the rights to make this beautiful over-and-under. An elegant sidelock, it has a split hinge pin that allows for a lower action design than in other O/Us. No design has been more influential. No modern gun is better made.
Made by Purdey, www.purdey.com Prices from £67,562
Guerini Essex Ltd 20
A marvel of high tech production. In its side-plated, colour case-hardened form, it is one of the most attractive guns around. With 30in tubes and a superb semi-pistol grip design, it shoots as well as it looks. Probably the most stylish mid-market gun available today.
Contact Guerini UK, 0121 772 1119 Prices from £2,395
We have a special fondness for this no-compromise gun. At around £70,000 you would expect perfection – and you get it. The 20-bore Royal over-and-under is, arguably, the best game gun in the world (in our opinion). Beautiful handling, wonderful trigger pulls – sheer magic.
For info see www.hollandandholland.com Prices from £70,940Kemen
Famous for clay guns, Kemen make beautiful game guns too. In 12-bore form, they will appeal to those looking for something special for high birds and they are available with factory-installed Briley chokes. Another option is the long-barrelled 20-bore – super handing and super trigger pulls.
Contact Michael Meggison, 01282 861632 Prices from £8,500
Bosis guns offer superb quality at prices significantly lower than London’s best. Using split hinge pins and Boss-style bolting, they have a low action profile and elegant lines. Engraving and finish are usually excellent and the quality of barrel-making first class. They offer good value at the high end.
Distributed by Victor Chapman, 01206 213068 From £36,000 ";s:13:"de