Buying Your First Shotgun: A Beginner’s Guide

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Our Associate portal can be found here

Forget what you see in films when considering buying your first shotgun. It can’t knock five people off their feet with a single shot. Shotguns, however, can do some impressive stuff, such as repelling intruders or bringing home waterfowl for the dinner table.

Anything under the range of 50 yards is a ripe target for shotgun pellets. This versatile firearm is the most fun to hunt with. Break your first clay pigeon, or drop a real overhead duck with a shotgun, and you’ll be instantly hooked.

Which Type of Shotgun Should You Choose as Your First?

There are a few firearms that compare with the versatility, effectiveness, and brute power in a shotgun. Endearingly called the scattergun, shotguns have adapted to the current sports shooting scenarios, hunting, law enforcement, home defense, and military armament.

Choosing the right shotgun for your application can prove a challenge, especially if it’s your first time. It’s vital that you understand the many options before buying your first shotgun.

Setting Your Shotgun Buying Budget

After getting your Shotgun License, it’s now time to decide how much you want to spend on your first gun. There are other costs that come along with your shotgun. These include range charges, cartridges, and clay pigeons.

Depending on your circumstances, and the application you intend to put your shotgun through, the budget is entirely your decision. A good gun will not only facilitate your clay breaks but won’t hold you back when you hit the woods or ponds for the game.

Spending between $500 and $1,000 for buying your first shotgun will start you off. Stretching your budget to $1,500 can be a better option if you’ve set your eyes on hunting big game. 

Types of Shotgun Designs to Select

After deciding the budget that you expect to spend on buying your first shotgun, decide on its type. The best type of shotgun depends mainly on the manner of shooting that you intend to engage in the most.

You’ll find that a game gun and a primary clay gun will have different features. These include an over and under, single shot, or double-barreled shotgun. If you are confident that your ultimate shooting goal is to get a small game, then an all-rounder model that breaks clays and hunts may be suitable.

A hunter’s over and under model differs from a purposefully built clay shotgun in advantages which each gun offers for suitability to each engagement.

Some of these features include an example of the safety catch’s operation and position on a clay breaking shotgun. A manual safety type doesn’t reset to safe when you open the gun. The design and weight of the gun handle clay shot cartridges recoil well.

Semi-automatic action shotguns can’t be discounted either, even though an over and under design may seem like the obvious choice. While most hunters find them comfortable because of the significantly reduced recoil, they offer exceptional value to beginner shooters.

Semi-autos will also require you to