Should you purchase a new or second-hand gun?

Whether you are already an experience shooter or are new to the sport, purchasing a new shotgun can be an exciting prospect. Your may be buying a new shotgun for soley game shooting or perhaps you have been dreaming about buying this gun since entering the sport. With either options, there are decisions which need to be made – what make and model? What requirements do you have? and what is your budget? It can make the process confusing, however a good place to start is to decide whether you would like to purchase a new or second-hand gun. Both have their advantages and disadvantages which you need to be aware of.


For any gun owner, being able to purchase a new shotgun can be life affirming. Nearly all new guns can now be made to order which includes the stock made to your bespoke measurements and choosing the desired length of barrels. The manufacturer should provide a full guarantee and/or warranty to cover moving parts and labour for a specified period of time, giving peace of mind with such a high investment purchase.

The most notable disadvantage of buying a new gun is that it comes with a price. A way of getting past this is buying a new gun off the shelf. This means the gun will not be made to your measurements but will still had that new shotgun feeling.

Second hand

In contrast, second hand guns are sometimes the ideal choice if you are purchasing shotgun but have a lower budget in mind.

There are numerous avenues to explore when considering this purchase, including private sales and auction. For auctions, you’ll find that the majority of purchases are gun dealers which tends to keep the prices low – a real benefit for a private buyer. Although remember that every auction sale will incur certain fees including a buyer’s premium on top of the hammer price.

A disadvantage of purchasing a second hand gun is that you have no guarantee that the gun is in perfect working order. As the buyer you have to judge the condition of the gun before making the purchase. In some cases parts of the shotgun may be worn or be difficult to repair. . You’ll need to ensure the basic functions work and perform tests on areas such as the trigger which shouldn’t be gritty or overly heavy. Many guns now come with a transferable lifetime warranty which passes over to every owner. However, if it has been tampered with or had any significant changes made, this warranty may be invalid. Asking for a full service and work history on a used gun is an informed way to ensure you don’t end up with hefty repair bills in the future.

With over 60 years’ experience in the gun trade, AW Rule & Son Gunmakers Ltd offer a full in-house gun supply service that stretches from bespoke manufacture through to repair work. If you’re seeking further advice on purchasing either a new or used gun, contact us today and let us help you find the most suitable shotgun.