Getting some bang on a budget

A solid, second user Lanber Field for under £500

 My first welcome back to Clay shooting on a regular basis was via a good friend and local in the pub, who was and is as keen on shooting in all its glorious forms as anyone I know.

My good friend, Henry, kindly invited me to join him at a beautiful clay shoot on the Compton Estate, run by Acorn Shooting School. At the time I was still awaiting my Shotgun Certificate to be issued by Hampshire Constabulary (A story in itself and in another section) and so my Berretta sat at my brother’s house on his certificate and I jumped at the generosity of friends like Henry.

So on this first clay shoot, Henry bought out his gun. The woodwork was of a similar standard and grade as I had seen on many entry level Berettas or Brownings and whilst having that air of a well used yet cared for ‘Old Faithful’, it certainly had an appeal of its own.

The gun was well crafted, solidly built and although the rigidity of a new gun had warn away some time ago, all was tight, with a satisfying clunck on closing the barrels. A single selective trigger with barrel selector mounted on the auto safety gave both practicality and a handsome Italian look. The mount to the shoulder is a bit different for me than for others, but the gun flowed easily from broken to shouldered and proved to be both well balanced and with an easily controlled swing. The length of pull was a standard 14.5 inches and trigger had just the right amount of pull weight for a positive but not unsteady release. In short, I really liked it. The rib was a sporter style 8mm width and vented down the well blued barrels whilst the schnabal forend was finished with an attractive chequering.

1175410800Clearly the balance of the 28 inch barrels and shallow action appealed to me, as although I was rusty, I found it came on to the target extremely effectively and whilst only using 28g 7.5’s, the recoil was easily and comfortably managed. A later excursion after pigeons proved heavier loads to be just as comfortable.

Imagine my surprise then, on learning that it was a 20 year old Lanber field, a gun from the entry end of the market. This gun had been used every week, come rain, snow or shine and apart from a fixed sticky ejector, the only regular maintenance that it had seen was a proper clean after every use. Looking on Google, you can pick these work horses up for about £500 from a dealer or from £250 privately, that’s amazing value!

My humble opinion is that if you can, get one from a dealer as a warranty can be a bonus. Greenfields of Salisbury offer a year’s warranty on all used guns and this can add real peace of mind. Looking at the Lanber from both a ‘curb appeal’ and value point of view, you can’t fault it. It’s not a Beretta 687 EELL, but left in a rack with a Silver Pigeon 1 or a Browning 525, you’d be hard pressed to guess which was which from more than a few feet away.

For those who are worried about Lanber having closed, simply don’t! GMK who imported Lanber, have assured the world that spares will be available for many years to come and to be honest, if Henry’s is anything to go by, you probably won’t need that many!