The cost of getting started as a shotgun shooter
To start with you will need a Shotgun Certificate; £79.50
Add £10 to that for getting passport sized photos and postage and you are on your way.
Eventually you will get your certificate if you meet the criteria the Home Office set. While you are waiting, and you are confident the certificate will be granted you can go ahead and get your shotgun cabinet installed.
You have a couple of choices, new or used. Lots of gun shops will have a used cabinet for sale. Prices vary, but we've seen them around for £60-£80. New cabinets vary widely from cheap far eastern models to UK products. Whatever you do, don't buy the smallest one you can find, get a cabinet that will house three or four guns, because very few people stop at just one gun. Also you can ask the Firearms Licencing Officer to come and look at your cabinet installation before you get your licence, they like that.
So lets say £80 low to £300 high for a cabinet and fixings. Lets go for something mid range £130.
Now you have you SGC so you want a gun. At this stage you'll probably know what gun you want, but the choices again are new or second hand. Lets say you go for a second hand Browning 525 or the Miroku equivalent. Prices will vary from £900 to £1100 for a second hand gun, £1500 to £1700 for new ones. You can of course spend a great deal more, but we'll stick to grade 1 guns for now. There are of course a bewildering array of options regards prices. A solid semi auto might cost less than £300, a high grade 5 Miroku will be a lot more. A new Turkish gun might sell for less than a 30 year old Browning, but we'll assume you can get yourself started for £1100 and for that you get a well made second hand gun that will keep a lot of its value should you decide to sell it.
So the gun costs you £1100, and add £40 for a cheap gun slip. Dont forget a cleaning kit and some solvents, that will be another £40 or so.
What else do you need?
You must have ear protection, 50p for single use foam plugs, £90 or so for moulded plugs,
£30 for a set of low end muffs. This is one area where you should definitely NOT cut corners so spend some money and get what you feel is the very best for you. For now we'll go with £90 for moulded plugs.
You need eye protection: £0 if you wear sunglasses/spectacles. Shooting glasses can be surprisingly cheap. £4.50 for a set of protective glasses from your local plant hire shop versus £20 or so from your local gun shop. Like ear protection you simply must have eye protection,
There is no point in buying cartridges by the box, that is the most expensive way of doing it, so buy yourself 1000 - 40 boxes, and that will see you up and running.
Cost circa £200 depending on what shells you buy.
You may also need a skeet vest, it acts as an overall and has big pockets to carry your shells in. The alternative is a pouch on a waist belt that can hold 50 or 75 shells, either way you will be spending somewhere between £50 and £90. We'll go with the upper figure of £90.
You might want shooting gloves, just get yourself those cheap Thinsulate gloves from a petrol station and cut the trigger finger off them - you can get specialist gloves next year. I'll assume you have wellingtons and wet weather gear for when it rains. You will want a baseball type cap, or some other suitable headgear. I'll bet you have something suitable in the wardrobe.
Well now you are kitted out to shoot, but there is one more spend that is very important. You should get some lessons from a recognised instructor.
You need lessons to ensure you get the basics right. Never mind about scores at this stage, what you need is to ensure you have the right stance, the right gun mount and the right gun fit. The instructor will check your eye dominance for you as well. You also need to learn at least one shooting technique, and understand visual pick up point, gun hold point, lead and so on. Your instructor will also drum into you the main points of shotgun safety.
The lessons will ensure that you have the basics sorted. You can then build on this foundation and learn how to hit different targets, If you go out with your mates you will get lots of advice, and you'll start to hits targets, but without getting the fundamentals sorted, you won't progress. At some point frustration kicks in and you will eventually book some lessons. You'll then have a hard job unlearning bad habits before you can learn good habits. So, 4 lessons at £60 each (prices vary wildly by geography and status of instructor).
Legal requirements £219.50
Gun, slip, cleaning kit £1180
Eye and ear protection £110
So there you have it, a cost of just over £2000 to get started. I bet you could spend that and more on a set of golf sticks.
This is only a guide, any one of those lines could very wildly from that we have suggested, Additionally you might want to look at paying a membership fee to your local club, generally to get a discount off your shooting. You may also want to look at joining the CPSA or BASC to take advantage of whatever benefits they are offering to shooters,
Hope this useful if you are just starting out on your shooting career.