I've decided this year to start clay shooting. I've never fired a shotgun before, so it's partly to give me some experience if in the future I get the chance to have a go at live quarry. But I'm hoping that it will become a hobby in its own right as well, especially as my local ground is almost within walking distance. I have no aspirations beyond getting good enough that I could take part in a day's game/vermin shooting without embarrassing myself.
They do a novice "have a go" stand on a Sunday which is cheap and includes cartridges, gun, safety coach, etc. You just have to turn up. Once I've done that and decided whether or not I enjoy it, like the atmosphere, etc, what should be my next step? Is it the norm to take proper lessons or will practice on normal rounds be enough to start me off? Obviously I'm not expecting to be suddenly proficient after 20 targets on the have a go session, but neither do I want to become a champion. Mediocrity will do.
Also, I won't be rushing out to buy a gun, but is there any advice for removing the confusion around chokes, chambers, barrel length, etc? Say I want a general purpose gun that will serve for a round of sporting clays, or a day in a pigeon hide or rough shooting, or maybe even a duck/goose flight, is there such a thing? Can it be had for under £250 second hand?
Advice warmly welcomed as always, please forgive my naivety!