Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

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Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:52 am

Mods: not sure if this is the right place

Hey guys! I am looking to buy a uses or new (inexpensive) side by side for use in the grouse woods or pheasant fields. I will forever be an auto guy for ducks, geese and predators but I really enjoyed shooting a friends double last year on some grouse. I am begging to look into getting my own, and because I have a lower-end budget I am thinking used would be my best bet. I have heard bad things about stoegers wth single triggers, but I have not shot a double trigger and was wondering how that works for people. Any advice, info or pictures of your double would be greatly appreciated


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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Frank Lopez » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:19 am

What's your definition of "inexpensive"? A decent double will run between $700 and $1000 on the used market. The best buys right now are used Ugartecheas. You can get a Model 30 for about the above price, with a 12ga running towards the low end and a 20 towards the upper end. Either will work for grouse and pheasant.

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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:26 am

I was actually looking a little lower, like a Stevens 311 or there abouts. If I ha the money right now I'd go for 1000 but I just dumped 430$ on textbooks that came directly from my draht fund haha


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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:26 am

I should mention too that it doesn't have to look the best, the one I shot was pitted and beat up but it was his grandads gun and had killed more critters than I probably have ever seen


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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby BT Justice » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:30 pm

Your not going to find what you would call an inexpensive and shootable SxS these days unless you do some serious leg work and look for one. Decent shooting SxS's are going for $400 -$500 minimum and that's if you know what to look for and what is safe to shoot.
Fishing for one on internet websites isn't going to get you much either, if your serious about it comb the local gun and pawn shops, tell the people in them what you are looking for and give them your phone number if they come up with one. It's the only way your going to find something cheap and shootable.
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Frank Lopez » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:02 pm

Minneguy wrote:I should mention too that it doesn't have to look the best, the one I shot was pitted and beat up but it was his grandads gun and had killed more critters than I probably have ever seen


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Not talking about "looking the best". In upland hunting, you do a lot of carrying and very little shooting. A Stevens 311 is a good gun and hell for stout. But, it is on the heavy side and it does not have the best dynamics or balance.

A couple of things to keep in mind in your search. Weight, a decent SxS should weigh roughly 96 times the weight of the "natural shot charge". So, for example, a 12ga with the standard 1 1/8oz load should weigh in at 96 X 1.125 or about 6 3/4lbs. A 16ga should weigh about 6 lbs, etc. Stay away from Spanish guns with single triggers. They have a very poor reputation. Depending on how big you are, look for a gun with 28 inch barrels. Typically, doubles come in 26, 28 and 30 inch barrels with choking of IC/M, M/F and F/F, respectively. Other combinations are available, but you'll usually pay a little more for them. For strictly upland gunning, look for a gun with a straight English grip or a Prince of Wales grip. It might take some getting used to, but once you've mastered it, it will be more natural and make using double triggers all the easier. Try and stay away from bargain basement shotguns, they are more trouble than they are worth. One of the best buys on the used SxS market are the older Spanish guns. By older, I'm talking about pre 1965. Known makers such as Sarasqueta, Ugartechea and AyA are your best bets, but you might want to be a little careful with some of the AyAs in the lower price range.

If you are looking at new guns and can scrape the cash together, the CZs are a good deal.

Frank
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby DoubleDutchChuck » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:40 pm

As Frank stated, the Stevens 311 might be the gun you would like. One could be found at a reasonable price. At one time, I had a 20ga Stevens 311 that shot and handled really good. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it was a single trigger, NON-SELECTIVE. It always fired the more open choke first. I grew up shooting a LC Smith 12ga. SxS with double triggers. It was given to me by my uncle and I loved that gun. Heck, I could shoot it as fast as any automatic. Pulling the double triggers became instinctive and automatic. This was back in the 50's and 60's. Since then, all my guns have been, and are, single trigger shotguns. I still take the full and extra full SxS LC Smith out to shoot about twice a year, but I have to THINK about having to pull two seperate triggers. It isn't automatic any more. Something you might consider.

I also have and shoot often a Win Model 23, but those would be way out of the price range you're looking for. Three years ago, I bought a single trigger CZ 12ga and it a real good shooting gun. The only problem with it is that it has a very heavy trigger pull of 8 lbs. Having taken it to different gunsmiths, they will not adjust the trigger pull on those guns. The sears in them is surface hardened and any fileing on the sear could cause them to eventually becoming a hair trigger. For hunting purposes, it fine. I have a problem with it when shooting sporting clays and have shot my first round with one of my Browning (a light trigger). Shooting a 2nd round with the CZ, it feels like the safety is still on. Then I have to remember to really PULL the trigger.

Having said all this, I was in Cabela's last Sunday and they had quite a few Baikal SxS's to look at. Picked up a 20ga. to check out and it shoulder well. Tried the trigger pull and it was very reasonable. For $425 new, this might surfice for your requirements. They had both single and double trigger guns to choose from. They aren't "beautiful" to look at, but they perform very well. Good luck.
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:09 pm

Frank Lopez wrote:
Minneguy wrote:I should mention too that it doesn't have to look the best, the one I shot was pitted and beat up but it was his grandads gun and had killed more critters than I probably have ever seen


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Not talking about "looking the best". In upland hunting, you do a lot of carrying and very little shooting. A Stevens 311 is a good gun and hell for stout. But, it is on the heavy side and it does not have the best dynamics or balance.

A couple of things to keep in mind in your search. Weight, a decent SxS should weigh roughly 96 times the weight of the "natural shot charge". So, for example, a 12ga with the standard 1 1/8oz load should weigh in at 96 X 1.125 or about 6 3/4lbs. A 16ga should weigh about 6 lbs, etc. Stay away from Spanish guns with single triggers. They have a very poor reputation. Depending on how big you are, look for a gun with 28 inch barrels. Typically, doubles come in 26, 28 and 30 inch barrels with choking of IC/M, M/F and F/F, respectively. Other combinations are available, but you'll usually pay a little more for them. For strictly upland gunning, look for a gun with a straight English grip or a Prince of Wales grip. It might take some getting used to, but once you've mastered it, it will be more natural and make using double triggers all the easier. Try and stay away from bargain basement shotguns, they are more trouble than they are worth. One of the best buys on the used SxS market are the older Spanish guns. By older, I'm talking about pre 1965. Known makers such as Sarasqueta, Ugartechea and AyA are your best bets, but you might want to be a little careful with some of the AyAs in the lower price range.

If you are looking at new guns and can scrape the cash together, the CZs are a good deal.

Frank

Frank, thanks for the help! As far as weight goes, that's less of an issue, I have lugged around an 1187 super mag since I was 12, and I have never been tired from the heft of a gun. I train extremely hard (I'm a competitive lifter) so that hunting is easy no matter the circumstances. At 6'3, 215 pounds what would be the barrel length I should look at? I think the 28 inch should fit fine, but I was actually kind of considering a 20 guage just for grins. Do the same rules apply? I would love to get into an older (pre 65) gun, as one of first shotgun I ever shot was an Ithaca single barrel trap gun from I believe 1915 or thereabouts. It was grandpas gun and I loved that mule kicker haha


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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:18 pm

Double, you mentioned the double triggers, I think that would actually be beneficial for grouse hunting because you could select the barrel for the shot situation. I recently found an lc smith that is marked as military surplus, any idea about whether or not It is a good gun?
I've never really heard much about baikal, time to do my research. Are the made well? I'm really looking for something i can shoot and trust Togo bang when the grouse flushes so if I don't get it the dog can only blame me haha


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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:28 pm

Another queation, do you have to shoot special shells if you buy an older double, or will simply shooting low power loads suffice?


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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby DoubleDutchChuck » Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:53 am

For a quick shot at a grouse, a gun with double triggers would probably be faster then sliding a button to select your barrel choice. You would just have to remember that the gun in your hands had two triggers. With a little shooting, they're not hard to get accustomed to.

As for the surplus LC Smith, it could be a good gun for you. Many of the "older" guns had tight chokes because of the ammo available back then. I would suspect that for your grouse hunting, you'd want a more open choke. It would be worth checking it out tho. My LC was manufactured in 1926 with very tight chokes. When I reload for it, I load 1oz rounds with a velocity 1145 -1180fps.

Baikal's are a low end gun price wise, but appear to be put together fairly well. I have an O/U Baikal 12ga that I used for about 6 yrs duck hunting. Still take it out once in a while. It has a good trigger pull, 28" barrels, and screw in chokes. Course, it doesn't compare to the $3000+ Browning O/U's that I shoot sporting clays with. For hunting purposes, it does perform very well. I've never had a problem of any kind with mine.Can't tell you anything specific regarding their SxS's.
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Yuchi1 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:35 am

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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby John Singer » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:08 pm

A couple of summers ago, I purchased a Wards Model 50 Hercules side by side in 16 Gauge. It has 28" barrels and was choked modified and full. This gun is the same as the Stevens 5100. It is much the same as the Stevens 311 but with much better wood. I think that I paid $80 for it.

The left barrel did not shoot to point of aim so I spent some time with a ream and stone to open it some and regulate it to point of aim. I also refinished the wood.

I have had an absolute ball with this gun. I reload for it with a Lee Load All II that I purchased for $60, new. I reload 7/8 oz loads of lead shot for targets. I shoot skeet with this gun and do quite well for me. Double triggers took very little time to get used to.

I load 1 1/8 oz #5 lead for pheasants/rabbits and 7/8 oz loads of #1 and #3 steel for waterfowl.

This past season, I have killed 3 Giant Canada geese, a dozen ducks, a pheasant and a rabbit with the gun.

If you want an inexpensive double, I recommend such a gun. In 16 gauge, it feels much better than the 12 gauge does. You can find such guns for $150-$350. I saw two similar guns at a shop recently for $250.

Find a double gun that you like the feel of, buy it, and have fun. I do not think you will regret it.
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Frank Lopez » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:38 pm

Minneguy wrote:Another queation, do you have to shoot special shells if you buy an older double, or will simply shooting low power loads suffice?


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SAAMI was formed in 1927. It probably took them a couple of years to get their standards going, and even then, the MAPs weren't what they are today. I believe it was in 1935 that SAAMI standardized the MAP at today's numbers. That said, I'm quite sure that any standard load of modern manufacture will not cause a catastrophic failure of the firearm, provide the correct ammunition is used (some of the old guns had shorter chambers). But, repeated firings of shells of pressure greater than what the gun was actually designed for will cause the gun to wear sooner than would be expected.

Generally speaking, target and light field loads should pose no problem. But, you should consider all the factors and use your own judgement.

Frank
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby oldbutnew » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:27 pm

Minneguy,

I have a double trigger SxS Baikal that I bough 4-5 years ago and have used it for Grouse, Pheasant, WoodDucks, Geese, 5-Stand etc. No problems with the finish rusting after getting soaked all day, no misfires or other problems. I've shot 1000+ target loads and another 100+ 3" Steel and 2 3/4" lead field loads through it without a problem.

The 40yd POI for both barrels is almost dead on, close enough for me to take it turkey hunting.

It is on the light side, so 50-75 clays targets are enough for me to shoot in one session. To me its handles fast for Grouse and WoodDucks.

I was limited to a low budget guns when shopping, so I tried them all out and picked the Baikail because it felt best. I wanted a double trigger gun to hunt with, and as a bonus they are generally more reliable than a single trigger system on low budget SxS's.

Buy what fits you best.
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby tenfingergrip » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:59 pm

You asked for info on an inexpensive side by side. I have two. A Baikal and a Yildiz. Both have held up quite well. I also have a Baikal o/u in 28 ga. which I shoot skeet with. I've run the skeet field now 24 times with the Baikal o/u. I have been pleased with all three. For your perusal:

http://www.academy.com/shop/browse/hunting-firearms/yildiz/_/N-329211139+4294958154

http://www.gunsinternational.com/Baikal-Shotguns.cfm?cat_id=595

Academy Sports is the Yildiz dealer and Baikal has been around long enough there are many on various gundealers websites. Yildiz, a Turkish mfg., uses some gorgeous wood and does some serious engraving, so the guns look more expensive than they cost.
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:46 pm

Tenfingergrip,
Thanks for the link! I have a 100$ gift card for academy lying around somewhere, unfortunately we don't have academy around here. I really appreciate the heads up on the baikal, and the yildiz. I will be adding them to the list of guns I need to fondle.
Anybody else have a yildiz or baikal?
So now my list includes,
311, stoegers double trigger, baikal and yildiz. Possible a fox or a surplus lc smith.



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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:47 pm

Frank, how do the do with steel shot? My fVorite grouse spot is a wma so no lead can be used.


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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:08 am

Lately I have been mulling over 12 vs 20. My first goose fell to a 20, as well as a mess of ducks that first season, but since then I have not shot a single critter with a 20. I am trying to weigh the cost of shells, against the weight of the gun. I have never had trouble carrying my 1187 supermag which is heavier than any of the doubles I am looking at, but I am thinking that a nice fast 20 would be great for grouse, and bunnies. Though i don't intend to use the double for ducks , having the option would be nice and I prefer a 12 for duck duty. What do you guys think?


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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Frank Lopez » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:17 am

Minneguy wrote:Frank, how do the do with steel shot? My fVorite grouse spot is a wma so no lead can be used.


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Most modern guns will handle steel shot just fine. I'd be a little hesitant with anything older than 1950 in an American gun, particularly a double. With European guns, I think you want something built at least in the 1980s and have a look at the CIP recommendations for the use of steel shot.

A little background on steel loadings. When steel was first being tested as an alternative to lead shot in the late 1940s (yes, that's right, 1940s. Olin saw it coming that early), the ammo manufacturers really didn't know what to expect. For centuries, shot shells were loaded with lead shot and nothing else. It turned out that steel presented some problems. It didn't compress like lead when passing through the choke cones. And there was no real padding in the form of shot cup wads we know today. Lastly, chokes back then were typically tighter than they are today, about .040 was considered full rather than the .030 typical today. All this lead to shot bridging and barrel bulges and a lot of rumors and bad raps about steel loads.

As time went on and the push for steel shot gained momentum in the 1960s and 70s, more research began and improvements (slight) were being made. When the total use of nontoxic shot was mandated, steel loads were still pretty dismal. Wads and powders designed specifically for steel shot were just starting to be developed. But the early 1990s, Tom Roster developed and patented a wad specifically for steel shot that was somewhat thicker and provided more of a cushion to guard against choke damage. He made this wad available to all ammo manufacturers at no cost. Almost all modern steel (and other hard nontox) loads use this technology today.

Steel shot today tends to throw slightly tighter patterns than does lead out of the same choke. But that is not always the case. The old "rule" of one step down in choke for steel (i.e. a modified choke will throw a full pattern with steel) is not necessarily true. You really need to pattern your particular gun and loads to know what you are getting.

So, back to your original question, if you have a double of modern manufacture you shouldn't have any issue. I would keep the chokes to no tighter than modified, the shot size to nothing larger than #4 and the velocity of the load to 1450fps or less.

Frank
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Wow I didn't realize I had to be so selective. I am looking for a gun around imp cyl, and if I can't use anything larger than 4 shot, I guess it will have to do. No honkers or big mallards then haha


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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby ksfowler166 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:26 pm

While I am not near as experienced a shooter as Frank I will have to respectively disagree somewhat. The modern production guns you listed Stoeger, Baikal, Yildiz, and I will add CZ are perfectly fine with steel shot with NO RESTRICTIONS. But for the older guns Stevens, L.C. Smith, and Fox I would follow Frank's suggestions except I would personally use a larger shot size as a minimum. You most certainly can kill ducks, I actually like #6 steel for ducks out to 40 yards and most people around here use #4 steel and very rarely #2 with #3 being hard to find. For geese to is possible to kill them with #4 or smaller shot but your range is probably 25 maybe 30 yards and you have to make a head shot. Or you can shoot older double safe loads which are more expensive but the way I look at it is that I might go through a box of 25 shells a year (generally I use less than a box) but defiantly no more than two boxes a year. So the added expense is not great for me. I also do not shoot chokes greater than modified and the velocity of the shell is not a deciding factor for me.

Here is an interesting article on the C.I.P regulations from a Brit who has to live under them. http://www.fourten.org.uk/steel_required_sizes.pdf
If the above link does not work Google "fourten.org.uk steel what sizes are really needed".

As for the 20ga I see it as no different than a 12ga for ducks at 35 or 40 yards under most conditions (the expection that comes to mind is a decent wind). For geese I would look at the thread on this site title "#1 steel penetration" or into using #2 steel and I would pattern your gun to see if it throws an acceptable pattern. Or like I said above the no-steel loads are an option.

Also 20ga shells and 12ga shells are generally priced exactly the same so price of shells is not an issue with the 20ga. I would check out a used CZ SxS in 12ga or 20ga should be able to find a deal in your price range.
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Frank Lopez » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:28 pm

ksfowler166 wrote:While I am not near as experienced a shooter as Frank I will have to respectively disagree somewhat. The modern production guns you listed Stoeger, Baikal, Yildiz, and I will add CZ are perfectly fine with steel shot with NO RESTRICTIONS. But for the older guns Stevens, L.C. Smith, and Fox I would follow Frank's suggestions except I would personally use a larger shot size as a minimum.


Hi ksfowler,

Just to clarify, those aren't my recommendations, they're CIP's. Unlike SAAMI, CIP makes a distinction between guns proofed for steel and those not specifically proofed for steel. Of the four guns you listed, only the CZ, is built in a CIP member state. This gun is, as far as I know, not specifically proofed for steel per CIP requirements, so the recommendations apply. The other three, Stoeger, Baikal and Yildiz, are built in Brazil, Russia and Turkey and are of somewhat dubious proof and it would probably be prudent to apply the recommendations to these as well.

That said, it bears noting that CIP states in their recommendations that they were written with older, poor condition guns in mind, yet apply across the board. On other words, CIP is erring on the side of safety. Beretta, for example, builds its guns to one internal specification, whether the gun is to be sold in the US (SAAMI rules) or in a CIP member state (CIP rules), yet an phone call or an email to Beretta USA will reveal that as far as they are concerned, the guns are steel safe per SAAMI, even though they may not bear specific CIP steel proof marks.

The biggest danger in shooting steel shot in an older or non steel approved double is the infamous barrel bulge. This problem is purely cosmetic on a single barreled gun and doesn't necessarily cause any issues. But with a double, either SxS or superposed, the barrels are soldered together with a pair of ribs. A barrel bulge in one or both barrels will loosen this joint and cause all kinds of problem.

Frank
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Sailorman » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:09 am

Coming to this late, but have a couple of comments to add about European S X S shotguns (I own three). My favorite is an AYA model 53, 12 ga 2 3/4 chambers, made in 76. When I asked the company about new barrels proofed for steel, they told me to send them back and they would proof the 26" barrels I have for steel. On a good day with a friend I shot my limit of Canada geese and the only duck that came in range using steel shot at reasonable ranges (all less than 40 yards, one of the geese was darn near overhead at 40 feet), I have since shot plenty of ducks and geese with the gun, as well as pheasant, dove and woodcock. Advantage of a S x S is two chokes instantly available, mine all have two triggers. Advantage of a 12 gauge over 20 is one can get light loads (or reload exactly what you want), but you are limited in shot charges more so with a 20. I also have two 16 gauges, and an older 12 gauge (antique but "nitro" proofed) British "pigeon" gun. On the older European guns in particular, one has to worry about shorter chambers. My brother had a Baikal shotgun he used a lot, very stout but shot well. I have used their rifles, typically Russian, sturdy and reliable, but not overly pretty.
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Re: Sxs side by side shotgun pictures and advice

Postby Minneguy » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:14 am

Thanks for the info on proofing guys, it seems to me, that a reasonable thing for me to do would be find the gun I like in my price range, regardless of 12 or 20 guage, then save a little money and buy a fee boxes of the right loads for whatever I am pursuing.since it will likely be only an upland gun, I can shoot lead shot through it and simply bring along my 11-87 or 870 for water fowling, or if we hunt restricted land. Because of the reduced effectiveness of steel, I wouldn't really want to risk hurting the gun just to shoot steel through it at something like a grouse ( easy to drop with just about any load ) when I already have another option. This of course applies only to the older non proofed guns. My only concern with this, is I may have to be cautious of the areas I hunt. I jump shoot quite a few woodies when grouse hunting, and would rather not be doing something illegal.
Maybe I should seriously consider the baikal a little more, or one of the new guns even though it may cost slightly more.
I also found out my dad has a 311 in I've gun safe he has only shot once, I might be able to get him to part with it. Unfortunately, I don't know the year it was manufactured.
I also have been considering a used browning citori I found for sale that is almost too good of a deal to pass up, the guy only wants 600 for it, full set of chokes, 28 inch barrels, but it's pretty well used. I've really never shot many over/unders, but I did alright with the ones I shot. My heart is really kind of set on a side by side though for some reason. Not to mention if I save enough money, maybe I can spend the extra on my girlfriend to keep her happy (or stick it in the hunting buddy/puppy fund)
How different is hunting with an over/under than a sxs? I know the sight picture is different and I can't really see any way it would be.
My dad has hunted my whole life with a citori and a custom citori lighting. It was his sporting clay gun and he almost never took it for anything but pheasants. I never saw a single rooster get away from that thing, and it only ever took one shot. The regular citori he hunts with has killed more ducks and geese than I can even count, which has lead me to develop a fondness for doubles. Plus they are just down right classy, and really pretty cool. Don't get me wrong, I love my semi autos and will probably buy a few more of them in my lifetime, but I really really like a double.


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Minneguy
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