View Full Version : The best single shot shotgun is...

December 30, 2010, 01:51 PM
I have been toying with the idea of getting another single shot shotgun and was wondering what you guys would recommend. I am looking for a general useage gun with decent reach, with or without interchangable chokes, and value for my dollar. I figured you all would have plenty of ideas and I want all the advise I can get!

December 30, 2010, 02:06 PM
I think the H&R is the only way to go. Proven, completely reliable design. I've got a couple of .410's. Recoil is the drawback. The 12 gauges also double as fence post drivers. The 10's are a masochist's dream.:eek:

December 30, 2010, 02:32 PM
The H/R as far as pure function is the ticket IMO. If you get a rifle you can fit it with shotgun barrels, but not the opposite.

If you are looking for something with a bit more form, Beretta made a few folding shotguns a while back that show up on gunbroker occasionally in the $200+ range. They fold entirely at the break so the barrel will touch the stock, and in many cases the stock has a notch cut for the barrel to enter.
fs-1, fs-2, fs-3, 412, 413 are the models.
Italian folder is also a good search term.

The H/R and italian folders have the same basic problem though, they are LIGHT. You can add weight to the stock, but that sort of defeats the purpose. If yo want "range" I assume you mean thumper loads. You won't want to fire many of either out of these, although I have used them to hunt squirrel and pheasant with the Remington Nitro pheasant loads. Those aren't the hottest loads available, but I usually use them for tie breakers in trap shoots from 50+, so they also aren't light.

December 30, 2010, 03:49 PM
H&R for the money
T/C Pro Hunter for the best

December 30, 2010, 04:48 PM
Best single shot shotgun?

That's a hard one.

Browning BT99
Ithaca Perazzi
Ljutic Single Barrel Trap.

For general field work, the H&R is hard to beat.

December 30, 2010, 07:54 PM
PawPaw - don't forget the Silver Seitz and Kolar..................

December 30, 2010, 08:29 PM
I don't have any H&R shotguns but I have 2 of the rifles and wouldn't hesitate to get one of the shotguns if I wanted a single.

December 30, 2010, 08:36 PM

If you are looking for something with a bit more form, Beretta made a few folding shotguns a while back that show up on gunbroker occasionally in the $200+ range. They fold entirely at the break so the barrel will touch the stock, and in many cases the stock has a notch cut for the barrel to enter.

Do you have any information as to getting barrels for these guns? I have tried to contact Investarm, but they do not respond. I have a 20 gauge model and would like to investigate getting a 12 gauge barrel, as they supposedly use the same size receiver, like the H&R.

The H/R and italian folders have the same basic problem though, they are LIGHT.

Imagine them as AOW's :eek: Shoot one of these regularly and you get to look down on the pansies that shoot 500 S&W.:cool:


December 31, 2010, 12:50 AM
I got my dad an H&R for Christmas for $79 and we've been having lots of fun with it. It's got a screw in choke I believe it's a pardoner

December 31, 2010, 03:55 AM
BT 99

Remington Model 870 WM

Remington Model 1100

December 31, 2010, 12:25 PM
Bones, I think that you will find after a short physical survey that the 870 and 1100 are repeaters.

December 31, 2010, 12:59 PM
I'm happy with my Beretta 682X in it's single barrel configuration.

December 31, 2010, 01:40 PM
Is this one any good?


December 31, 2010, 01:44 PM
The spartan should be a good gun. If Im thinking right today its made by remington. It would make a good clay gun for singles. If you want to go for looks and sporting it would be a good buy but if you want a all around one I just cant let the T/C slip by

December 31, 2010, 01:56 PM
What are you planning on using it for? I have several, some old, some not-all shooters. My favorite is a Stevens 94 "Long Tom" with 3" chamber and 36" full choke barrel. Since I was 13, it's won many hams, turkeys, and quite a few $$$. A close second is my grandad's Ithaca 66 lever break. I have Iver Johnsons in every gauge except 20. I have a Hunter Arms, a Savage, a Winchester 37, and a couple of foreign brands. I'd just as soon buy a used shotgun from a gun show if it was going to be a single shot. The new guns from Rossi and H&R are fun, but just no match in choke or feel for these old guys. Choosing a gun is a very personal thing to me, no matter its configuration.


December 31, 2010, 02:02 PM
The Winchester Model 37 is the best single shot shotgun I own.

On this point there can be no debate.

James H
December 31, 2010, 10:02 PM
The only single shot I've fired is my Winchester 37 12ga. No issues, and took a few grouse with it. The only time I used it was my first two seasons when I was 12 and 13. Kicks like a mule though, especially for a 100 pound kid or whatever I weighed at the time!!

January 1, 2011, 03:24 AM
I've got two H&Rs (both 20 gauges), a Pardner and a Topper Deluxe Classic. I like them both but they feel very different from one another. The Pardner is about 6 lbs. and is my gun of choice on hunts that are more about walking than shooting. The Topper is over 7 lbs. and more muzzle heavy. Not as nice to carry, but it feels nicer when shooting.

The Topper Classic Deluxe would be way I'd go if I wanted a 12 gauge single, because it's got a more heft than most and has a decent recoil pad. It also has a vent rib and interchangeable chokes, which a lot of inexpensive singles do not.

For me, the Parder shoots about 60/40 above/below point of aim. The Topper shoots 50/50.

January 1, 2011, 03:37 AM
Bones, I think that you will find after a short physical survey that the 870 and 1100 are repeaters.

As a ATA shooter, I only fire one round at a time :) , and the 870 & 1100 have never had a round in their mags.

January 1, 2011, 03:33 PM

January 1, 2011, 03:51 PM
I gotta say H&R gets my vote, especially for the money. I've got one that has been passed around the family for 20+ plus years and have never had a problem, except for its been beat around ALOT. But they do kick. I used It for my first couple years deer hunting with 3'' 00 buck, and my shoulder was glad when I got my 1100. Actaully the first time I shot the H&R was with the 3" 00 buck, and I almost got knocked over.

January 1, 2011, 05:22 PM
Winchester 37 would be my choice.

I only have a .410, but an uncle has a bunch of them. No 28 though.

January 1, 2011, 07:32 PM
browning bt 99

January 1, 2011, 11:20 PM
Anyone have experience with a Thompson/Center shotgun? I realize they are a lot more money than an H&R, but less than the dedicated trap "single shot" guns that have been mentioned.

January 2, 2011, 06:54 PM
Can't beat a Winchester 37, pleanty of used ones out there.

January 5, 2011, 11:26 AM
Thanks guys, I took your advise into consideration and am now looking for either an H&R or a Winchester 37. I appreciate your help and will follow up with my choice and, if I can get my camera to work, pics of my future BOOM-STICK!!!

January 5, 2011, 11:37 AM
Either one will serve you well.

A word of advise/caution: Single shot shotguns recoil forcefully. As in they kick the daylights out of you. Start with 2 3/4in shells and make a conscious effort to pull it in tight to your shoulder. I've seen large men in pain after firing 3 in shells in an old Topper I once had. Do I feel bad about shooting a low base in it and then handing it to them with a 3 in magnum? No :D

January 5, 2011, 07:02 PM
I recently purchase a new H&R topper jr 20ga, it's a very fine shotgun. My wife and I have shot it several time at the range and we both love it. it shoots a very nice tight pattern and the recoil is very managable with a slip on limbsaver. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great single shot.

January 5, 2011, 07:07 PM
and noone mentioned either .....
the Browning BT-100 or
the Krieghoff KX-5 ....

you guys are way off base .../ I'm offended ....

January 5, 2011, 08:04 PM
Jim, you mentioned good ones, I mentioned Ljutic and Seitz...........it seems these folks equate single shot with some cheap beginner gun.....oh well.............we try

January 6, 2011, 12:58 PM
and we will keep trying my friend ... :D

January 6, 2011, 01:16 PM
I have a Winchester 37A. It is not as nice as the mod. 37, but it is still a nice gun and is light weight. Worth a look in case you see one listed. Mine is in 12 ga. but there are others ga.'s available. Good luck.

January 7, 2011, 10:10 AM
h&r for the money
TC encore best if money don't matter. IMO

January 7, 2011, 01:18 PM
The h&r the sks of shotguns:rolleyes:

Mike Armstrong
January 7, 2011, 01:46 PM
Whatever you get, if it's bigger than a 20, budget some $$$ (not many) for a slip-on recoil pad. Single shot shotguns KICK, especially with magnum or slug loads. And hang on tight; any movement during recoil is liable to ding you. (I speak as one with a small silver scar in the thumb/index finger web of my right hand from the opening lever of a Stevens 94 12 guage that I was just in too much of a hurry to take hold of correctly).

If you are hunting in heavy cover, you'll find that most shotguns become single shots--you only get one shot per flushed bird or scampering cottontail. So why not just use a single shot: light, cheap, reliable. Did I mention light? Cheap?

My favorite single is the Savage 220 hammerless; next is the Win 37. Unless you need one NOW, shop around. The older guns are much better finished than guns made now at anything like a comparable price.

January 7, 2011, 02:38 PM
Single shot shotguns KICK,

That only holds true for the cheap H&R types that never seem to fit anyone

This one:

http://www.ljuticgun.com/adj_mono.htm, as seen here, does not


Jim Watson
January 7, 2011, 03:12 PM
I always though it would be fun to go after a second hand single barrelled trap gun with cutting tools and get the weight down three or four pounds for hunting.

From an old Gun Digest
Author: "Wouldn't it be nice to have a light hammerless single with a vent rib and a little engraving?"
Gun manufacturer: "Yes, and I might be able to sell 50 of them total."

January 7, 2011, 03:20 PM
Yes OneOunce,

but you can't use that Ljutic as a "boat paddle" either ...or at least I wouldn't ...

The Ljutic mono gun is a fine gun / although I do not own one ...and I'd rather have the Krieghoff KX-5 ....than the Ljutic ....but my old Browning BT-100 suits me very well .../when I want to shoot a single barrel.


not as impressive as a KX-5 or the Ljutic Mono gun ...but I'd have to practice more if I was carrying that Ljutic or a Krieghoff around ..and dress better ...and lose weight ....

January 7, 2011, 05:10 PM
OneOunce will the Ithaca 4E fit in with the better single shot shotguns?

Mike Armstrong
January 10, 2011, 10:52 AM
Jim Watson, if you REALLY want to have a light hammerless gun with a ventilated rib and a little engraving, I know where there is a decent Savage 220 12 guage that you could start on. Add a Simmons rib and find a decent engraver and you're in business. Of course all that fancying up will make the factory walnut look a little shabby, so she'll need a new stock. And choke tubes....and a high polish blue job. HMMM. Maybe that Ljutic isn't so far out after all!

January 10, 2011, 11:03 AM
OneOunce will the Ithaca 4E fit in with the better single shot shotguns?

You bet, even those made by Perazzi for them will work nicely.......;)

Jim Watson
January 10, 2011, 03:24 PM
Yes, Mike, I know about the Savage 220.
What I REALLY admired was the 219/220 combo with rifle and shot barrels.
But I am not a hunter to really appreciate nice light guns.

January 13, 2011, 12:55 PM
If it were me, I'd be shopping for a used Iver Johnson "Champion" in good shape. Of course, if you were me you'd understand that I still have sentimental feelings for the first shotgun I ever fired as a boy, sixty years or so ago. :o