View Full Version : Over/Under Most bang for the buck? For skeet shooting.
February 20, 2001, 10:32 AM
Want a good skeet gun. Leaning towards O/U. Opinions? Thanks.
February 20, 2001, 01:24 PM
I suggest that you try out several shotguns before you buy. Look closely at Beretta automatics. I love my 390.
Entry level O/Us of acceptable quality are the Browning Citori and Beretta 686. There are a lot of Baikal imports hitting the market right now that are extremely inexpensive, but I do not have any forsthand experience with them.
February 20, 2001, 01:36 PM
What price range are you able to afford? There are many excellent skeet guns out there. Don't overlook previously owned guns. High end guns like the K32 and some Perazzis are reasonable on the used market. Don't overlook the Browning Citori and Beretta 686/682 series, they often show up on the used market when diehard shooters decide to move up to high end guns.
Are you looking for a 4 gauge capability? If so O/U is the only way to go. In this case tube sets are the best value. You may be able to pick up a used O/U with tubes, ask around the club you shoot , other shooters are often the best way to find the bargains.
Gas guns are very limiting and they will break if you shoot any reasonable amount If you want to shoot small gauges you need to buy a different gun for each gauge, and then keep them working.
Besides, when you decide to start reloading, O/Us are easier on the back, especially in 28 and 410 .
February 20, 2001, 07:43 PM
The best gun is the one that fits you. Be sure to handle as many different ones as possible before buying. There are now several brands of "value-priced" O/U s to choose from. I have not shot all of these, and some of this advice is of the "common wisdom" strain.
Beretta 686 Onyx/Whitewing. From the websites and shooters I have talked to this gun is thumbs up all-around. Drawback, it can be pricey, $1,300 new to $1,000 used.
Beretta Essential, Good gun, less prestige than the above, less money too. $750-$800, new. Not as nice, but basically the same gun.
Ruger Red Label. Many swear by them, others at them. Seem to be of uneven quality. If you find one and it fits you, you get a dream or a nightmare. Price $800-900 new.
Sig Arms A-3. Avoid. Discontinued line. Don't remember one recommendation. Good looking gun, mechanical mess.
Franchi. Mixed reviews, positive reviews in magazines, very good wood for the price, handsome guns. But some complaints of mechanical difficulties and customer service problems. Now that Benelli is importing them the customer service problem may go away. Franchi's claim to fame is that the barrels are interchangable. Shoot 20 ga in the morning, switch the barrels, shoot 12ga in the afternoon. I don't know how well it works. The Franchi 48AL is a highly regarded auto-loader. Price for O/U is $800-900 new.
Charles Daly. Contract gun, currently made in Italy. Check their website. Older shooters say the Japanese made Dalys were excellent. I don't recall handling one, though I have been on the lookout for six months. Reasonable price, if the quality holds. $800-$900.
Traditions. Recently saw one at Walmart. Seemed OK, had barrel selector on the trigger, not the tang. Made in Italy.
$600. Personally I would save some more for a nicer gun. The fit of wood to metal was so-so.
Weatherby. I have heard that these are an under-appreciated gun. Never handled one. Look for a used one, you could find a bargain. $1,200-1,500 new.
American Arms. IIRC, made in Spain or Italy. Pass. They don't cost much, guess why? Price $450-600.
Winchester and Remington have both recently re-introduced O/Us to the market. Look for reviews from various sources. I have not handled either, unfortunately. Probably can't go wrong with either, but ask around. Price 1,200-1,500, new.
Browning. No doubt there are others who know a lot more about these than me.
There are also some other brands from Japan, Miroku, and SKB. Don't know much about those.
So, don't want to confuse you or steer you, just wanted to show that there is more out there than you may have heard about. Take your time and evaluate the possiblities. You want a gun that fits you and that you will enjoy shooting and carrying. Don't sell yourself short by going cheap.
February 21, 2001, 12:14 PM
Thanks for the useful feedback. I guess my price limit is around $1500, which appears to get me into a nice gun. My brother bought the Baikal (spelling?), Russian gun in 12 ga. It costed him around $500. Not a great wood to metal fit. I shot it and I guess it was how I held it, but it smacked me in the side of my face every time I pulled the trigger. I didn't really like it. He likes it, mainly due to price I think. I have been leaning towards the Browning Citori sporting hunter in 20. I will handle the Berreta some more.
February 21, 2001, 12:30 PM
If a gun is smacking you in the face it's the gun fit that is the problem. I've had very expensive guns hit my in the face.
In your price range, the Browning or the Beretta are the names to choose. The 686 and Citori are good choices.
You mentioned the Browning Hunter and it's a good gun. The only caution is on choke tubes. Hunting guns often come with improved cylinder, modified and full. What you need on the skeet field are open chokes, improved cylinder or less.
Browning makes a very nice skeet model with fixed chokes that should be in your price range. The other thing about Brownings and Berettas is that they hold their value and if you decide to upgrade there usually is a ready market for them.
Target guns are shot a lot and it's always a good idea to get the sturdiest one you can and you see more Berettas and Brownings on the ranges than most other over/unders. If possible, try as many guns as you can before you buy. At our club, the guys are pretty good about letting you put a few rounds through a gun just to see if it suits them.
February 21, 2001, 08:27 PM
here's an old skeet shooter's two cents... the best o/u for the money is the old belgium browning. close behind is the citori. as far as fit goes, it is important, but any gun can be made to fit you, some are easier than others...ie. the beretta's , krieghoffs and perazzis have stocks that are removable and interchangeable, within brand, of different dimensions. if all you need is to raise a comb or lengthen the stock, then moleskin and a few spacers fix you right up. less than a $100. need to move the comb over, adjustable hardware can be had for around $200 installed.
the main thing is to get your head in a position that can be repeated with ease and not make you sore from recoil. your eye is the rear sight, so where you place it is important.
i know this is a over simplification of gun fitting, but it's not all that hard. remember once you get started , don't change too many things at once. if ,when you have head on the gun, your thumb is 3/4 " from your nose, the gun is long enough for most purposes. your thumb will really whack your nose if the stock is too short. start here and make changes as you need to.
back to the guns. i really prefer to shoot berettas, but the time proven most reliable o/u out there is the belgium browning.
little advice from someone who's been there. the only thing you worry about when you call for the bird is the sight picture you are looking for, nothing else, and when you see it, shoot and follow through, the results will be amazing. don't think about it too much, just have fun.
February 21, 2001, 11:26 PM
I went to the gun store today to have another look at them. Yes, the Berreta Onyx and Browning are really nice. The Berreta is noticably lighter in weight. Seemed to come up nice, but I like the higher rib on the Browning. Man, this is tougher than I thought it would be. I am leaning towards the Browning.
February 22, 2001, 12:15 AM
just have fun, don't pressure yourself. your gonna own it for the rest of your life, slow down, get to know the guns you can choose from, then pick. BTW, did you get a catalog from Beretta or Browning? Maybe the gun that is just right is in the catalog, if not the store.
February 22, 2001, 07:46 AM
Right. I have been looking at their websites. It may end up I have to order what I want, since the local store doesn't seem to carry every model. Probably a lot of money to have just laying around.
February 22, 2001, 07:28 PM
one thing to remember about the high rib brownings is that they shoot high, or above the point you see when you look down the barrel, which for the most part is ok, you always have to see the target above the barrel to hit it.
the weight differences you noticed, without knowing what guns you are comparing , have a direct bearing on recoil, the more weight, less recoil. also, more weight in the barrel makes a smoother swing, which is good. do not get me wrong i love my beretta's, but i shoot them with tubes in them, never without. there are many who do, just i don't. my auto i shoot in the 12 is the same weight as my tube gun, helps with the transition between guns and the recoil. nobody who knows me would call me a sissy for shooting a gas gun, i shot a perazzi o/u in the twelve until i literally cracked some of my teeth apart, i shoot for fun, going to the dentist isn't my idea of fun so i shoot a gas gun in the 12.
if you shoot competitively you will find a point where your average with a 12 , 20, or 28 will be so close to the same you could consider shooting the 28 for everything. when i quit shooting tournaments i was AAA inall guns and shot all the shot i could in any gauge, trying for any edge i could get, if i shoot now i shoot the 28, you don't have to be quite as careful as the 410, and the results are the same as the 12, all with virtually ZERO recoil.
February 22, 2001, 10:57 PM
Looking is half the fun. Don't forget, there are other forums for used guns like want ads in Shooting Sportsman Magazine, Double Gun Journal, http://www.griffinhowe.com, http://www.jaquas.com and so on. May be a good chance to get a belgium browning or japanese daly.
February 23, 2001, 09:48 AM
Here are several makes of O/U that have not been mentioned that you might want to look at.
Remington 3200 - big heavy well made gun that can be found on just about every list of used guns. Remington stopped making them a while back but they can often be found New in the box and unshot. They make excellent Skeet guns and are a lot softer shooting than the Brownings. Not popular today because they weren't built with choke tubes, the barrels were fixed choke. Did I mention they are heavy:) if you buy one start pumping iron.
Remington 32 - rare but they show up on the used market. Skeet guns go in your price range and have fixed choke barrels. They were last made in 1947. the famous K32 and K80 were derived from the Remington 32. Good solid well made guns.
Stay away from the Remington Peerless and 300, unfortunately they are dogs and not up to the standard of the earlier Remingtons.
SKB/Weatherby - japanese made O/U that are the equal in quality to Browning Citori and Beretta. Not as well known and often can be had for less money than a Browning or Beretta. The Weatherby guns tend to be a bit fancier than the SKB.
Miroku - someone mentioned these, they are Browning citoris made for the British market. Miroku is the company in Japan that manufacturers them. A bit more expensive than comparable citori models because they are imported via "Grey Market" From england. Somewhat of a cult gun, once popular with Sporting Clays shooters. No better in quality than a common Citori.
A word on the Baikals, the guns I have sen have been solid but crude. They look like they were made at the village blacksmith shop. Forget about the finish. However, they are solid internally. The russkies regularly competed with them and won, and if you can find one with the infamous "Tula" chokes they are good skeet guns. Just hope they don't break, fixing them may cost more than the original gun.
The Stoger and IGA guns are not up to the rigors of even casual skeet shooting.
The consensus here points to Beretta or Browning Citori. go to a skeet club and you will get the same opinion.
For interesting reading check this out :http://www.shotgunreport.com/Articles/ShotgnHvn.html
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