No semi-auto ( not even guns at $ 2,000 or more ) will ever be as reliable as an Over Under. There are too many parts in a semi-auto compared to an O/U and some semi-autos will have feeding problems / especially if guys that reload don't resize their shells properly --- where on an O/U ---even if you have a crummy crimp, mis-shaped roll on the crimp, a crack in the side of a reloaded shell --- if you can shove it into the chamber of the gun on an O/U 99.99 % of the time it will be fine ( no cycling issues).
Good O/U's are not inexpensive to produce..../ and today even the entry level Brownings and Berettas used, in good condition, with changeable screw in chokes ( which I think you need to have to make a gun versatile ) ...like an older Browning Citori Lightning model made in the late 1980's will still demand around $ 1,200 on the used market.../ new they are up around $ 2,000 ...with some of the better guns in the Citori line ..like an XS Skeet model with an adjustable comb new is around $3,000 and used even with 250,000 shells thru them in my area they can go for around $ 2,000 easily...
For an entry level semi-auto I like the Browning Silver Hunter model ...or one of the Berettas ....both companies have a lot of good guns in the $ 800 - $ 1,250 price range in their semi-auto lines.
Quality in shotguns is not necessarily something you can see...its in the steel, the internal parts, are the barrels regulated properly so they both hit to the same point of impact ( or is one high left and one low right ), quality of springs, firing pins...durabily of the barrel to receiver connection..../ not just fancy wood.
I don't put that many shells thru my primary guns anymore ....( around 7,500 shells a yr now ) ....but I have Browning Citori XS Skeet and XT Trap models...and some Lightning models ...that are well over 250,000 shells with no issues, not even firing pins replaced ! Will that Daly hold up the same way - no, not in my opinon.../ but I can't tell by looking at them either...the question you have to answer is, do you want to take a chance on it or not...or buy a good semi-auto instead...or save for a better O/U ???
Ricklin, in the message above....is solidly behind his Daly ...and I have no reason to doubt his experience / but I don't think he can say every gun that Daly makes is like that ....and I won't say everything Browning makes ( thru Miroku by the way ) is 100% either...but what I do know is that Browning will stand behind their guns. Are you paying something for the Beretta or Browning name ...sure probably / but will it retain its value for 25 or 50 yrs, yes..if you take care of it .../ will a Daly, no, not based on what I see in the used market today. But I'm not just picking on Daly ...I'm not fond of a lot of the lower end O/U's -- Ruger, Mossberg, Remington, TriStar, Baikal, Huglu .../ but a gun that I might say look out for is a SKB. They're out of business right now - unless someone has made a deal to mfg and import them again...but they had some pretty good guns ( not a Beretta or Browning - but not bad either )...
Personally, for my boys when they were 16 ...and now for the grandkids...I buy them their first shotgun ( kids when they're growing - shoot my guns in 20ga, 28ga etc ) and I have some shorter stocks cut to fit them, etc ...as they grow / but their first gun, has always been a Browning BPS Hunter model 12ga, 28" barrel with screw in chokes.../ with some of the smaller kids or even the granddaughters ( they aren't all built like me "a med to semi-large buffalo" ...thank goodness ) so for the ones that like to shoot, I've started adding the Browning Silver Hunter semi-auto model as an option for them if they want that instead for that first gun - present....both still affordable ....and really good long term guns, if they take care of them the way I teach them, for 2 or 3 generations...
Last edited by BigJimP; March 5, 2013 at 03:26 PM.