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Old December 16, 2009, 01:03 PM   #1
johnwilliamson062
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Single shot hunting shotgun

What is the best field use single shot 12 ga ever made? There do seem to be some old guns that are well designed quality shotguns. I decided I should just decide on a model and start working on picking one up. If I am going to comb the used bin, what should I look for? The more I think about it the more I agree the gun should be hammerless.

There seem to be some Baikals on gun broker that look nice in the pictures. From memory the Baikals I have handled were HEAVY and the finish was very poor. Seems they have only ever made a single model of single shot hunting shotgun and it weighs 2.8KG, within the weight range I would like. Like the trigger guard and the ejectors that can be disabled by lever. What is the general feeling as to Baikal quality?

Winchester Model 37 looks to be pretty nice.
THis one looks nice in a gentlemanly oddity fashion, but I assume there are no parts anywhere.
A lever break?
A bit beefy? Not enough details to look up the specs anywhere, but it looks heavy.
Ranger?
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Old December 16, 2009, 08:22 PM   #2
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What is the best field use single shot 12 ga ever made?
That's an interesting question. Usually single shot field shotguns are at the bottom of the pecking order. But, there are some pretty trick trap guns out there that qualify as single shots. Who's to say some of the leading edge trap guns haven't been custom made as target specific field guns?

I've always considered a bolt action shotgun as essentially a single shot (with onboard extra shells) because they cycle so much slower than other repeating shotguns. In the past, bolt action shotguns were el cheapos and relegated to near obscurity.

Now there's a fresh player…
Savage lists a line of 4 versions (MSRP $505, $555, $634 & $678) of their model 220F slugster. It's a slug shotgun built like a bolt action rifle, and it may be a sabot shooters dream come true.

Any saboters out there with 220F experience?
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Old December 16, 2009, 11:06 PM   #3
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Want to limit it to Break action single shots 12ga
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Old December 16, 2009, 11:31 PM   #4
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Your Basic H&R Topper (whoever's making them now) is really, really reliable.
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Old December 17, 2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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looking for something a little nicer than an H&R.
HR is sort of the Hi-Point of shotguns.
It gets the job done just fine, but they cut every corner they find and it shows.
Of course Hi-point has a lifetime No Q's warranty.
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Old December 17, 2009, 10:23 AM   #6
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There are some single barrel trap shotguns that are very nice, for a big price.

The old guys around here liked the Winchester M37 single barrel shot gun. This was not a fancy shotgun, but it had walnut stocks and steel everything.

I used a Topper, it worked, and it was cheap. No complaints except when firing slugs or buck in the thing. Recoil was horrible.
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Old December 17, 2009, 10:26 AM   #7
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Looking for a light field gun of decent quality. Own a BT99 and an H&R.
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Old December 17, 2009, 10:31 AM   #8
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IIRC, Beretta made a folding single-shot shotgun years ago, but I'm not sure what gauge(s) it came in

Found a site:
http://www.berettaweb.com/Beretta_Fo...412_series.htm
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Old December 17, 2009, 10:41 AM   #9
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I really like the looks of that gun.
GUNS AMERICA 412

That is within a reasonable price range. Now I just have to find an active auction.
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Old December 17, 2009, 10:56 AM   #10
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Maybe perfect, maybe a money pit.
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Old December 18, 2009, 10:21 PM   #11
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Upscale hunting single shots are rare but there are a few.

The now discontinued Savage 220 was one. Made like the Fox Model B as far as finish and lumber went, it was a handy, attractive package.

Beretta had a folding single and may still carry it in Europe.

So did Webley and Scott, mostly small bores in 20, 24 and 28 gauge.

24 gauge ammo and components are available from BP,etc.

If the card shooters have missed a Model 37 Winchester, they were well made and featured real walnut and blued steel.

HTH....
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Old December 19, 2009, 08:58 AM   #12
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I think Remington's ISP line had a new single shot. That is Remington's cheaper line of guns but still better than an H&R.
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Old December 19, 2009, 02:44 PM   #13
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I think the topper model 48 made by H&R with the swinging lever is more comfortable than the current push lever. However you can't go wrong with a Pardner for $120 brand new! I also believe with a single shot that the hammer is the safety system works well. Don't cock it till you plan to shoot. The gun comes up as you cock the hammer on a flushing bird. Winchester 37 would be a good choice that is collectable. Bakal guns in my opinion are rough. I believe some version of the NEF/Pardner have screw in chokes. Choices are limited because repeaters are so much more popular. Single shots haven't changed much in over 100 years.
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Old December 19, 2009, 11:23 PM   #14
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I know you want something nicer than the H&R, but i have a pardner 12 guage, and LOVE IT! So simple and rugged, never a problem. Use it as a boat oar, or a shotgun, it doesn't care and always works. Maybe you can get them in some nicer wood now? I haven't looked.
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Old December 19, 2009, 11:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
I think Remington's ISP line had a new single shot. That is Remington's cheaper line of guns but still better than an H&R.
Unless there's something new I don't know about, guns in the ISP line are Russian made Baikals re-branded under the Spartan name. They are OK but I don't know why you would say they are better than an H&R. As I remember they did not offer near the options that HR1871 does anyway. Also, Remington has dropped the line so unless someone else imports them, you might have trouble finding one, or parts, or service.

The Topper Deluxe Classic is not a bad gun at all and is an upgrade from the workaday H&Rs.
http://www.hr1871.com/Firearms/Shotguns/topper.asp

Of course, I'm prejudiced because I really like my H&R single-shots.
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Old December 20, 2009, 01:08 AM   #16
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If you can find an old Winchester Model 37, they are pretty nice. Single shots were typically beginners' guns, but some beginners are different than other beginners.
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Old December 20, 2009, 10:17 AM   #17
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I'd love to pick up a nice Model 37. I've seen a few in the past and nice ones do command a bit of a premium over other single-shots. I'll get one one of these days, though.

Heck, I'm probably a permanent "beginner" anyway...
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Old December 20, 2009, 07:47 PM   #18
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there is also this one but the biggest chambering is in 20 gauge. http://cz-usa.com/products/view/cottontail-single-shot/
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Old December 20, 2009, 09:11 PM   #19
johnwilliamson062
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My H&R has more cut corners and worse finish than my Hi-Point.
Just like my Hi-point, there are places I go where I would like to have something a little nicer looking.

I love the posts indicating I should get an H&R when I say I already have one. The Pardner with screw in choke.
I like it in the same way I lie my Hi-point because it is basically the same thing.
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Old December 20, 2009, 09:50 PM   #20
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Well, except the H&R has the cheapest metal finish I have ever seen on a firearm and it has tooling marks everywhere. It does go bang and put a pattern where I point it though.
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:13 PM   #21
Laz
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Quote:
I love the posts indicating I should get an H&R when I say I already have one. The Pardner with screw in choke.
I understood that but was just pointing out the Topper Deluxe Classic which is a step above the Pardner...maybe a couple of steps. It may not be up to the quality you seek, however. Just offering a suggestion. Good luck.
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Old December 21, 2009, 11:27 AM   #22
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Old guys' gun

Many of us old guys learned to hunt with a single barrel.
I have several pumpguns. But I still have an old NEF, 12 ga. single I picked up, maybe 20 or more years ago. It was about $79.00 NIB.
I still put a handfull of # 4's in my pocket & go walking over the hills.
It's good enough for a rabbit, or two, or a gray or fox squirrel sometimes.


And I have the old 16. ga. Essex, single, that was my Dad's first shotgun, back in 1929. I'm 69 yrs. old now.
I prob'ly wont ever part with either one. My boys, will get them one day.
I have a copy of an article saved, written on this Forum, about "Single barrel shotguns in the old days"......I think about 3 or 4 years ago.
Can't remember who wrote it.
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Old December 21, 2009, 03:32 PM   #23
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Old John - was it this thread started by Dave McCracken? If so, I saved it also.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...n+the+old+days
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Old December 21, 2009, 05:23 PM   #24
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My vote goes to the older Iver Johnson Champions. A well crafted, sleek design.
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Old December 21, 2009, 08:14 PM   #25
johnwilliamson062
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My local shop has an Ithaca model 66 in stock for $95. SOme finish wear and the stock isn't perfect, but it seems to lock up well. THe problem is the receiver has a bit of a hump on it that would naturally lead into a vent rib on the barrel, but there isn't a barrel, there is only a bead. When I shoulder it naturally I can hardly see the bead. I have to get more of a chin weld to see it and I imagine it shoots super high at that point. I sort of like the lever break, even if it is not very refined.

Also a Win 37 with some pitting in the barrel but otherwise good shape for $219.

I haven't been able to find one of those Berettas for sale yet.
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