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Old May 4, 2011, 09:15 AM   #1
BipedMallard
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Double Barrel SxS

I have been looking for a Double Barrel for about a week and I really don't have any idea what is good and what is bad, but I was wondering if any of you have good recommendations on which ones to get. My price range is around 400. Thanks!

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Old May 4, 2011, 09:32 AM   #2
Doyle
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For $400 you are going to be looking at either a used gun or one of the cheaply built Turkish/Russian imports. Good quaility SxS guns are far more expensive to manufacture that a pump and the selling price will reflect that cost (lots of hand-machining is required).

For a used gun, it's hard to beat the venerable Savage 311. You can get a really good one in 12ga for $300 or even less. 20ga will run a bit higher. One in .410 will break the bank though.
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Old May 4, 2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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Imo, I don't think you'll be able to find a nice sxs shotgun for much under a grand-and that's if, as Doyle noted, you find a used one at a good price. Of course, what is "good and what is bad" and what is "nice" about a given double shotgun is treading on a lot of subjective opinion but $400.00 isn't going to buy much more than a "coach gun" folks use in cowboy-action shooting.
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Old May 4, 2011, 02:19 PM   #4
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There are some decent coach guns out there; in your price range, especially if you don't mind a second hand weapon. Stay away from stoeger Double Defense, other stoeger SXS seem ok, but the Double Defense is poorly made; I know I have both models of the DD(12 and 20) and they both have problems
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Old May 4, 2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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There isn't much out there in that price range that is worth having long term ...they're expensive to make ( if they're built right ) .../ and they have so much drop at the comb / and the length of pull on many of them is so short ...a lot of shooters can't shoot them without some significant modifications to the stocks (or at least I can't).

Traditionally they were built for a different style of shooting - that was more traditional in Europe than the US ...but if they fit you they can be fun.

A SXS that is well built/and is a good solid gun - to give you some perspective is the Browning BSS ( Browning Side by Side) that was made from 1978 - 1987. There are quite a few of them around / they aren't really in the collectable category - like some of the older american or english guns ...and reasonably affordable at around $ 2,000 for a good clean one / although I've seen prices from $ 800 to over $ 5,000 on really nice ones.

You can do a search on gunbroker ....for shotguns / then put *BSS into the search category and current listings will come up on the BSS's - but you might find one with fixed chokes / that's been beat up a little in a local shop - that you can clean up / fix up and make into a nice gun for under $1,000.

The Turkish and Russian imports have all kinds of issues - barrels that are not regulated properly and not hitting the same point of impact / trigger issues / parts issues, etc ....

Expensive SXS's ..... Fox, Purdy, etc ...are priced at levels way above the Brownings for the most part. Beretta still makes a SXS in their field gun series - that retail new for around $ 3,500 and they're decent guns as well.

http://www.berettausa.com/shop-by-de...side-by-sides/

But the reality is - $ 3,500 for a new SXS is about what you'll have to pay for a good gun / $ 1,000 - $ 2,000 for a good used one probably ... / and I'm no expert on the older guns from Fox, Purdy, etc ....some of them can be purchased cheap ...but you're going to have to know what you're buying and whether it needs to be checked by a good gunsmith.

Even good used Over Unders ...which are less expensive to make than SXS's ---- used entry level guns, not fancy by any stretch of the imagination, from Browing or Beretta ...like the Browning Lightning series made in the 1980's ...will cost you $ 600 - $900 ....for a very serviceable gun these days....

Rather than buy a $400 gun that might not hold up / or has all kinds of issues ...I'd say save your money until you can afford to buy a decent long term gun ( that might even go up in value as you own it ) ...or consider a different platform if your budget is limited to $400.

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Old May 4, 2011, 04:32 PM   #6
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You might try finding a Jap-made Winchester Model 23. This gun has been discontinued for some time but offered a lot of value for the money.
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Old May 4, 2011, 05:13 PM   #7
BipedMallard
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Ah I was afraid of that. I looked on gun broker and when I saw that the average for a good one was about 2,000 that sorta put me down. But do any of you have any experience with Stoeger Coach Guns? mnero said that the DD has problems but what about their other SxS? And thanks again for all the input.
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Old May 4, 2011, 05:42 PM   #8
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I see a few of them at our local trap and skeet club ....and they seem to have quite a few trigger, firing pin issues ....the fit and finish on them isn't too good.

Its like a lot of guns ....when that platform becomes popular ....and a lot of guys want to shoot the platform ...that looks like what the long term shooters are shooting ....in shotguns (its the O/U's and SXS's ) ...in handguns its the 1911's ....

A lot of the import companies seem to jump into the market ...at an attractive price level - and a lot of shooters get sucked into these guns ...sort of knowning that companies like Browning and Beretta have long set the standards for very good guns at a price level ( and any decent gun smith can get parts and fix them, and often they go up in value ...) ...but some of the new guys don't want to pay the price ....so they try a lot of these imports. Some of the imports are ok / and some are junk .....and you can't tell by looking at them ( its about the steel, the quality of the pins, the springs, etc / are the barrels regulated properly so they hit the same point....) ....so its really hard to say ...you may buy a Stoeger and be ok ...and you might be really sorry ...but you have to know - the resale value is not going to be there when its 3 yrs old or 10 yrs old ...

Visit used gun shops ....see what they're selling ...compare prices / ask yourself why they're selling gun A for $500 less than gun B ...sometimes the owners of the shops know a lot /sometimes they don't ....talk to the shooters at the clubs in your area ....what they bought, why, would they buy it again .... If you see quite a few of model C for sale used cheap ...and they aren't moving ...you have to ask yourself why...

There is a reason Beretta and Browning shotguns - for the most part - continue to increase in value over time .../and its only my opinion, but in general, I think both Browning and Beretta give you a lot of gun for the money - and its not always about fancy wood ...its good steel, good long term components....and in guns that might well easily go 250,000 shells without any issues at all.

Last edited by BigJimP; May 4, 2011 at 05:47 PM.
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Old May 4, 2011, 06:12 PM   #9
BipedMallard
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Hmm.. I will look around and keep my eye open. I have seen a few SxS at my local gun store going for around 350, so next time I will ask them about it.
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Old May 4, 2011, 06:23 PM   #10
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It kind of depends on what you want to do with this shotgun too ....especially a short barreled coach gun ...not that they can't be fun to shoot once in a while .../ but they sure are not good long term hunting or clay target guns. If its just something to have a few laughs with ...that Stoeger may be fine ...

The biggest thing to be concerned about on these less expensive shotguns - SXS's and O/U's guns ...is barrel regulation ...in that do both barrels have the same point of impact ? A little bit of divergence might be ok ..maybe an inch or two at 30 yds...but you can't tell by looking at them. You need to be able to test them - say with a full choke at 30 yds.

If one is high left 8" and the other one low right 10" ...you have got a problem ..( and its not easy or cheap to fix ..) - which is exactly what happened to an acquaintance that purchased a Huglu O/U a few yrs ago and Huglu would not fix it...or warrant it ...and he bought it new. He ended up cutting the 28" barrels off ....and turning it into a coach gun ...(and lost about $ 300 ) in the process.
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Old May 4, 2011, 10:39 PM   #11
BipedMallard
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What I will mostly do with any shotgun I get is to just shoot beer can out in the desert, and maybe once every other year go turkey hunting. I wouldn't shoot it much cause I just don't have the money.
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Old May 4, 2011, 10:58 PM   #12
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You can probably find a decent Stevens 311 or if you look hard enough a Marlin built L.C. Smith.
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Old May 4, 2011, 10:59 PM   #13
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Best value in a decent new SxS is probably a CZ Bobwhite, street price around $660 or so. http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/...case-hardened/

If you like an O/U they have the Mallard for around $460 or so. http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/mallard-104-a/

These are Turkish made guns, but CZ quality is usually pretty good.
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:12 PM   #14
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Consider a TTN version of the 1878 Colt, as imported (from China) by Cimarron, EMF, and Taylor's and possibly others.

Next to Stoegars, it's possibly the most popular cowboy action shooting SXS, and it's got exposed hammers to add to the fun.
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:59 PM   #15
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You might want to look for a Baikal SXS or Remington Spartan. Same gun except Remington imported the Baikal for awhile. It falls in your price range and comes with screw in chokes. Not the prettiest doubles but not bad and built like tanks.
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Old May 5, 2011, 08:35 AM   #16
BipedMallard
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Just looked at all the shotguns that were suggested, and theTaylors and Cimarron shotguns really appealed to me. Used they go for around 400, and for 50 bucks more than a used Stoeger I think its worth it.
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Old May 5, 2011, 01:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Just looked at all the shotguns that were suggested, and theTaylors and Cimarron shotguns really appealed to me. Used they go for around 400, and for 50 bucks more than a used Stoeger I think its worth it.
These are some the imports that several of us warned you about. Yes, they may look OK on the shelf but you'll probably be disappointed several years down the road.
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Old May 5, 2011, 02:35 PM   #18
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Quote Doyle"These are some the imports that several of us warned you about. Yes, they may look OK on the shelf but you'll probably be disappointed several years down the road. "

What specifically is it about these imports that is going to dissapoint? If they are standing up to cowboy shooting it would seem they have to be durable. I haven't examined these particular guns so it would be interesting to know.
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Old May 5, 2011, 03:50 PM   #19
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Doyle can speak for himself ...

But these imported guns from Turkey and Russia - have all the issues we've discussed above on what I think is a high percentage of their guns ( maybe 7 out of 10 or more ) ....barrels aren't regulated so they don't hit the same point of impact, trigger issues, firing pin issues, stocks cracking .......guns like the Baikal in particular are just russian made junk for the most part ...I've seen a number of them double / when the trigger is pulled to fire one barrel, parts issues - when you break firing pins or springs...

the Remington Spartan, Mossbergs, etc ...and many of the guns coming out of Turkey fall into categories with these problems. In my opinion they're a waste of money ...but if you get lucky and get one of the 3 out of 10 that are ok ...they might last a few years / if your expectation is to only put a few hundred shells a year thru them.

The problem is - you can't pick the 7 out of 10 that are bad by looking at them ....so all I'm saying ..is buyer beware. I'm not just talking about the Turkish and russian made coach guns ...its all of their guns ...coach guns, SXS's, O/U's and semi-autos ...taking a chance on them is a "crapshoot" in my opinion. I hate to see guys spend $ 400 on some of these guns ...and they turn out to be junk / and I doubt the cowboy action shooters have any less failures on these guns than we see at the clay target clubs. But they might be "gunsmithing" them ...throwing out the internals ...and replacing them with better components ( kind of like guys do with less expensive 1911's / replace with better components ) ....or just throwing them away when they break ...
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Old May 5, 2011, 04:41 PM   #20
denster
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Actually regulation of sxs double shotguns is a much overstated thing. The idea that SxS shotguns whoever makes them are regulated to shoot both barrels to the same point of aim at some predetermined distance is a fallacy.
Double rifles yes double shotguns no. The way shotguns are used it wouldn't make much sense even if it were possible.
As to the Russian and Turkish guns and thier quality. They range from good and useable to very very good. I have several of the Baikal doubles and Huglu doubles as well as several much more expensive brands and they have a lot of rounds through them with no problems.
The Baikals in particular are to say the least robust. Yes they lack some of the aesthetics of my Ithacas, Parkers and Brownings but for what they are they are a good value.
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Old May 5, 2011, 04:43 PM   #21
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Big Jim is spot on. When it comes to quality in a SxS or O/U, you are going to have to pay for it.
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Old May 5, 2011, 05:16 PM   #22
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It really depends on how you define quality. I admit I really like high grade SxS and O/U shotguns. I must I own enough of them. I also like simple utilitarian tools like the Baikals and Huglus and I own several of them also and they serve thier purposes well. In thier own right they are quality also just of a different nature.
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Old May 5, 2011, 05:31 PM   #23
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We just disagree Denster ....

I just cannot use the word "Quality" when I see anything made by companies like Baikal or Huglu ....but I'm also glad to hear that you're having good luck with your guns made by both companies.

But maybe you're right ...in what Quality means ....because to me a "Minimum Quality" shotgun ...will be trouble free for at least 25,000 shells / where I expect "High Quality Guns - not Expensive guns or collector guns" - just solid high quality guns like Browning and Beretta - to be trouble free for at least 250,000 shells.../ consequently, I say Browning and Beretta give you a lot of gun for your money ( not prestigious ) ...just good, solid guns...

I know not everyone has the budget to buy some of the well made SXS's ...but I've just seen way too many disapointed shooters that have purchased some of these guns ...and have quit shooting / because they lost a lot of money on guns that failed. I wish there was a way to pick the decent 2 or 3 guns out of 10 of these guns...but I can't do it. I often tell people - if they're really looking for an inexpensive O/U ...at least take a look at the offering from Cabelas... the TriStar ...that comes with a 5 yr warranty...so they have something to lean on if it fails.
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Old May 5, 2011, 09:15 PM   #24
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Jim. I'll never be able to tell you if my Baikal or Huglu guns will meet your minimum quality requirement because it is unlikely that any of them will see 25,000 rounds in the time that I own them. They are guns I use to hunt with and shoot an occasional competition and I don't mind if they get a skin mark or two on them. If something breaks (unlikely) I'll fix it.
If I'm looking to impress someone at the club I'll take one of my other guns.
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Old May 5, 2011, 10:03 PM   #25
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250,000 shellseven if you can get the price down to 10 cents a shell, that is still 25 grand! How would you ever be able to truly give it the "high quality" test
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