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Old September 3, 2012, 11:37 AM   #1
baddarryl
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2 fold over/under question for clays.

Hi all. All things being equal, would you go 20 or 28ga for skeet/trap/clays as an all purpose round. I know each of these have specific idiosyncrasies, but I am the type that will only own one gun for this purpose and will only participate on a recreational basis.

That being said, what is the best o/u I might find on the used racks if I have a budget of $1000? I might be interested in cheaper guns too, but am willing to spend that for more quality. I simply cannot afford a new one. Thanks.
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Old September 3, 2012, 11:48 AM   #2
idek
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28 gauge guns are fine, but I think a 20 is more versatile, because it can hold a wider range of payloads.

People may tell you how one gun isn't ideal for all the purposes you mentioned, but you say you'd like a multi-purpose gun, so I'll go with that.

These might be a tad over your $1000 limit, but Beretta 686/687's and Browning Citoris are often considered the starting point of really well-made O/Us. I've seen some around here for maybe $1,300 used, but I'm not really looking for them, so I suspect better deals are out there.

Also, the Japanese company that makes Citoris (Miruko) has some other O/Us out there under the Charles Daly or Miruko B.C name. I've heard good things about them, and they are less expensive than models with the Browning label. I've seen used ones for $700-800.
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Old September 3, 2012, 12:18 PM   #3
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If clay targets are the only use, and not on a competitive basis, either will work fine as the typical payload in either runs at 1200fps consisting of either 7.5, 8, 8.5, or 9 shot.

28s have a sort of coolness factor because most folks shoot a 20 due to cheaper ammo costs.

In Sporting Clays, the 28 has become the niche bore for subgauge events

With a $1000 budget, you are really stretching the ability to own a good NEW O/U that will be reliable and last. Used opens up several more avenues; otherwise a good semi can be had.

You might want to check out CDNN's latest catalog for discontinued guns from Browning and Lanber; also look at Guns Unlimited out of Omaha for SKB.

Target versions tend to cost more than field guns and are also heavier - a good thing when shooting a lot of targets
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Old September 3, 2012, 01:13 PM   #4
Virginian-in-LA
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I'd get a 20 first. I love the 28 but it is not anywhere near as versatile as a 20, especially if you include the 3" 20 capability. And in spite of what I figure you might hear negatively about the 3" 20, with modern shotcup loads and good shot I found they work as well as the old 12 gauge 1-1/4 ounce loads. And I patterned more than a few, and killed a bunch of ducks before steel was required in all gauges.
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Old September 3, 2012, 01:47 PM   #5
BigJimP
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Unless you're going to reload for the 28ga ...ammo cost alone will push you toward the 20ga ...and you'll have a lot more used guns to choose from in a 20 ga than in a 28ga.

The older versions of the current Browning Citori Lightning .. in the late 80's it was just called a Citori ..and available in a 26" or 28" barrels. They have the older Invector screw in chokes..vs newer Invector Plus...but very solid guns.

They were available in both 20ga and 28ga...

20ga is still more versatile ...because you can go to 1 oz shells...down to 3/4 oz ...with the 7/8 oz being the standard 20ga load...

reloading for the 20ga - helps its versatility too.
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Old September 3, 2012, 02:57 PM   #6
oneounceload
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Except, Jim - I can buy those same loads in 28, or in 2" 12 gauge loads where the gun weight what a 28 does - the Arrietta is a wand to handle

Point is this - there are a lot of alternatives that can work, depending on likes and equipment

I love using a SxS for upland and while a 20 is a great choice, the 28 and 16 also merit serious consideration because of the capabilities. Typically a 28 weighs less and the same amount of ammo weighs less - all nice considerations when hiking uphill both ways after chukar....
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Old September 3, 2012, 03:38 PM   #7
BigJimP
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Sure, but 16ga and 28ga shells ....commercially ..are way more than shells for the 20ga at least in my area.

To me a SXS is a very different beast.../ and it brings more Fit issues into play...so for most new shooters, I'd suggest staying away from SXS's.
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Old September 3, 2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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28 v 20

Any particular reason for an o/u? I use a Remington G-3 20 auto (fancy 1100)for sporting clays and skeet. With hunting loads, it's great for pheasants, too.
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Old September 3, 2012, 06:27 PM   #9
baddarryl
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As I first said guys the gun will be only for clays and am already realistic about having to go used.

ammo.crafter: I just want one!
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:01 PM   #10
BigJimP
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Just wanting one is fine....

...but you have to be prepared to pay what the market is dictating...and Beretta and Browning have long set the standard on Over Unders....both in terms of price and quality. Any of the guns made by either company ...are good solid guns..although I do favor the Browning because I think the barrel to receiver connection is stronger...

The lower priced guns in Browning's Citori line of guns ( now there are about 28 models of the citori / but anything in what is now the Lightning series of the Citori ) are their field grade guns ..good solid guns.

Going outside Beretta or Browning ...maybe an SKB or a Ruger are worth a look / if you can find some .....but most of the other stuff out there ( Remington, Mossberg, Stoeger, Huglu, Baikal, etc ...are really suspect when it comes to quality - short term even ) ...and the reason they started producing these O/U's is because wanted them / and didn't want to pay the Beretta / Browning prices...but it has ended up with a lot of disatisfied customers...

If you can find a Browning Citori ...with a bunch of scratches on the stock ...and spend a little time refinishing it ...you might end up with a very nice long term gun ( same on Beretta )...

or go the route of a gun like the TriStar ...sold by Cabelas and others...that last I knew had a 5 yr warranty ...so at least, if or when you have an issue, you have something to rely on.

Remember when it comes to most guns....regardless of where you buy them...hardly any of those retail operations provide any warranty service...so it means you'll have to box and ship the gun to the mfg's service center...and it may come back in a few weeks / or a few months...but 3 days old ....or 300 days old ...most retailers don't service them.

Long term - parts and service....some companies come and go ...Browning and Beretta are easy to get parts for / most any decent gunsmith can fix virtually anything that might go wrong in terms of springs, firing pins....and you can't say that on most of the other mfg's mentioned.

You'll find fans on this forum and others...or Mossberg O/U's, Stoeger, etc...and a lot of ranting about them as well...you can't tell by looking at them if you're going to have an issue or not ....or you'll be the 3 out of 10 that might be happy with them for 5,000 shells.....or 20,000 shells...or whatever...or one barrel on a new gun hits 3" high and right ...and the other barrel hits 6" low and left ...( how in the heck would you ever hit anything consistently with a gun like that...)...and I've see it, on too many of these mentioned guns ...but never on a Browning or Beretta ...and if you ever had it happen on a Browning or Beretta...they'd stand behind it and replace the barrels or something to make it right.

Picking a gun is not just fancy wood...and engraving...you have to wonder about the internals, the quality of the steel, etc..../ and I have Browning O/U's with well over 500,000 shells thru them with no issues and still going strong. Browning and Beretta make some nice guns...but they're "Pedestrian" grade guns for the most part...expensive guns in terms of O/U's are the Blaser, Perazzi, Kolar and Krieghoff...Browning and Beretta, even their highest end guns, are very affordable...

good luck with your search / no matter what you decide ..let us know how it works out.
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Old September 3, 2012, 11:09 PM   #11
baddarryl
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Thanks BigJim. That may be the best info yet.
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Old September 4, 2012, 02:21 PM   #12
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I picked up my O/U from Cabelas Gun Library 2-3 months ago, below 1000 before sales tax, probably after too, but I'm not certain of that. It was older, 1993ish according to the serial number. I looked it up, but don't remember exactly. At a certain age, Browning switched from Invector to Invector plus, and i have to buy the older Invector... And Mine's a 12 guage. Dumb question here but why not look for a 12 guage? By far the easiest to find. They actually had two 12 guage Citrori's for me to choose from in that price range, and I lucked into picking the "right" one.

Just checking a few gun libraries now, a 20 guage for 1100, a couple 12's for 850-1000... Just found an older brother to mine from 75 in Dundee MI for 969. They're spread all over, MN, PA, NE, and so on... but Cabelas will transfer internally for you, if you have one local.

Finally if you go Browning (I'm a browning guy, and can't comment on Benelli) Test some of them out. Browning can give you silver or black. I got black, and mounted a silver one on a road trip recently... the silver was very distracting, so go out and mount some too.
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Old September 5, 2012, 03:19 PM   #13
BigJimP
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I've mentioned this before ....but today there are 44 different models of guns in the Citori line of Brownings....and 18 more in the Cynergy line of guns.../ so if we use the generic term "Citori" ...there is not really any way to tell, which model we are talking about...

Browning first introduced the Invector chokes in 1983 / but only in some models....and they introduced the Invector Plus in 1989 / again not in all models ...and even today, in some models, in 28ga or .410 all Browning makes is the old Invecotor series. Invector Plus chokes do give a little better patterns / but there isn't really anything wrong with the old Invector choke system either.

Now in some of the older Browning Citori's ...prior to 1989 or so ...they did refer to them as just "Citori's" in their marketing literature....but most of the time, these guns are the older versions of today's Citori Lightning models ( their field guns )...and yes, sometimes you can find some in 12ga or 20ga for around $1,000...( I bought one new, in 1988 for about $ 750 / today its still worth $ 1,250 or so )...after thousands of shells and 2 boys and a few grandkids using it as a training gun...../ now prior to 1983 and the Invector screw in choke systems...they were all "fixed choke guns".

Older guns can often be threaded for screw in chokes...for $ 250 - $ 500 or so ...

Picking a gun is about "Fit" more than who made it ....and it "Fits" if the point of impact, hits where you look. Guns with angled combs on them / have some issues on fit ...and they will give you a different point of impact if you shoot in a T shirt in summer...and a coat and sweater in winter.../ vs a model like Citori XS Skeet...that has a parallel comb ( comb is barrel to barrel ) ....so your face may move up or back on comb 1/2" or more ...and point of impact is unchanged.

Citori XS Skeet, with an adustable comb ...to me, is the most versatile gun in the Citori line for all around shotgunning...but new, they're selling for around $ 3,200 these days ( list is $3,600) ...but in a 30" barrel and around 8.5 lbs in a 12ga is a great gun ....and I have one that is barely broken in today with close to 500,000 shells thru it now .....( and they made same model in a 20ga as well ) and some special order XS Skeet models in 28ga and .410 - both made on a 20ga receiver...are out there / new and used.

Sometimes the search is a big part of the fun...

Our buddy Slugo on here...speaks very highly of the new Citori 725 series as well...

so its not just ...look for a Citori ...( same as in cars ) you have to do your homework ..and understand your models ...and lots of models are no longer in the Browning catalog ....a buddy yesterday, bought a used Citori Lightning Sporting Clays model, 12ga, 30" barrels...with a full set of Briley tubes in 20ga, 28ga and .410 for a little under $ 2,500 ....stock needs some TLC...but overall, its heavily used, but still a good buy / and a pretty nice gun.
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Old September 6, 2012, 07:11 PM   #14
Method
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As an FYI, I found a used Winchester Select Energy Sporting for just over $1000 in my local market. It's performed extremely well for me during my first season and I plan to have it for many more.

As long as the brand is reputable, I recommend focusing more on fit. Find something that fits your shooting style or one that can adjust (i.e. adjustable comb). I recently had an adjustable butt-plate added, and a truly customized fit makes all the difference in the world.
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