View Full Version : Reason to purchase O/U

February 20, 2002, 03:18 PM
Mainly looking to bust some clays as a hobby but also using the same shotgun for field use. I've been debating the pump/auto/o/u options and would probably purchase an auto BUT I like the idea of the top safety on a O/U. I should mention I shoot left though I am right-handed. Thought I would start out with a mossberg (low-end) or Browning PBS (mid) just for the tang safety. Now after doing much research on the internet my thinking is a O/U might be a good multi-purpose shotgun that fulfills my needs (wants). I'd like to keep the cost below $1500. The Beretta Whitetail 12 could be the ticket. Should rate high in the below check-off.

Easy to Clean
Top safety
Suitable for Clays, Hunting, Home Defense

Naturally, I've have to check for good fit but lucky for me I'm 30 minutes from Jaqua's in Ohio.

I appreciate any comments that might help me with my purchase.


Dave R
February 20, 2002, 03:57 PM
The big advantage of a two-shooter, whether O/U or SXS, is that you have two chokes available in an instant. This is particularly helpful when hunting upland game, where distance to target could vary. If the shot is close, use the open choke. For a far shot, use the tight one.

A secondary advantage is that you can carry two loads. A buddy and I went dove hunting this year, and found Hungarian partridge in the area, too. He kept 7.5's in his open tube and 6's in his tight tube. Dove or Hungarian, he was ready.

A third advantage is that you can change ammo quickly. Open, extract, reload. When we chased a flock of Hungarians, he would take out his 7.5 and load both tubes with 6's. That's a pain with a pump or semi-auto. Gotta cycle them out individually, pick 'em up, then reload.

For the other uses you mentioned, the pump or semi may have a clear advantage. But for hunting, that O/U is the best choice.

February 20, 2002, 06:21 PM
Not to mention that double guns (O/U and SXS) are simpler and have fewer parts to break or malfunction.

Doubles are easer to unload for safety reasons (Crossing fences, range time outs etc)

Doubles are easier to keep clean and it is easier to check the barrels for obstructions.

Doubles aren't affected by different length shells (Provided the chambers are marked for 3" shells) or excessive/light charges.

Doubles can be fitted with subgauge tubes.

Doubles don't fling hulls all over the place.

Berettas are great guns and a good value for the money!

Dave McC
February 20, 2002, 08:18 PM
Beretta O/Us are good guns, by all reports. Some complaints about heavy, mushy triggers, but such are easily improved.

Geoff/Dave pretty much nailed it on doubles. A couple of things, tho...

First, for "Serious" use, a 28" bbled double and a 20" bbled repeater are about the same O/A length.

So, if a 20" bbled repeater is usable in a particular area, so is that 28" O/U.

Second, good smiths that can work on doubles are scarcer than good 870 mechanics. I'd want a decent smith close by(and I have a couple) to handle any idiosyncracies on a new double.

Third, the one prob I hear about Beretta O/Us is the stocks. Make sure your prospective new shotgun fits fairly close, stock work on double guns runs close to top legal advice in hourly costs.

A poor stock fit can be corrected, but time, expertise and labor all cost.

Finally, after you acquire that fine shotgun and get it to where you want it, invest a couple hundred in an insurance policy with 870 writ across its receiver(G).....

February 20, 2002, 09:25 PM
I like the Browning Citori O/U. You should be able to get one in your price range.

February 20, 2002, 09:48 PM
Standin at the center post.
Gun butt at the hip
Yell PULL in a commanding voice.
Gun swings like butter on a skillet through both birds.
BOOMBOOM...like one long sound.
Two clays have become soot farts.
Briskly but gently open the gun.
Extract and pocket the two hulls.
Blow through both barrels so the folks can hear.
Grin shyly.

Try that with a pump. Birds still break, just lackin the elegance.

Sam:D .....blowin through your pump may be illegal in some places.

Chuck Graber
February 20, 2002, 09:49 PM
For all of hte reasons that Dave and Geoff listed I went from shooting clay targets with an 870 to a Beretta stackbarrel. I still have an 870 but only use it when I don't want to drop one of my O/Us in the duck marsh. :D

Chuck Graber

February 21, 2002, 01:59 AM
Sorry , Guys

It is not a matter of different chokes , or different loads
yadayada - IT"S THE MIND SET ! . Without doubt , the O/U
is the esthetical winner of "what a shotgun should look like and feel-like . The firdt time you take one to your shoulder, it is love (with the idea at first sight)

Having an O/U is sorta a part of the "right of passage" . Every shooter should have at least one so that he can speak from actual experience . But , they are not for everybody , They punish their owners mor than do gas auto-loaders , and the O/Us have at least 50 % less firepower.

Ever shooter should have at least one "stacked-barrel" so that he can honestly say why he's shooting an auto loader when the O/U is "so much better".

BTDT , Hawkaaa53

February 21, 2002, 07:57 AM
In my experience, the instant selection of different loads or different chokes is more imagined than real UNLESS the gun has twin triggers. I own guns in both configurations and to select a different barrel and remove the safety on a Beretta over/under as a bird flushes is quite a feat of coolness under pressure and manual dexterity. The Browning safety system is a little more amenable to such a feat but no system will be more efficient than twin triggers which is not a common feature on most over/unders.

I'd have to mildly differ with Hawkaaa53 on one point. IMHO, the aesthetic winner of what a shotgun should feel and look like is a classic side-by-side although the over/under is behind only slightly.

The Beretta Whitewing is the same frame and parts as their higher grade guns and is a good solid piece of work. You might also consider the Onyx model. For a few dollars more, the gun is somewhat better fitted and finished. Another possibility is a good used over/under. With the exception of my 20 gauge, all my o/us were bought used and are still giving excellent service.

Jacqua's is a modern Nirvana for a shotgunner and I'm envious of someone living only 30 minutes away.

February 21, 2002, 08:09 AM
Gas guns are for wimps!!!!:D

O/U's are cheaper in the long run. You can save the hulls and reload and the gun will pay for itself in a few years.

OK so that is a bit of a stretch, but O/U's are gentler on the hulls and don't chew them up like an auto will. They also don't throw them all over the ground where they get dirty and stepped on by other shooters.

Autos will need a parts snack every few thousand rounds. Even the Technoid, a diehard Beretta auto user, admits this in his writings.

Real Ladies and Men use doubles:D

February 21, 2002, 12:34 PM
If one has a longish beard, there is another plus for the break action guns. One can close the breach with beard in it and then entertain the troops with the scream when gun is shouldered.

Sam......nah, haven't done that.......lately.

February 21, 2002, 01:37 PM

You could wear a tie and get it caught in the action as you swing the gun at a covey of quail:D

February 21, 2002, 02:53 PM
I'm heading to Jaqua's on Saturday to "try on" a few of the over/unders. Thanks for all the replies so far. Again, one of my main interests is a top safety though I realize the safety can be reversed on some pumps and autos. I know I can find these out on Saturday but do all o/u's have a top safety?


greg c
February 22, 2002, 11:01 AM
I have handled a beretta whitewing and browning citori- both were very well put together. I went with a Red label which pointed the best out of the three. My gun had the fault of a weak safety detente whereby the safety would kick on after the first shot if using 3" shells. If you go the red label route, make sure the safety snicks on and off with authority.

Let us know what you decide!

February 22, 2002, 01:46 PM
Most O/U's have top safetys. The Beretta has a combo safety/ barrel selector. Other guns have the barrel selector separate.

My Beretta 686 had a more positive safety than my Ruger. Personally I liked the Beretta.

If you buy a O/U be prepared to learn a whole new way of shooting.

February 23, 2002, 02:09 PM
IMO if your shooting clays the O/U has definite advantages. You can choke the barrels diferently for differing presentationduring a difficult true doubles setup. For field shooting, O/U's are heavy and limit you to 2 shots on a covey rise. They are, however, thought of as more gentlemanly. Especially in the smaller guages.

I bought a Franchi Alcione (pronounced frongky alchee-o-nay for those non Italian speaking folks out there) for $800. It is a piece of art, that shoots.

just my two cents


February 23, 2002, 04:26 PM

No true gentleman would be caught afield with anything other than his sxs, preferably a sidelock from London ;)

I prefer breaking guns in the field particularly when someone else is using them because I can see from a distance if the gun is safe. A couple of experienced hunters I know won't hunt upland game with anything else, nor will they hunt with someone who isn't using a sxs or over/under.