View Full Version : What do you guys think of some of the "bargain" over/unders and SxS

July 9, 2002, 12:58 AM
I am thinking about adding one of these double barreled shotguns to my small collection. Something about them just appeals to me, though I don't really need them. I can't afford the nicer ones so I want to know what you guys think of some of the under $400 side by sides and over/unders.

At Dicks Sporting Goods they have an over/under (by Stoeger, I believe) for about $360 or $380 (I don't remember the exact price tag). I was surprised at that price how solid it felt. With the next cheapest over/under there being around $1000 I expected this to feel like junk, but it didn't. Of course I didn't fire it.

At Bass Pro Shops there was a Condor SxS for about the same price and about the same apparent quality.

At a local dealer there is a Norinco "coach gun" with a 20" barrel for $295. While I probably couldn't get into trap or skeet with this (hobbies I'd like to start) I could use it when I get into Cowboy Action (about a year off) and the size would make it practical for home defense (though the capacity, 2 rounds, really wouldn't).

While no local dealers that I checked (so far) had one I was also wondering how the Norinco would stack up with the EAA "coach gun". I think they are in the same price range.

Are these guns junk, or decent, if somewhat unsophisticated, side by sides and over/unders? Would I be better off just sticking with a pump for now and waiting a few years until I can better afford the premium double barrel shotguns (and wait until I actually start "Cowboy Action shooting" to get a "coach gun") or should one of these work out just fine?

July 9, 2002, 02:39 AM
If you are looking into getting into clays and want relatively inexpensive shotgun, I'd look into gas guns.

But if you absolutely want to get a double barrel (like me), and you can't afford to drop a grand...I'd check out Lanber. They are rather popular in the UK and can be had for under $500. I just recently got the Model 87, automatic ejectors, single trigger, came with 5 chokes, good walnut stock, excellent metal to wood fit. I've handled Browning Citori's and would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I've shot one round of sporting, 3 rounds of trap, perhaps a 1/2 dozen rounds of skeet with absolutely no problem whatsoever, in fact my game has improved significantly. I believe www.cdnninvestments.com is selling it for $399. There is also a sporting clays version for a hundred more.

Now I haven't heard anything about the stoeger, but I have heard the Baikals (Russian Sxs, O/U) are very strong good mechanism but not very refined. Those can be had for well under $400.

Now in this low end you have to be very careful because there are a few gems and a whole lot of garbage. Also beware of gun snobs, who will advise you if it isn't a Perazzi or Kreighoff, its not worth buying.

Dave McC
July 9, 2002, 04:48 AM
One of the reasons doubles cost mucho dinero is it takes good engineering and/or fitting to get the bbls shooting together. Some cheapos don't put patterns in the same Zip Code. One guy I shot with last year returned a Stoeger to the shop, its left bbl was shooting 3 feet off at 40 yards and he never bothered to find whereintheheck the right one was shooting to.

Mike McIntosh, the gun writer, speaks highly of the Lanber. No experience myself.

And plenty of gun cognizant folks regard a double as a great HD tool, including Col. Cooper.

July 9, 2002, 05:13 AM
I wouldn't waste my money on a cheap double or over and under. Most of them don't shoot the barrels to the same point of aim and I've seen a great number of them fire both barrel at the same time with one pull of the trigger.

The only exception I'd make would be one of the hammer guns if I wanted one for home defense. With the hammer gun I would have to worry about the accidental discharges.

July 9, 2002, 06:11 AM
I've got a Walmart Italian O/U that I really like. Name is Fausti for $499. Looks about as good as any $1,100 gun and I can shoot pretty well with it. 12 ga with choke tubes. I think Weatherby used to import it, maybe still does. Mine is marked "Traditions."

Maybe in a couple of years i will be able to break a possible but not yet. :) HTH

July 9, 2002, 06:30 AM
In those price ranges, the Lanber is the only one I'd consider. They are very common in the UK and well regarded as a starter o/u. The one's I've handled seemed well enough made and good value for the price.

Stoeger and Condors (a gun I believe is made by Stoeger) are crude and heavy at best. Baikal quality control is wild. I've seen some that are not bad and others that are frightening. In either case, expect heavy trigger pulls, sloppy manufacturing and a gun that won't stand up to heavy use.

Another alternative is to buy used. Clay shooters are a fickle bunch when it comes to guns and are frequently trading up (guilty as charged) and there are many Brownings and Berettas on the used market in pretty good shape. The advantage of a used gun in my experience is that they retain value if kept in good condition and can often be sold for what you have in them when your time to trade up comes.

July 9, 2002, 10:40 AM
PJR says used.
Me too.
For the same reasons.


July 9, 2002, 03:15 PM
It also comes in Condor Supreme. Mine shoots excellent. I am the same shot with the Stoeger as I am with the 687 SPII. I guess I got "a good one". American Rifleman reviewed another "good one" as it grouped well from the review that was written.

I paid $402 after taxes. Only beef was that I could see the wood overlap the metal right next to the safety. I could have fixed it with a sanding block and a refinish kit.

It has now shot about 1000 loads and is still working flawlessly. I realize this is 1/25 of the standard prescribed lifespan, but you don't sound like you are a clay "junkie". It is also a field gun through and through.......it is no cabinet queen.

If you are serious, buy the $1000 gun and be done with it, if it's not a big deal -- get the Stoeger.



July 9, 2002, 04:51 PM
Ed makes a good point. Are you planning to shoot this gun a lot? A thousand rounds of 12 gauge sounds like a lot but an regular target shooter will easily go through that in a month. I generally go through more if the weather's nice.

If this is what you aspire to, go for the guns that have the proven track record even among used guns.

Where I disagree is the suggestion that 25 thousand rounds is considered the lifespan of a shotgun. At that point, good guns are just getting broken in. I have at least two that have gone further than that. One of them had passed the 100 thousand mark well before I got it and I put 25 thousand through it before it needed a minor overhaul at the factory. It's now as good as new.

Whether a Stoeger Condor will last over the long term isn't something I could predict. They aren't very common on the clay target fields.


July 9, 2002, 05:17 PM
No easy answer, but, I don't believe in discouraging a shooter right off the bat.

I think you should pick up a few known good brand name shotguns and get the feel of them. Look at the fit and finish, but mostly find ones that fit you.

I've picked up Russian and Chinese shotguns and was not entirely happy with the way they came up although I could not argue with their apparent robustness and quality. I compared them side by side with Brownings, Berettas, Remingtons, and Rugers. Nothing was right to me in regards to fit.

I stopped in Walmart and picked up a Fausti. It came up like it was made for me and cost a hundred or so more than the Russian or Chinese guns and about 1/2 of a name brand.

Works for me and I don't have to bite my fingernails about another credit card bill...

Hey, how far wrong can you go? We need more shooters, less elite &#$)(_+^%$$$##&(*)@%*)>. Apologies to you clay game aficionados! :)

July 9, 2002, 09:57 PM
Wow, I looked up those Lanber shotguns on Gunbroker and another board. Darn, those are some fine looking guns (and the people on the thread on that board agree with those of you here that have said they are great guns). Are these the CZ 75s of the shotgunning world (high quality, low cost, good rep, a little rough compared to the top examples of the top brands but maybe the best value out there)? Well, I noticed that there were three models for sale on Gunbroker. The bottom rung (2082) still looks good (both dealers that have them have a "buy it now price" of $362, with shipping and transfer fees I wouldn't be more than a few dollars over $400). The next model up (2085) is basically the same gun with automatic extractors for $30-50 more (one dealer has a "buy it now price" of $399, another is $418). The top model on Gunbroker (2087) seems to be the same gun with removable chokes but it is significantly more (the cheapest "buy it now" price is $475, the other, a magnum version, is $531). For a beginner is the 2082 ok, or would you go the extra money ($30 from the cheaper guy or $50 from the other isn't that much) for auto extractors? If I may try skeet or trap would you say that I absolutely should wait until I could get the 2087 so I can use different chokes?

Those guns, even in the pictures, really do look much better cosmetically than most of the other inexpensive over/unders I've seen. It sounds like you guys think much more of them than the other budget brands. The price isn't that much higher than some of the others. I'll check to see if anyone locally has these and when I'm ready I may well go this way.

If I'm looking at a Lanber would most of you say this is a good gun to start with or should I wait an extra 6-12 months until I can save for one of the many $1000-1500 options (Charles Daly, Ruger, Winchester, entry level Weatherbys, used Berettas, etc)? I can always make do with a $250 Remington 870 until I'm ready. On the other hand, is the $400-500 Lanber a high enough quality gun to skip the middle quality $1000-2000 guns altogether and should I get the Lanber and then wait a few years to replace it until I can spend a few thousand dollars? Keep in mind in considering your advice that I am about to go to graduate school within a year so I will be pretty broke for a few years.

July 10, 2002, 12:36 AM
Take a look at the website I indicated in my first post www.cdnninvestments.com I've done some business with them and they are excellent.

I looked at their newest catalogue and they have great prices on lanbers.

Model 82-$279
Model 85-$319
Model 87-$399
Model 97-$499

For trap/skeet and especially sporting, having interchangeable choke tubes is very useful...I had the same choice and went with the Model 87, looking back I would've gone for the Model 97 but it wasn't available at the time. I just might, if I can work up the money.

Ejectors are cool, after you smoked two clays, open up your O/U and two hulls fly out and white smoke coming out of your barrels...you can't help but smile. :)

July 10, 2002, 09:05 AM
Are the Lanber & Stoeger shotguns safe to fire buck shot? I have thought seriously about a Stoeger as the local Dick's often sells them for about $269, but I want to make certain that buck shot is safe to fire in the gun.

July 10, 2002, 10:16 AM
I would have to go with the folks that suggest a used gun.In that price range you should be able to get a gun that would last you a life time and still pass it on to your dependants.
check around and don't rush ,looking is half the fun.

July 10, 2002, 10:45 AM

Your post caused me to root around through my pile of gun mags. I'd recalled seeing an article on Lanber. These guns were reviewed in the January 2002 of the magazine Sporting Gun.

The consensus was that it was good value for the money and a reliable gun. It's also a best seller. According to the article, "As a single model, more Lanbers have been sold in the UK than any other brand." If you want to send me a private message with a fax number I'd be happy to send a copy of the article.

It's hard to see how you can go wrong for the price but I'd ask about warranty work and spare parts availability. Definitely get a gun with choke tubes.


Note to Beowulf: Spanish guns undergo a rigorous proof testing. I wouldn't worry about firing buckshot in a Lanber. Stoegers are made in Brazil and I can't say what proofing they undergo.

July 10, 2002, 03:49 PM
You mentioned making do with an 870. I actually prefer the 870, or a couple other brands of pumps, over an O/U. My grandpa just won the 12 ga. event (skeet) in Reno a couple weeks ago with an 870. He's tried everything, and makes plenty of pension money to shoot exactly what he wants, but keeps coming back to the Remington pump. However, if you prefer O/u's, thats perfectly fine too.

Pat Brophy

Tropical Z
July 15, 2002, 02:29 PM
I recently got a Baikal 28" SxS from CDNN for $189.99,$10.00 shipping,and $15 FFL transfer.It has hammer forged barrels and can use steel shot.Baikals are built like tanks,but the finish may not be up to western standards.I find mine to be fine and my FFL says that several guys at his gun club use these for clays and they've had good luck.For the price,they can't be beat.

July 15, 2002, 02:57 PM
Fausti are excellent shotguns in the personal opinion of a Perazzi gunbuilder I met in Azusa, CA...of course Perazzi rate higher in his mind:D

My kid brother bought one with the gentleman's approval, and has been doing really well at the range with instructions and all...

July 16, 2002, 12:06 AM
What are you going to use this double for exactly? If your buying it for future use in CAS then a Stoeger or Baikal should work fine. The Baikal is cheaper but a lot of people that shoot them have them worked on by a gunsmith first which makes them about the same price in the end. Several of the champion shooters in CAS use Stoegers however a lot of people have reported the locking lug breaking on them.

July 16, 2002, 06:59 AM
Fausti are excellent shotguns in the personal opinion of a Perazzi gunbuilder I met in Azusa, CA...of course Perazzi rate higher in his mind :)

Wow. this is a hard question; $500 vs. $several thousand. Hmm. let me think... Now what would be good for a beginner? ;)