View Full Version : Another newbie 'which gun' question...

September 4, 2002, 04:58 PM
Hey, guys!

Now that I own four handguns, I'm in the market for a nice O/U for clays. My budget is ~$2000 (give or take ~15%), but the parameters here are that I'm not hell bent on spending it all if there's a good value on the lower end, and I'm also willing to go higher, if the extra money gets me someting substantially better or represents an enduring value.

I'm roughly 6', 200# and somewhat long arms, so a 30" was recommended. A friend who shoots competitively (and owns many guns, Krieghoffs and other high-ends among them) has steered me toward the Beretta 682, Browning Citori XS, or Sig Aurora. He spoke very highly of the SIG, and is thinking of one for himself. I also saw a very nice (used) Weatherby Athena 28" that looked like it was probably a grade V, for about $1700, that I can probaby get into for about $1500.

My thoughts are as follows:

Beratta: Probably paying a premium for the name, no? I get the feeling that about 30% of the price of the gun is because there are three arrows on it. Am I right... are there better values, from other makers that get me more bang for the buck?

Browning: Very nice, but I have a bit of a beef about a gun that's made in Japan. Somehow, that just doesn't sit right with me. I guess it just bothers me that exercising my 2nd amendment rights by buying a gun from a totally anti-gun country is not only illogical, but bad partiotism. Also, I heard that the porting on the barrel makes it very loud, and can be distracting to other shooters.

SIG/Rizzini: Never seen one in person, but shot an earlier version about a year ago, and liked it very much. I was cautioned, however, that because SIG isn't known for shotgun, it would be in my best interest to buy a name that will resell easier. Is this a 'sleeper' gun, and is it a good investment?

Weatherby: This was the used model, but it looked beautiful, and felt fine. Again, my beef is that I just don't warm to a gun that's made in Japan.

Any suggestions? I'm all ears. Also, is there any FAQ on how to judge whether or not a gun fits you right, and what to look for when buying a gun in this price range?


September 4, 2002, 10:05 PM
I assume you will be using this gun for clay targets.

The market in o/u is pretty competitive between Beretta and Browning with Sig a relative newcomer to the scene.

I don't think you are paying a premium simply for the Beretta name. They are good guns that have recently undergone various improvements. Whether the Beretta styling is to your taste is up to you. I've owned a couple of older 682s, a trap model that I sold and a sporting gun I still have.

The new Browning 525 is a very attractive gun but I've never cared for the taller Browning reciever in a 12 gauge gun. Incidentally, the Brownings are also made in Japan. I have a Feather XS in 20 gauge that is a well put together little gun.

The Weatherby is made by SKB. Solid guns but I think you are paying a little extra for the Weatherby brand compared to the standard SKB line. I think you will appreciate longer barrels than 28" for clay targets.

The Sig/Rizzinis I've seen were okay but don't have enough experience with them to offer a direct observation. I saw several on display at the Grand American Trapshoot this year and thought the smaller gauge guns were very nice.

The good news is no matter what you pick, you will be getting a good gun. Find the one that fits you and feels best in your hands. Until I examined a Browning 525, I would have definitely said the Beretta, now I'm not so sure.


Dave McC
September 5, 2002, 05:11 AM
There's a lot of fine O/U guns out there, and many were made in Japan. Some that weren't/aren't include the Belgian Brownings, various Spanish guns, the Rugers,the K guns, etc.

If I had that marked an antipathy to things Japanese and wanted a good O/U, I'd scour the gun shops for a used Belgian Browning. Hell for stout, but Browning service has a bad rep.

The Berettas aren't Japanese. Plenty of used ones around, or go for whatever the entry level model of 686 or 682 is called these days.

Here's a quick and sloppy field test for gun fit. Done WITH A ShOTGUN KNOWN TO BE EMPTY.

Get into a ready position and focus on a point on the wall, like the corner of a portrait or where the walls and ceiling meet. Close your eyes and mount. Next open your eyes and see if the bbls point at the spot you focussed on. If so, it's probably close enough that you can shoot it well. If not, plan of another shotgun or major surgery on the stock.


September 5, 2002, 09:12 PM
Here is a website you might enjoy, if you haven't found it already.


Belgian Brownings are great guns, JMB's last great design. But be carefull, some had wood (Salt wood) that caused rusting problems. The factory corrected the wood but ther might be some out there thet never were returned.

Most BB's are OK though. Check up on the BBS on the above website to learn the terminology for BB's.

BTW, FN still makes BB's, they go in the neighborhood or $8,000 new. So a used one is a real bargain.

The Sig is not really a Sig, it is built in the same area as Beretta and Perazzi by some of the same people who build the above guns. There is a lot of contracting out and exchange of personnel between the Italian makers.


September 6, 2002, 06:13 AM
Thanks, guys. I think it's been narrowed down to either the Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon II, or the SIG/Aurora TR20U (link for this one is below).


Although I'm sure the Japanese guns are of very high quality and craftsmanship, it seems a huge hypocrisy to exercise my second amendment rights by giving money to a company that sources guns to a country that has no RKBA. John Browning would be turning over in his grave, if he knew. And that says nothing of the Japanese government that doesn't permit their citizens to be armed, but gladly accepts overseas contracts for the manufacture of guns.

I just don't feel comfortable supporting that kind of business 'ethic', and hope that others who view it as I do, will also consider voting with their dollars, the same way we 'stuck' it to S&W for their betrayal.

Some people call this philosophy 'Patriotism'. For me, that's not just a word. I talk the talk, and I walk the walk.

September 6, 2002, 03:49 PM
PS - Sorry to go on a rant in the last message. Happens some times. This has just "been one of those weeks" at work, if you know what I mean.

Dave McC
September 6, 2002, 08:19 PM
Rovert, don't get me started on ChiCom anything unless you want world class ranting(G)....

September 6, 2002, 08:33 PM
Off topic, I know, but that sounds like my "where can I get good American-made (or at least not made by slaves in Asia) hiking boots" thread.
Sometimes it is worth the hunt.
Good luck,

September 7, 2002, 08:55 AM
Geoff, hope you don't mind, but I swiped the quote from "Sources Of Japanese Tradition" for my website.


Heading out today to see if I can scare up one of the SIGs and try on a few different things on for size with my friend who's the resident expert. Any of you guys out there have any last thoughts on this? I've heard questionable things on the SIG/Perazzi SA series... having some second thoughts, but was told they improved their lockwork design... can anyone share some insight?

Mike, you might recall we met at the Buckeye shoot a few weeks ago. I might actually take a drive out your way to PA, since SIG lists the below as authorized resellers. Thought we might get together for a bit, and since you obviously know shotguns, perhaps I can prevail upon your experience a bit...

AF Boyer, Slatington
Archery & Gun Outfitters, Montgomeryville
Classic Pistol, Southampton
Perkioman Gunworks, Perdiomenville
Target World, Chalfont

September 7, 2002, 01:18 PM
Certainly I remember you. I know very little about shotguns though. I do know my 870's but everything else I learned from Dave McC and Geoff (any many more other fine TFLers) right here.
If you're going to Target World (where I used to shoot pistols every week), you should stop at Donn's Gun World which is about two minutes from there at what they call 5-points. Sodapop just bought his 870 there.
Also, in Greenlane (near Perkiomenville) there is a place called Seneca Arms 215 234 8984. The owner there is John and he is a real nice fella. He has mostly hunting and C&R-type stuff but he might have a lead on OU's. He also knows most of the small local clubs in the area where you might be able to score a SG from someone who is upgrading. He is open Tues-Thursday
Very close to my house are two more places. One is Grays Archery which is OK but I am not too impressed with the guy who runs the place. He made a big stink about using him as an FFL for an FAL that a friend of mine was buying. I recommended this guy and he just whined about how he was an FAL dealer and this was basically a loss for him. Wawawawa.
My buddy and I split and went to a place that was right down the street called In Site (610 630 SHOT (7468)). The address is 2118 W. Main St., 2nd Floor, Norristown PA 19403.
These guys were very helpful.
There is an older gent there who knows SG's pretty well and is a senior member at a local SG range near us. I can't recall his name though.
Now I'm off to NC for a little vacation.Good luck in your search.

September 7, 2002, 04:29 PM


September 7, 2002, 07:32 PM
*sigh* :rolleyes:

The best laid plans of mice and men...

Went to an upscale retailer by name of Griffin & Howe, in Bernardsville, NJ (home of Mike Tyson, screen celebreties, and 'certain' basketball players of ill repute, lately...) who were listed by SIG as stocking direct dealers. By 'upscale', I mean that they don't carry anything under ~$1000 in the store, the average price of their guns is about $15,000.

Just when I thought I had my mind made up, I saw the TT45, at a price of $2800, and it was nicer than I ever thought it would be, and seemed to hold its own against many other guns that were priced even higher. That statement, however, is made through ignorance of the overall O/U market.

Given that my unexpected fondness for the higher end gun has pushed the budget to the sub-$3k range, what other recommendations would you guys make? Looks like someone upped the ante. :eek:

September 8, 2002, 12:36 AM
Well, until I read your last post I was going to recommend a Ruger Red Label. American made and durable as you can find. I also happen to think that it is a very good looking gun but not on a par with the 2k and up guns. If you have your heart set already I'm too late. If you get a chance just try one. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I love mine.:) :D

September 8, 2002, 08:20 PM
Kehrby, I did try the Ruger at a store, and the feel of it didn't sit right with me for some reason, but thanks for the suggestion. They were definitely on my radar for a while, but when I handled the gun, it just didn't work out.

September 8, 2002, 08:55 PM

You've now learned some of the import lessons in shotgunning -- there's always a more expensive gun than the one you were looking at and stay out of places like Griffin and Howe ;)

In the higher price range, I like the Beretta 682E but the styling isn't to everyone's taste. I might also look around for a Beretta 682 Gold, the predecessor to the 682E. It uses the older Mobile choke system and is a very attractive firearm. It sounds though like you are set on the Sig and there's nothing wrong with that.

I also think you can do better on prices than G&H but what a wonderful place it is to visit. Try this site for some good prices:



September 8, 2002, 11:12 PM
Griffin & Howe!!!:eek:

When I go into places like that I lock my Credit Cards in the glove box:D

Is the TT45 a sig?

September 9, 2002, 05:48 AM
LOL! Yeah, my credit cards were shaking in fear. :eek:

PJ, thanks for the pointer. I do like the Beretta, and have also been looking at the 682, now that I'm in that range. I'm not 'set' on the TT45 per se, since I like to keep my options open, but it really does seem to offer a lot of value for the dollar. I think it might just be a 'diamond in the rough'.

Regarding the price, if I can find one or two folks that are interested, I have a relationship with a dealer that opens an opportunity to place a group order, to get some very attractive pricing. So far, we're ready to place an order on a TT25 and a TT45, but we're still one or two guns short.

Geoff, yes, the TT45 is SIG's new upper-end competition model, made by Rizzini.

September 9, 2002, 09:46 PM
THAT is one beautiful shotgun!!!!!!!!:cool: